What Is Photo Mechanic?

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Photo Mechanic Concepts

Photo Mechanic® software sets out to be the most useful photo browser on the market today. It does this by being logical in operation, intuitive in use and, most importantly of all, performing its functions as quickly as possible.

The other less obvious approach is that Photo Mechanic does not try to be all things to all people. Photo Mechanic is all about efficiently and quickly moving new files onto your computer and then letting you view and edit those images as quickly as possible in whatever manner you wish. Photo Mechanic is flexible and unobtrusive so that you can get on with your work without having to wait for your computer to catch up or to work its way through background operations you may not need.

Photo Mechanic is not an image editor, it is not a RAW processor and it is not a cataloging application. Photo Mechanic is about importing images, and then viewing and organizing them as quickly and efficiently as possible. By concentrating on these core tasks it aims to be the best at what it does.

The basic concept of Photo Mechanic is simple. Point the Navigator to a folder and Photo Mechanic will generate thumbnails of all the images contained in that folder. Right away you can start previewing the files individually at full screen and mark them with various levels of ‘keepability’.

Right from within Photo Mechanic you can open files into dedicated editors like Adobe Photoshop® for editing or RAW processing, you can email custom sized JPEGs to a client, you can export to a web page gallery, you can rename all the files and add IPTC copyright data, or all of the above and more.

The Contact Sheet view is the core of Photo Mechanic and consists of a display of thumbnailed images from a particular folder. You can create Contact Sheets from more than one folder and either keep them separate or combine them into one Contact Sheet view. All recognized file formats in the folder will be thumbnailed, including RAW files from most current digital cameras as well as the open source Adobe Digital Negative (DNG) format.

Each thumbnail can be quickly enlarged into a Preview screen where each image may be zoomed up to 800% to check critical sharpness. Images may be cropped and a right-click context sensitive menu allows export of the image in various ways, like FTP to a server, Email, Save as JPEG, etc. Images may be viewed 2-up for a side by side comparison when, for example in portraiture, differences between images can be too subtle for a single image view.

Contact Sheets and Previews are generated as fast as possible with the emphasis being on productivity rather than unnecessary background operations: photographers want to see their images right away and Photo Mechanic displays thumbnails from a folder in the blink of an eye.

In addition to viewing images, the other major function of Photo Mechanic is to efficiently move images from an external data folder, such as a Compact Flash card, onto the user’s computer. Simply copying the files from the card is OK, but Photo Mechanic adds the ability to perform other operations at the same time thus saving time later by not having to double handle files. While files are being downloaded, or ‘Ingested’, Photo Mechanic can rename them, back them up to a secondary destination and edit the metadata of the files to assist in subsequent cataloging.

Once copied, the ubiquitous Contact Sheet view shows all the images in an easy to customize manner and provides tools for sophisticated editing using 9 different Color Classes (1 - 8 and None), 5-Star Ratings, and a Tag check box for each image.

Photo Mechanic is the perfect tool for the first two stages in any workflow: getting the files onto the computer, and then editing them into meaningful sets. Photo Mechanic also allows output of files into a variety of formats which can be Saved, made into Web Galleries as well as FTPed or emailed via the internet.