Whether or not you have been long-time Photoshop user, you may not be using its features to their fullest. In today’s free tutorial, Lindsay Horn shares how to get the most out of Adobe Camera Raw and Bridge.
It’s an internal debate for many Photoshop users – buy Lightroom or not? One thing that may sway your decision, as it did mine, is whether or not you are using your Photoshop programs to their full potential. Once I buckled down and set out to learn more about Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) I realized that together they are more than capable of taking care of my needs when it comes to sorting, culling and raw processing.
After importing my images, I open them in Bridge. I use Full Screen mode (press space to both enter and return from Full Screen) so I can see more detail (TIP: Click on the image to zoom in even further). In Full Screen mode you can rate images by clicking numbers 1-5 (use Ctrl+number when not in Full Screen) and click Ctrl+Delete to dump an image.
Once back in the standard Bridge view, you can use the Filter box on the left of your screen to sort images by your ratings and finalize your selections. I give 4 stars to keepers, then after a second pass I weed out any duplicates to 3 stars (in case I want to come back to them later), and ultimately give images posted on my blog and Facebook 5 stars.
Once my final set is selected, I create a new folder for my editing. Then I run Batch Rename to copy them into that folder with new sequential numbers. Select your final images, go to Tools, and click Batch Rename. There are many different options for renaming, so check the preview at the bottom to make sure it is set up correctly.
In Lightroom(LR)2, the develop module is the exact same as Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), although I do believe there were some minor adjustments made in LR3. Regardless, you aren’t going to lose any significant processing abilities by editing your RAW images in ACR as opposed to LR. Clicking on any RAW image in Bridge will open it in ACR. There are two ways to batch process images in Bridge and ACR.
1. Copy/Paste Settings
When I’ve already processed one image, I’ll use this method to apply those settings to images with similar lighting.
- Select the processed imaged.
- Right click, click on Develop Settings, and then Copy Settings.
- Select the similar images (Ctrl click for more than one).
- Right click, click on Develop Settings, and then Paste Settings.
- Choose which settings to copy in the pop-up box (I use the defaults) and click OK.
- If necessary, select the newly processed images and click enter to open them in ACR to make individual adjustments.
2. Sync in ACR
I use this method to process a set together:
- Select the similar images in Bridge and click Enter to open them in ACR.
- Make your adjustments to the first image.
- With that image still selected, click Select All and then Synchronize to apply the settings to the other images.
And there you have it! Discovering these functions in my existing programs has been a great help in my workflow and saved me the money and time involved in purchasing and learning a new program. Hopefully it will do the same for you!
Lindsay Horn is a natural light photographer specializing in modern and unique senior photography in Dallas, TX. She is also one of the photographers behind Wardrobe Wednesday, a free resource that helps clients look their best for their portrait sessions. Check out Lindsay’s website or follow her on Facebook or her blog.