Camera Raw is a wonderful raw converter, and Bridge is a pretty capable image manager, but what really makes Photoshop CS2 a compelling solution for a raw digital workflow is the integration between the two. As soon as Bridge encounters a folder of raw files, Camera Raw kicks in automatically, generating thumbnails and generous-size previews that allow you to make good judgments about each image without actually converting it, so that you can quickly make your initial selects.
Note that the previews are based on Camera Raw's default settings for your camera. If you find that they're consistently off, it's a sign that you need to change your Camera Default settings (see "Loading and Saving Settings" earlier in this chapter).
Then, when you've decided which images you want to work with, Bridge lets you apply conversion settings from Camera Raw by writing them to the image's metadata, again without doing an actual conversion, using either the Apply Camera Raw Settings command orif you need to see larger zoomable previewsin Camera Raw itself.
Other than quick one-offs, we almost always do our conversions as batch processes, incorporating other actionswe may set up one batch to produce high-res JPEGs for client approval, another to produce low-res JPEGs for e-mailing, and still another to prepare images for localized editing in Photoshop, with adjustment layers already added so that much of the grunt work is already done.
However, before we look at any more details of how Bridge and Camera Raw work, or how you can automate your workflow, we want to focus on some theories and philosophies that we think are helpful.