NC vs ACR 3.1

Apr 30, 2005
Sydney, Australia
I've used NC for a while and am used to using Nikon Transfer then NC to adjust and save as JPG, then some PS work if necessary (in a nutshell thats my workflow)

I have a low powered PC and needed faster turn around, so rather than buying a new PC, I decided getting more low end software (true !)

I've just brought Adobe Elements and obtained the ACR 3.1 plugin with the view to "enhancing / speeding up" my work flow.

I just dont get it with ACR, the GUI on it seems so generic that the sliders used to make settings make for a inconsistent look when I am doing batches of prints.

Is it just me needing to get used to ACR or do others find this plugin a little unwieldly ?
Feb 2, 2005
Real Name
I guess it's what you are used to Simon, cause I rarely use NC and feel about it like you feel about ACR. I find NC's controls clunky and non-intuitive. You might want to check out Bruce Fraser's Camera Raw to get you running with ACR.

Here's my ACR workflow in a nutshell: :)

First find something neutral colored (if you shot a gray card, GREAT!) Then click on it with the eyedropper tool and that will set your white balance.

Then turn shadows all the way down, and look at the histogram. Slide the exposure down until the histogram climbs down off the right wall, then turn up the brightness until your picture looks right. Then add contrast to taste and, if it really needs it, shadows.

If you want a black and white photo, you can turn saturation all the way down, and play with the white balance controls to adjust the 'filtration'.

Now edit it in Photoshop (Elements). I usually leave the shadows off and adjust the gamma with the curves in Photoshop, but ACR3.1 has curves built in, and I've been experimenting with adjusting the gamma there.

And that is it.
May 3, 2005
Owings Mills, MD
Thank you for the mini tutorial Chris. I usually process my photos in NC and like Simon, I use PSCS for minor adjustments. I will have to download ACR 3.1 and give it another chance. I have been trying to improve my technique and composition to avoid over 'Photoshopping' my images.

Any advice on a PBase workflow?
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