Now that we have completed learning about all the technical aspects of Photography covered by Level 1, we are starting to look at photo filtering and editing software.

Adobe Bridge

Adobe Bridge is a really useful piece of software which I hadn’t used before this course.

Bridge

Rating and filtering photos
You can view your photos via Bridge, without having to import them from your external device, and filter them if required.

For example, you can rate your photos, giving each one between 1 and 5 stars. I’ve found this to be incredibly useful. Usually, when I go out taking photographs, I can take up to 500 at a time and dread coming home to try to work out which were the best and then make copies of them to move into ‘best’ folders. It took such a long time. With Bridge, you can simply open up your photos, pressing the right arrow key to go through them one at a time and give them a rating between 1 and 5. I give the best photos that don’t need any editing a 5, good photos that need a bit of editing get a 4 and photos that are blurry or that I don’t want to keep for whatever reason are given a 1.

By using the numbers 6 – 9, you can colour code your photos. This is useful if you want to put them into categories but it’s not something that I’ve needed to use yet.

Once the rating is complete, you can then filter the photos to show, for example, all the photos rated with just one star. They are then displayed within Bridge and you can delete them in one go.

There are further filtering options which I haven’t yet explored but I look forward to doing so in the future.

Editing photos.
From Bridge, you can double click on a photograph and open it in Photoshop, however another tool we have been introduced to is Camera Raw. With this tool, you can also edit your photos. To open Camera Raw, select a photo, right click and select ‘open in Camera Raw.’

Camera Raw opens up and allows you to inspect image quality and see all the information about your photograph, including a histogram which is useful for seeing the balance between blacks and whites in your picture.

There are slider tools which you can use to change aspects of your photograph, such as brightness, contrast, exposure, clarity, shadows and highlights and other functions

Camera raw

Snapshots
You can capture the state of an image as you edit it using the snapshot button. It’s the one with three little squares on it – at the far right on the diagram below..

snapshot

At the beginning, add a new snapshot and call it ‘original.’ Once you have done this, you can go and edit your photo without worrying about losing your original. Every time you make a change, add a new snapshot and give it a name. You will begin to see a list of snapshots with different names appearing on the right of the photo. When you have several versions, select your favourite and click on ‘done’ and it will appear as a thumbnail in Bridge. You don’t lose your original and the snapshot images don’t actually exist until you click on ‘save image.’ At this stage, you are just recording information on the photo. The snapshot copies are very small so don’t take up much space. They are only a few kilobytes.

Camera raw versions

To save your image, click on the ‘save image’ button at the bottom left. Then select a folder to put it into and give it a name.

Here are some examples of the above photos that I have edited in Camera Raw:

 

And one of my favourite photos:

Remember to take a break during the editing process! Time can pass quickly when you’re so involved in what you’re doing and your eyes need a rest!

File Format
You will need to select an appropriate format depending on what you wish to do with the photo. If you want to print the photo, you should save it as a jpg and choose 12 for the quality, however if you are saving it for a screen, i.e. a website, you don’t need the quality to be as high so you can select 6 or 8.

Metadata
This is information that comes with your photo, such as Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO etc

For safeguarding purposes, it is best to remove the location information if you are photographing children.

Image sizing
When using a photo on a website, the larger the photo is, the longer it will take to load and the more space it will use. To give an idea of sizes, a computer monitor is generally 1920 x 1080 pixels so an image for the web can be reduced to a smaller size than that.

You can choose to resize photos in either inches, centimetres or pixels. It’s better to use inches or centimetres if you’re planning on physically printing your photo as printers offer certain sizes, however if you’re resizing for the web, resize using pixels.

 

Criteria covered in this blog:

Unit 02: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6

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