I had to process 220 pictures I shot in raw and all I have is Adobe Elements 5. Being new to raw processing, here is what I came up with after several days of experimenting:
0. Installation: If you have an older version of PSE, go to the Adobe site and download the latest ACR. It's a file Camera Raw.8bi that goes to the plugins/fileformats folder (on windows).
1. Pre-Work: Play with the sliders in ACR to get a feeling how they work. Use the higlight/lowlight warning when playing with exposure or luminosity (50 by default, a bit high maybe). For the sharpening and noise-removal options, zoom to 200% or more to examine the effect.
2. Decide how you want your pics to look like: I wanted mine with strong and warm colours, and sharpened. That's pleasing to the eye but maybe not suitable for a stock picture library, I guess.
3. To process, do not right click on a pic and say "open in PSE". Rather open PSE without and pictures and select "open".
4. Then select files that have been shot in a batch, e.g. in my case pics in the garden, or in the church, or when the couple exits the church etc. I selected ub to 15 shots in one go. Use shift/ctrl click to select multiple files.
5. The first pic opens in ACR. Make your adjustments as trained before and click on "open image"
6. ACR will send the pic to PSE, you will PSE shortly coming to the front, but the ACR takes back control and opens the next pic.
7. Now, click on the little icon which is top right to white balance (it looks like three dots and three lines). Here you can select "previous conversion" and your pic will inherit all settings from the previous pic. If they were shot in the same conditions, you might just click on "open image" and go to the next one. Or make some adjustments.
8. If all images are processed, we come to the boring part. PSE opens with all pics opened. You have to save and cloe them one by one. Then start the next batch.
Like this, I processed 220 pics in around 3 hours (right hand still aching
) I compared several times the ACR pics to the incamera JPGs and found the ACR conversions (mainly ISO 200-400, few 800 and even less 1600) better.