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LR versus Bridge / PS

Lightroom Photoshop Bridge

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#1 DaveNC

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 14:07

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Many years ago I used Bridge and CR + PS for my photography.  Then I moved exclusively to LR, unless I needed to do a composite, which I did in PS.  Now I am reconsidering PS for the ability to do more complex selective adjustment layers.  For example, selective curves, which LR cannot do.  Also, PS now has some useful photography filters with liquify and all the focus/blur filters.  But, Bridge seems a poor alternative to LR for cataloguing.  I make extensive use of Collections in LR.

 

I recently attended a photo workshop in Cuba.  Very nice...  Nearly all the participants were professional or very experienced non-pros.  They all used Bridge and PS.  However, none were knowledgable of LR too and couldn't tell me why.  In fact, many said LR reduces all images to 8-bit not 16.  Not true.  Some also thought LR was destructive and PS isn't.  Not true.

 

So, like many, I am perplexed by Adobe's product mix with CC.

 

What are your thoughts?



#2 Luke_Miller

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 17:59

I started with Bridge, ACR, and PS and moved to Lightroom and PS as soon as Lightroom became available.  ACR essentially duplicates the functions in the Lightroom Develop Module, so from an image standpoint Lightroom and ACR will get you to the same place.  Both are non-destructive.   Lightroom and ACR's  non-destructive editing has limits on what it can achieve. So Photoshop functions as the "next level" of editing. I also use Lightroom for cataloging my 80K plus images and I use its Publishing function for my on-line galleries. 


Edited by Luke_Miller, 17 June 2017 - 18:00.


#3 jaapv

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 18:14

You can set PS as external editor in LR and integrate it in your workflow.


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#4 250swb

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 08:29

I have only ever used Lightroom to the extent that I tried it before deciding I didn't like it. When it was released it seemed like people were making a lot of fuss over it being simpler than PS. but why would I want something simpler, the few tools I use in PS are simple enough already?

 

But 'back in the day' the main criticism of Lightroom from photographers was that Bridge was still easier to use for their existing file and folder archives than moving everything to 'Collections'. And to this day I still agree. And not to mention that to make it a stand alone new product Adobe insisted on not only giving essentially the same functions in Lightroom and PS different names, but Lightroom also removed those intuitive darkroom functions of 'dodge and burn' (etc.) that were second nature in PS. Gradually Adobe have readdressed some of those shortcomings in Lightroom and making it a more rounded tool rather than a 'wham bam thank you mam' means to churn out images fast. However in those days there were a lot of people coming to photography via digital who had never used a darkroom, so Lightroom was the perfect fit, hence it rode the wave and gained popularity.

 

That aside many photographers do want a means to speed up the back breaking chore of downloading and storing their digital images and processing them all the same way, at the time, and yes, facetiousness is alive and well. Which is where perhaps the differences lay between the pro and serious amateur who use Lightroom and those who use PS. You tend to find the PS user can edit their images harder, so never require mass processing, and when they have one or two select images from a days shooting PS is the refined tool to take the images to the next step of individually processing them. It is a mind-set sort of thing. For example, if I can edit my images down from three or four hundred to six or seven using Bridge (and I know exactly where they are stored and on which hard drive by my file naming and numbering), then treat each as a unique image in post processing, why would I need a mass processing system or simpler processing tools by using Lightroom?

 

So there you have one way of looking at it, it's down to editing, or the ability to cull the dross without extending the process any further than necessary in the hope of making a silk purse out of a sows ear. And any photographer who presses the shutter and thinks 'that is the one' will find themselves better served in cutting straight to the chase by importing it through Bridge, then lavishing individual care and attention on it in Photoshop.


Edited by 250swb, 19 June 2017 - 08:32.

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#5 LocalHero1953

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:15

It's a personal thing. My experience is totally the opposite of Steve's. When I got into digital I found LR a simple convenient tool that mimicked my darkroom awareness, allowed me to catalogue my images without moving them from existing folders, did non-destructive editing, and provided most of the editing tools I needed. I found PS totally impenetrable and non-intuitive.

 

Over time, I have learned to like and use PS for all the editing that I can't do in LR, but I still use the latter for all importing, reviewing and culling, file management, printing etc. I've never touched Bridge. I find ACR in PS clunky.

 

But we're all different :)


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#6 Exodies

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 09:38

Folders organise pictures using just one property. If you know this property of a particular picture you are looking for then you can quickly find the picture. If you only know some other properties of the picture then folders won't help. Lightrooms collections allow you to organise pictures using other properties in addition to their being organised by whatever criterion you used for the folders and the organisation by faces and the organisation by location and all the other exif properties.
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#7 wda

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 14:28

I have only ever used Lightroom to the extent that I tried it before deciding I didn't like it. When it was released it seemed like people were making a lot of fuss over it being simpler than PS. but why would I want something simpler, the few tools I use in PS are simple enough already?
 
But 'back in the day' the main criticism of Lightroom from photographers was that Bridge was still easier to use for their existing file and folder archives than moving everything to 'Collections'. And to this day I still agree. .....

Why? I fear you misunderstand the basis of LR. Forget collections until you grasp the fundamentals of folder management. It is simple to get Lightroom to import from your existing folders and build a LR catalogue. Thereafter, organise or reorganise folders from within LR. It is worth looking at Julienne Kost's early videos. She makes is very clear how to start and use LR.
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#8 ramarren

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 14:53

My history:

Before Lightroom existed, I used Photoshop and Bridge.

As Lightroom came to market, I used it in Public Beta form along with Photoshop.

As Lightroom's capabilities expanded, I used it more and Photoshop less

Now, I use Lightroom and haven't opened Photoshop in a couple of years. 

 

Bridge vs Lightroom:

Bridge is a workflow tool that spans ALL Adobe CC products. You need it if your photography and image processing needs include using the entire Creative Suite in a coordinated way. Bridge generally speaking is best used with live data, all storage spaces on-line. It is specifically tuned to be able to manage work that flows in to and out from Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Premiere Pro, etc. It allows you to build complex workflows that permit operations on originals through successive iterations of different applications from beginning to end. It's emphasis is NOT image management but coordinated workflow management. 

 

Lightroom is a photographic management and image processing tool. It works equally well with on-line and off-line image storage repositories, provides a group of tools for basic image rendering and finishing, and integrates with Photoshop and other image processing apps for second order image processing needs. It has built-in tools designed to enable completion of a limited range of photographic outputs (slide shows, prints, books, simple websites) with presets to facilitate consistent and reproducible output. 

 

To summarize, choose LR for your work if your work is primarily centered around photographs and relatively simple outputting of photographic products. Use Bridge when your work includes the larger scope of more complex products and multiple applications in the Adobe Creative Suite scope. 

 

Recap:

I found, after some years of using Photoshop and Bridge, that the way I used them was very nicely modeled by Lightroom's operations and fit my needs better than just Bridge and PS. Integrated use of LR and PS worked very well. Then, as Lightroom's image processing capabilities and product capabilities expanded, I found I needed less use of PS ultimately reaching the point where I am today which is that I will likely remove PS and save the disk space since I haven't used it in so long. 

 

I've never found the LR database or its operations cumbersome or difficult to understand. They have, for me, always been a convenience that expanded the way I used the file system and Photoshop in the first place. 



#9 DaveNC

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 20:47

I know LR well and I get what I want from it.  For those of you who also use PS, what specifically do you find you need to go to PS to accomplish?

Beyond compositing, of course...



#10 LocalHero1953

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 21:00

I use PS for:

- much more controllable and accurate selective editing than is possible in LR.

- content aware fill etc.

- a more precise clone tool.

- non-destructive use of add-ins like the Nik tools (in LR you can only use destructively them on tiffs), as well as the ability to apply them to a selection and as a brush.


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#11 tobey bilek

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 19:20

I have only ever used Lightroom to the extent that I tried it before deciding I didn't like it. When it was released it seemed like people were making a lot of fuss over it being simpler than PS. but why would I want something simpler, the few tools I use in PS are simple enough already?

 

But 'back in the day' the main criticism of Lightroom from photographers was that Bridge was still easier to use for their existing file and folder archives than moving everything to 'Collections'. And to this day I still agree. And not to mention that to make it a stand alone new product Adobe insisted on not only giving essentially the same functions in Lightroom and PS different names, but Lightroom also removed those intuitive darkroom functions of 'dodge and burn' (etc.) that were second nature in PS. Gradually Adobe have readdressed some of those shortcomings in Lightroom and making it a more rounded tool rather than a 'wham bam thank you mam' means to churn out images fast. However in those days there were a lot of people coming to photography via digital who had never used a darkroom, so Lightroom was the perfect fit, hence it rode the wave and gained popularity.

 

That aside many photographers do want a means to speed up the back breaking chore of downloading and storing their digital images and processing them all the same way, at the time, and yes, facetiousness is alive and well. Which is where perhaps the differences lay between the pro and serious amateur who use Lightroom and those who use PS. You tend to find the PS user can edit their images harder, so never require mass processing, and when they have one or two select images from a days shooting PS is the refined tool to take the images to the next step of individually processing them. It is a mind-set sort of thing. For example, if I can edit my images down from three or four hundred to six or seven using Bridge (and I know exactly where they are stored and on which hard drive by my file naming and numbering), then treat each as a unique image in post processing, why would I need a mass processing system or simpler processing tools by using Lightroom?

 

So there you have one way of looking at it, it's down to editing, or the ability to cull the dross without extending the process any further than necessary in the hope of making a silk purse out of a sows ear. And any photographer who presses the shutter and thinks 'that is the one' will find themselves better served in cutting straight to the chase by importing it through Bridge, then lavishing individual care and attention on it in Photoshop.

 

You are one smart guy.  Tried LR multiple times and got so confused, lost images, it renames my files so I can not find anything, etc.  Sure I am wrong,  but PS & Bridge work well and both will make adjustments to multiple images when required.  I got Martin Evenings book on LR and it helped,  but if it ain`t broke, you know the rest.

  

 

I will say I got big project to do a church directory and LR would have been very helpful for large volume work.   Problem being I use Nikon for this type of stuff and I can tether to my AIR and they go in fine,  but Nikon does not write to the card then so there is no back up.  There is still all the issues with missing/lost stuff.   I ended up writing to the card, then importing when time to do selections.  

 

So my opinion is for most low volume work,  PS works fine.  If you work tethered, use a Canon.  If you do wedding and make 1000 images because you don`t know when to push the button and need the monkey typewriter trick,  or sports,  LR will work for you.  



#12 farnz

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 14:59

I know LR well and I get what I want from it.  For those of you who also use PS, what specifically do you find you need to go to PS to accomplish?

Beyond compositing, of course...

 

Principally:

- The flexibility of PS adjustment layers and masks.

- Enjoying the benefits of processing in LAB colour space.

- The variety and subtlety of sharpening methods available to suit varying applications and needs.

 

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#13 jaapv

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 15:06

I really like the content aware technology in PS CC, enabling better cropping and playing around with composition. (aye, that is cheating :D)

 

The better control over colour differentiation in LAB is very important to me as well.


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#14 tobey bilek

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 13:46

You can tether to LR so images go directly to computer.

 

Other than that,  LR can do nothing over bridge.  You can even do multiple image edits in Bridge same as LR.  I have done it but forget how.

 

save for web is handy

 

Feel free to import to LR all your Bridge files and make PS your external editor.   The downside is of LR is it will lose all your file changes if you move a file outside LR.   

 

I think catalogs are a pain, so I stick with PS CC.  I have tried many time to like LR and we do not mate.  PS CC is logical and I use it just as I use any computer file like excel or word.  Why be different.



#15 Jeff S

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 15:51

Adobe's Julieanne Kost summarizes some basic pros and cons between LR and Bridge (although a bit dated)....

http://blogs.adobe.c...-or-bridge.html

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#16 mdemeyer

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 05:59

+1 on the output sharpening control of PS. But it's a pain to have to go to PS just for that...

Principally:
- The flexibility of PS adjustment layers and masks.
- Enjoying the benefits of processing in LAB colour space.
- The variety and subtlety of sharpening methods available to suit varying applications and needs.

Pete.





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