Photo Mechanic is open on my desktop every single day that I’m working. It’s my “go to” program that I use all the time. It’s fast and simple, and absolutely brilliant for culling, applying caption information, and downloading to two different locations at once. The ingesting is fast as it downloads multiple cards at once. I love that I can adjust the size, resolution, rename the image, place a watermark on the image, etc., all while emailing, moving, coping, and/or saving images. It’s crazy cool and a program that I can’t live without!
Bob & Dawn’s client list reads like a “Who’s Who” of entertainment’s elite. They recently covered the celebrity weddings of La La Vazquez & NBA player Carmelo Anthony in New York, Salma Hayek & Francois-Henry Pinault in Venice, Italy, Tracey Edmonds & Eddie Murphy in Bora Bora and “The Wedding of The Year” for Eva Longoria & NBA Player Tony Parker in Paris, France. Bob & Dawn have also covered many of Oprah Winfrey’s glamorous private events. While Bob worked at the Chicago Sun-Times, he covered countless amazing events, such as Michael Jordan’s entire career with the Chicago Bulls.
Along with the individual requests from each client, Dawn is the visionary behind each photograph. Dawn’s design is the final chapter in the storytelling that begins with Bob.
Together, they traveled around the world to places such as El Salvador, Taiwan, Lithuania, Romania, Moldova, Kenya, and Tanzania for human interest stories. They’ve had the pleasure of seeing the power of photography and design first hand and it’s ability to move people.
Short of the computer OS, Internet browser and email, there are few programs like Photo Mechanic which I’m using every day. Every single digital capture I make is touched only by Photo Mechanic, until it’s time to process the RAW file. I bring the images into the computer using the “Ingest” feature because I can rename/renumber the files, eliminate the subfolders, and make a backup all in one operation. About 10 seconds after I start downloading I can begin checking files for sharpness, culling the out-of-focus and “missed” shots, and applying star ratings to the keepers.
Where Photo Mechanic really excels (besides, of course, its blazing fast speed in displaying previews) is in its ability to ease the process of adding captions and keywords. I’ve tricked out my IPTC Stationary pad to include pick lists of all my regular locations, as well as sets of terms for any field that I use on a regular basis. The built-in spell check saves me from embarrassment, and the hierarchical keyword catalog (what the Camera Bits folks call the Structured Keyword Panel) makes it super easy to apply keywords from my “Controlled Vocabulary Keyword Catalog.”
I’m in the unique position of having worked with a wide variety of image browser and cataloging applications and find that for the past five years, I’ve used Photo Mechanic much more than any of the other photo software applications out there for one simple reason — It works. Period.
Don’t be misled by the simple appearance of the user-interface surface — there is a lot of depth to this program. Even after more than six years of use, I routinely find myself learning new things that I didn’t think were possible! With many other programs I’ve used, I find myself feeling limited after a few months of use. However, I’ve yet to run into that issue with Photo Mechanic, and given how well that Dennis and Kirk listen to their users, I’m betting it’s going to be a long time before I do hit that wall.
David Riecks is a well-known correspondent on digital subjects and a working assignment and stock photographer. He was an early proponent of digital imaging and is sought after as a digital imaging consultant. Riecks has been involved in many recent digital image standards initiatives as well as being a featured speaker at industry events such as PhotoPlus Expo, the Microsoft Pro Photo Summit, and the first and second International PhotoMetadata Conferences. Riecks founded ControlledVocabulary as a resource to help others learn how best to build keyword hierarchies for describing images in databases and embedding information into digital photo files.
Riecks also serves as the Chief Technical Advisor for the PLUS Coalition, formerly chaired the Stock Artists Alliance Imaging Technology Standards committee as well as ASMP’s Digital Photography Standards & Practices committee where he was involved in the founding of the Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines coalition. He has served on the IPTC Photo Metadata working group since 2004, and authored several users guides for that group. Riecks has recently assumed leadership for the Photo Metadata website and was named as a “Pioneer of Digital Preservation” by the Library of Congress in 2009.
“When I need to edit thousands of photos down to a select 10 images on deadline, there is nothing that works as quickly and efficiently for me as Photo Mechanic. I have been using Photo Mechanic to edit photos for a decade and have found no other way to edit photos as quickly as I can using this software. Photo Mechanic has all the features I need with a clean simplified interface so I can see the images large and move through them fast to determine if each image is in or out. It also enables me to batch caption images with embedded metadata.”
Deanne Fitzmaurice is an award winning documentary photographer and multimedia storyteller based in San Francisco. She is known for her sensitive, and at the same time bold approach to photography. Deanne won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for her photo essay documenting a 9-year-old Iraqi boy who was nearly killed by an explosion. She is also a regular contributor to Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine. Her clients include TIME, GEO, Stern, NPR, the Gates Foundation, among others. She is also a co-founder of Think Tank Photo, a professional camera bag company, along with her husband, photographer Kurt Rogers.
“I’m a person with little patience. I don’t like to read manuals. I like to figure it out. When Photo Mechanic was first released in 1998, I tried it and I was hooked! It made editing the work fast and I could actually enjoy the process. Over the past 15 or so years of shooting digitally, I’ve loved certain programs and then found others which developed later and were better so I moved on. Not with Photo Mechanic. Why? Because they keep making improvements that made my work and thus my life so much easier. You could say I’m a Photo Mechanic devotee.”
A photographer for over 40 years, Lynn Goldsmith has 11 books of images on varied subjects: from rock stars to flowers to self portraits. With over 100 album covers to her credit, she has been honored by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as received numerous awards for her portraiture from World Press to the Lucien Clergue Award. From the 1970’s thru the 1990’s, when her focus was editorial, her images graced the covers of most of the world’s prestigious magazines including Life, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, and Elle. As of 2000 Lynn has focused on creating images meant for books and exhibitions. Her work is in the permanent collections of MOMA, The Smithsonian, The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, among other institutions like the Kodak and the Polaroid Collection.