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When you first bring in photos from a camera, it's a good idea to go through them all and see which ones you like the best, which you are your picks and which ones you are going to work on in Photoshop. Bridge has a star rating and a labeling system that you can use for that purpose. Combine that with its special Review Mode feature and you have a really manageable way to deal with lots of digital photos. Let's see how it works. First, I am going to go to the Label menu at the top of the screen in Bridge to show you the star rating system. It's really simple. The choices are: no rating at all, a Reject rating, and a choice of five different stars.
I like to keep my rating system really simple. Everything gets five stars, no rating at all, or completely rejected. In addition to stars, you could attach labels to photos. So sometimes although I am not sure about the star rating, I know that I want to go back and review a photo again, and so I will attach a label that says Review. I can go in and change what these labels mean too. So to do that, I can go to Adobe Bridge > Preferences > Labels and just type in something other than these defaults.
So I might have one that says Correction, because I know it needs some photo correction done to it, and say OK. Now let me show you Review Mode where you can go to efficiently review and add stars and labels to individual photos. I am going to scroll up in my Content panel over here till I find these photos of flowers. These are actually scans that I took on my flatbed scanner, using the scanner as a camera, a neat trick.
I have selected the first of those photos and then I am holding down the Shift key and selecting the last, and that selects all in between. As long as I have selected more than five photos, when I go into Review Mode, I'll be able to see them in a carousel display. Let me show you what I mean. I am going to go to the Refine menu, which is right here, and from that menu I am going to choose Review Mode and that opens this carousel of my photos. The arrows at the bottom left will cycle me through these photos so that I can look at them one at a time.
As I am looking at them, I can decide what stars and what labels I am going to give them. The easiest way to apply stars is by using the keyboard shortcuts, Command+1 through Command+5. That's Ctrl+1 through Ctrl+5 on a PC. So I might give this photo five stars by pressing Command+5. Move on to the next by clicking this arrow. I will give this one five stars as well. Click the arrow again. This one I am not going to give any stars, and so on.
This one I might reject. In order to reject, I am going to press the Delete or Backspace key. And it says Reject in red letters down there. I also can drop photos out of the review process by clicking this down facing arrow. This does not delete them from the computer in any way. It just takes them out of the carousel. I like this one so I will give this five stars as well. I will drop this one out. I'll drop this one out. Then this one I want to review again so I am going to press Command+9, which is the shortcut for the review label that I have showed you a little while ago.
I will drop this reject out as well. Now that we have less than five photos left, they no longer appear in a carousel. Instead I can see and compare them all right here. In this view I can zoom in to look at them with a loupe. To apply a loupe to any one of the photos, I will just click in the photo and the loupe shows me a magnified view. I can add a loupe to this photo too, and I can move the loupes around by clicking on their points and dragging.
If I want to move multiple loupes together, I can hold the Command key, that's the Ctrl key on the PC, as I drag so that I can compare similar areas of the various photographs. This is a great way to see how sharp your photos are or whether there's a lot of noise in the shadow areas of photos. To dismiss one of these loupes, I just click the X or if I want to dismiss them all, I hold the Command key that's the Ctrl key on a PC and click that X. To get out of Review Mode, I click the X at the bottom right of the screen.
So that's how you can use Bridge's star rating system, its labeling system, and Review Mode to take a first cut at your photos, identifying those that you like the best, those that aren't worth pursuing, and those that you may want to work on later in Photoshop.
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