We got our hands on a copy of Photo Mechanic recently, and got stuck on a late night jag working through the program.
OK, it’s an asset management program, which has been used by pro photojournalists, event photogs and anyone that needs to get their work somewhere fast, for years. And the latest version seems to add some cool features without giving up any of the speed.
Here’s how it works:
As soon as you put your media card into a reader the program opens, and ingests your files.
Laying out your shots like a contact sheet, a rollover with a mouse, will show you the options for next steps and all of your metadata for that shot. That feature alone helps us tremendously, as we shoot different cameras for reviews and keeping track of what image came from where is a good thing.
Sure other programs do that but not with the same speed.
Edit in large size with a filmstrip on the bottom of the screen,
or you have the options for side by side comparisons to help select you hero shots. Flagging with a star system or a color system helps your speed edit.
You do not do color correction, exposure compensation, sharpening, clone, heal, red-eye, etc.
If you need to do some correction, it’s a click to open the image up in Photoshop. And then export back out to the Photo Mechanic. The info block we showed you above, then adds a line about Photoshop CS4 being the firmware as opposed to your camera’s firmware.
You can size, crop, add info, credits, IPTC data, Convert from Raw to DNG or extract a jpeg right in the program, however.
And one of our favorites, add GPS info. Nice feature but we prefer to have the data entered onto the data file at the time of shooting with a GeoPic II, than manually entering it. But if you didn’t get it at the time, nice to add. Especially for the press
Like we said this is the pro model. You shot it, your client/editor needs it. Fast.
And even if you are not racing to a deadline, Photo Mechanic will speed up your edit process like crazy, allowing you to then concentrate on only the best images to work on in Photoshop. Or send to the family.
Awesome presets for a variety of FTP and storage services ranging from Flickr to Amazon S3 ( yeah, we didn’t know Amazon had a service like that either) or your own FTP account elsewhere. You can even just decide to email it. There is a menu item for that too.
This software is designed for you to get your work in, edit it, and upload it. In record time.
Yes, it’s a different workflow, which concentrates more on edit and transfer, than a hybrid like Lightroom.
We have to say that the solid upload feature is huge for us on the road.
Bottom line: for the pro photographer on a deadline, this is a must have program. It’s the standard for the Associate Press.
For everyone else, the speed you will edit in this program just may change your whole workflow. Worth downloading a trial and having test run.
Click here to get a free trial.