How to Edit Raw Images Without Photoshop

How to Edit Raw Photos: Professional Tips

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The Secrets of Processing RAW Images

What images do professional photographers prefer to work with? Most of them choose RAW files. The reason is obvious - you can purely enjoy the process of shooting not being bothered with camera settings. Later, you can make your own choices concerning white balance, color gradation, clarity and sharpness of your shots while processing them in some raw photo editing software. Read on to discover how to edit RAW images like a real pro and draw the best out of them.

Unlike JPEG files, RAW images look dull and bleak. Start editing them and you’ll notice a colossal difference. The photo example below demonstrates it very well - the same settings have been adjusted in the JPEG and RAW images.

Why to process RAW files


Reasons to Shoot and Edit RAW Files

Before diving into the details of photo post-production, let’s find out why it’s well worth shooting RAW. It’s the best way to get the highest image quality possible. The main reasons to edit RAW images are listed below:


1. You Can Show More Details

RAW files are big because the image sensor captures all the information about the scene without changing the way it looks. RAW images won’t save any space on your memory card but that major amount of data will give you a lot more flexibility in photo manipulation later. It will help you bring out important details and improve the quality of the original shots.

Show more details

2. You Can Fix Colors & White Balance

Working with RAW files, you’ll have as much color information as possible, it will be recorded in each and every pixel. Let’s compare the JPEG and RAW images below from the color perspective. The JPEG certainly looks good. At the same time everyone will call the RAW photo excellent because of the color gradation in it. To perfect the color balance of the shot, use a convenient photo editor.

Adjust color and white balance

3. You Can Manage the Exposure

Thanks to the wide dynamic range, modern cameras are able to handle the details of highlights and shadows in one shot. It helps to avoid too much noise and prevent blowing out highlights. By adjusting the exposure level in post-processing, you’ll make the scene clearer and emphasize the natural texture of the objects. You can get marvelous pictures this way, especially working on landscapes and architectural views!

Perfect exposure

What RAW Photo Editor to Choose?

There is no single extension type for RAW files, every digital camera developer uses their own name suffixes: .CR2 and .CRW for Canon, .NEF and .NRW for Nikon, .SRW for Samsung, .ARW and .CRF for Sony, etc. So, what program will open most RAW files? You know that Photoshop or Lightroom will do but those two have several serious disadvantages - they are complicated, they require plenty of your hard drive space, and they are expensive.

PhotoWorks is a better choice. To make sure that this program is easy to use yet very powerful, download the image editing software and try it for free. The result of editing will amaze you! Now, let’s see how to process RAW images in PhotoWorks.


Quick Auto Improvement

To get started, launch the program and open the RAW image to work on. In the window that shows up, there is a set of special profiles to enhance different types of photographs with a single mouse click. Select and apply a suitable one. Let’s pick a portrait profile for this photo example.

Choose a profile for a quick photo enhancement

PhotoWorks offers you a set of special profiles to improve different types of photos

When you have applied the settings, you’ll automatically move to the Enhancement tab that offers you to continue editing. Here you can adjust the color balance, tone and sharpness of the picture. If you don’t have enough time to play with the adjustments, try Auto correction of color and light for a better result.

Select color and light auto correction of your raw file

Adjust the color & light settings with a mouse click

Another way of quick and effective editing is to apply photo filters to your images. Open the Effects tab and select from the large collection of different photo effects offered to you.

Apply one-click filters to your raw image

Apply an instant photo filter to enhance your picture


Detailed Manual Editing

Auto correction works fine when it comes to RAW photos with minor problems, but if you have an average quality shot and want to make it a real masterwork, you’ll need to place some efforts. So, it’s time to see how to edit RAW files in PhotoWorks manually. The photo below needs some major improvements, let’s work on it together.

How to edit RAW files without Photoshop

Adjust the Tone and Color Settings

The software allows you to adjust the tone of the photo. Decrease Highlights by moving the slider in. Bring the details out by increasing the Shadows level. To do that, drag the Clarity and Saturation sliders to the right. Increase the Blacks degree a little. Also, you can correct color balance and sharpness of the image to your taste. You’ve made the scene brighter, crisper and warmer.

Adjust the tone and color settings of your raw photo

Set the tone and color of your photo

Improve the Composition

With PhotoWorks, it’s become really easy to fix compositional issues in your shots. For instance, the Geometry option will help you straighten the wonky horizon and correct geometrical distortions. To find the necessary tools, open the Composition tab. This time, the Cropping tool is needed - let’s improve the global composition of the photo and get rid of undesired elements.

Correct the compositional problems of your RAW image

Crop the image to improve its composition

Retouch the Photos With a Mouse Click

Using the toolkit under the Retouch tab, you will edit and enhance your RAW images like a real pro. To improve your portraits, choose the Red Eye Removal, the Healing Brush or the Portrait Magic option. Accentuate any object you want with the help of the Radial Filter. Let’s use the Graduated Filter tool to make this landscape outstanding - decrease the Saturation, Shadows and Whites levels, and increase the Contrast degree to see how amazingly deep this picture can become.

Edit your RAW files easily

Use a complete editing toolkit to make your photos amazing


Now that you’ve seen with your own eyes that you can edit your RAW images to achieve top-notch quality with minimum efforts, stop scratching your head over the question what software to get. Just download PhotoWorks and enjoy turning your treasured pictures to photography masterpieces!

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