Preparing for Print – F2F Workshop

Preparing for Print is an abridged version of the course provided to the BA photography students. The course focuses on the use of Bridge for image management alongside photoshop for photo editing. My own workflow is based around Lightroom rather than Bridge.

The training covered image management and the need to protect the digital negative. In my Lightroom based workflow before I delete images from the memory cards I make sure the data is stored in two locations. The first is the primary work discs and the second is the Network Server.

The Bridge based workflow allows multiple images to be edited using the same settings some that I do in Lightroom through the sync option.

Raw images are designed to contain the maximum amount of data rather than representing the photographers rendition of the image.

Similar to Lightroom when editing in Bridge and Photoshop the ideal approach is to work non-destructively using layers. The different layers of exposure, contrast, Levels, Colour Balance and Curves are similar to the panels in Lightroom.

There are limitations to the tools in Lightroom that can be used to edit an image and that is where I would look to use Photoshop to edit the images. 

The topic of dodging and burning was covered and it was suggested that dodging and burning should be done using a duplicate of the original layer using the doge and burn tools. Creating a duplicate of the base layer will increase the size of the image file by at least double the original. The  alternative is to work with 50% grey layers either as single layer that is dodged and burned or alternatively work with separate dodge and burn layers. 

Using layers and masks within Photoshop allows a digital image to be edited to the same level that can be achieved by an analogue printer. when undertaking complex edits I recommend creating a layer to draw and highlight the different zones of the image that require different levels of manipulation.  Vincent Versace recommends using image maps to decide how light should be manipulated in the image (Versace, 2010, p.53)

Overall the presentation was useful to allow me to compare a Bridge based workflow with my current Lightroom workflow. Overall they are not significantly different though Lightroom retains the non-destructive edits in its database and also in an xmp file that sites alongside the raw file.



  • Versace, V. (2010). Welcome to Oz 2.0: A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop, Second Edition. New Riders.
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