This Professional Photographer Can’t Live Without It

I was recently asked in the context of photography what was the one thing that I could not live without.

As I thought about it, I realized that it would be very difficult to narrow this down to just one item. In actuality there were several different areas that in each, there was a piece of hardware, software, or tool that I would not want to be a photographer and not have.

The more I thought about this, the more I thought it would be a good challenge to analyze in the following areas, what things I could not live without. The areas that I considered are the following:

  • camera gear (things other than lens and camera body)
  • computer hardware
  • computer software

So, for this blog post, I thought I would talk about just one of my favorite, can’t live without, photographic things.

Adobe Bridge CS5

I use Adobe Bridge for so many different things.

First – probably the use most people think of:  I use it to browse through and look at my images.

There are so many ways that I can look at my images; in the content tab looking at thumbnails, and I can also see a larger version in the Preview tab if I wish.

I can view them in a Full Screen Preview mode by pressing on the space bar. Then I use my arrow keys to navigate through the folder.

I can use the Review Mode to quickly edit down images (Command/Ctrl B) by pressing the down arrow, I am unselecting the image.

I can also do a very quick slide show by pressing Command/Ctrl L, and adjust the slide show settings by pressing shift Command/Ctrl L.

In any of these viewing environments, I can add rating meta-data to help sort these images later, either by adding a 1-5 star rating, or a color code.

I also can use Adobe Bridge to select a range of images either Raw or Jpg’s and using Adobe Camera Raw, do batch corrections to the images. I can do color/density corrections, cropping, remove camera sensor dirt, sharpen, remove noise, apply lens profile corrections. The big advantage of doing these types of corrections in Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw, is that the corrections are non-destructive. I can always undo the correction without damaging my original image.

I can also batch rename images in Adobe Bridge. I can drag the images into the sequence that I want them to appear, and use bridge to append a sequential number to the beginning of the file name to keep the images in that sequence. A new feature in the Batch Rename dialog in CS5 is the ability to do a “String Substitution”. For example if I have a series of images named BSkeie###.jpg and I want to remove the BSkeie part of the file names and replace it with Bentley, I use the String Substitution and tell it to find BSkeie and replace with Bentley.  Very fast and easy!

A new feature that I am really excited about is the Export Tab. On this tab I can set up different export critera. Information like the destination where the exported files are to be saved and setting up different Image Size exports. I can save several of these different exports in the Export tab, then drag the images I want to apply the specific criteria to, and then press the export arrow and have the selection I selected applied, and then saved out to the specified destination.

I have set these up for several different exports for web previews, proof prints, or medium resolution files.

There is also the ability to have exports that will save your images directly to your Flicker or Facebook pages.

There are many many more things that can be done using Adobe Bridge, but as the song goes, “these are a few of my favorite things”

H&H Color Lab

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