Bridge serves as your virtual light table, but also allows you to do much more with your images than view thumbnails. Bridge gives you the tools to get control of image management before you wind up with a mess on your hard drive. Integrating Bridge to view and retrieve photos (as shown in Figure 4-5) makes them a lot easier to keep tidy — especially down the road when you have accumulated thousands of images on your computer.
As a software program, Bridge doesn't just sit there showing you row after row of images, it gives you the tools to manage images by l Navigating image folders: Use Bridge to view photos that you download. Use Bridge as your digital light table. You can even create folders — and copy images between folders — using the Edit menu in Bridge.
I Loading photos into Camera Raw or Photoshop: You can load raw images directly into Camera Raw just by double-clicking the thumbnails of the photos in Bridge. If your original images were in TIFF or JPEG format, your images will load directly into Photoshop.
l Adding information with Metadata: View technical information provided by your digital camera, and add additional information for each photo.
This is your cataloging step in the image-management workflow.
l Applying labels and ratings: Color-code and/or apply ratings to your photos for easy retrieval later. The idea is to come up with a system of categorizing your images that makes them easy to find and evaluate.
l Sorting and renaming photos: By adding keywords, labels, and ratings to your photos, you can easily sort files at a later time.
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