Adobe Bridge is pretty fascinating. At first glance it seems a little unnecessary, as it appears to be just a “middle man” in working with digital photographs. Who wants to add extra steps to their photo work flow anyway, right? That’s what I thought… at first. And then I decided to give it a chance and started playing with it, to see what its capabilities are, and maybe its weaknesses. With that, here’s what I came up with in the end:
Oddly enough, it’s a time saver. I know that sounds counterintuitive, as up front it just seems I am adding steps to my work flow. That was my first impression also, and I was wrong… sort of. Of course in the beginning it may add a little time to what you are doing, but on the far end it will save you time. Plus, you will get faster with the whole process as you get comfortable with it.
Now the big question that may be on your mind is “How does this save me time exactly?” And it all has to do with managing your photographs: naming them, organizing them, presenting them, etc. Quickly, here are some of the things Adobe Bridge can do for you:
- Explore and work with photographs (with the Camera RAW Filter)
- Tag photographs
- Rate photographs
- Batch rename photographs (renaming a group of photographs at once to better catalog them)
- Add metadata
You want to know the really cool part, though? It’s free! Adobe will let you have it without cost. Can’t beat that. Now, if you want to further work on some photographs, you will have to have Photoshop or other Adobe program installed, and those are not free.
Over the next few weeks we will take a look at each of these items to detail what they can do for you.
First up, using the Camera RAW Filter. I have talked about using the Camera RAW Filter in an earlier blog, so I won’t go into detail about what it is. The one key thing here with using the Camera RAW Filter in Adobe Bridge is that it is one click away… for both RAW image files and processed JPG files (OK, that’s two key things. I know I could go back and edit, but I am on a roll here. Just go with it.).
So here is what the Adobe Bridge interface looks like. Lots of stuff on the screen, right? No worries, as you will soon be comfortable with everything that is presented here. For the Camera RAW Filter interface, you have to select a photograph (or photographs, if you want to work on several at the same time – another time saver, by the way), and then either:
1. Click on the Open in Camera Raw icon
2. Select it from File>Open in Camera Raw
3. Get all fancy and use a keyboard shortcut to open it (Command+R for Mac, and Ctrl+R for Windows).
The Camera RAW Filter workspace will open up and you can now work on making it pretty. Once again, go back to my previous blog on working in Camera RAW Filter if you have any questions about it.
Next week we’ll take a look-see at using Adobe Bridge to rate and tag your photographs. See you then!
Instructional Media Design Specialist
Center for Academic & Professional Excellence