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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques, photographer Chris Orwig shows how to master the subtleties of Lightroom 3 and maximize its efficiency. The course begins with an in-depth exploration of Lightroom catalogs to keep track of photos, collections, keywords, stacks, and more. Along the way, Chris shows how to integrate Bridge and Photoshop in the Lightroom workflow and shares advanced techniques, including image editing with the adjustment brush, automating actions, using plug-ins and extensions, exporting to email or an FTP server, and more. Exercise files are included with the course.
Here we are going to dig a little bit deeper into working with Bridge, Photoshop, and Lightroom. Well, here you can see I've opened up my Exercise Files folder, and inside of that there's a subfolder titled "other". Now one of the things that's interesting about the images in this folder is we have a few different types of images. A lot of people start off working on computers and accessing their files either on Windows by using Explorer or on Mac by using the Finder window. Now, in both cases, these windows aren't a very good way to find content, because it's really small.
You can see a file name, maybe a little thumbnail, but they're not designed for visual art. We can't really see what's there. So what we need to do is take a closer look at this content. Now, in order to do that, we could work with Bridge, which is a browser- like program which has more visual control, or we could try to import these into Lightroom. Well for starters, what I'm going to do is open up this folder in Bridge. To do so, I'll click on the folder and go ahead and drag that down to the Bridge icon, down here in the dock. Or you can simply open up Bridge and then navigate to Exercise Files and then go to that particular folder, other.
Now here we can see a little bit larger preview of these. We can change this preview, as you know, which gives me a little bit more. Then we can select one of the thumbnails and also change the overall size of the way that Bridge is laid out, so that we have an even larger preview--more space dedicated to the image. The nice thing about this is we can scroll through, or click through, our different photographs, and we get this larger preview. Now you may notice that in this folder, I have a few different file formats. Well, here I have a PDF, which I can see in Bridge.
I also have a layered PSD file that doesn't have Maximize Compatibility turned on. I'll talk a little bit more about that in a minute. And then I have a TIF file which has been converted to the CMYK format. Now, the reason that I wanted to start off with these different types of file formats is just to illustrate this concept of how Bridge works really well with a wide range of different file formats. It doesn't really matter what type of TIF, what type of PSD, what type of PDF, or what type of file it is.
Whether it's a SWF file or an InDesign file--you name it--you can see it inside of Adobe Bridge. Now on the other hand, if I open up Lightroom and then decide to import some files--here I will choose File, and then I'll select Import Photos. I'll go ahead and click on that or press the shortcut there and what I want to try to import is that same folder here. I will select it, other. Now, what's interesting about Lightroom is that it doesn't even show me the PDF file. It can't handle, it can't import, it can't deal with that file format.
On the other hand, when it shows me this one without maximized compatibility, it's showing me that something is wrong here. I am not going to be able to access that file, because I haven't saved it appropriately inside of Photoshop. In order to work on layered PSD files inside of Lightroom, you have to turn on, or check the option to maximize file compatibility, because Lightroom doesn't think in regards to layers. Now, if you have a TIF file, it's completely different. Here, we have a TIF file. This one happens to be in the CMYK color space.
We can import that into Lightroom, although Lightroom doesn't work in CMYK; it works in an RGB color space. So if we make adjustments to this type of file, we are going to actually make RGB adjustments on top of a CMYK file. Now, we could though, import this file and open it into Photoshop and make adjustments and then save and close it. In other words, Lightroom can keep track of CMYK files if you want to. You can make adjustments on top of them, or you could simply open them in Photoshop and then save and close them and keep track of them in Lightroom.
Now, why am I going over all of these different variables? What I'm trying to point out is that when you're working in Lightroom, Lightroom works best with straight photographs. Here we have a folder full of JPEGs. Lightroom is going to work really well with these different files. Or on the other hand, let's say we have DNG files. Again, Lightroom is going to be able to import and work with those files really quickly and efficiently. Keep in mind that Lightroom is an application which is primarily geared towards professional photographers.
In other words, it helps us importing work with image and video files really effectively. On the other hand, if we are going to work with Adobe Bridge, we're going to think about as this kind of a catch-all browser. It's something that we'll use briefly when we want to go to a folder and perhaps find a file format that we don't have, or even if we want to go to a folder let's say that has a bunch of DNG files in it or JPEG files or Camera RAW files--whatever image format we have-- we can then do that and access those files and select them here.
Well, how does Photoshop fit into all of this mix? Well, Photoshop is a program that we're going to go to when we want to do something that's a little bit more. For example, here I'll click on the other folder, and I'll go ahead and double-click this file here to open it up in Photoshop. Now, in this case, I've simply created this diptych, and here you can see the layers. I have the left image and then the right image and then an adjustment layer. Now, this isn't very complex, but you know that in Photoshop we can do so much here, and really, Photoshop is a place where we want to have that precise and powerful control over our photographs, where we can create a document with tons of layers, and we can use blending modes and many different types of adjustments, and many different types of masks and selective focus and sharpening, et cetera, et cetera.
So you want to think of Photoshop as your powerhouse for precision and for really working on images in specific ways. On the other hand, what we want to do is think about Bridge as a bit more of a file browser, and then finally, we'll think about Lightroom as a tool where we will primarily be working on our photographs. Well let's dig a little bit deeper into this concept, and let's go ahead and do that by importing all of our exercise files. So if you haven't done so already, go ahead and select the Exercise Files folder and then go ahead and import, or add, those to your Lightroom Library, so we can start to talk about how we can actually work on images in Lightroom, work between Lightroom and Photoshop, and also make raw adjustments in Lightroom that we can work on as well inside of Bridge and Adobe Camera RAW.
Let's go ahead and take a look at how we can do all of that in the next movie.
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