I use a Nikon D700 and CS3 Bridge on a MAC OSX 10.4.11, and when browsing NEF images in Bridge there is an action performed on the image whenever I click on it. I use the settings where a filmstrip is along the bottom and upon selection a larger image appears above. Initially the image appears as I recall exposing it and looks balanced with good saturation, but after selection the image brightens and loses saturation after a few moments. When I open the image in Camera Raw I find that the Brightness is set at +50 and the contrast is set at +25, and the Blacks slider is set at 5. When I reset those parameters to zero I do not recover the look of the image as it was before selection in the bridge window. In order to do that I have to raise the saturation, decrease the brightness and do a fair amount of work to get back to the way the image appeared in Bridge prior to selection. Can anyone tell me what is happening to the image in bridge and how to keep the image from changing after I select it, or at least how to find the settings that have been evidently applied to the image? If I right click on the thumbnail first, I find that the image will open in camera raw without any changes being made in Bridge, so I was able to make jpegs that show the difference between the two images. The first image is as it appears before selcting the thumbnail, and the second is the image in camera raw. If I were to have selected the image normally with a left click in Bridge, the photo as you see it in camera raw would have appeared in bridge and not been recoverable to its earlier state. Can someone help me undertand what is happening here? How can I find out what Bridge or Camera Raw is doing to the images and retain the appearance as it first appears in Bridge? Thank you for your help.
This is a common question.
What you see first in Bridge is actually a JPG which the camera has embedded in the NEF, and uses all the camera's color settings (contrast, saturation, etc.). Once you select the NEF, ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) attempts to render its own preview of the NEF. Because ACR does not understand the camera's color settings, it gives you its default rendering, which usually is somewhat different than the camera's.
In newer versions of ACR (5.x), Adobe has profiles which mimic the camera's presets ('Standard', 'Vivid', etc.) and can be applied automatically in Bridge. Unfortunately, you will need CS4 for this version of ACR (and these profiles have some issues of their own, e.g. http://forums.adobe.com/thread/479960?tstart=0). You can also create your own ACR presets to more or less emulate a particular look (I believe you will need CS4 for this as well).