Today’s Question: As a photographer who currently uses the Lightroom Library module to manage my photo files and use Photoshop and Photoshop Elements as the only other Adobe software. As part of the Adobe CC Photographer package, I see that I am entitled to download and install Adobe Bridge. But since I’m not transferring any files to any other Adobe software, is there any advantage or reason for me to download and install it?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Not really. Some photographers find it easier in certain situations to launch Adobe Bridge (rather than Lightroom) when they want to quickly browse some of their photos. But I find it just as fast (and sometimes faster) to make use of Lightroom, and so I don’t feel any need to have Adobe Bridge installed.
More Detail: One of the advantages of using Lightroom to manage your photos is that you have a central catalog that speeds up the process of filtering images. In addition, if you have Standard (or 1:1) previews generated upon import for all of your photos, you can browse among various photos quickly in Lightroom.
Bridge, by comparison, is a browser without a central catalog (though it does make use of a cache, which provides a degree of benefit in terms of performance in certain situations). As a result, it can take longer in Adobe Bridge to browse among folders and especially to filter images within the folder, because for each folder you navigate to Bridge will need to analyze the images to determine which photos contain which specific metadata values.
There are some potential advantages to using Adobe Bridge if you work among a variety of different Adobe applications, such as InDesign for creating documents and Illustrator for creating illustrations. But if your workflow revolves around photos and you are using Lightroom to organize your photos, in my mind there is no reason to install Adobe Bridge.
If you do choose to make use of Adobe Bridge, I highly recommend that you avoid applying any metadata updates using Adobe Bridge, as that can lead to confusing mismatches of metadata values between Adobe Bridge and Lightroom (or more specifically, between the metadata in your photos and the metadata in your Lightroom catalog).