Author Topic: Confusion about Photo Mechanic's function in my workflow  (Read 6586 times)

Offline marcmandy

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Confusion about Photo Mechanic's function in my workflow
« on: August 17, 2015, 06:03:08 AM »
Hi!

I have recently been introduced to (and then purchased) Photo Mechanic by a Professional Photographer friend of mine. I am now, however, confused about it’s purposes.
I have been a Photoshop user for a cuppla decades, and have, as you might imagine, a few photos. I used ACDSee for quite a while in my Windows days as a viewer program.
Bridge helped me when it was released, but, while it was good for tagging and metadata, all it could do was show me what was currently on or attached to the computer.
Lightroom helped me organize my shots so I can see what I have on different drives, which is a phenomenal feature, but I don’t really use it as an editor.
Does PM act as a conduit to PS or Lightroom or does it function as a library manager on it’s own? Will I be able to store and see remote libraries without their being attached to the computer or is that a feature exclusive to Lightroom.
Also, when I export to Lightroom, do the newly tagged and rated images go into the library that I've created, or is it necessary to trigger the import function of LR to accomplish that?
I understand about the ingesting, filtering, tagging, and rating features of Photo Mechanic, but to my new eyes, I don’t immediately see what else it does.
If it does have Library management, I will be absolutely delighted. If not, it seems to still have value for it’s ingestion feature.

A lot of questions I know, but if I am to include PM in my workflow I want to understand it before I start ingesting this year's photos, which have yet to be dealt with.

Thank you very much for your input,
marc

Offline MickO

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Re: Confusion about Photo Mechanic's function in my workflow
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2015, 10:27:50 AM »
Hi Marc,

You do seem to have a good basic grasp of Photo Mechanic functionality.  The Contact Sheet in Photo Mechanic is a view of an existing folder or set of folders that already exist on your computer. It is important to understand that files and photos do not go "into" Photo Mechanic as they do into other applications like iPhoto or Lightroom. Photo Mechanic browses your files as they already exist on your computer. You can use Photo Mechanic to make copies, but you do not have to.  Photo Mechanic does not currently create a database or create representations of image collections that can be browsed while those collections are not connected.  However, it is possible for you to use Photo Mechanic to export a set of jpeg thumbnails from a folder of images to an online destination (e.g. a Dropbox folder)  that you can then rate, crop, add captions and keywords to, and then later sync all of that back to the collection later on.

The bottom line is that Photo Mechanic is designed to enable you to work with your existing files as fast as possible, streamlining or automating file and data management tasks as much as it can. The system of Variables and Code Replacements in PM are designed to let you dynamically add metadata to batches of photos -- e.g. adding a single caption to 1000 photos that changes for each photo based on date, camera model, photographer, serial number, etc.   This capability extends to moving and renaming files. You can open your your entire Photos folder as a Contact Sheet in Photo Mechanic and then with one action, move (or copy) all the photos into folders based on Date, at the same time renaming the files with your name, and a date and a sequence.

And, yes changes and additions that you make in Photo Mechanic will show up in Lightroom, as long as you have ensured that Photo Mechanic writes the data into the sidecar files that Lightroom prefers. Photo Mechanic has a quick preset to allow it to work as closely as possible with Lightroom.  Find more info on that in our manual: http://wiki.camerabits.com/en/index.php?title=Preferences#Maximizing_IPTC.2FXMP_Compatibility


In fact, the full manual for Photo Mechanic is here if you care to peruse it:
http://wiki.camerabits.com/en/index.php?title=User_Manual_Flat_View

I hope this answers some of your questions. If any persist, please don't hesitate to follow up here.

-Mick
Mick O
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Offline marcmandy

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Re: Confusion about Photo Mechanic's function in my workflow
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2015, 02:20:10 PM »
Thanks.  It seems then like PM would be the first step in my workflow from card to computer and then go from there into LR for library purposes. and from LR it's a simple step back into PS for post production.

I guess I'm a bit overwhelmed with the job ahead of me, but I'll start with the first shoot of this year and play.  It looks like I can create a basic meta-tag template w/name and copyright info and then modify it as I go along with shoot-specific info, which alone would be a big deal.

I will, I'm sure, return for more help, but you've given me somewhere to start from.

marc

Offline mbbphoto

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Re: Confusion about Photo Mechanic's function in my workflow
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2015, 07:58:15 AM »
Thanks.  It seems then like PM would be the first step in my workflow from card to computer and then go from there into LR for library purposes. and from LR it's a simple step back into PS for post production.

I guess I'm a bit overwhelmed with the job ahead of me, but I'll start with the first shoot of this year and play.  It looks like I can create a basic meta-tag template w/name and copyright info and then modify it as I go along with shoot-specific info, which alone would be a big deal.

I will, I'm sure, return for more help, but you've given me somewhere to start from.

marc

I think most people who use PM ingest select and caption in PM first, then do their raw process in Lightroom and only go to Photoshop if they have heavy masking/compositing or special filter or 3d needs....
It is the most powerful and fastest browser on the market IMHO
Hope this helps
Marc

Offline Paul Smith

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Re: Confusion about Photo Mechanic's function in my workflow
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2015, 12:04:11 AM »
Also, I know of no other software where you could post this type of question on their forum and get a detailed personal response from a staff member within five hours. Photo Mechanic has the best support in the industry.  :)

Cheers,

Paul
Featureflash.com

Offline fabianlujan

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Re: Confusion about Photo Mechanic's function in my workflow
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2015, 05:42:34 AM »
My workflow Marc is:

Canon 1D - PhotoMechanic - Adobe Camera Raw* - FTP

*) If more retouch is needed, I fully open Photoshop, otherwise, ACR does the job.

PM organize clients folders so all the images are in the same place, but I can filter them with stars and colors in order to individualize them.

I don't find useful Lightroom, at least with my actual laptop configuration. Also, develop tools in LR are the same in ACR.