Photographers often want to make changes across a group of images, and the process is much more efficient if it can be done automatically. Frequently, this includes resizing or reformatting to a different file type, but it might also include color, contrast, sharpness and almost any other adjustment under the sun. While Photoshop’s actions and batch processing tools are useful for this, as Lightroom can be as well, one simple, single-screen approach is to use the Image Processor in Photoshop or Bridge. It’s a quick and easy way to make changes across a group of image files while leaving the originals intact. Here’s how to use Photoshop’s Image Processor to your advantage.
To open Image Processor in Photoshop, look under Scripts in the File menu and choose Image Processor. For photographers who use Bridge, the Image Processor is available there under the Photoshop heading of the Tools menu. In each case, a dialogue box opens in Photoshop, offering a straightforward look at four steps to process a group of images.
First is “Select the images to process.” Here you can choose to work on a group of images that are currently open in Photoshop or choose a folder of image files to work on. If that folder has folders inside it, be sure the “Include all sub-folders” checkbox is checked. You can also check “Open first image to apply settings” when working with RAW files in order to open the Camera RAW dialogue and make changes to one image that will be applied to the rest.
The next step is to think about where those images will be saved once they’re processed. You can save them in the same folder they started in, but a better option is to create a new folder and save them there. This way, you’ll have an easier time keeping originals and modified files separate—which is especially useful if there are any errors in your process or if you’d like to make changes and run the script again. If the original folder has subfolders that you’d like to maintain, click on “Keep folder structure” to maintain the hierarchy.
Step three is to choose the type of files you’d like to save: JPEG, PSD or TIFF. Each choice includes options for resizing to fit particular pixel dimensions, as well as compression and quality settings. The JPEG option also includes a checkbox for converting the color profile to sRGB, which is particularly useful for images destined for the web.
The final step is preferences. You can click “Run Action” in order to apply an image as the last step. This might include image sharpening, watermarking, color or contrast adjustments. Really, anything previously saved as an action can be applied here.