Camera Bits has released Photo Mechanic Plus, the company’s new digital asset management product for photographers. Photo Mechanic Plus combines a full-featured instance of Photo Mechanic 6 with new photo cataloging capabilities.
Photographers have very different digital asset management needs than the usual customers of DAM systems, like marketing departments, for example.
Camera Bits has released version 6 of Photo Mechanic. Version 5 was released way back in 2012. According to Camera Bits’ Director of Marketing Nick Orlowski (sp?), there have been 43 updates to Photo Mechanic 5 during its six-year run. Many of those updates introduced new or refined functionality. Clearly, Camera Bits isn’t pestering their users for upgrade fees every time we turn around
Camera Bits has lowered the price of a full Photo Mechanic license by $11, to (USD) $123. The upgrade fee drops by a buck, to (USD) $89.
So, what’s new in this long-awaited new version of Photo Mechanic? I’ll go over some of the high points here.
What are keywords? Why do you want them? Why is there air? Keywording is probably the trickiest wicket in the whole metadata game. Your keywording regime requires more forethought than most any other component of your workflow.
A good keywording approach depends heavily on a specific understanding of your collection, your searching needs, and the capabilities of your archive system.
There are lots of shades of gray here. Keywording can be controversial.
Looking for something? I just added a search engine to this blog.
If, say, you’re interested in using ExifTool to work with GPS data, you can now search exiftool gps, instead of reading through every post. (ExifTool and GPS are both mentioned in several posts, but closest to what you want, as of this writing, is semi-hidden near the bottom of the Emmanuel Macron portrait post. So, yeah, it was becoming pretty obvious that I needed to add that search functionality.)
(Note that I’m using orange type when I talk about search terms here because quotation marks have a particular meaning in the world of search and it would be confusing as all get out if I used them for, you know, quotations.)
There is a search box in the footer of every page and post, and the main menu at the top of every page and post now has a link to a search page.
Let’s get Boolean
The new search engine connects search terms with a Boolean AND operator. That’s like the default in Google
Today we have a new search tool and a primer on Boolean searching.
back in the day or the “Must Include All Of” option found in many search functions.
So, if you enter two search terms, like joe photographer a (hypothetical) post that included “Joe Smith is a great guy”, and “Suzy is a great photographer” would return.
AND means that a content item that contains both thisand thatand some-other-thing meets the criteria and will return. AND searches return few results (hopefully including what you were looking for). AND can be hard to wrap your head around. Another way of thinking about AND is that, on a Venn diagram, it’s the intersection. If thinking about Venn diagrams is how you roll.
You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking at first that an AND search would return, all summed up together, the results of individual searches for this, that, and some-other-thing. (Union, in Venn terms) You’d be wrong, but you wouldn’t be blamed.
OR searches are like summing up the results of separate searches. An OR search for joe photographer would return any posts that mention Joe in any way, plus any posts that mention photographer in any way. OR searches typically return tons of results that aren’t what you want. Venn-wise, OR is a union. In some programs, OR would be “Includes Any Of”.
That said, if you want to do OR searches here, I can buy an upgrade that makes that possible. Speak up in the comments. If enough people pester me about it, I’ll do that.
Our new search engine allows you use double quotes to search for an exact phrase. So “joe photographer” would return only posts that mention Joe Photographer specifically, excluding examples like the Joe Smith one above.
Partial strings are supported if the missing letters are at the beginning or end of a word. photo and grapher will both return posts with the word photographer. But graph will not.
NOT searches are not supported. Sadly.
Fancy search engines that I can’t afford (and would not likely be found in the sort of desktop software that most of you will use to manage your photos) allow users to string Booleans together like mathematical equations to make elegant searches. (joe OR photographer) NOT smith would return any posts that include either the words joe, orphotographer, but would exclude that anything that mentions that Smith guy.
So today we have a new search tool and a primer on Boolean searching. Enjoy!
Not finding what you’re looking for, even with the search functionality? It’s entirely likely that I haven’t written about it yet. Boot me into action in the comments.
Which IPTC metadata fields do you need to fill out for each of your pictures? Which ones do you take care of with your template? Do you need to add metadata to all your photos, or just a subset? Enquiring minds want to know.