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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
In this final movie on Bridge preferences, there are only a couple of more topics that we have to talk about, Advanced and Cache. One topic is very simple. One is actually pretty complex and incredibly important. Let's start with the simple topic. When you click on the Advanced tab, you want to make sure to select Start Bridge At Login. That way when you fire up your computer, it will launch Bridge in the background so that you can access Bridge whenever you need it. And you know the reality of it is you almost always work with Bridge, so you want to check that option on.
Now let's go to more complex topic of Cache. Now what is a cache and why is it a big deal? Now when you are viewing your images in the Bridge, it's actually generating a preview for those thumbnails and the cache is storing a number of these different variables like the previews, for example, and you can see here that there is a specific location for the cache. It's a centralized location that's storing all of this information. Now that's the default setting and in my opinion, the default setting isn't very good and here is why. Let's say that you view some images and then you copy them to the hard drive, and then you open those images up on another computer. When you open those images up, it's going to have to re- render those previews, because that cache didn't travel with the images. Does that make sense? So it's a centralized cache. So what's my preference, what's my recommendation? Click on Automatically Export To Folders When Possible. That way if you copy these images in a folder to another hard drive and then open them up, it's going to access that. Let's call it a localized cache or a cache for that folder, and it's going to speed up my overall workflow. And again, that's my preference, especially for me because the way that I work with Bridge, it's a little bit more sporadic. Now with Lightroom, I do have a centralized cache and all of my images are part of this huge database, and that's another conversation in and of itself.
Yet Bridge, I use it a little bit more functionally. So in this case I'm going to go ahead and export the cache to these folders. Now the option to Keep 100% Previews In Cache. Great, yeah, I want to keep those. It's going to increase the over all cache size, but it's going to allow me to have that 100% preview, which is going to show me the actual pixels much more quickly. So I'm going to leave that option clicked on. All right, going down to Managing your Cache. Now, this is kind of interesting. You have your Cache Size. If you are going to export your cache to your folders when possible, it's not really that essential you change this number. Yet if you're going to have a centralized cache, you may want to increase that number. A higher number improves performance, but it's going to take up more file size, right? Because there are more previews and all these other variables inside of that cache as well.
So again, you are going to have to experiment with that number based on your own system, yet if you are going to automatically export the cache to sub folders, it's not going to be that much of an issue. Now you have a couple of other options here. One is to compact the cache. What this will do is it will basically optimize the performance of it, and again, this is going to be more important if you are using the centralized cache. You can also purge the cache, meaning get rid of everything. Just kind of clean it out and then again you are just going to be starting from scratch regards to your cache. Long story short, how to make sense of all this? My recommendation is click on Automatically Export Cache To Folders When Possible. That way all that cache information will travel with those images, and will keep things a little bit more simple for you.
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