Sometimes I think it’s because it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. The reality is that I choose to work with one system of Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) rather than try to learn a newer program and workflow such as Lightroom. The old saying applies, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Adobe Bridge

Those that don’t use it regularly may not realize how powerful Bridge and Camera Raw are in working with your files. I find that working through my files using Bridge is quick and easy. Deleting files after import is as quick as hitting the delete key. Want to remove multiple files? Select a bunch and push delete. They move quickly to the trash bin.

Bridge uses my file system and the naming conventions I have worked out over the years. I navigate to the file folder and start to work. Should I wish to rename files, a dialog box makes this easy and quick.

Adobe Bridge window
Files that have been processed with Adobe Camera Raw are visible with a marker in the top right hand corner. As an example, the files above including over 400 more were adjusted without ever having to open them individually. Very handy for a time-lapse capture.

I’ll cover my file folder naming convention system in another article.

Adobe Bridge Batch file renaming dialog box
File renaming dialog box with available options can be accomplished in moments with the ability to return to the original file name if necessary.

In Bridge, I highlight as many files with which I would like to work. Highlighted RAW files open in ACR. If I have a similar batch of images in the same lighting conditions I can process one photo and then synchronize to all the others. At that point images can be opened for further processing or pushing the Done button returns them to Bridge with the settings applied. At that point I can further review my favorites for further processing.

Adobe Camera Raw

Adobe Camera Raw, or ACR for short, leverages the same multi-file processing power found in Lightroom without having to deal with catalogs. After ACR processing the files move to Photoshop for additional massaging.

If you don’t have a solid naming convention in your folder system and work with thousands of images Lightroom may be for you as it is specifically a Digital Asset Management system.

Direct process to Photoshop

From the menu bar in Bridge there is quick access to open the files in Photoshop. You can load all highlighted images as Layers in one file. Or access the Photomerge dialog box for creating panoramas. Even save out files in three different size or file formats in three separate folders with Image Processor.

red rocks photos ready for exposure blending
Selected images can be uploaded to Photoshop into a single file as layers for exposure blending.

In short Bridge accomplishes everything I want it to do. It’s an extremely powerful part of my workflow. Having grown up in the digital world with Bridge was an advantage. You can make it dance to your own tune as well with just a bit of study of the built-in features.

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob