We as photographers in this digital time are taking more photographs than ever. After learning how to make a contact sheet in Bridge, it simplified the overwhelming amount of images I had.
Whenever I was trying to make sense on all the images I wanted to see them all to be able to compare them. Using Adobe Bridge gave this option on your laptop too, but you could only see a bunch of the images.
Many times your clients want to see the final work but you feel hesitant sending them the actual images. I would advice to never send RAW-files to your clients and even large jpeg’s are a no-no.
Instead, using contact sheets to provide the broad selection of the images without giving them up is a great way to examine the whole photoshoot. In this article I will take you through using Bridge in making the selection of your images but also the making of the contact sheet. This is a step-by-step guide to use Bridge on you Mac.
What is a PDF contact sheet?
It might sound like something more like a business card with your information on it, but it is actually a compilation of images. It is a file with multiple images that you have chosen to add on one page to better view them before the final selection.
Why to send a contact sheet for your clients?
Imagine you did a wedding photoshoot and now you have chosen 100 best images to send to your clients.
When creating a contact sheet you want to be able to select the right images quickly. Bridge will place them on a sheet and even name them correctly, after you’ve marked them. If this isn’t making your life easier, you’re not working with enough clients.
How To Make A Contact Sheet in Adobe Bridge
1. Open Bridge and select Output
From the upper bar select Output. You will be taken to a new window where you can edit the contact sheet.
On the right side bar you can decide how many columns and rows your contact sheet will have.
You can see how it will look in the final sheet. If you do not need to see so much of the details, you can choose more rows and columns, and the images will be of smaller size.
You can also include to show or remove the filename in the settings section, where you can also choose the font for the filename.
2. Start dragging your images
Start dragging your images onto the sheet. The images will be automatically arranged on the sheet depending on the direction you’ve chose for the images from the settings section.
You can choose a background color, image quality and even automatic rotation for the selected image to fit better.
3. Change the rotation
Select the direction of your sheet from the right part of the window.
You can do this even when you’ve place the images to your sheet.
6. Export your PDF
Now you can see how your final contact sheet is going to look like. Then just export the file into a final PDF. It will create one PDF with all the created pages.
This new and easier way to create a contact sheet in Bridge saves you loads of your time.
Output Settings panel
You can use the Output Settings panel to choose a predefined template or customize the template for the PDF contact sheet.
You can customize settings such as Document, Grid and Margin, Header and Footer, Watermark, and PDF Properties.
The changes you make in this panel are rendered in the Output Preview panel instantaneously.
7. Now you have a contact sheet
And your contact sheet is done. You can include the file names, but sometimes it looks more pleasing without them, especially if it’s just for yourself to choose from.
You can also add unedited files too, so your client can make the first round of choosing the images. In the end you can send them the final round of images they’ll be choosing from.
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