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Author Topic: What image management do you use?  (Read 8259 times)
The View
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« on: July 09, 2008, 11:51:05 PM »
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I just wondered what alternatives one would have to Lightroom.

Not that I'm dissatisfied how it works as a workflow software.

But I'm not sure if I still like Adobe Camera Raw, so I'm checking what combination of RAW processor/image database software other photographers are using.

Thanks!
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dalethorn
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2008, 07:49:35 AM »
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I flop my RAW's over to JPEG first thing, then edit the JPEG's with PaintShopPro v6, 10 years old.  Does everything that PS does except the grand fakes, and very simple to use.  I work mostly with individual layer adjustments.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2008, 09:08:38 AM »
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I have never warmed up to ACR. I used to use Capture One LE extensively, and occasionally Raw Shooter Premium, but for a while now I have been using (and happy with) DxO Optics Pro. I am most comfortable with version 4.5.1, but I'm learning the new version 5.1 and getting good results. In both, I have a small assortment of presets that I can apply when starting to process a bunch of images, so that the individual images only need small tweaks (such as exposure, white balance, contrast).

After processing a batch into 16-bit tiffs in ProPhoto space, I select the likeliest keepers using BreezeBrowser Pro, and then finish those off in Photoshop CS3. It's not all one app, but it gives me what I want and the workflow is pretty straightforward.
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usathyan
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2008, 09:33:16 AM »
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I recently got a copy of Expressions Media and want to give it a try. Anybody use it? I used iView before switching to LR...so, i am assuming the experience will be similar, if not the same. I wonder if it allows me to import LR catalogs?
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2008, 05:58:41 PM »
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I wonder if it allows me to import LR catalogs?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=206990\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
As long as you have synched the metadata back to the original files you don't need to import anything. Just drop the whole image collection onto Expressions and it will build a new catalog for you. I recently re-built mine and it took about 9 hours overnight for 37000 DNG images. Pretty good really.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2008, 08:56:14 AM »
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Thanks nick. Just did that. Pretty good.
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The View
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2008, 12:05:30 AM »
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I have never warmed up to ACR. I used to use Capture One LE extensively, and occasionally Raw Shooter Premium, but for a while now I have been using (and happy with) DxO Optics Pro. I am most comfortable with version 4.5.1, but I'm learning the new version 5.1 and getting good results. In both, I have a small assortment of presets that I can apply when starting to process a bunch of images, so that the individual images only need small tweaks (such as exposure, white balance, contrast).

After processing a batch into 16-bit tiffs in ProPhoto space, I select the likeliest keepers using BreezeBrowser Pro, and then finish those off in Photoshop CS3. It's not all one app, but it gives me what I want and the workflow is pretty straightforward.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=206983\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks, Eric.

LR was my first image editing tool, but I'm getting doubts about its quality (I started a discussion in the LR forum, and the general outcome was that all RAW converters are equal, if you just work on settings and sharpening).

Well, it's either I don't like the ACR workflow (even thought there are so many sliders, but sometimes I have the impression that none of them grips well. Especially skin tones are awful in LR).

I will try to get trial versions of the RAW converters you mentioned, and will take a look at BreezeBrowserPro (if there is a Mac version).

I guess everyone has to look around until he finds his fit.
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The View
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2008, 12:08:00 AM »
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As long as you have synched the metadata back to the original files you don't need to import anything. Just drop the whole image collection onto Expressions and it will build a new catalog for you. I recently re-built mine and it took about 9 hours overnight for 37000 DNG images. Pretty good really.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=207142\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

From which program did you switch to which one?

I never had the sidecar file option enabled in LR, so RAW images are separate from their adjustments, which are in the LR database.

Do I have to enable XMP sidecar files just in case I decide to switch?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2008, 02:06:08 AM »
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Hi!

I used a lot of programs.

- I never really liked early versions of ACR
- I tried Bibble but never agreed with either the colors or the user interface
- I have tested Capture One (LE to limited, full version to expensive)
- I used Raw Shooters Premium but it was bought by Adobe
- I use Lightroom
- I also tried Silkypix
- I also tried Iridient Raw Developer
- And some others

Lightroom is OK. The essential issue is that Lightroom is not a raw converter but a workflow solution. You essentially don't convert from raw but generate the files needed on the fly. The only alternative I see to Lightroom is Aperture which essentially does the same.

Consider this:

Lets take a 12 MPixel RAW image. That should be about 20 MByte. To keep "all information" you would need a 72 MByte TIFF. So you would need to convert your raw files to gargantuan TIFF files and have some third party application to keep record of them.

That said, I see need for other RAW development tools for special cases and I think that Capture One, Silky Pix and Iridient Developer are great tools.

Erik


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From which program did you switch to which one?

I never had the sidecar file option enabled in LR, so RAW images are separate from their adjustments, which are in the LR database.

Do I have to enable XMP sidecar files just in case I decide to switch?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=207508\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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The View
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2008, 02:18:15 AM »
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Hi!

I used a lot of programs.

- I never really liked early versions of ACR
- I tried Bibble but never agreed with either the colors or the user interface
- I have tested Capture One (LE to limited, full version to expensive)
- I used Raw Shooters Premium but it was bought by Adobe
- I use Lightroom
- I also tried Silkypix
- I also tried Iridient Raw Developer
- And some others

Lightroom is OK. The essential issue is that Lightroom is not a raw converter but a workflow solution. You essentially don't convert from raw but generate the files needed on the fly. The only alternative I see to Lightroom is Aperture which essentially does the same.

Consider this:

Lets take a 12 MPixel RAW image. That should be about 20 MByte. To keep "all information" you would need a 72 MByte TIFF. So you would need to convert your raw files to gargantuan TIFF files and have some third party application to keep record of them.

That said, I see need for other RAW development tools for special cases and I think that Capture One, Silky Pix and Iridient Developer are great tools.

Erik
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=207522\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I see we're on to some really important things here.

The workflow software virus, lets call it like that, that allows us to easily process images. It's a quantity solution.

Versus a quality oriented single-image orientation.

I just tested DPP versus LR conversions, and DPP wins hands down.

In only 10 seconds I can get a good  basic image that I can send to PS CS3.

In LR, I have the impression, you have much more sliders, as you need them, because the conversion is not so good.

This way you actually lose time.

So, I am now researching methods that fit my quality workflow vs. a quantity workflow.

As I never use an image without processing it in PS, a RAW converter should only do one thing: give me a good basis to start with.

LR/ACR does not give me that basis, as the file quality is not that good in regards of color, detail, and smoothness of tone. If you're starting from a flawed conversion, you will lose a lot of time working. This way, a quantity workflow makes you lose time, if you're on a quality workflow.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2008, 04:48:43 AM »
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Hi!

I would say that if you are only doing global changes in Photoshop you can as well do them in Lightroom or ACR. Once you convert your picture to TIFF or PSD some information is lost. For local manipulation you need a bitmap oriented editor like Photoshop.

You may check Digital Outback for some good ideas.

http://www.outbackphoto.com

Best regards
Erik

Quote
I see we're on to some really important things here.

The workflow software virus, lets call it like that, that allows us to easily process images. It's a quantity solution.

Versus a quality oriented single-image orientation.

I just tested DPP versus LR conversions, and DPP wins hands down.

In only 10 seconds I can get a good  basic image that I can send to PS CS3.

In LR, I have the impression, you have much more sliders, as you need them, because the conversion is not so good.

This way you actually lose time.

So, I am now researching methods that fit my quality workflow vs. a quantity workflow.

As I never use an image without processing it in PS, a RAW converter should only do one thing: give me a good basis to start with.

LR/ACR does not give me that basis, as the file quality is not that good in regards of color, detail, and smoothness of tone. If you're starting from a flawed conversion, you will lose a lot of time working. This way, a quantity workflow makes you lose time, if you're on a quality workflow.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=207529\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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The View
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2008, 09:40:05 PM »
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Hi!

I would say that if you are only doing global changes in Photoshop you can as well do them in Lightroom or ACR. Once you convert your picture to TIFF or PSD some information is lost. For local manipulation you need a bitmap oriented editor like Photoshop.

You may check Digital Outback for some good ideas.

http://www.outbackphoto.com

Best regards
Erik
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=207552\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'll check that out. Thanks, Erik.
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Farkled
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2008, 07:53:46 PM »
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As a one stop workflow & Image Management solution, I doubt that Lightroom can be beaten (I do not own it.)  As a RAW processor, however, there is room for argument when it comes to ACR.  I have used Bibble recently and own DPP, ACR and DxO - all the latest versions for each.  I find that it's kind of like the football "On any given Sunday" - each of them can be better for "any given image."

Right now, I tend to use DxO as the primary RAW processor and output DNG images for anything that will wind up in PS.  This gets me the distortion and CA corrections that is important with my lenses and minimizes the work that I'll do in ACR / PS.

If I want quick and competent, I'll use DPP for one-offs.

If I want to do a batch conversion of a load of images and I have time, I'll use DxO.  If time is short, I'll use DPP.

For image management, I still use ThumbsPlus.  I've been using it since the DOS days.
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The View
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2008, 09:53:20 PM »
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As long as you have synched the metadata back to the original files you don't need to import anything. Just drop the whole image collection onto Expressions and it will build a new catalog for you. I recently re-built mine and it took about 9 hours overnight for 37000 DNG images. Pretty good really.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=207142\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm on a Mac, and Expressions seems to be ex-iView, purchased by Dart Vader... Bill Gates/Microsoft.

I wonder if there's anything for a Mac.

I like Bridge, but it can't see the adjustments made to RAW images.

PS: Lightroom keeps RAW data and adjustments separate. So, to create a database that can be read by any other software, like Bridge, shall I enable "write to XMP", so I get an XMP file for each RAW file. (I guess that's what DPP is doing with its "recipees").
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2008, 03:20:02 AM »
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I'm on a Mac, and Expressions seems to be ex-iView, purchased by Dart Vader... Bill Gates/Microsoft.

I wonder if there's anything for a Mac.

Expressions Media is for both platforms. Download the demo and try it...

ExMedia
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Nick Rains
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The View
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2008, 12:20:26 PM »
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I will do that, and compare it to a database like C1 pro's.

Are you on a Mac or on a PC.

The only thing is, I don't have any sympathy with Microsoft. If it still would be iView/non-Microsoft...
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terence_patrick
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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2008, 05:40:30 PM »
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I like MS Expression Media + ACR. I find editing in EM to be faster than with Lightroom, especially when scrolling through lots of images. Maybe it's because EM builds thumbnail previews and keeps it part of the catalog. I have a dual G5 2.3ghz, which may also explain LR's sluggishness (I'm not referring to the auto-write xmp thing, either). Who knows. I simply find doing a post-shoot edit to be quicker when I use EM vs LR. The one thing I wish I could do with this combo is compare before/after images in ACR.
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Steven Draper
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2008, 08:28:26 PM »
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For ages I was using Nikon Capture NX and Bridge.  All nef files were placed in a file directory ( used Bridge to rename - NX to raw convert and adjust basic elements - save as tiff - photomatix if recovering extended dynamic ranges (multi tiffs from multi or single nef - Photoshop CS to sharpen, be creative, crop, output files etc) I used Finder (preview thumbs) to wizz through my lists. I colour coded different files so I could identify them easily. My structure broadly was general categories and then folders by date and / or trip etc.

I played with aperture for a while and had some snags, and now I am using Adobe Lightroom. I'm trying to build a one stop database of work that allows for some dirty edits or quick batches where speed is the primary factor. I'm also exploring DxO as it does appear to have some good potential although needs some fine tuning - Nef images appear over-sharpened using defaults (perhaps I'm under-sharpening myself!!!)and it seems tricky to see of something is on or off, operating in auto mode or copying a previous adjustment!

For "collection images" my current workflow is Nikon Capture NX (basic adjustment - upoint - save as Tiff) - DxO (lens corrections) - (photomatix EDR techniques if required) - (Cs for Sharpen - creativity work  - save and output specific saves)

Good Luck!
Steven
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The View
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« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2008, 07:55:42 PM »
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I'm really looking into something editing application independent.

I will test both Expressions Media and Photo Mechanic, I'm not sure if I should also try ACDsee.

I want to use the database software as the core, and decide from there which apps to use for which pictures.

So, that a RAW image processed with DPP will be opened in DPP again, and one processed with C1 Pro will open in C1 Pro.
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