Welcome to the myster of "what in the heck is Bridge doing, what is it for?"
First be aware that Bridge is dumb, it doesn't know where your images are but it will default to the default location that the Mac OS will send photos to: your Pictures Folder. If that's not where you keep them show bridge where they are.
Now, I also do not know where your photos are. If you are using Apple's Photos, than probably in your Pictures Folder is a folder somewhere (sorry I can't help you here as I do not use Photos), is a folder with all of your photos in it. They are probably not lose in the folder but probably in a strange folder in folder in folder approach so Apple's Photos can easily track them.
Anyhow, once you find that folder, drag it down to your Bridge icon in the Dock and let go. At this point there are several things you can do: be sure that the feature "Path Bar" is shown. To make sure it's on, go to the Window menu and select Path Bar (on the bottom of the menu) if it's not already checked. Turning this on and off will let you see where it is, the function should be obvious. Anyhow, if you click on the rightmost "greater than" symbol, you can see an option called Show items from sub-folders.
This will then start showing all of the images contained within. HOWEVER, if you have a lot of photos, this may take awhile to build.
The big problem here is that Photos images are probably so strangely integrated in folders within folders, this may not be the best way to view them. You have two options: use Bridge for new images and leave the Photos catalog alone for Photos use, or start to regoup all of those photos into folders that make sense for you. One other option is to use Lightroom with the option of importing a Photos catalog and leave Photos alone. However, any adjustments you've made to the images in Photos will be left behind.
Either way you have a bit of mulling on the best way forward.
Oh, one other thing. You have a Panel called Favorites. If you have that open you can drag your folders from the Finder into that Panel and add those folders to Favorites. Below is a screenshot of my Favorites panel and the underlined ones are ones that I've added to provide easy access to them.
Gary, Thank you for your detailed reply.
Yes I’m using Apple’s Photos on a MacBook
The Photos Library file/folder shows in Favorites and Folders but it won’t show me any photos.
Path Bar = yes it’s on
No sub folders
Hopefully a Mac user can help out. I’m guessing that I might have to export to a separate file/folder and then drag drop it into Bridge because it looks like Bridge doesn’t play nice with Apple Photo Library.
Ha! I am a Mac user, just never liked Photos.
Here's one other way to find your photos: open up Photos and select an image, copy it's name down. Then go to the magnifying glass to the right of your name in the upper right corner and select that and then search for that one image. Where you find one you will find others...
Let me know if that works
It found files but not photos.
My photos are in the "Photos Library.photoslibary" but Bridge won't open/work with this Pictures Folder/file.
So are you working with your photos outside the Photos Library?
I just found how to find photos INSIDE the photoslibsary:
Go to Finder, Pictures, right click Photos Libarary.photoslibary, select “Show Package Contents” this will open/show you the folder “originals”. The “originals” folder can be dragged and dropped into Bridge.
Unfortunately for me, the "originals" subfolders are not the same folders/albums I see in my Photos app (maybe because I imported my photos/folders from my old Windows PC). I can view the photos, etc. in Bridge but I was hoping to use Bridge to organize my photos going forward instead of the Photos app (which I don't like), but it's not doable because my folder/album structure doesn't match what I see in the Photos app 😞
As long as you plan on removing all of your images, you can export them from Photos from the File menu:
The choice you do need to take is: do you want to export the images OR export the images with any changes (alterations/enhancements) you've made to them (assuming you have made some).
The reason against the former is if you have made alterations, you'll have to make all of those alterations all over again. However, if you make future alterations either in Lightroom or using Adobe Camera Raw, all of those alterations will be perminent changes so that you will always have access to the original untouched image. Why this is good: let's say that you want to remove a big pimple from someone's face. So you take a brush and paint the pimple away. But later you learn about Photoshop's "Spot Healing Brush" which will do a much better job. Too late. You can't "unbrush" the original picture.
But if you do not care, than go for the first choice. Or, if you do not mind the excess space taken up, go for both! ;>)
Thank you for the info, but I'm just trying to organize photos like I did with Windows Explorer (I got a new MacBook Pro a few months ago). I’m not a photographer and don’t use the other Adobe products.
What you need to understand is that Apple Photos (previously iPhoto) is a proprietary database viewer, it is not designed to reflect the host OS file structure. You don't want to start messing around inside the database using the Finder. This is similar to the catalogue database in Adobe Lightroom, you either love it or hate it. If you don't like it, then you come up with your own system and use standard filing and Adobe Bidge or another file viewer or asset management system.
I have the same issue. Brand new to Mac. I have 1000s pictures in various folders. I tried Photos, don't like it, so I downloaded Bridge. How do I get Bridge to 'see' my pictures? So far it only seems to be acting like a directory explorer and not showing me any image files.
I'm sure there's some doh! trick I'm missing, but I don't know what it is and Adobe's documentattion seems to gloss over this part.
Bridge can see files in regular folders, it can't see inside the Photos database. You would need to export everything from Photos to your hard drive first.
OK so here's my workflow that I am trying for this.
A BIG PROBLEM: The Photos app when exporting seems to have discarded the date and time and most of the other metadata. Only the GPS info remains on the exported file. It also looks like some metadata is discarded even on Import from the camera. I am not sure where to go from here!
OK I found out how to preserve the metadata! I thought 'Export unmodified originals' mean unmodified by me ... But no, that is the selection we want. So now I am happy again ...
So then I can add the final stage of my workflow.
Photos : v5.0. Bridge: v10.1.1.166. MacOS: 10.15.5
question about using 'Export unmodified originals' - does that just preserve the original metadata from the camera, or also the edited metadata added during organizing in apple photos like description, keyword, etc?
Macintosh HD > Users > [username] > Pictures then contextual/right click on Photos Library.photoslibrary and select the Show Package Contents option.
Original images are stored in the Masters folder, inside are nested sub-folders by year/date. All original metadata should hopefully be intact.
You can select and or drag this Masters folder to the Bridge favourites for easy access. Don't mess around with the database/folder structure, but you can safely copy the photos to a folder and then work on them as needed without breaking the database.
Yes that works. You need to select the menu item View / Show Items from Subfolders. But the filename is in the internal format of Photos, which I find disorienting. e.g., 0413879C-0490-4855-9D87-1D2FCF46D61F.jpeg, in Photos, while the original is DSCN_1499.jpg.
Also if I want to purge unwanted photos while using Bridge, this would mess up the Photos database, presumably. This is important, since purging is so much easier in Bridge
The method has the advantage that keywords and descriptions added in Bridge would go straight into the Photos database.
Apple has an API that programs can use to access the Photos database. However, Adobe hasn't bothered to implement that API (which has been around for years.) Just like Adobe has been too lazy to implement Dropbox/iCloud/Google Drive/OneDrive support.
So you either use Adobe's system that ignores everything else or you understand that integration is painful.
Did you use the photo management tool from windows ? This is my understanding the photos.APP on the mac is like any other photo management tool. It uses a database to organize the contents. Adobe BRidge is a file management tool. If you didn't use the windows photo management tool and just used files then Adobe BRidge will find them where they are and build a framework ( think database) of references to those files. The good thing about photos.APP on mac is it deals well with photos generated by iphones that can store them in different formats than JPEG. so if all your photos have been generated with cameras other than iphones I would say use the Image_Capture.APP that comes with the mac to copy new photos to your mac. For all of the older photos export them out of photos.APP into the Finder and use Adobe BRidge.
There is a very good extension you can add to your Photos library to allow any photo to be opened in Photos and then directly edited in another imaging app eg PS. The result of the edit is saved back to your Photos Library or anywhere you want. May be a useful workflow for you.
If you have an iphone and it's synced to your iCloud Photos library, then you can import them directly into Bridge.