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Transitioning to Lightroom from Bridge for Browsing & Camera RAW?
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Author Topic: Transitioning to Lightroom from Bridge for Browsing & Camera RAW?  (Read 17534 times)
joshmcculloch
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« on: August 19, 2008, 06:03:20 PM »

Hey All,

I have been successfully using Peter's DAM system for quite some time, and can happily say it has changed how I work for the better, and has certainly saved me multiple times.  The weak link in this system has always seemed to be Adobe Bridge (I'm currently using CS3).  It is quirky at best, and seems to hang from time to time, and I really miss my hi-res previews (a known Bridge issue that affects my machine).  What I'd like to know is how I can transition easily (hopefully) to LR while still keeping my DAM system intact.  Here is what I currently do:

Image Ingester Pro III

- Ingest from memory cards to folders. It makes a backup of the files on a second drive during the import process
- Adds a metadata template (that I created in Bridge/Photoshop) to each image with all of my copyright, contact info, etc
- Adds a Camera RAW preset I created that sets basic exposure/colour/sharpening/etc to all of my files.
- Batch renames on import to my file naming system
- Automatically opens the folder with the ingested, renamed, batch colour-corrected, annotated files in Bridge once it's done

Abode Bridge CS3

- Add bulk metadata (location, keywords, caption - some of this is now done right in II Pro 3)
- Check Sharpness
- Rate files with the star rating
- Once I have rated the files, I open the best (usually 2 star+) in Camera RAW direct from Bridge, and do further exposure, colour correction, sharpness, CA reduction, etc in Camera RAW.
- Return to Bridge, select all the files, open them in Camera RAW, where I click "Save..." and save all the files as Adobe DNG RAW files

Expression Media 2 - Everything else...

Hopefully some of you have made this jump and can help me steer clear of any major issues!  Thanks for your help.

Cheers, Josh

PS:  Can LR export a full-res JPG preview of the colour corrected file to the DNG file?  I remember this as an issue with LR 1.

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Josh McCulloch
Josh McCulloch Photography
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markpirozzi
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 04:37:56 AM »

Essentially you substitute LR for Bridge.  While your photos are in LR, you do not need to open them in ACR to modify them as you do that right in LR and you can do all the rating, sorting in LR.  In LR you can create Presets to perform repetitive tasks that you do in ACR.

LR will convert to DNGs.  As far as I know, LR has always made full-res JPG preview of the colour corrected file in my DNGs.  If you make changes to an existing DNG file, you have to have the preview updated by a menu command.  My computer will only update the embedded preview in four files per minute, so I usually have this done to a large number of files when I will be away from the computer or just doing something not too demanding on the CPU.

A difference between Bridge and LR is you have remove files from LR by command if you no longer want them in LR.

Note that when navigate through your files using the film strip, the high quality previews seems to load much faster when in the Library Modules than the Develop Module, at least if a preview has already been created.

Another poster mentioned having LR start ingesting files as soon a II finished importing them, so I am fairly certain that can be done but I haven't done that. When you import files into LR, it retains the settings, keywords, etc. from the last import.  I assume this would be the same for an auto ingest but not sure about that.

Mark

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joshmcculloch
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 05:21:12 PM »

Hey Mark,

Thanks for the reply, and the great info.  I downloaded the LR2 demo and have been working through the various features, it seems great; the dual monitor support is AWESOME.

Glad to know about the embedded preview updating, though I don't anticipate to much of an issue there, as DNG conversion is the last step I do in my import workflow, and after that I import into Expression Media 2.  I suppose this could be an issue if I reopen the DNG files in LR down the road (maybe to prep master files to send to PS), but I think I can deal with this issue though.  Thanks for the heads up.

You're right, the Library module is much faster than the Develop module, I'll be sure to use that when reviewing/rating files.

Haven't had a chance yet to test out II's ability to import directly into LR, but I'll give it a go...

Cheers, Josh

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Josh McCulloch
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jimtron
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2008, 03:32:46 PM »

I just bought Lightroom 2 and am about to use it for the first time. Is there anything I need to know about referencing my raw buckets? I have one online and two offline hard drives now with my buckets. I'm about to start learning about LR here (http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/photoshoplightroom/), but I'm wondering if there is anything unique to Peter's Dam workflow that won't be covered in LR documentation.

- Jim


eta: I just read this thread: http://thedambook.com/smf/index.php?topic=3211.0 which led me to this Blog entry: http://www.beardsworth.co.uk/news/comment_1.php?id=1071_0_1_0_C and I think I'm starting to get it. I should just create one new catalog, and import all of my raw buckets into it (if I opt for the Beardsworth-recommended system)? If there are any threads or other sources of info regarding Peter's Dam workflow and LR that cover this issue, I'd appreciate hearing about them.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 04:45:11 PM by jimtron » Logged

peterkrogh
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2008, 06:16:12 PM »

Jim,
I taught Lightroom while I was in Africa for the last three weeks in place of Bridge/ACR in my traditional workflow.  LR2 is a very powerful sorter and raw file converter. It's a much better way to do it for many people.  About the only big issues are:

Flags, Collections, Virtual Copies and History don't get written to the DNG, so they are exclusive to the catalog you are working with.

Flags are actually specific to the "source" you are clicked on in the right-hand panel.  So if you are clicked on the bucket, and flag for reject, and then click on the sub-folder in the bucket, the flags disappear.  And if you point the catalog to an identical set of images on another drive, all flags disappear.

It's very hard to re-link files if you split them into buckets sometimes.

It's relatively easy to exclude images when you convert to DNG for archiving, if a filter gets left on inadvertently.  It's probably better to continue with the DNG converter for this, rather than spitting out with Lightroom.

Peter
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joshmcculloch
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2008, 12:59:24 AM »

Just thought I'd post here to update...

Since my last post, I've upgraded to CS4, and have moved back to Bridge (CS4) instead of using Lightroom for browsing/rating/RAW adjustments etc.  I was really enjoying many of the features of Lightroom, especially the ability to use two monitors, and the integrated workspaces, but in the end, the lack of the ability to use/open LR catalogs from a network volume sealed its fate for me.  If I were working on my own, I would probably have stuck it out, but I work with an assistant who also processes some of my files, and the constant uploading/downloading of catalogs to the workstations from the network volume was getting to be a real PITA, even over our gigabit network.

I must say that Bridge CS4 is a big improvement over CS3, especially the caches, and the 100% previews (take a while to load, but make editing so much faster!).  The new interface is really customizable and easy to navigate.  I've just installed Peter's RapidFixer, and that has already sped up my edits...

Cheers, Josh
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Josh McCulloch
Josh McCulloch Photography
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2008, 01:17:53 PM »

Josh,
I agree taht they did a good job with Bridge CS4.
Have you discovered hitting the space bar for preview, and then the plus key to zoom to 100%?
While the keyboard shortcuts are just different enough from Lightroom to make things confusing, the similarity in workflow is very nice.
Peter
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Dorin Nicolaescu
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2008, 03:35:42 AM »

Flags are actually specific to the "source" you are clicked on in the right-hand panel.  So if you are clicked on the bucket, and flag for reject, and then click on the sub-folder in the bucket, the flags disappear.
Hey, they are local, but not that local!

A flag will persist across any folder or sub-folder. The very same flag will be in any built-in collection (like All Photographs, Previous Import, Previous Export as Catalog etc.) or smart collection. But if you go to a 'dumb' collection or the Quick Collection, you're gonna have a local flag for each and everyone of them.
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2008, 01:48:53 PM »

Dorin,
You're right... I was testing the exact behavior as was writing that earlier post, and should have come back to amend. that kind of inconsistent behavior drives me crazy, and I had put off trying to figure out exactly how it works until I started writing about it. 

I find the whole concept of flags being local to be inherently untrustworthy.

Peter
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Dorin Nicolaescu
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2008, 03:31:30 PM »

that kind of inconsistent behavior drives me crazy

Yes, that's a bit confusing the first time you have to deal with it. That's exactly how I felt, because this kind behaviour was not what I expected (what I expected was consistency throughout the catalog, just like ratings, labels or annotations). But later, I understood the rationale behind this behaviour and started to appreciate and use it.

I find it very convenient to use flags in a context collection (virtual set). For example, I create a virtual set for a submission to a client, a photo contest or select photos for an exhibition. I can the use the reject flag to filter out photos that I decided are not worth submission, the use the pick flag to denote those that were selected by a client, jury or a gallery, respectively. For 'physical' sets — mainly this means folders — I use flags as a temporary tool for my editing. Reject is the equivalent of 'Trash Me' in your system. 'Pick' is used to denote an image that is superior to others in a group of similar photos. After the editing process is finished, the rejects are deleted, picks are usually given a higher rating, then the flags are reset to 'unflagged'.
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2008, 08:07:37 PM »

Dorin,
Out of curiosity, do you use multiple computers to work on your photos/catalogs?
I have found that this important information gets to be pretty brittle when I need to do this.
Peter
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Dorin Nicolaescu
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2008, 03:32:35 AM »

Out of curiosity, do you use multiple computers to work on your photos/catalogs?

Yes, Peter, I sync my home and office catalogs almost everyday.

I have a smart collection called "Touched Today", which includes images that had their metadata or adjustments changed withing the current day. I export a catalog with these, then import on the target computer. Flags get synced both in folders and 'dumb' collections. If the target catalog does not have a collection that an imported photo needs to be in, it creates that collection automatically (with all the flags within collection applied correctly). It all works reliably.
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2008, 07:50:58 AM »

Dorin,
That's a good technique. 
I assume that if you neglect to do it for a day, you just change the parameters of the SC and run the operation.

Do you use a single large master catalog?
How many images?

Peter
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Dorin Nicolaescu
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« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2008, 01:24:42 PM »

I assume that if you neglect to do it for a day, you just change the parameters of the SC and run the operation.

Yes, from time to time I add 'Yesterday' to the query.

Do you use a single large master catalog?
How many images?

One single catalog. I am an amateur (with some weddings for friends from time to time). I have 16.000 images - JPEGS from digicams and D70/D80 NEFs.

I can't stand the idea of not having "everything at my fingertips" of separating. So far, Lightroom is reasonably responsive on my low-end PC (AMD dual-core 2.5GHz, 4GB, single SATA drive, Vista 64). Of course, when you run EM or, especially, Picassa (man, this program's UI responsiveness is from another world!) — you can feel the speed.
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Dennis O'Clair
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2009, 04:21:40 PM »

Peter,

I keep bouncing back and forth between Bridge and LR2 for editing and adjusting RAW files before converting to DNG.  While I like some of the additional features in LR, I also find it confusing and not exactly intuitive.  I did just discover the history palette, which can help when you get lost or go too far.  However, I go back to Bridge because I feel I can work faster and with less frustration.  I think I am going to add "Rapid Fixer" to Bridge and let Bridge be my main app for editing and adjustments.  I'll continue to play with LR and try to learn it's intricacies.

I noticed on your upcoming ASMP DAM seminar in NYC that you will be covering LR2, EM2 and IIPro 3.  No mention of Bridge.  Is this because you have mastered LR2 and feel it is a better app than Bridge?  Does LR2 have significant advantages over Bridge that I'm not aware of?  Which program are you recommending and why?

BTW, I will probably attend the NYC seminar.  I could use a refresher.  See you there.

Comments also welcomed by others who have dealt with this LR vs. Bridge issue.

Dennis O'Clair 
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