January 26, 2006
Source: The Luminous Landscape
Written by Michael Reichmann
Sometimes photographers have little appreciation for what others types of photographers have to deal with. The fine art photographer may go out on a weekend and take a few dozens exposures, while a wedding photographer may come back with many hundreds. A photojournalist or a wildlife photographer may return from a major shoot with many thousands of images.
How each one handles their digital workflow will depend on the photographer’s temperament as well as practical issues.
For working pros, what has come to be called Digital Asset Management is one of the biggest challenges of day-to-day photography. How to ingest images from data cards, then catalogue, index, keyword, raw process, final process and archive them, all while leaving enough time in the day for everything else that needs doing.
In December, 2005 I published a review of the two DAM programs that I use – Photo Mechanic and IView Media Pro. December also saw the introduction of Apple’s Aperture, and then in January, Adobe’s Lightroom Beta One. Both of these are next-generation image processing programs that incorporate a number of DAM capabilities.
Many photographers today use Adobe’s Bridge in conjunction with Camera Raw and Photoshop as their primary image processing and image management applications. Indeed the vast majority of pros probably use Bridge as their primary asset management tool.
As good as it is, Bridge leaves a lot to be desired. That’s why programs like Photo Mechanic and IView Media Pro, along with their competitors, have carved out such a successful niche for themselves. In the future Aperture (Mac only) and Lightroom (Mac + Windows) will likely become preferred tools for many photographers. The reason is that these applications integrate almost every aspect of image processing and management under one consolidated roof.
But Aperture is still in its 1.0 early days, and Lightroom is still in Beta. By the end of 2006 Apple will likely have worked out Aperture’s teething problems and Lightroom will be a powerhouse commercial application.
Till then, Adobe’s Bridge is the traffic circle around which much workflow circulates. With this in mind DamUseful software has just started shipping a new product called RapidFixer, which does a dam good job of solving one of image processing’s current bottlenecks – the separation of image management and raw processing into two separate applications; Bridge and Camera Raw.