Question: Batch processing RAW image files

I received another question from a Facebook friend about photography.

First question:

How again do you set up a batch process? I know how to automate them, but I can’t remember how to set them up. Will it work for both camera raw settings and then additional Photoshop edits? I’m going through a shoot with someone, and with similar pictures I’d love to be able to do that.

Answer:
The process that I use is good for camera raw modifications and whatever happens in the Photoshop action.

1. Open and tweak all of the images in a directory. In Photoshop I just select all of the files at once and camera raw opens all of them in a list to the left of the raw editing tools and preview.

2. Press the “Done” button when finished to save all of the tweaks.

3. Create a Photoshop action to do whatever you want. Keep in mind that it will happen uniformly to every image. For example, I made an action to just save a full-quality JPEG image. Other times I’ve run auto-contrast with a de-noise plugin called Noise Ninja that I have and then save the JPEG.

4. Select File >> Automate >> Batch…
Set: the set your action is in
Action: the action you made for this purpose

Source: Folder
Choose a folder of images you want to process
Check suppress file open options dialogs
check suppress color profile warnings

Destination: Folder
Choose a folder to save your files
Check override action “save as” to specify a specific directory for the batch process if you want, I usually do.

Name your output files however you want with the file naming section.

Click the OK button to run the batch process.

Question part 2:

Can you do that for only 1 photo though, or just a folder? Would i have to set that photo into a separate folder?

The automated batch works on folders of images. If you want to do a single image, just use an action.

Sorry I don’t understand actions. Is there maybe a site FAQ that you recommend?

Actions are just like a recorder for what you do in Photoshop by hand. The window should be on the right side of Photoshop. I really don’t know if you can use actions with camera raw, but anything in Photoshop itself works with actions. You would make a new action and then press record. When it is recording you go through your normal editing process. Just keep in mind that some edits won’t apply in a general way to all images. If you remove spots or do drawing or masking it isn’t suited to actions or any type of batch processing. There are a few work-arounds with removing sensor dust spots though.

I don’t really have any tutorial sites handy, but a quick search brought up this site:
http://ronbigelow.com/articles/batch/batch.htm

Most of the time I would just search out a specific task and just piece together the bits and pieces until it works.

I should also mention, in camera raw itself you can select multiple files by holding the shift key down and clicking on each thumbnail. Then you can tweak the images together. They have to be very similar for that to work well though.

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