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Camera Raw, Photoshop, and Bridge

As we explained in the previous chapter, unlike the old Photoshop File Browser, Bridge CS5 is a stand-alone application. One of the many advantages that stand-alone status confers is that Bridge CS5 is capable of hosting Camera Raw when Photoshop is either not running or (more likely) is busy doing something else. You can open Camera Raw in Bridge or Photoshop, whichever is more efficient for the task at hand.

An important workflow consideration is whether you want to edit images hosted in Bridge or Photoshop. If you want to edit the Camera Raw settings for one or more images but don't plan on opening them in Photoshop, you can open Camera Raw in Bridge while Photoshop is, for example, busy running a batch process. Or you can edit images in Camera Raw in Photoshop while Bridge is busy caching a new folder. You can even open one Camera Raw window in Bridge and another in Photoshop, though doing so has the potential to make you a very confused puppy! The Default button is a subtle clue as to which application is currently hosting Camera Raw (see Figure 4-1).

Figure 4-1

Figure 4-1 Camera Raw in Bridge and in Photoshop (in single-image mode).

Another important workflow consideration is the filmstrip mode in Camera Raw. You can open and edit multiple images in Camera Raw, and transfer settings from one image to another right inside the Camera Raw interface (see Figure 4-2). However, in this chapter, we'll concentrate on the tools Camera Raw offers for editing a single image, because as previously noted, you must learn to walk before you can run. So most of the screen captures of Camera Raw in this chapter will use the single-image mode.

Figure 4-2

Figure 4-2 Camera Raw in filmstrip mode.

The image controls are the same no matter which application is hosting Camera Raw and no matter how many images you've chosen to edit. We'll discuss workflow and ways to handle multiple images efficiently in Chapter 7, It's All About the Workflow. But for the bulk of this chapter, let's take our images one at a time and focus on the actual tools you use to manipulate them.

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