How do I set or switch from iphoto to Bridge CS5 to store/catalog my photos?
There is a significant difference between Bridge and iPhoto. Bridge is a file browser and reflects the contents of the folders you point it to. iPhoto uses a central library to store the images in By default this library is hidden and only shows as a Package.
You first have to decide to use either iPhoto or Bridge as main application to manage your photo's, it is very hard to mix the 2 applications.
If you want Bridge for this you should create a new folder or folder structure where you can place the files in. For instance in your pictures folder but it can be located anywhere in your user account.
Then go to the pictures folder on your Mac (best use column mode for Finder windows) and choose the iPhoto Library file. When you use right mouse click menu on the library icon it shows an option called 'show package content'
This opens a new window and reveals the content of the library.
Now search for the folder called masters (or originals as I believe they called it in earlier versions) in list.
If you open this folder there will be a folder for each year you have add photo's to iPhoto.
In here are the original sized pictures nested.
Best way is just grab the year folders and be sure to copy them (instead of move, otherwise your originals will also be removed from iPhoto) to the new created folders where you want to point Bridge to.
After done point Bridge to a year folder and in the menu view choose 'show items from subfolders'. This will reveal all pictures in this year folder and starts caching them.
After caching is done you can choose to leave them in date folders as the have been created by iPhoto or start batch renaming and let Bridge get the shot date from Exif, etc etc. Organize, rename and add metadata keywords to the files the way you like.
If you use Photodownloader to import the new shot files you can point that to the wanted folder to be placed in.
To many options to explain.
Be sure to have a Back Up and you can test what ever you like
I've been playing with the instructions you gave me. I think I have part of it figured out. My delima is that I shoot in RAW and have huge files. I am using an external drive to store and then work on photos in CS5. Is there an easy way to resize and send photos in an email (iphoto does this automatically) but I haven't found how to with Bridge. I can upload to FB, Flicker etc but don't see anything for email. Am I missing something? I appreciate your knowledge and patience with me (an old "newbie")
Omke is on vacation, so I am your poor substitute.
Photoshop caterers more to advanced users than PE or IPhoto so you have to do more work for yourself.
You can not save in raw, so you have to convert to something else as "save as" so you keep the original. You will see a list of options.
JPEG is the most common extension as it has a high compression and you can save in various quality levels to adjust the file size. As there is no free lunch a jpeg is a lossey compression meaning each time you resave as a jpeg it looses quality. Not a big deal for most and you would not notice if you use a level or 8 or above unless you re-saved it many times.
If you use "save for web" it gives you the smallest size as you can strip out metadata also. You can choose extension and quality level. Suggest you try a few different variation of the same shot and then take them into PS and enlarge to see how much quality you are sacrificing for the file size.
Once you get the smaller images (I rename them filename sm.jpeg) then you can attach to e-mail. Most people don't like a 6 meg attachment. I try to downsize to 300-500K.
Hope this helps.