Software Update: Adobe Camera Raw 13.0 Adds Colour Grading, Speedier Local Adjustments, Cleaner Edit Panels Interface, New Cameras & Lenses Support – Commentary

Camera Raw 13.0 installer




What’s new in Adobe Camera Raw

Version 13.0:

Control shadows, midtones, and highlights with Color Grading:

  • Achieve the perfect mood to fit your creative visions with powerful color controls for shadows, midtones, and highlights or adjust the overall color of your image

Faster local adjustments editing with all new GPU support:

  • Experience faster editing while using the Adjustment Brush, applying Graduated Filter or Radial Filter, and adjusting sliders for all local corrections

Show or hide edit panels based on your needs:

  • Easily show or hide Edit panels with the new Edit Panels to Show option. There is also a Compact Layout Preferences option to further customize your workspace

Support for new cameras and lenses:

  • Find newly added cameras and lenses in the full list of supported profiles


Both photographs below were made by pointing the camera into a large plate-glass window that was reflecting action from outdoors while overlaying it on action occurring inside the building, and are not double or triple exposures. Using manual focus lenses made it easier to choose the precise plane of focus compared to using autofocus lenses in the same scenario. 

Adobe has finally added the colour grading functionality previously found in other raw image editing software like Phase One’s Capture One Pro and its variants, derived from the colour grading controls native to video editing and colour grading applications like Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve and Apple’s Final Cut Pro.

Not before time given the fact that many contemporary photographers are also cinematographers and vice versa and so may appreciate familiar features and interfaces.

I did the two quick and dirty colour grading variations above to express aspects of a protest against Indian coal mining giant  Adani and its contractors, enhancing the emotions on both sides with extra colour in the shadows, midtones and highlights.

The colour grading feature will come in handy for photo illustrations and expressionist renderings like these, and especially portraits where my customary documentary approach may not be expressive enough to underscore aspects of the sitter’s personality.

It is a shame, though, that Adobe has not seen fit to improve its still substandard conversion of Fujifilm’s X-Trans files which results in the “wriggling worms” effect visible when viewing images at 100% and higher magnifications.

I avoided the wriggling worms by processing each .RAF raw file in Iridient Digital’s excellent Iridient X-Transformer software which outputs a .DNG file that can then be processed in Adobe Camera Raw.


Adobe: What’s new in Camera Raw: Adobe Camera Raw 11.3 | May 2019

“The May 2019 release of Adobe Camera Raw (version 11.3) rolls out a new feature – Texture slider, adds support for new cameras and lenses, and fixes issues.”

Philip Ruddock, Mayor of Hornsby, surveys photographs by local artist Nathalie Hartog Gauthier during opening of her photography exhibition at Wallarobba Arts and Cultural Centre, Hornsby, 4th May 2019. Before applying Texture, the fabric of the Mayor’s jacket was less clear than it is here and the details of each framed image less distinct. I could have applied Clarify or Sharpen for a not dissimilar effect, but Texture works without adding the artefacts that the other two options often carry with them.
Texture effect applied at 100 to casual portrait shot with Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R camera and Panasonic Lumix S Pro 50mm f/1.4 prime lens wide open. Raw file processed in Adobe Camera Raw 11.3 followed by Alien Skin Exposure X4 with Copper preset to emulate the chemical copper toning I sometimes applied to prints for magazine reproduction during my magazine editorial portrait photographer days. Using Texture is as if I had stopped the lens’ aperture down one or more stops, now focussing on more than just one of the subject’s eyes. My interest in the Panasonic Lumix S1R is primarily as a portrait camera for producing really big prints to gallery standard, and Texture may well further enhance the possible sense of looking into the subject’s actual eyes when standing face-to-face with a big blow-up of the photograph.
Same raw file but with both Enhance and Texture applied, then blue and copper split-toning applied in Alien Skin Exposure X4 to resemble another way I often chemically toned ultra-close-up portraits for magazine editorial clients. This look strongly reminds me of shooting full-face close-up portraits on my 4″x5″ sheet film cameras using Polaroid Type 55 positive/negative film.


Just for fun and to see how far one can go with this approach, I added a Polaroid Type 55 film simulation and frame and am sharing the image here at 100% uncropped, making for a 6.3 MB 60% quality JPEG file. Best downloaded and viewed at 100%. 

Adobe has updated its Adobe Camera Raw engine plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom to version 11.3 with a brand new feature, Texture.

Until now many photographers needing a little extra detail from their raw files have chosen to sharpen or add clarity via ACR but now they may wish to explore the creative possibilities of the Texture slider.

Like sharpening and clarity, the texture feature can be used in a negative or positive manner, applied overall or in selected areas of the image.

I have applied texture to both the images above, at a setting of +50 to the top image and at +100 to the lower image, and I can see its expressive capabilities already.



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