Culling: Photomechanic vs. Lightroom, is there REALLY a difference?
Short answer: YES
Long answer: Keep reading!
If you have been a photographer for over 6 months you have probably heard people talking about and raving about Photomechanic and how awesome it is.
You have probably also thought, “can it really be that great? I just figured out how to use Lightroom, I don’t want to have to figure out how to use ANOTHER system!!”
Well let me help you with that dilemma...I’m not saying you are going to want to buy Photomechanic after you read this blog post….
…...but you probably will!
(also, I am not an affiliate for photomechanic in any way shape or form...they have no idea I am writing this post at all...I just think it’s a great software that can save photographers a lot of time!)
the main Difference between Photomechanic and Lightroom
Photomechanic was created originally for sports photographers who needed to go through literally thousands of shots in order to find that MONEY shot that you see on magazines and TV. So it was created to work FAST.
Lightroom wasn’t really created to move through photos really quickly although there are lots of things you can do to optimize your Lightroom to work faster for you. I laid out a bunch of suggestions in this post.
Because of this, photomechanic renders our photos much more quickly and doesn’t need to generate previews in order to do so. You can simply insert your SD card or open the RAW files from a folder on your computer and start culling in less than 30 seconds.
In Lightroom, you need to import the photos and generate previews upon import. Depending on how many photos you are importing, this process could take upwards of an HOUR.
Last time I checked 30 seconds > than hours
Photo to photo
In photomechanic you can move from photo to photo and see a full size preview in less than a second. You could essentially move through a 4000 image wedding gallery and cull it down to 1000 images in less time than it takes to import photos into Lightroom to start culling.
In Lightroom, depending on the previews you generate upon import, the size of your catalog and your computer's processor, moving from photo to photo can sometimes take a bit. Even if it's 1 or 2 seconds per image in order for the preview to render...that can feel like moving through molasses and you will get more and more frustrated with the process because it will take you forever to get through everything.
my favorite reason to use photomechanic and not lightroom for culling
If you cull in photomechanic you end up never bringing unwanted/unusable photos INTO Lightroom.
Instead of importing 4000 photos into Lightroom and culling down to 1000 “keepers”, you can cull those images in photomechanic and only bring 1000 images into Lightroom.
The less images you import into Lightroom, the quicker it will work for you and you won’t have tons of unnecessary time spent importing images you are never going to actually do anything with.
BRILLIANT isn’t it?
If you want proof of how the two work so differently, here is a quick video showing you the difference!