Print products (album) question

divamumdivamum Major grinsPosts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
edited March 14, 2014 in Weddings
So I have a client that wants some accordion folios to give as gifts. Fine, I can do that.

My question: I'm doing my layout in PS (I broke down and purchased a template from photographercafe - I am NO graphic designer!).... but how can I "browse" my photos from the folder to select the ones I want? Is there a way of doing that rather than just file>open (which isn't terribly convenient when I'm still picking which ones). I'm hoping there's something similar to the filmstrip in LR. I'm guessing Bridge, but I never use it and it is woefully NOT user-friendly for me, and when I drag and drop it's turning things into smart objects and I'm just getting frustrated and confused.

Help! Thanks in advance :)

Comments

  • jonh68jonh68 Major grins Posts: 2,711Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 8, 2014
    May not be what you want to hear but PhotoMechanic is what I use to browse pictures, tag, and drag and drop pics. I like it because it is separate from Adobe so it doesn't make any catalogs or whatever stuff adobe organizers do. Also, it is great for looking at pics while on the card so I can tag keeper pictures before I download to the hardrive. I know this doesn't help your situation now but PM sure does save me time on the browsing and selecting part by tagging, color coding, or star ranking.

    If I ever need to drag and drop anything, PM makes it easy. I can also set the default external editor in PM and if I need to edit a pic, all I have to do is select "edit pic" and it opens up the editor within PM.
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 8, 2014
    You can drag into a photoshop psd file? That's all I need. I'm happy with LR for catalog/browsing/uploading in general, and the free trial of PM ate my machine and wasn't any faster than LR when I tried it out.

    All I want is something that lets me select photos to put in the print file as I'm doing it (instead of opening the ENTIRE directory so I can choose) - that's it.
  • Gary752Gary752 Major grins Central PAPosts: 933Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 8, 2014
    divamum wrote: »
    So I have a client that wants some accordion folios to give as gifts. Fine, I can do that.

    My question: I'm doing my layout in PS (I broke down and purchased a template from photographercafe - I am NO graphic designer!).... but how can I "browse" my photos from the folder to select the ones I want? Is there a way of doing that rather than just file>open (which isn't terribly convenient when I'm still picking which ones). I'm hoping there's something similar to the filmstrip in LR. I'm guessing Bridge, but I never use it and it is woefully NOT user-friendly for me, and when I drag and drop it's turning things into smart objects and I'm just getting frustrated and confused.

    Help! Thanks in advance :)

    Diva...If you use File>Open do you get just the file names? If you're using a PC, when you click on File, on the upper right are some icons. I think it is the first one on the right side that lets you change the view. Just click on it and select Icon and the size you want and now instead of just the file name you also get to see a thumbnail view of the file. Hope this was what you were looking for and helps.

    GaryB
    GaryB
    “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!”Ansel Adams
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 8, 2014
    Yes, I can open that way (and often toggle between the various views), but when you're working with dozens of files it's really cumbersome, especially if you're looking at nuanced differences between two similar shots. I'm sure there MUST be a way to make this easier, I just don't know what it is!
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited March 10, 2014
    LR can view and edit PSD and TIF files, so I'd consider just using that. Bridge can view PSD / TIF and any manner of other Adobe related files, but you can't edit PSDs in camera RAW which I like for final color corrections sometimes. Either way you can't go wrong.

    Photomechanic is fast, but offers no intermediate RAW / non-destructive processing interface which I do appreciate about BR...

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • bmoreshooterbmoreshooter Major grins Posts: 210Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 10, 2014
    I use Nikons nx2, it was free with my camera and does what you want and more. You can view raw files and drag and drop right to a psd or move a whole group to a folder on your desktop and open them all at once. After opened in PS you can view side by side or in groups for comparison.
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 10, 2014
    LR can view and edit PSD and TIF files, so I'd consider just using that. Bridge can view PSD / TIF and any manner of other Adobe related files, but you can't edit PSDs in camera RAW which I like for final color corrections sometimes. Either way you can't go wrong.

    Photomechanic is fast, but offers no intermediate RAW / non-destructive processing interface which I do appreciate about BR...

    =Matt=

    But how would you place/insert pictures into the psd template if you did in LR? Is there a way? That would be WONDERFUL if it's possible!!

    At the moment, I've got bridge open and if I double click, it opens the image; easier than file>open. Mini bridge looks like it would do what I want, but it seems to be a cloud-specific part of the software? I'm standalone CS6, and it doesn't seem to work :-/
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited March 10, 2014
    divamum wrote: »
    But how would you place/insert pictures into the psd template if you did in LR? Is there a way? That would be WONDERFUL if it's possible!!

    At the moment, I've got bridge open and if I double click, it opens the image; easier than file>open. Mini bridge looks like it would do what I want, but it seems to be a cloud-specific part of the software? I'm standalone CS6, and it doesn't seem to work :-/

    Mini Bridge does not rely on the cloud, you just have to point it to the right folder.

    Opening a PSD, RAW, or JPG file will be almost the same in both BR and LR. The benefit of LR is that you can tweak your PSD files in LR even AFTER you save it. Say you have to retouch an individual portrait that is only part of a whole album spread; you want that PSD to be a separate file than the PSD that is the whole album spread / page / whatever. If you use BR, you have to save images as TIF if you want to retain access to camera raw adjustments after saving and closing a layered, non "smart" object.

    Speaking of smart objects, you CAN re-edit an idividual frame in ACR even while it is part of a PSD spread, if you open it as a smart object and leave it that way in the spread. I highly recommend this, it is the next best thing to using InDesign. Of course you SHOULD use InDesign, or just outsource your album design lol, but that's another discussion for another day.

    To answer your question, yes BR is the only "drag and drop" browser, but LR offers the same style of file management. I was just offering LR's options in case it is what you are used to, but if you're already used to BR then stick with that. I actually like BR a lot and prefer it for many things; I just happen to use LR for a lot of my workflow as well...

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 11, 2014
    Matt, I'm being stupid here I'm sure, but I'm not clear how I would get the picture I'd be looking at in the film strip in LR INTO the psd template file in PS. Or do you mean do the viewing in LR and then just open the corresponding number using file>open in PS? Or "open in external editor" (which I already have set to open as tiffs, and use regularly when I'm doing editing that requires me to take an image into PS). I'm PC not mac, if that makes any difference.

    And no, I am NOT used to Bridge - have never used it before (and DO.NOT.LIKE)! I'm a huge LR fan, I'm just not seeing how to combine the two programs for what I'm trying to do. To be clear, PSD template (layout pre-done) is open in PS, and I want to insert the images from my shoot into specific places (using clipping masks etc); I want to be able to play with different shots IN the layout until I make it look the way I want. Having them open in PS means they're tabs (or worse, tiled), and hard to look at as possibilities. (Hope this is clear - having a hard time explaining what I mean! I guess I want it to work like the print module in LR... but in PS :D )

    PS Mini bridge just keeps hanging as soon as I try to change a folder and says "communicating with Bridge" (or something like that). But it never gets past that point> I looked up the error message, and it seems to use something called "Switchboard" which appears to be part of the cloud.
  • smurfysmurfy Major grins Posts: 343Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 12, 2014
    Divamum, just as an option, I have ordered mini accordions from a couple of labs, and just use their ready made templates in Roes. Upload the files you want, drag and drop, order, done.

    H and H is advertising a sale on accordions now, and Nations Photo lab sells them in triplicate for like $16 or $20. Most pro labs are trying to make it easier and faster to order their products.
    At times I'll design in Photojunction for a larger album, and drag a spread into two sections of a mini accordion.
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 12, 2014
    Thanks Smurfy. I was looking at the ones at Bay and Miller, and their pre-designed layouts couldn't really do what I wanted. To do it myself, I need more graphic design skill than I have, and it was taking me sooooo long to try that it just wasn't working out well for me. I'll check out those other vendors, too. Thank you! thumb.gif

    Edited to add: just opened an account at H&H - how did I not know about this lab/service??!! I like them the best of anybody I've seen so far!!!
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited March 13, 2014
    Unfortunately I have to ask, are both of your softwares "legit"? This can be an issue sometimes because the ACR engine does not work properly for, um, certain versions of PS / BR. ;-)

    In LR, all you should have to do is it "CTRL-E". This is an even more direct route to PS than the "open in external editor" option. If your LR preferences are set up properly, (There should be a tab for external editors) ...it will open your files from LR in PS as a PSD or whatever you desire. Then it's just a matter of cutting and pasting, or dragging and dropping, your files into the template.

    What versions of LR and PS do you have, again? And what camera's RAW files are you working with?

    This matters because older versions of PS and newer versions of LR will give you a weird problem if you're using one of the latest DSLRs on the market: LR may be updated to be compatible with the latest RAW files, however if PS is an older version then it will not want to just open RAW files directly, you might have to ask LR to render the PSD / TIF file BEFORE it sends the file to PS. This isn't an issue except you have to delete any un-needed PSD files if all you're doing is dumping a RAW file directly into a template, and not doing any intermediate retouching that merits a PSD save...

    Hope this makes sense!

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 13, 2014
    CS6 & LR5

    Both VERY legit - I qualify for the educator discount, so buy them outright. I'm not interested in the CC.

    Ctrl+E. Um... WOW!

    None of this really solves my immediate question - since it still requires me to open EVERY file I "might" want to use to try it out (rather than just play around the way I would in the LR print module, or using one of the printing company java-based solutions), but it's definitely leading me to some great tips for using the programs!! thumb.gif
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Southern CaliforniaPosts: 3,352Registered Users, Retired Mod Major grins
    edited March 14, 2014
    divamum wrote: »
    CS6 & LR5

    Both VERY legit - I qualify for the educator discount, so buy them outright. I'm not interested in the CC.

    Ctrl+E. Um... WOW!

    None of this really solves my immediate question - since it still requires me to open EVERY file I "might" want to use to try it out (rather than just play around the way I would in the LR print module, or using one of the printing company java-based solutions), but it's definitely leading me to some great tips for using the programs!! thumb.gif

    Honestly, it does sound like you're hoping for something more than what an LR / BR / PS workflow can offer. There isn't really going to be a way around the issue of opening each full-res image in PS and adding it to your PSD album spread, that's just how PS works. It does 100% of it's labor with the full-quality image at your fingertips, which is usually very un-necessary for album design work.

    If you want the most streamlined workflow, you should probably try out one of the programs that are more dedicated to album design such as Indesign, or an album-specific app called Fundy. Not sure if anybody has mentioned it yet, but it's a great app for this. Either way, your goal should be to use design apps that don't require you to open the high-res RAW file completely and create 1-2 GB PSD files for every single page. Programs like Indesign are built around "placeholder" type images that allow you to swap out images very, very rapidly among other things...

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogDgrin Weddings Forum
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,021Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 14, 2014
    Yeah, I'm realising that (although I'm using my hi res "final" jpgs rather than tiffs/raw - is there a reason to use the larger files for a smaller-size print product, like the 2.5x3 accordion minis I'm making?). If I do any more of this I'd consider Fundy or something similar. For now, Bridge is working ok now I've wrapped my mind round it. This is new territory for me, so much to learn! thumb.gif
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