Going from raw to a finished image can take several hours.
Several hours of trial and error.
Several hours of banging my head on the keyboard.
Several hours of WTF decisions that you go back to later and redo from scratch.
Below is an example of a raw image versus finished image and the steps I took to get there.
Raw Versus Finished
Raw Image (Or what I call Ewww)
I don't know why it is, but my raws always seem to be too dark.
Step 1: Color Correct and Initial Retouching in Adobe Camera Raw
> Brought up the shadows until they show detail on her black clothes.
> Lightened Face
> Highlight the Lightsabre
> Color correct to warmer tone. (I think this becomes irrelevant later though cause I shift color tones again in Photoshop)
Step 2: Face and Background Retouching
> Removed all distracting elements in the backg