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If you want to enhance your viewing experience of your photos, especially using these basic methods that we've talked about, file browsers are terrific for this, without having to go to a whole full blown digital asset management system. I'm going to show you Adobe Bridge right now. It's one of my favorites; it works on Mac and Windows. There are a variety of them out there; Photo Mechanic is another. But let me show you the basic features first. So I want to take a look at some of the shots in my virtual filing cabinet.
I'm going to go to the 2011 drawer here, double-click on it, open it up, and let's take a look at the shots that we uploaded of the model Shoot. So I'm going to double-click on that, and right away you see the familiar thumbnails. You get a little additional information here. You can control the size of the thumbnails with the slider down here, and make them bigger or smaller. But you have other features, such as, you have different modes, such as the Filmstrip mode right here. So I can click on Filmstrip, and then just click on the different thumbnails, and see an enlarged version of them.
That's kind of nice. And then if I hit the spacebar in Bridge, I get a full screen version, and I can use the Arrow keys to go from one to another, and hit the spacebar again and come back to thumbnail mode. So right away you can see that this is a little bit more deluxe when you're looking at your images. For example, if you want to rate your images, so that you know right away which are your favorites, you just click on the image, and you'll see that you have the little dots here.
Click on the dot that you like, and you can give an image a star rating. So, for me, the higher the number of stars, the more I like the shot. So you can go through like that, and then you see that the file browser will keep track of which you've done. Just like that. And so now, if you want to see all of your three star images, you just click right there, and it does the filtering for you. Click on it again, and you're back to where you were.
Now, speaking of filtering, you have other ways to filter. For example, you can filter by some of the XF data that your camera writes to the file, such as shutter speed. So you want to see everything shot at 1/45th of a second. There you go; it's all right there. Same thing with aperture value; everything that shot at f/4, beautiful, and unclick. So you see there are a lot of nice features with file browsers that make viewing more enjoyable.
I mentioned the other one in case you don't want to use Bridge, because you do have to buy Photoshop, or Illustrator, or something like that to get Bridge. Photo Mechanic is a stand-alone application that works both on Windows and Mac. It's about $150 if you buy it outright, but they do have a demo where you get to try it for awhile. And then, of course, there are others out there. So the main thing I want to show you here are some of the features that come with file browsers. If you decide you like this, find the right one for you. It's a great way to look at your photos.
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