A Graphics Bridge to the Past

By Mark

I started experimenting with combining graphical elements and photographs and am going to share a little of what I have learned/created.  As I planned out the next few blogs, I realized I needed to address an underlying issue first.  It is no secret that Roger and I are huge fans of Adobe Lightroom as a management tool for our photographs.  It was specifically designed to catalog, manage and help you find the photos you took.  Included with Photoshop, Adobe has long had an also-ran program called Bridge which was the subject of a lot of jokes.  “There is a reason it is free”, was a typical example.  However, as Adobe has moved into the cloud, they seem to have spent a lot of time rethinking and reengineering of the program.  It really does provide the “bridge” between all of the Creative Cloud programs and is as integrated with Photoshop, Illustrator and their other design tools as LR is with Photoshop for photography.  It handles the graphic files where LR doesn’t really deal well with those.

Long ago I had gotten a large collection of clip art/graphics files covering everything from A to Z.

Bridge Top Level Menu View

Bridge Top Level Menu View

They came on 19 CDs and aside from the fact that some of the graphics were in the old potentially harmful .wmf format, they had some good stuff.   I found a program called XnView which converted all of the .wmf images over to the modern standard .png as I imported them onto my computer.

Bridge provides a lot of options for displaying your image files.  Grid Views, both large and small; as details or reduced to a simplified listing

Large Grid View

Large Grid View

Simple List

Simple List

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Bridge has gotten much smarter, and here a few examples.  It now has the ability to share the keyword list you created in LR.  It also recognizes any embedded keywords already on your files.

The metadata tab provides a lot of detail on the technical specs of your file and can be edited as required.

Metadata

Metadata

Bridge also gives you a variety of filtering and search tools to help narrow down and find what you are looking for.  I don’t think they are as user friendly as LR, but I haven’t spent a lot time using them.

I confess, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to browse a large volume of graphic files and find the ones I wanted to work with.  Next time we will actually start doing that “artsy” stuff.