Camera Bits Photo Mechanic Review Essay

Camera Bits Photo Mechanic Review Essay

Length: 999 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

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Back in the days of film, prior to going on an assignment, I would stop at a camera store and purchase enough film for the shoot. Of course, I would estimate this from a shot list provided by my client and added extra to it, based on some WAG (Wild Ass Guessing) factor.

In most cases, I would buy the film in "blocks" of twenty, as 20 roll boxes of either 35mm 24 or 36 exposure film came cello-wrapped that way. I'd buy these blocks because they had the same emulsion number and, therefore, I could expect to have consistent results. Anything left over went into my refrigerator for those one off quickie assignments or for fun and testing.

After the assignment, I'd drop off the film, nore often E-6 chromes, in two batches--odd number rolls in on one day and even number when I picked up the first batch the next day. If there were any lab accidents, only half of my film was at risk at any one time.

Once back at my office with the developed chromes, I'd lay them out on a light table to view them. No matter what size film I used, 35mm, 120/220 or 4x5, I needed to view them with a magnifier. I'd go through each and every one, putting aside, in two batches, definite keepers and the garbage shots.

It's all so much easier with digital, including the last bit about culling the images. Instead of using a magnifier, I can look at each image full screen and even magnify it beyond that to see critical areas. Now, that I'm not restricted by a finite number of images (memory cards notwithstanding), I tend to shoot more pictures than necessary, even some grab shots along the way or some, I call, experimental.

Working through large batches of exposures requires a tool that can accomplish a number of tasks quickly. Recently, I had the go...


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# Present a slide show of your photos

Initially, I was reluctant to add another software application to my workflow as I had thought importing the files into Adobe Lightroom and working with them there was enough. However, I can definitely see the efficacy of using Photo Mechanic on the front end to speedily get to a stage where I can do any necessary editing. Photo Mechanic displays JPG, TIFF and RAW (also JPG + RAW) files quicker than most any application I have used.

I don't know about you, but frankly, I really don't like the grunt work--I'd rather be shooting or drooling over new gear. Photo Mechanic is quite efficient at what it does and for what it does, it leads the pack.





(1) It's always wise and highly recommended you make at least one other copy of the folder with all of the images as a backup. You should never work on the only originals.

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