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Thread: Wrangling Photo Metadata

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    New York

    Re: Wrangling Photo Metadata

    Some additional comments about Photo Mechanic...

    The typical user of PM uses digital cameras to shoot large numbers of photographs of an event and wants to process them fast. I come from an analogue background and continue to shoot film. When using a digital camera, I'm pretty selective about tripping the shutter. When I was first considering PM 6, I wondered whether it was useful for someone who doesn't photograph political demonstrations, football games, rock concerts or weddings, and who doesn't make 2,000-3,000 photographs at a single event. David Bergman has a video for Adorama on YouTube in which he talks about using PM to manage 5,000 photographs that he shot for country music star Luke Combs at an outdoor concert. It's a useful video about PM, but 5,000 photos for one show? To me, that's just mind boggling Unlike some stock photographers who use PM, I also don't have a backlist consisting of hundreds of thousands of photographs.

    I decided to purchase the standard version of PM, currently PM 6, even though I'm not the kind of photographer that PM is principally designed for. I did so because PM does a better job of "Digital Asset Management" than Lightroom, which I was using at the time, and Capture One, which I use now. I like how it handles import and selection, and it provides significantly more control when it comes to attaching information to photographs, which in turn makes it easier to find them and understand their context and content.

    I was a hard sell on PM Plus. I had reservations about using Capture One databases (Catalogues or Sessions) for editing, and a separate PM database for metadata and search. However, I'm satisfied that this can be set up so that the increase in computer storage required is marginal. On the upside, PM Plus provides more control over search. One advantage is that it can be set up to include, in searches, much more EXIF camera or scanner data.* Using either Phil Harvey's Exiftool or a graphical user interface app such as MetaImage (see post just above), it's possible to record this information for analogue photographs without repurposing IPTC fields (see the "How This Photograph Was Made" section in the screen capture attached to post #3). In PM, repurposing IPTC fields is easy enough to do (it isn't possible in Capture One or Lightroom), but I'd just as soon avoid it. Note also that PM Plus search, unlike Lightroom and Capture One search, is not restricted to the four corners of what's in a Lightroom Catalogue or Capture One Catalogue or Session. If one wants, PM Plus can search across database containers.

    The final observation that I should make is that a photograph that has been processed in Lightroom or Capture One doesn't automatically appear in its processed form in PM. PM shows the original image, not the processed image, unless one exports one's processed images into PM. I've decided that this is acceptable. Some people may even consider it desirable. Linking from an original image in PM to its processed counterpart in Capture One or Lightroom takes a mouse click.

    What @PatrickMarq is doing addresses all of these issues, but his solution is not commercially available and requires quite a bit of knowledge about computer coding to pull off. Off the shelf, PM is the best solution that I've come across.

    * I discovered this a few days ago courtesy a YouTube video by a fellow named Carl Seibert called Working with Exif data in Photo Mechanic Plus. Mr. Seibert is a former newspaper photo editor who covers, in blog posts and YouTube videos, PM features that can be obscure in the app's documentation and are not covered in PM YouTube tutorials. The latter are pretty broad brush. Camera Bits/PM has a lackadaisical, almost disengaged, approach to social media, and doesn't have an outreach, training counterpart to Adobe's Julieanne Kost or Phase One/Capture One's David Grover. Seibert's videos can be heavy going if one doesn't share his keen interest in the intricacies of metadata, but he knows what he's talking about and I've found his videos helpful.
    Last edited by r.e.; 24-Jul-2022 at 05:55.
    Arca-Swiss 8x10/4x5 | Mamiya 6x7 | Leica 35mm | Blackmagic Ultra HD Video
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    Mac Studio/Eizo with Capture One, Final Cut, DaVinci Resolve, Logic

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