Working with Adobe Bridge
Adobe Bridge is an application that allows photographers to organize, rename, review, and batch process many photos quickly. It should be the first part of a post-production workflow.
Some photographers prefer to cull through photos before they rename them. It doesn’t really matter when you rename your photos, but it will certainly help with organizing your work.
Renaming your files
How you rename your files is up to you, but you have many options that can be automated quickly.
- Select the photos that you wish to rename. (CTRL/CMD + A if you want to select all)
- Go Tools>Batch Rename (CTRL/CMD + Shift +R)
- From the Rename dialog box make the following
Always “Copy to other folder”. By copying, if something goes wrong during the batch process, you still have the originals. Once you have confirmed the process is good, you can delete the original. You can also select what folder to copy/move the files to.
Name your file with a Text Field first. In this example, I named it by the sport and then added my initial.
Select Date Created. Bridge gives you many options to enter for the date format. (You can also enter it as text and manually type the date if you wish).
Choose Sequence Number so that all of your files have an order. Notice in the example, Bridge is processing 205 files. You would need to have at least three digits for your sequence. It’s a good idea to preserve the current filename in the metadata.
You may feel like you need more information for cataloging purposes, but we will learn how to do this in a few steps.
Metadata is like a digital thumbprint of an image. Some information is saved to the image when it is taken, but you can add more to it to make searching and filtering easier. Default metadata generally includes information about the camera settings. It will show aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. You can also find out what type of camera and lens were used. Some of the information gets quite detailed. It is a great tool to use when discussing good/bad photography. You can also add information about the photographer and editor to store in the metadata.
The quickest way to add metadata to a set of images is to use a Metadata Template. Each artist should create his/her own template and name it with his/her name in the title. If you want to use the template for all of your work try to keep it limited.
You can include copyright information, keywords, location, and job identifiers. These are the basic ones.
Note: Templates can be edited after they are saved. However, the data that has already been applied to an image will not change unless the image’s metadata is updated.
Suggestions: For yearbook, I would use the creator’s name and job identifier. You can add in keywords or descriptions later.
When you select Save, the metadata will not automatically apply to your images. From here you must choose one of the options from the Tools menu. In this case, I want to Append Metadata>Dawn’s Demo because I am adding to it.
Keywords—Keywords can be words to help you remember information about your photo. I could include the school this was taken at, the player’s names, the page number this will appear on, the type of shot, etc. This applies the metadata to the photo(s) this is currently selected.
If you have several images that will require the same keywords, open your Keywords panel from the Window menu. This is what the Keywords panel looks like by default. Bridge has several built in places, people, and events. You can edit those to satisfy the needs of your class or yearbook.
This is an example of one that would work for a yearbook class. In this case, I could select the players who are in highlighted in the photo. I could also select
the location of the photo and/or the event. Later, I can filter using those keywords and find only the basketball photos taken at GMS that include Parker B and Tate. This makes searching for specific images really easy.
Reviewing Your Images
Once you have renamed your files, it is time to review the files. I recommend using the Filmstrip workspace. It allows you to see several thumbnails as well as larger previews and metadata.
DELETING—Only delete photos that you truly do not want to use. You can press the Delete key on your keyboard or right-click on the keyboard and press Delete. You may be asked if you want to Reject, Delete, or Cancel. If the photo is not usable it is ok to press Delete. This is a permanent step. If you don’t want to have the option to Reject, use the key command CTRL/CMD + Delete. You may also see a dialog box that confirms you want to delete. You can disable this option, but I do not recommend it because it serves as a safety net “just in case”.
REJECTING—If you choose to Reject an image it will be marked with Reject under the photo, but it is not deleted. You can use the key command ALT + Delete to Reject images quickly. If you do not wish to view the rejected files, go to View>Show Rejected Files and make sure to disable it. It’s a good idea to Reject rather than Delete just in case you need to go back and use an image. You may not initially need a photo, but it’s better to have it just in case.
LABELING—Bridge allows you to label your images as you review them. Labels are assigned from the Label menu or by pressing CTRL/CMD and a number. Select (CTRL/CMD +6), Second (CTRL/CMD +7), Approved (CTRL/CMD + 8), Review (CTRL/CMD + 9). There is also a To Do option, but it does not have a key command associated with it. You can change the labels in the Edit>Preference menu. Perhaps change Review to Needs Edit.
In this example, the image has a red label on it meaning that this is the one you are to select. (Labels are color coded and can be changed in the Preferences menu) Red = Select, Yellow = Second, Green = Approved, Blue = Review, Purple = To Do
RANKING—Another way to review images is to use the star system. You can rank images 1-5 stars by clicking on the stars below the image or by pressing CTRL/CMD + 1 (through 5). When working with a large group, ranking and labeling help for quick sorting. You can filter for all 5 star images to find the best ones quickly.