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Does Photo Mechanic Have A Place In Real Estate Photography?

Published: 18/06/2015
By: larry

PhotoMechanicMark recently ask the question:

Recent conversations with some wedding and event photographers have highlighted me to the usefulness of a tool called Photo Mechanic for checking focus at 100% and culling large amounts of photos in a very short period of time. They say it has changed their life, literally! I just wondered if anyone has tried it for real estate photography and what their experiences are? What workflow is best to move from Photo Mechanic into Lightroom?

Yes, absolutely, Photo Mechanic has been popular with professional photographers of all kinds since the late 1990s. It's strength is that it allows you to quickly browse through photos and quickly select which ones you want to keep and which ones you don't. This tutorial by Trevor Dayley shows how to do this and how to then import the best photos from a shoot into Lightroom for editing. Photo Mechanic isn't a Lightroom replacement, it's a step you go through before Lightroom of you are processing a huge amount of photos at a time.

Anyone wanting to use this pre-Lightroom workflow step to quickly browse through and evaluate and choose the photos you want to keep should also look at the On1 suite. It's browser is very similar to Photo Mechanic and also has a bunch of features, like layers, that complement Lightroom. The On1 suite was actually designed to complement Lightroom.

Are there any Photo Mechanic users out there?

5 comments on “Does Photo Mechanic Have A Place In Real Estate Photography?”

  1. I used to use it, but now find that it is easier to just use LR for all my editing (and most processing) purposes (whether it's a RE job or a wedding). For the cost, I can't justify it as a program for just editing.
    I have to say though that it chews through RAW files far faster than anything else I've used, but there again, just isn't worth the price for me.

  2. I recommend BreezeBrowserPro for the same purpose. It costs $69.95 compared to Photo Mechanic at $150.

    I use Adobe Bridge to ingest RAW files and BreezeBrowser to review and select those to edit. Selected pictures can be opened directly in Photoshop, Lightroom or whatever editor you use with one click. BB will also launch your editor if it isn't running when you select RAW files.

    I've been using it for years - it's much faster and easier to use than Bridge.

  3. I haven't used PhotoMechanic, but I don't feel like LR slows me down in any way. With wedding photography, focusing issues will crop up more than RE due to the pace. In my last 10 RE jobs, I don't think I've had to throw out one picture due to focus. In my workflow, I don't typically scan all of the photos before I start editing. I work room by room and then do a final edit for consistency across the entire gallery.

  4. Never use PhotoMechanic for editing or culling RE photos. However, I use it extensively to review (mostly mark for deletion) photos I take on vacations, at concerts or other venues, or when I'm out searching for wildlife. Lightroom is simply too slow to 1) ingest and 2) create 1:1 images for checking critical focus. I can run through a group of 600+ photos in Photomatix in maybe 30 minutes and mark them for deletion or for further review before Lightroom would even finish the initial import.

    As was pointed out earlier, being on a tripod and checking exposure and focusing before taking photos for RE, there is no need to do the initial culling in a different program. Plus, I seldom have a need to look at photos 1:1 in LR as I'm editing them. I did get the Perfect Browse program from On One when they were giving it away a few weeks ago but it just doesn't seem as "smooth" to me as PhotoMechanic; plus, I've been using PhotoMechanic for a couple of years now so I'm fairly used to how it works. And I don't use 10% of it's capabilities!

  5. Hey all, thanks for the responses. Thinking about it, I suppose that I've been using Lightroom a lot for my personal work recently that's mostly handheld, and so I've been needing to check for camera shake as well as focus. It makes sense that in real estate, where everything is tripod based, you probably don't have the same issues so much.

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