More Lightroom vs. Bridge

I got this question recently:
“When I am browsing through my extensive photos files, do I need to import each one into Lightroom to look at it? I like how with Bridge I can access anything quickly. If I had to import each item I wanted to look at first, that seems like a waste of time. Ideas on this? Much thanks.”

My answer:


New White Paper on Non-Destructive Imaging

Peter Krogh, author of the popular The DAM Book, has posted a new white paper on the Adobe web site:

Non-Destructive Imaging: An Evolution of Rendering Technology
“With the rapid adoption of raw photography in commercial as well as amateur circles, the basic concepts of non-destructive imaging are increasingly important. But non-destructive workflows are not new. In this paper Peter Krogh leads you through a detailed outline of these evolving rendering technologies, and describes their relevance to every digital photographer.”

Click Here for the Adobe Site

How to Apply Camera Raw Presets to a Batch of FIles

The Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) plug-in will run from within Photoshop and Bridge.

To apply a saved preset or ACR default settings to multiple images, select all the desired raw image files in Bridge and then either double-click one of them or press CTRL+O (or the Command [Apple Key]+O on Mac).

Select multiple files in Bridge
This opens all the selected files in Filmstrip mode in ACR. You will see all the chosen files in a vertical filmstrip running down the left side of the window.

Filmstrip mode in Adobe Camera Raw

From here, you can choose to apply a preset to all or some of the images (use Select All, Shift Select, Control Select etc.).

You can then continue to fine-tune settings for individual images.

When you’re done adjusting settings in ACR, use the Save Image…, Open or Done buttons to move them through the workflow.

Using this method, you can batch process large numbers of images in ACR and save them, for example, as resized JPGs for web, DNG files with embedded metadata, whatever.

Adobe Bridge vs. Adobe Lightroom

Many people ask whether it’s better to use Bridge or Lightroom.

I use both, for different purposes.

If I need to quickly find an image and I know its location, or I need to quickly look into a folder full of images, I will use Bridge.

However, I use Lightroom for transfering raw captures to the computer, adding metadata, ranking, cropping, and processing (developing) the raw images. I go as far as possible within Lightroom before I take a file into Photoshop, usually only for sharpening, selective/localized editing such as dodging and burning, or soft-proofing prior to printing.

The key differences between Lightroom and Bridge:

1. Lightroom is a standalone product and must be purchased separately; Bridge comes included with full versions of Photoshop.

2. Lightroom uses a powerful database to perform non-destructive editing (with unlimited undos) and provides for very fast searching within large numbers of images. Bridge is a file browser, meaning it can show you the contents of a folder and will preview files, but doesn’t keep track of the status or settings for any of the images.

3. Lightroom has a raw processing engine built-in, Bridge uses the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) plug-in. However, the raw processors in current versions of  Lightroom and Bridge/ACR are essentially identical.

Personally, for the majority of reviewing and editing my photos, I generally prefer Lightroom for its streamlined workflow and its database capabilities. But for people who don’t wish to spend the money or take the time to learn a new program, Bridge with ACR is a totally competent solution.