October 10, 2007
Although Lightroom is advertised as being a member of the ‘Photoshop family’, Lightroom and Photoshop do at times feel more like distant cousins rather than close relatives. People are often puzzled about the relationship between Lightroom and Adobe Bridge and why it is you can browse images easily via Bridge, but in the case of Lightroom, you have to import everything first.
The following tips do assume that you already own Phtoshop CS2 or later, and therefore have access to Adobe Bridge which is the browser component of the Creative Suite (Adobe Bridge comes with Photoshop whether you buy the entire Suite package or just the standalone program). So let me show you how you a few ways you can improve the workflow between working in Bridge and working in Lightroom.
This first tip works fine if you are using Windows XP, Mac OS X 10.4.9 or earlier. It won’t work apparently if you are using Mac OS X 10.4.10.
Adding Lightroom as a Favorite in Bridge
1. Wouldn’t it be good if you could have a hot button in Bridge that took you directly to Lightroom? Well, you can. All you need to do is navigate to the Applications folder and add the Lightroom application, or an alias (Mac) shortcut (PC), as a favorite in Bridge. Just drag the application icon to the Favorites panel to add to the list of other Favorites.
2. Once you have added Lightroom as a favorite to the Favorites panel, you can simply click on the Lightroom favorite to jump straight over to Lightroom from Bridge.
3. And then when you are in Bridge you can use the Command–H (Mac) or Alt–Tab (PC) keyboard shortcut to hide the Lightroom window and return to the last used program, which in this case will be Bridge.
Adding a watched folder in Bridge
1. Following on from the last example, you can add an auto import folder as a Bridge favorite. In Lightroom, choose File ➯ Auto ➯ Enable Auto Import and follow this by opening the Auto Import settings dialog and choose a watched folder. Then go to Bridge and add this folder as a Bridge favorite.
2. Now you can drag and drop images from Bridge into the designated auto import folder. They will then be auto imported into Lightroom and appear in Lightroom’s Auto Imported Photos folder.
Importing folders into Lightroom via Bridge
1. Unfortunately, you can’t drag and drop folders from Bridge onto a Lightroom favorite and have them import into Lightroom. But if you keep an alias/shortcut of Lightroom on the desktop, you can drag and drop a folder from the Folders panel in Bridge to the alias/shortcut.
2. In this example I dragged the folder shown in step 1 to the Adobe Lightroom alias icon and this launched the Lightroom Import Photos dialog shown here. This workflow technique will let you use Bridge to browse your computer hard disks to inspect image folders in detail before choosing to import them into Lightroom.
This last tip can be really useful if you are just starting out in Lightroom and beginning to add photos to the Lightroom library. You can use Bridge as a preview browser to inspect folders before proceeding to import them. This can easily save you lots of time since you won’t have to go through the Import Photos dialog to preview the images before you import them. Bridge will offer you a much faster route for browsing the photos beforehand.
Martin Evening has worked on the development of Adobe Photoshop as an alpha tester from the program’s earliest beginnings. The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book describes all of Lightroom’s features in detail, with photographers in mind. Photographers who routinely work with raw (and even jpg & tiff) images will find Lightroom–and The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book–an indispensable tool in their digital darkroom.
Lightroom-news has a free PDF download of Chapter 1. (click here to download-4.6MB PDF).
Free Lightroom 1.1 PDF update
You can also download a free PDF update for the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom book. Go this link for the full instructions on how to access the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book 1.1 update.