If you open a RAW file in Photoshop it will automatically open in Camera Raw, which gives you basically the same editing options that you would get in Lightroom, with a few minor exceptions. But what many Photoshop users do not realize is that you can also use Camera Raw with .jpg files. Now, using Camera Raw with a .jpg file will not give you all the advantages of working with a RAW file because your file is still a .jpg, but you can still use the same sliders and settings. If you’re used to working in Lightroom or if you like some of the Camera Raw options and sliders you may want to do this when you are editing a .jpg file.
The first thing you should do is duplicate your background layer so you will be working non-destructively. Go to Layer > Duplicate Layer to make a copy of your background layer. Next, right click on the new layer in the layers palette and click on “convert to smart object”. Once it is a smart object you will be able to make changes in the Camera Raw filter and then go back and adjust those settings later if you’d like.
Once you have converted your layer to a smart object you can go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter and it will open the photo in Camera Raw.
I like the split toning options in Camera Raw (as covered in this Lightroom tutorial) so I can now access those same options in Photoshop by using the Camera Raw filter. To access the split toning settings click on the fifth icon from the left.
Make whatever changes you like, then click “ok” and you’ll leave Camera Raw and go back to Photoshop.
In the case of this photo I am going to set the contrast at 10 and clarity at 25.
In the HSL settings I am going to boost the green saturation to 50 to make the grass a little greener.
I’ll also set the split toning as mentioned earlier.
After those changes the photo looks like this:
And that is how you can use Camera Raw even with .jpg files!