I am editing a batch of about 1000 photos in Camera Raw. There are certain settings like contrast or clarity that will be the same for all of them. But with the Exposure, I would like to have the exposure decrease incrementally from the first picture (set to +1.25) to the last picture (set to -2.00).

So for certain settings that will be the same on all images I have done a simple "select all" and "synchronize." But I am wondering if there is a way that Camera Raw (or any other Adobe program) can automatically split the difference between an exposure of +1.25 to -2.00 and apply them gradually to the set of images.

Any thoughts?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think Adobe Camera Raw can do this natively, but if you have Lightroom it might be worthwhile to check out LRTimelapse. It can keyframe different parameters (like the exposure). I'm not affiliated with it, just saw a cool demo of the program. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 19:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ If there is a way, it would almost certainly be through the Automation/Macro functionality in Photoshop. I'm not sure if that functionality can integrate with Adobe Camera Raw though. I'll take a look when I get home and can see if there is actually a way through this avenue or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 19:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AJHenderson I just checked and for me (CS5) this didn't work. As described here you can only go back to ACR if you open the RAW file as a smart object. But if you double click on the smart object to access ACR to increase the exposure the action just says "Edit contents". Running this action on another RAW file opened as a smart object does open ACR, but does not alter the exposure. Is using the 32-bit exposure tool (integrated in PS) maybe an option? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 20:34

1 Answer 1


While I'm not aware of any off-the-shelf solutions (and it's not native to Lightroom/ACR), there's no reason why it can't be done.

Since ACR/LR don't touch the original file (with a few exceptions related to EXIF data) but store the adjustments to be made in an XMP file, and XMP is just XML (plain text with angle brackets), there is no reason why an external program can't be used to modify the exposure smoothly across XMP files. (That is, in fact, how "bulb ramping" has to be done with Nikon cameras, which only have discrete shutter values available even in bulb mode.)

For that matter, you could probably do the same thing with white balance so that sunrise/sunset aren't too brightly orange/red compared to open blue sky midday.

That turns the "photography" problem into a programming problem. Examine the XMP file in a text editor to determine the document structure and what nodes need to be added/modified. If you have no other programming environment available to you, a VBA macro in a Microsoft Office application can do the trick (and can provide you with a useful parameter input form easily as well). But that takes us out of the scope of the Photography stack.


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