How to Master Raw File Batch Processing With Elements

Save valuable time by using the Organizer workspace in ACR to highlight and make adjustments to multiple Raw images. Philip Andrews explains how

Batch processing
Batch processing Batch processing

New to Photoshop Elements 6 is the ability to apply changes to multiple Raw files at once. This feature will radically speed up the enhancement of your Raw files and you’ll no longer be able to use the excuse: ’I shoot JPEGs because it’s faster!’

Software: Adobe Camera Raw supplied with Photoshop Elements 6
Skills learnt: Quickly enhance multiple Raw files using synchronised Processing Time: 20mins
 

The process revolves around the thumbnail section of the Photoshop Elements ACR dialogue which appears when you select multiple Raw files inside the Organizer workspace and then choose the Full Edit option from the right-click menu. The selected files are opened into the ACR dialogue and listed on the left-hand side of the main workspace. This function is new for the ACR edition that ships with Elements 6 and not only brings with it the ability to multi-select, but also to multi-process.

Most users will use this new queue feature by selecting and enhancing one image at a time from the group of thumbnails displayed on the left of the dialogue. When working this way, all changes made to the image settings of the previewed file are applied to the selected photo only. Users then move from image to image, making enhancements to individual files before clicking the Done key to apply the changes without transferring the files to Elements. Alternatively, selecting the Open key will display the converted pictures in the Full Edit workspace.

A More Efficient Way

However, this is not the only way to work with multiple Raw files. The Select All button at the top of the queued files section can be used for a more efficient workflow. If you choose this option any changes made to the previewed image will be synchronised across all the selected photos. Groups of queued images can also be multi-selected by Shift-clicking (for sequential images) or Ctrl-clicking (for non-sequential images) on the thumbnails. With this feature, enhancements made to a single photo can be applied across the whole range of selected images queued.

It’s still a good idea to select each image in turn and fine-tune the settings applied, but if your exposure is consistent and the lighting doesn’t change too much during the shoot, these will be kept to a minimum.