Quite a number of years ago I had a friend that suggested I use Photomechanic to review my photos and pick the ones I want to edit (also known as "culling.") I downloaded the free trial and was immediately turned off by the archaic and confusing menus. Had someone showed me then what I was missing I would have immediately adopted it into my workflow and saved myself lots of time over the years. Hopefully this video will do it justice and show you just how incredible and valuable a tool Photomechanic is for your workflow.
Some critics might argue that there isn't much you can do in Photomechanic besides import your photos and review them to choose the keepers. On the surface it does look like an expensive investment for a tool that doesn't give you all the features that Lightroom does for example. At $150 it's not pocket change to invest in the program. However had I known just how much time it would save me I would have easily paid twice that for this simple program. Ideally I would have loved if Adobe would just pay a handsome amount to CameraBits the makers of Photomechanic and incorporate the program's features directly into Lightroom. A man can only dream.
The issue lies in the fact that when I am trying to pick my favorite pictures in Lightroom I have to wait for that darn "Loading" text at the bottom of each picture before I can see the image and be able to judge whether or not it is a keeper. Sure the "Loading" text might only be up there for 5 seconds or so, but think about it. If I am looking at 150,000 photos in a year using Lightroom and waiting 5 seconds for each to load, that adds up to 12,500 minutes or 208 hours I am throwing away every year just waiting on the picture to load. I am in no position to throw away 208 hours out of my life every year. Now some might argue to render out your previews 1:1 before going through your pictures. It might save a bit of time, but 1.) Now I have to wait for LR to render every single photo from the card good or bad, and 2.) I still see the "Loading" text even on the 1:1 previews. So what's the answer?
Well in Photomechanic when I pull up the folder of pictures I immediately see them all on my contact page. When I double click on one I open up the preview screen. From there I can see the photo in high resolution immediately - even down to checking if the eyelashes are in perfect focus - without any loading of the image. I click the arrow to cycle through to the next photo and again immediately tact sharp, no loading needed. I can even start my culling process as my photos are still importing and have it finished as soon as the card has imported all my pictures, thereby killing two birds with one stone.
Another favorite feature of Photomechanic is the ability to import (ingest) multiple cards at one time. Rather than import one and wait for it to finish, I can plug in three card readers and import all my cards at one time as well as back them up to an external hard drive. Now rather than spending 2 hours importing and backing up my cards after a wedding I am able to do it in about 20 minutes. There is a lot more to Photomechanic that I would be happy to talk about in the future if you guys are interested. But in short the program as saved me so much time over the last year and has truly been a blessing to my business and workflow. Watch the video and if it looks like it's something that might work for you go pick up their free trial to give it a go. Hope you enjoyed the video, let me know your thoughts in the comments.