CMXtraneous: Photoshop

Right on the edge of useful

Captain to the Bridge!

Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 1:07:38 PM by Jim Babbage

Jim Babbage

As you may have noticed from my recent articles, I've been on a bit of an organizational kick. It all started (or became more focused) when I downloaded the LightRoom beta from Adobe. Pretty cool software which I am still playing with.

Ironically, playing with LightRoom got me thinking more and more about Adobe Bridge, and its functionality. While not near as sexy as LightRoom, Bridge is packed with functionality that can really help to streamline your workflow and business.

I've been using Bridge for quite some time to add Metadata to all my images before they are burned to CD and/or shipped to the client, or even uploaded to my flickr site. But lately I've been experimenting more with the search, keyword and rating features. This experimentation has resulted in a series of articles about Adobe Bridge. So far, Parts 1 and 2 are online. Parts 3 and 4 are completed and will be hitting cyberspace some time soon.

The Getting Organized with Adobe Bridge Series:

Coming Soon! 

  • Getting Organized with Adobe Bridge - Part 3: Keywords and Searches and Collections - Oh My!
  • Getting Organized with Adobe Bridge - Part 4: Rating and Labelling

I didn't begin writing about the Bridge with a series of articles in mind. However, the more I played (and found cool things) the more I thought about sharing those discoveries with you.

I'm not sure if I have any more Bridge articles up my sleeve, but as I continue to work with the application, the muse may slap me upside the head yet again. Part four was a bit of a surprise even to me. I hadn't even thought about going over these features until I realized how often I use the rating feature myself.

I'm also finding this information to be very useful to my current students. This semester, I am teaching photojournalism and photography to students in two different journalism programs at Centennial College.

One core component of the courses is Photoshop instruction, but it occurred to me recently how valuable the Bridge can be to these students and how important it is to instil good organizational habits early. This is of particular relevance to my photojournalism students, because Bridge works with XMP data and follows IPTC standards for data storage/input. The type of information you can include/embed with an image file will become part of their photography workflow when they enter the profession.

Adobe has also acknowledged and embraced this technology with the creation of their XMP toolkit and the extended capabilites of the File Info feature.

For those of you who are not photographers, Adobe Bridge works with multiple image formats, not just photographs. Whether you have a collection of PNG designs for a web site, or a bunch of animated GIFS, Bridge can help you get - and stay - organized with those files as well. So if you haven't had the chance yet, be sure to take a peek at these articles.

Anything you can do to make your life easier is a good thing, in my view.

As Adobe continues to develop its myriad product lines, I hope to see Bridge capability or integration with other programs, too.

Category tags: Adobe, Bridge, Community MX, Photography, Photoshop