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Photo Mechanic Plus: The Image Database You Should Buy  

Copyright 2021 by Michael Brochstein

Have you ever asked yourself any of the following questions; Now where is that image? or What images do I have of that person or place? If you never have any problem locating the image you want in your photo archive then stop reading here. For the rest of us, Photo Mechanic Plus (PM+) is the image database for those who never thought they'd buy one - and those who did.

Camera Bits, the creators of Photo Mechanic (PM) software have recently introduced an alternative version of PM called Photo Mechanic Plus (PM+). For those not familiar with PM, it is "A Fast Media Browser That Helps You View, Organize, Manage, And Export Digital Photos" (quote from the Camera Bits website). It is probably the most common software application used by photojournalists today. It is, IMO, the fastest and easiest way to browse images and manipulate metadata (IPTC fields in particular).

I am lazy. The thought of manually adding metadata (i.e. keywords) to every image just for the goal of being able to use an image database daunted me. That is why I had never seriously considered buying an image databse before the introduction of PM+.

Photo Mechanic Plus builds on PM by adding an additional pull down menu and panel. If you never use the new features unique to PM+ then it will look and operate exactly like PM.  

Photo Mechanic Plus builds catalogs (a database) of your existing images by looking at their metadata. This is a boon for photojournalists who are required to fill in IPTC metadata fields such as headline, caption, city, state, etc. Other photographers who add keywords to their images will also benefit. Even if you never fill in any metadata fields, PM+ can search your images your images based upon the EXIF data (date, camera, lens, exposure etc) in them.

If you have terabytes of images then it will take hours for PM+ to scan your images into a catalog. The author scanned multiple terabytes of photos in less than one day. Once it has completed scanning your images then searches are eerily fast (i.e. a handful of seconds!) when searching the most common IPTC metadata fields such as caption and headline.

A recent search of my iamge database for "schumer" returned these images in a handful of seconds.

Camera Bits offers a 30 day free trial of PM and PM+. The trial uses the regular versions of PM/PM+ and is not a limited ability trial version. If you purchase PM/PM+ then you will get a license key that will let you use the software after the 30 day trial ends.

For years I thought an image database could be useful but never pursued the idea because of the time it would take me to add searchable metadata to each image. For a photojournalist such as myself who has always been required to fill in IPTC metadata fields, this makes my existing image archive much more useful without the drugery of manualy adding metadata to each image just for this purpose.

Feedback / Questions: Please feel free to email Michael Brochstein with any comments, suggestions and/or questions.
Full Disclosure: This is to let you know that the author has no financial interest in any of the items, vendors or websites mentioned on this page.

Michael Brochstein is an independent photojournalist based in Washington, DC and New York City.


 Last update: 6/7/2021

Copyright © 2021 Michael Brochstein. All rights reserved.