Pre- Lightroom photo processing

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by robgendreau, May 13, 2015.

  1. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Much as I like Lightroom, and Aperture (RIP), I have found that with the ever-increasing number of images, and their size, I need to do more about culling/picking and preprocessing. It's not a huge deal, but there are some tools that are emerging that seem to make my work easier if I do it outside of Lr.

    An example is using a compare tool. I have lots of pairs of images, as when I do a lens correction in DxO and have a RAW done by Lr. I want to quickly move in compare mode, but Lr doesn't do pair-by-pair. And ditto for sets of bracketed photos, either traditional exposure variation or HDR or focus stacking sets. I can arrive at some of that by filtering, etc, but that slows things down.

    Another example is quick culling before import by some sort of metadata criteria. I often get other people's SD cards and need to import files with certain criteria. It's easy to ADD stuff to files upon import to Lr, but difficult to do much besides look at a blurry image when deciding what to pull in.

    So enter the contenders. It seems to be a hot field right now.

    Snapselect: free right now in MAS; demo available.

    Perfect Browse 9.5: free through a promo;

    PhotoSweeper: $10US, demo available

    FastRawViewer: on sale for $15US, demo available

    I like Snapselect and PhotoSweeper because both can show dicrete sets of photos by time gap in a visual grid; that usually clumps up my brackets. I'd say Snapselect is faster, but PhotoSweeper has that pairs comparison I lust for, and shows metadata. Both can look for dupes, which is useful for culling, and Snapselect is particularly good at that. And both can work with Lr, sending the reject info back to Lr as a collection of rejects. Very cool.

    Perfect Browse is a nice browser, but doesn't have the views of the first two. But it can do more, and directly edit metadata. It integrates less with Lr, but you can just edit metadata right in it, and the changes get saved to XMP for Lr to pick up on import or synchronization.

    FastRawViewer is what it says. It's rather unique and is a tool for the more sophisticated photographer. You can not only select photos based on viewing the histogram or focus peaking, but add exposure adjustments, ratings, etc. It's pretty amazing, and can work for JPEGs as well.

    Another I have considered but haven't used yet is Photo Mechanic, which of course is the ingester of choice for journalists and others who need to mess with a lot of metadata info.

    Anyone have other suggestions for tools or workflows?
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    I use Perfect Photo Browse to very quickly scan the previews and select the images to import. I send the images to LR which runs an import preset that adds Metadata, does a Develop preset, and generates standard previews. I can do other things while that is going on.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Being just a hobbyist, I find culling my images in LR to be adequate. If need be, I can select the reject flag and remove them completely from LR and the computer. I realize my needs are probably not inline with others but I'm happy with LR
  4. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014
    How are those using a separate front-end dealing with all the xmp and/or xip files that are generated?

    If culling, rating or some form of identifying shots you definitely want to edit will generate a sidecar. Some of these apps will write to a few tiff based raws. But for the vast majority of cameras, it's a sidecar.

    I've never wanted to clutter up my folders with a variety of sidecar files except in rare occasions.
  5. robgendreau thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Generally any civilized photo application will write sidecars for RAW files, unless you use DNG. It is a Bad Thing to write into RAW files without permission, but sometimes you need to (shifting creation time being the most common, but I've had to do it with lens info, and sometimes GPS). And they aren't a variety usually, just standardized XMP files. Metadata can get written directly into DNG or JPEG or TIFF.

    Thus if you use non-RAW it wouldn't be generating sidecars, but most will by default if you DO use RAW. Not much choice. The same is true for geoencoding applications or most anything that changes the metadata, since that's the only way to exchange it.
  6. Aloko macrumors newbie


    May 24, 2015

    I do a lot of concert / dance shooting where I use my Pentax 8FPS mode a lot.
    in the end I've got a bunch of similar pictures so my workflow is the following.

    I transfer the SDCards to folder with the finder, not using Lr for this, and it's pretty quick.

    Then I import in Lr with some presets adding some basic corrections, metadatas etc. This is really fast.

    As soon as the previews are done Im doin a first selection by using the Selected flag, Im doin this as quick as I can and I focus on the visual quality of the pics, not the technical quality.

    I use the "affiner les photos" in french menu which will mark as delete all the pics that were not flagged as good.
    I delete all the rejected pics.

    I make second run on the pics, takin more time and this is usually my last review on the pics, I then start to work on my selected pics from this second run.
    On this run I often use the Compare (C) and Ensemble (N) functions of Lr to decide which pic to choose among the similar ones.

    If you get used to it, this is a pretty fast workflow and I find Lr to be really good at the pic selection.

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