Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Using collections, part of Bridge CS6 for Photographers.
We typically keep our photos organized into folders, but sometimes we might want to group images together sort of like we do in a folder, but in a way that crosses the boundaries of individual folders. Or, we might simply want to create a group of images within a particular folder that belong together in some way. And in those types of situations, we can use Collections which are in many ways like a virtual folder. When we create a Collection and add images to that collection, we're not actually creating copies of the photos, but rather we're adding additional references to the photos.
You can almost think of a collection as a saved search so that anytime you click on a collection, you're essentially searching for a group of images that matching particular criteria, and that criteria can be completely arbitrary. I'll go ahead and switch to the Collections panel. You can already see that I have a Favorites from Austria collection, but I'm going to add a new Collection. I'll click on the New Collection button and I'll be asked if I want to include the selected files in the new collection. So, I can actually select a group of images first, and then create a collection and the selected images can be automatically added to that collection.
In this case, I'm going to create a collection of images that include flowers, and so the currently selected image is certainly one I do want to include in that collection. I'll go ahead and click the Yes button. You can see that the flower photograph that was already selected is included in the collection. I'll go ahead and type a name for this collection. I'll just call it Flowers and press Enter or Return to create that collection. And now, as I'm navigating among my images, if I want to add any photos to the collection, I can do so simply by dragging and dropping.
So, for example, I'll go select some other images that include flowers. I'll click on this image and then I'll hold the Ctrl key on Windows or the Cmd key on Macintosh and click to select additional images that are not yet part of this collection. I can then click on one of the images that I've currently selected on the Content panel and drag that group of images. So, in this case three images, over to the Flowers Collection and then release the mouse in order to add those images to the collection. And simply by clicking on the name of a collection, I can view the images that are included as part of the collection. But keep in mind these are references to the original photos in the folder. So, none of those images are going to be moved and none of them are going to be copied.
I am simply making a reference. Essentially, a quick and easy way to isolate just a specific group of images. I can also create a Smart Collection. I'll go back to my folder of images and then I'll click the button to create a New Smart Collection. Note that that was the default criteria but I could also specify a particular location if I'd like. And then I can specify which criteria I want to use. In this case, I'll just use the star rating, and I'll say that I want to view images in this Smart Collection and have a star rating that is greater than or equal to 3 stars. I can add additional criteria, for example, looking for particular key words or cover labels, but in this case I think that's the only criteria I really need. If I've used multiple criteria, I can then specify if I want to include images in this Smart Collection that meet any of the criteria or only images that meet all of the criteria.
And then I can choose whether I want to include images from subfolders as well. And if I want to include non-indexed files. In other words, images in subfolders that Adobe Bridge is not yet aware of, it will have to go through and find all of those photos. In most cases, though, just some simple criteria will be all you need. I'll go ahead and click the Save button. And now I have a new Smart Collection. I'll call this Smart Collection Austria Favorites. That's a very similar collection name to the Favorites from Austria collection that I'd created previously. But this particular collection is a Smart Collection.
So now if I switch to the Austria Favorites Smart Collection, I'll be able to see all of the images that match that criteria. So we can see there are three-star or greater images that are included in the Austria folder. And if I were to change any of the criteria, then an image would be added or removed automatically. For example, I'll go to the Austria folder, and let's find an image that only has a two star rating. This one will do for testing purposes, I'll go ahead and change that two star rating to a three star rating, this is image number five, by the way. So now when I switch to Austria favorites, we'll see that image number five has been added to that Smart Collection and it's done so entirely automatically.
I'll go ahead and select that image and then from the Label menu I'll choose the Two Star Rating. So, this image now no longer meets the criteria for this Smart Collection. So, if I switch to another folder and then come back to my Austria favorites folder, you'll see that that image is no longer included in this Smart Collection. So, Smart Collections effectively create something like an advanced search result. So that you can specify particular criteria and then find images that match that criteria virtually instantly.
- Downloading images
- Bridge and Camera Raw preferences
- Sorting and rotating images
- Basic image review
- Ratings and labels
- Working with metadata
- Adding keywords
- Using collections
- Processing and sharing images