Once you have taken photos with your camera, you will need to transfer them from the camera to your computer. Adobe Bridge is a free digital asset management app that allows you to organize, select the individual images to import into image editing software, and rename or export images. With Adobe Bridge, you can convert the RAW image files from your camera to DNG (digital negative files) while they are copying to your hard drive. Note: all digital cameras save image files in their own RAW format (i.e., Nikon uses their own .NEF file suffix, Canon uses .CR2, and Sony uses .SNY). However, it is best practice to convert these RAW files to .DNG, the more universally used file format supported by Adobe.
It is important to be consistent in the organization of your digital files to ensure they can be easily found and accessed. It is best practice to create folders according to the following structure:
NIU > SemesterYear > Class > Assignment
For example: NIU > Fall2023 > ARTD 313 > Creative Camera Functions
Within the assignment folder, create folders for each type of file format:
- Retouched: Images that have been edited in Camera Raw or Photoshop
- Print: Ready-to-print files
- JPEG: For smaller, resized JPEGs to share online or by email
Using an app like Adobe Bridge is preferable to importing directly into photo editing programs because you have more control over the image files. For example, Microsoft Photos converts raw files to smaller JPEG when importing images, which reduces image quality. Because photographers prefer to make decisions about how images are modified, it is best to avoid editing programs that make automatic adjustments.
- Open Adobe Bridge.
- Connect the camera or memory card to the computer. You can use a memory card reader, the camera cord, or the card reader built into your computer.
- If Bridge Photo Downloader does not automatically open, select the camera icon from the top menu bar in Bridge. When you hover the mouse over this icon, it will say Get Photos from Camera.
- In the Photo Downloader menu, go to Get Photos From and select your memory card or camera. If your memory card/camera does not show automatically, select Refresh List from the drop-down menu.
- Once your device has been selected, the thumbnails of all the images on your memory card/camera will appear. Select the images you wish to import by checking the box beneath the thumbnail.
- Once you have selected the images to import, go to Save Options on the right side of the window.
- Location: Choose the location to save your files.
- Create Subfolder(s): Choose a name for the assignment folder.
- Rename Files: Assign a custom name to your files as they are imported (i.e. Lastname_projecttitle). Select the subfolder. You can choose to add the date to the custom name.
- It is a good idea to use the assignment title in the file name. Then, choose the number you would like the automatic numbering system to start with.
- Check the box for Preserve Current File name in XMP.
- Under the Advanced Options, check Open Adobe Bridge. This will show you the files in Bridge once they have been imported.
- Check Convert to DNG. This converts your .NEF or .CR2 files into .DNG.
- Click on the Settings button.
- JPEG Preview: Select Medium Size.
- Compression: Check Compressed (lossless).
- Image Conversion Method: Select Preserve Raw Image.
- Original Raw File: Check Embed Original Raw File.
- Then click OK.
- Once Bridge has finished importing and converting your images, you can make editing selections and begin the retouching process.