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Thread: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

  1. #1

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    Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    I am looking for a good reason why any solo photographer with a Creative Cloud Photography Plan (BR, PS, LR) would still be using BR in 2017. The only reason I have been able to come up with is inertia, which is not a very good reason.

    I understand why graphic designers (who use other Adobe programs and work with other file types) and people who work on teams must use BR.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    Just to confound you John, I still use Nikon's ViewNX2 as a kinda DAM/Bridge alternative.
    I tried Bridge once (CS5), but didn't see any advantage over ViewNX2, which I knew how to use.

    I have LR installed, but, due to inertia, keep on doing what I know works for me; using Nikon Transfer to save pictures where ViewNX2 shows them to me allowing culling and rating, rather than take the plunge and start an import/transfer off the card with LR.

    I shoot Nikon DSLR, but also use Transfer and ViewNX2 for even my Canon P&S shots.

    When it is time to edit, I open in ACR (regardless jpg or RAW) and process from there in to PS CC - its an interface I know well.
    I never adjust anything in ViewNX2.

    I hope that one day I'll change

    Dave

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    James G's Avatar
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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    Not totally sure what you mean by inertia!

    I moved to PS CC 18 months ago (previosly using CS6). I am a a photographer, amateur but with 55 years of experiece. I assume 'solo' referres to me not being a graphic designer. Despite that, I have a very large archive of photoshoots. I keep raw captures and processed images and I find that Bridge enables me to organise them exactly as I wish.
    I do not use Lightroom much since I rarely process large batches of images simultaneously, and I stated using PS before lightroom was developed. In fact my photography workflow probably mitigates against this.

    I have investigated the use of other cataloguing software such as Faststone, but my conclusion is that Bridge is simply easier to use.

    I'm not totally sure why you think that there should be a 'need' to give up what is basically a fully integrated tool which I find meets my needs?

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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    I also do not see an advantage of Bridge over ViewNX2. I used ViewNX2, TransferNX2, and CaptureNX2 for several years before biting the Adobe bullet. Before that I used ufraw and Gimp! When I moved to Adobe, I faced the problem of recovering the edits that Capture NX2 had stored inside my NEFs. The edits are proprietary, so when you open the NEF in BR, LR, or PS, you'll see a raw preview, not the edited image. This initially seemed like a huge obstacle: losing all my edits! I decided to use ViewNX2 to Convert NEF's to TIFF's folder-by-folder, then import the tiffs into LR. It was a big project. I suppose some people will say that we run the same risk by committing ourselves to Adobe's proprietary DNG format (or XMP sidecars), but DNG is closer to a standard than Nikon's NEF, and any company that wants to take business from Adobe will have to support it.

    So when I said "inertia" I was thinking mainly about reluctance to learn new software. Your post reminded me of other issues, namely: what do you do about terrabytes of image data that you have been managing and editing with other programs, and made a commitment to those programs. This is definitely "one good reason" for not moving to LR or even Bridge.

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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    I use Canon's EOS Utilities to upload pictures from the camera. I then use Bridge for two reasons. One is that it allows me to assign key words and ratings efficiently. The other is that it gives me fast previews from the raw files. I can then delete unwanted files or open raw files via ACR with Photoshop.

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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by James G View Post
    I do not use Lightroom much since I rarely process large batches of images simultaneously
    I don't understand this statement. The ability to sync adjustment settings across multiple images (which is the closest thing to "batch processing") is a feature of both BR and LR.

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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyW View Post
    I then use Bridge for two reasons. One is that it allows me to assign key words and ratings efficiently. The other is that it gives me fast previews from the raw files. I can then delete unwanted files or open raw files via ACR with Photoshop.
    Keywording and editing (star ratings, deleting unwanted files, etc.) can be done in LR even more efficiently.

    LR allows you to open an edited raw file as smart object in PS, which gives you access to ACR from within PS.

    LR is smarter about previews than Bridge. You don't need monitor-sized previews while you're editing 500 photos you just imported from your camera. You only need it for the dozen-or-so photos you're going to work on. LR generates the large previews (including 1:1 previews) only as needed, for example, when doing capture sharpening in the Develop module.

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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    Here is an Adobe Video from 2011 in which Julianne Kost compares two workflows: (BR + PS) and (LR + PS). In it you will hear all the good reasons for using BR + PS. I wonder how many solo photographers currently using BR+PS can lay claim to even one of those reasons.

    I disagree with Julianne's statement that LR is easier to use than BR. If you consider only the features of BR that are related to the workflow of a solo photographer, BR is relatively simple. LR has a steep learning curve.

    In the six years since the video was made, the list of advantages of LR +PS have grown as Adobe has continued to add enhancements to LR that are specific to photography workflow.
    Last edited by jisner; 26th July 2017 at 06:04 AM.

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    James G's Avatar
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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    I don't understand this statement. The ability to sync adjustment settings across multiple images (which is the closest thing to "batch processing") is a feature of both BR and LR.
    Interesting.... you seem to be trying to convince me that I should stop using Bridge... really not sure why, it is one of many similar toolsand it does what I want.

    when I said "inertia" I was thinking mainly about reluctance to learn new software.
    Again not clear why my preference to use Bridge is an issue, particularly after making it clear that I have on occasion investigated other software.

    Learning new sofware is only of interest to me if I can see a positive benefit in doing so. Concerning my interest in photography the software I use meets my needs.
    I'm well aware that other photographers have different preferences and I respect those preferences., ....
    And.... having spent a major part of my working life as an IT professional, 'new' software has to give me something that I really need, and is not currently available to me. Bottom line is that my current software choices ,which are somewhat more wide ranging than just Bridge,work coherently and well for me.

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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by jisner View Post
    ...inertia, which is not a very good reason... So when I said "inertia" I was thinking mainly about reluctance to learn new software.
    I'm still using Nikon Capture NX2 exclusively for 99% of my images. That software was discontinued years ago. It meets my needs. I'm not very good at learning new software and, more important, I absolutely hate the process of learning new software. So, I most definitely have a reluctance to learning it unless there is a compelling need. Surely you don't have a problem with me deciding what works best for me and the reasons why they work best for me.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    My philosophy is "Don't fix it if it ain't broke!" and Bridge "ain't broke" for me! I played with LR one time and found that I did not like it. Perhaps it was a learning curve thing but, I evaluated what LR could do and what BR could do and I decided that Bridge was what I needed. I have had absolutely no problems with BR as the entry portion of my workflow

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    As I use other Creative Cloud software, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, In Design, etc. etc. I do use Bridge all the time. I would say that 90% of my work is in Photoshop and frankly I have no need of most of the features found in Lightroom. I find the user interface in Bridge superior to LR.

    I also had some bad experiences with earlier versions of Lightroom. I had data corruption in the catalog twice (two different generations of Lightroom), including in the backups. Adobe was unable to help me recover the data so I lost a lot of work. I no longer trust the monolithic data structure that is used. Yes, I understand I can save the edits as .xmp, as well as the catalog, but really shouldn't need to.

    Finally, I work on two or more computers. My data is stored on NAS / RAID storage. Ideally I would have the catalog there, but Adobe won't allow the catalog anywhere other than on a local drive, which is not the way I want to work. I can't share the catalogs easily (I would have to make copies to run on each machine). Bridge, on the other hand has no issues with where I have my data; local drive, network drives and even files stored on the cloud because it does not require the catalog.

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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    As I use other Creative Cloud software, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, In Design, etc. etc. I do use Bridge all the time. ... Finally, I work on two or more computers. My data is stored on NAS / RAID storage. Ideally I would have the catalog there, but Adobe won't allow the catalog anywhere other than on a local drive, which is not the way I want to work.
    So you fall into the category of people that my original question was not addressed to: You use other adobe software, and you have a setup designed to work for a "group" (even though you may be the only person in the group, you could conceivably be accessing the same data at the same time from multiple computers, which effectively makes you a group!).

    LR is based on a single-user model: the user has a main computer where their digital assets are stored. The master catalog resides on that device. If they use Lightroom mobile on a mobile device, it is sync'd to the master catalog via the cloud. If the user has other devices capable of running Lightroom, they work by exporting and importing "as catalog." For example, if I go on a shoot with a laptop, I create a new catalog for that shoot. When I get home, I import the catalog into my master catalog. This imports all the photos and metadata (star ratings, adjustments, etc.) from the shoot.

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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    I don't understand the point of this thread. You started off saying that only inertia would explain someone using Bridge rather than Lightroom. I found that disparaging. You later posted a link to a posting by Julieanne Kost that, you said, gives the pros and cons of the two. Several people gave reasons why they use it. E.g., Manfred explained that he prefers the Bridge interface and that his workflow, which entails a RAID array, doesn't work well with Lightroom. You responded that this makes him (by your definition, not mine), a "group." You have devoted a good bit of space to telling people why they shouldn't use Bridge.

    Are you really interested in why some people here use Bridge rather than LR? (I don't, for what it is worth.) It seems that you want to argue the case for LR.

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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    This is the first time I've seen one of anything defined as a group. I'm trying to figure out if my inability to understand that definition has been caused because I have drunk too little wine or too much wine. I'm leaning toward too little wine being the most likely problem.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by jisner View Post
    In the six years since the video was made, the list of advantages of LR +PS have grown as Adobe has continued to add enhancements to LR that are specific to photography workflow.
    These are mostly part of the Develop Module, so are available in Adobe Camera Raw.

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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    BR is relatively simple. LR has a steep learning curve.
    Doesn't that depend on whether one is using BR in conjunction with ACR? The ACR and LR interfaces for many of the develop functions are quite similar, and some are identical.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    Bit more background on my workflow ...

    I am fortunate that since I never used ViewNX2 to process my NEF files, I don't have historical edits tied to Nikon software. Although I did try CaptureNX2 for the 60 day trial, but found that a steep learning curve with far less training resources available than Adobe's products.

    So when I moved from Picasa, I went to PS Elements 6, starting there with ACR (Basic tab) creating xmp files with my RAW edits in. Having become frustrated with the Elements Organiser, I used ViewNX2 as already described and solely used Elements (with ACR) to process images. My bad history with Element's Organiser and satisfaction with ViewNX2 led me to not migrate workflow to Bridge when I started using PS CS5, then CS6, but gratefully having access to all the ACR tabs. Now I subscribe and have access to LR, as said, it is even installed, but I've yet to 'bite the bullet' and start using it, I feel I ought to, in order to keyword, etc. - and also have the benefit of the map module.


    This year I started to process multiple images simultaneously in ACR, which is achieved by making multiple files selections in ViewNX2, then right clicking and choosing Open With > "Photoshop CC 2017" (which loads them all in to ACR). Then I can select all in ACR to apply the same settings (e.g. WB adjustment) and process others individually. Occasionally I'll use the synchronise dialog to apply other specific adjustments to sub sets of images, or the whole lot. I'm sure I could re-learn this using the LR Develop module quite easily.

    When I think I'm done in ACR, I open all as Smart Objects in PS, so they're all there on different file tabs for ease of access to compare and process similarly when that suits.

    For now, as a workflow, it suits me, but I am constantly identifying bottlenecks and bad practices in my workflow and addressing them as they become apparent. So in a year's time, I may be using LR, or something similar to what I do now, only smarter/better/quicker (there is still plenty of room for improvement!).

    I prefer to take on shoots for friends and family that photographically stretch me, in shooting and PP aspects, since I don't seem to be great at self motivation/fulfilment, far better to help others by giving them something they'll enjoy.

    Dave
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 26th July 2017 at 08:16 PM.

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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    As was Dave, I was frustrated by the Photoshop Elements Organizer. I seemed to "TELL ME" where it wanted my images to go and how I was to store those images. It became frustrating to me and I actually lost and misplaced many images. Sure, this could have been solved with some training but, PSE did not offer me enough to make my efforts worthwhile. When I was able to snare one of the last packages of Photoshop sold by adobe (at a good price). I have since then upgraded to CC and love it.

    I like Photoshop and Bridge since, my images are stored separately on my computer's hard drive, on any number of external hard drives and on the cloud. I organize my images and am very happy doing so...

    I edit my images using Adobe Camera RAW, Photoshop CC 2017 and also use NIK Software to do my editing. I am very comfortable in doing so and can put my finger on any image at any time.

    I subscribe to CC 2017 but, think so little of Lightroom that I have never installed that program, although it is certainly available in CC 2017...

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    Re: Why do solo photographers still use Bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyW View Post
    I then use Bridge for two reasons. One is that it allows me to assign key words and ratings efficiently. The other is that it gives me fast previews from the raw files. I can then delete unwanted files or open raw files via ACR with Photoshop.
    Since quitting Adobe CC, I do the same except that I use Affinity rather than Photohop.

    John

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