How do I return to Camera RAW window after opening an image?
I tend to open a bunch of RAW files at the same time and move through them using the preview to find the image I want to work on. When I click on "Open Image" (perhaps after adjusting white balance and such), it opens the image into the main part of Photoshop.
If I then want to get back to the Camera Raw mode, I have to go and select all the files again. This seems to be something Adobe would provide a shortcut for, but I can't for the life of me find it in the menus.
Is there a way to bring the previous session of Camera Raw back to the forefront?
You are using Camera raw to preview photos instead of Bridge ? Camera raw is an image editor and not a file browser. Use Bridge to browse and select image or images to open in camera raw then when you are done with an image in camera raw you can open it in photoshop for further permanent editing or just close the image and the non permanent camera raw edits will be save in a side car xmp file, your bridge session will still be open as it was so you can re-open or move on to other images.
When you are in Camera RAW, make whatever adjustments you like, then press the shift key. The open button changes to Open Object. This gives you a re-editable object -- i.e., you can dive back into Camera RAW if you like simply by double-clicking the smart object layer.
All of that said, if you make any raster level adjustments in Photoshop -- say a spotting / healing layer, then go back into Camera RAW to tweak the color balance, all your dust busting will be the wrong color. There are techniques for working with Smart Objects, but at the end of most post-processing, you have to commit to some pixel-level stuff otherwise you wouldn't have broken out a big hammer like Photoshop in the first place, right?
Do you have a use-case for this extra level of flexibility? That would help with a more complete answer that addresses specific concerns.
+1 thank you. This isn't quite what I want, but it's sort of a workaround. I tend to use Photoshop just because it seems so much more responsive that Canon's own software (maybe Canon's isn't multi-threaded, or 64bit...)
my use case is basically wanting to have every photo open in camera raw so I can flick through them, then jumping in and out of photoshop to either just export as pngs or do something like content aware fill, and then wanting to go back to the list of photos in camera raw.
I've just looked at the Adobe Bridge program, though, which seems to allow more for the sort of workflow I want (it has previews/thumbnails of each image, and an option to open in camera raw) -- so I think I'll use that. As you say, there's not a great many uses for opening something in photoshop as a smart object, when you can't really make any changes to it in that state.
Bridge will absolutely do what you want so long as you know exactly where on your disk your images live. Lightroom ($$$) is much more functional, but also can act as a digital asset manager and RAW processor using the same ACR engine that Photoshop does. It's on fire sale right now for about $99, probably because a new version is being readied (but I don't know anything other than the promotional pricing I get in email).
Hmm... I have looked at Lightroom before but couldn't see anywhere that it really said what it does Photoshop doesn't (and after spending £1200+ on CS5.5 Web, my other half would go mad if I bought another computer program for my 'silly little photos'). Maybe I'll give the trial ago, thanks for the tip.
Using camera raw (CR) as way to preview your images is putting the cart before the horse. CR is not the tool to preview your images. Use Bridge to preview and then select only the images you want to open and edit in CR. You can then make non destructive edits in CR and close the image, or convert a copy to a jpg or tiff. OR If you need to make more comprehensive edits that are not available in CR you can then choose to open the image in photoshop.