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#1 Giles

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 05:22 PM

If you have any other Image Management or Image Browser programs you think should be added onto this list .. just post it below.

I want to know what people are using, why they are using it, what version they are using and why, and if there are any problems with it.

(i couldnt find this done anywhere before, and Erics personal website brought it up)

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#2 Giles

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 05:30 PM

how come it says i have already voted in this poll yet there are no votes done yet ?

anyone else having trouble voting

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#3 wetpixel

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 05:52 PM

Image Management and Image Browsing are two very different things. You're looking for an image browser -- you've left off virtually every viable "professional level" digital asset management program!
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#4 Giles

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 06:21 PM

:( ok so the ability to quickly view, move and rename and rotate images is not management of those images ? that's what these software packages do.

:D I don't just use them for 'browsing' in fact I very rarely browse my own images, however I do use them for organising and renaming and rotating my images when I first get them or when putting together a portfolio of images, or sending images.

:P B) If that isn't management of images then I apologise for my lack of eloquent English skills on this subject and I will try to word up on some of the colloquialisms of topics. he he. no seriously its what I have always called it, but if I am wrong I am sorry and please all forgive me for the misleading title .. and I hope you vote anyways as I am looking at what to get next as I may just upgrade or I may change. (I like change)B) :P

:D and oh .. so put the names of those I have left out or completely ignored in a post so that I may be aware of them at least !

:D and just out of curiosity, can you tell me what the difference between image management and """""browsing""""" is rather than just tell me I got it wrong?

I like to learn and I am just trying to learn a bit more about software right now hence my questions about Photoshop recently as well. There's only so much you can teach yourself before you get to something you just cant teach yourself.

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#5 wetpixel

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 06:39 PM

:D ok so the ability to quickly view, move and rename and rotate images is not management of those images ? that's what these software packages do.

No...

The ability to associate metadata to digital assets in an organized manner is image management. And there is workflow for archiving and delivery to organizations who may require IPTC data to be included in the image.

Most pros I have talked to use Portfolio, Cumulus, or FotoStation.

I use IMatch. :D
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#6 marriard

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 07:57 PM

I was using a database app written by Boyd Norton when I was shooting film, however I have now completely switched over to a totally different system.

I use Photopost to manage my images - I also use it as my web gallery software that is on www.deepseaimages.com

It is simple to upload/manage the images, make categories, assign keywords and is totally searchable. Also has a way of tracking who is viewing what and easy ways to show images to clients/others.

They are adding what I consider the last critical feature for me (which is allowing images to be in multiple categories) in the next release which should be soon. That will allow viewers to browse to images easier instead of relying on search.

Database is in MySql, code is all php so it will run on any web server.

I have a specific file naming scheme (date based) which allows me to find a specific orginal on a burnt CD/DVD or transparency (if it is an older image).

A different approach, but one that is working really well for me.

I find a lot of the other apps to be either difficult to use or require you to work in a very specific way that never feels natural to me, or it uses a custom database or rearrange everything I already have, or require me to do something different to put it on a website or....

Your milage will vary...
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#7 Giles

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 09:23 PM

ok so this is what I am getting from this

and this is all news to me so be gentle (i have seen fotostation before and its web counter part)

if i was to use one of these programs I could put my photos into one massive folder on my pc .. or a drive whatever. with this prgram I can categorise them and hence find certain categories easier, by adding keywords and metadata that i chose.

with some applications you then have a very simple upload to the web to create online database driven galleries ?

if i am close here please let me know cause this sounds very damn usefull to me as it's exactly what i want to do and am still doing very manually apart from a php driven gallery (McGallery Pro)

this could be a big wow I have been looking for in a while

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#8 tshepherd

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 07:27 AM

Just a quick side note...

Digital Asset Management, as Eric alluded to, is very different than what you can do with the tools listed above. In fact, in terms of enterprise solutions, DAM is often a component in a larger solution for Enterprise Content Management which included Doc Mgmt, Imaging, Workflow, Web Content Mgmt. The solutions that Eric mentioned are actually considered mid-tier in the industry. Many of the high-end tools that were standalone DAM products are being bought up by Enterprise vendors and rolled into larger suites. DAM also includes more than just managing photos. There's often a very significant video component, so ads, training videos, etc., and it is often used outside the publishing industry for things like Brand Management (ensuring consistency of a company's brand). This is just a really quick stream of consciousness description, so sorry if it's not thought out. I happen to work for an ECM vendor, and am now getting deeper into the DAM side of the house due to an acquisition, so this whole topic could be very interesting to me.

Back to the topic at hand, tools like BreezeBrowser can be used for things like rotating, moving, renaming, etc., and some people (myself included) use them for viewable browsing of the disk / folder structure that I use for organizing my images. Tools like Cumulus take a slightly different approach and skip folders for using metadata to organize things. Exhibit Engine does the same, although I would argue that EE is used mostly for creation of galleries to be viewed, not really managing the images themselves.

Keep in mind that there are also two types of workflow at a minimum. There's the workflow that we as photographers go through from conceptualizing an image through capturing it and eventually declaring it "ready". There's also workflow when you start to want to use the final images with outside people. The first is largely a process that you as a photographer go through. The second is something that can be automated to some degree, for example a stock agency could conceivably use a workflow engine to automate the submission / review / acceptance process with digital images (and film based in some aspects).

Anyhow, I'm rambling at this point, so I'll stop now... :D

#9 JPS

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 09:54 AM

My personal vote goes for IMatch.
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#10 wetpixel

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 11:23 AM

Digital Asset Management, as Eric alluded to, is very different than what you can do with the tools listed above. In fact, in terms of enterprise solutions, DAM is often a component in a larger solution for Enterprise Content Management which included Doc Mgmt, Imaging, Workflow, Web Content Mgmt. The solutions that Eric mentioned are actually considered mid-tier in the industry.

The ones I mentioned are affordable, too. :D Some of them try to be higher-end programs, offering all sorts of plugins for different things, but I've found them to be too complex and/or unnecessary for a single guy taking a bunch of photos. But I have seen them used even for small stock agencies, with good results.

Do you have examples of higher-end DAM solutions? I don't know a lot about that area.
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#11 tshepherd

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 11:33 AM

No question the ones you listed are MUCH more affordable than Enterprise DAM products. I should have said my response was sort of Off Topic, because I don't think anyone here would be using the sort of tool I was thinking of.

At some level, most of the other ECM vendors, like Documentum or Filenet do some DAM work, except that they are very plain vanilla in that they don't tailor the base product specifically to images or videos and these items are treated like any other piece of content.

One example of a higher-end DAM product is Ancept, which was recently acquired by the company I work for. Check it out here. AMS runs on the IBM technology stack right now, which is way more than most individual photographers would want. I'll know a little more about it at the end of next week, as well as who some of the other players are.

Net of it is though, the players that you mentioned Eric, as well as custom solutions, are the ones that most photographers would use for Image Management...

#12 Giles

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 06:43 PM

ok

so the products i listed are image editing / browsing .. the ones Eric mentioned are image management

the main difference here being what ?

I gather that image browsing as I will now call it is for personal home pc use

image management is for sharing i.e. on the web.

is this what we are looking at ?

I like this topic a lot as it looks like not only I but others are learnign from it too, can we keep the learning and the ..'use this for this' thing going here .. my poll may not be so topic orientated but the posts are proving very interesting and educational.

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#13 tshepherd

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Posted 18 January 2004 - 08:37 AM

Here's how I would break it down:

1. Image browsers - tools like BreezeBrowser that allow you to view your images, can be used to do light editing (rotating, renaming, etc), and could be used to organize your images

2. Image management tools - tools like iMatch, Cumulus to some extent, and maybe Exhibition Engine. These are meant to allow tagging, searching, viewing, etc. These are meant for organizing and cataloging larger collections of images. They may do more than this, such as editing, but the core competency is organization.

3. Digital Asset Management - very similar to Img Mgmt above, except tend to be used by groups of people, and also have a workflow component. May also include more robust transformation / conversion technology, i.e. the ability to automatically generate multiple different copies of a given asset, say a web-ready jpg and a print ready TIFF.

This is just my view of the categories, and you could probably argue that one tool could span multiple categories. For example, Cumulus bills itself as a DAM tool, but when used by a single person, I would look at it as more of an Image Mgmt tool since there would be less need for workflow / sharing.

BTW, tools in any of the three categories above could certainly include the ability to "share" images, either via a built-in searching interface, or via the ability to generate web galleries (such as Breezebrowser). The differentiator between 1 and 2 is more about categorization and cataloging from my point of view.

#14 james

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Posted 18 January 2004 - 08:49 AM

That's a pretty good summary Tom.

Image Browsing: "I think I'll have a look through those shots I took last week in Cozumel."

Image Management: "I need to find a shot of a spanish shawl nudibranch shot in Manado. I know I have one on this computer somewhere."

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#15 tshepherd

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Posted 18 January 2004 - 09:34 AM

Thanks James. Good quotes, btw, makes it nice and simple.

I'm actually really interested in people's feedback on this whole topic, specifically Img Mgmt / DAM, as it relates to work for me as well. Any info people have on how they work with Img Mgmt, and even better the stock image and publishing processes would really help me out.

#16 whitehead

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Posted 18 January 2004 - 10:22 PM

For "managing" my own images I use Adobe Photoshop Album which I found very easy to learn and use.

For producing web galleries I use Breezebrowser because a) The Abobe batch file for producing galleries is useless for me (i.e. not heavily into fighting with software) and B) its extremely simple to operate and produces a very clean and simple galleries.

I would be very interested in learning what other recommend for managing ones own images.

#17 belowwater

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 05:19 AM

I use Extensis Portfolio, it works quite well and has a lot of search and tag options to find files.

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#18 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 07:17 AM

Late to the party...

Being a mac user :lol:, I use iView Media Pro 2.0 for image/asset management. I use a user defined short database field within iView for a short caption for each slide (gulp), then export file numbers (which are common between the slides and the scans of the slides, so the filename 011704_0101 refers to both the original transparency and the scan of said transparency), short caption and title to another database I wrote in Filemaker Pro, to generates labels for the slides. I did this because iView doesn't have its own slide labelling functionality.

So, I have thumbnails of each slide (and each digital image, though they are still less than 10% of what's in the catalog) with keywords, locations, dates, more detailed captions, exif data, all searchable, in iView. I can create contact sheets, html galleries and so on from inside iView, but when it comes to making galleries I actually use Exhibit Engine. I have made some scripts/droplets for Photoshop CS that take original highres images, sample them down to the sizes I use for galleries, and add them to the requisite folders in the local copy of my website. I then use Dreamweaver to ftp the files into the correct places in the public site.

Slide labels are in the Filemaker database, which indexes the file number/name to ensure each is unique.


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#19 scorpio_fish

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 07:42 AM

Then there's people like me who just have a bunch of files spread out over four hard drives, not easily identifialbe, filing/folder and naming system changed monthly requiring a multi-hour search for any particular image.

I call it the digital equivalent of unmarked slides in a shoe box.
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#20 jong@seaotter.com

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 09:59 AM

I actually rolled my own image management system. It uses a combination of commercial tools, and some that I built myself.

I use iView MediaPro (I'm on a mac) to do inital sorting from a given shoot (discard the really shitty images), and then I pull them all into a database that I designed in FileMaker Pro, where there are fields things like image content, site, date, rank, exif info, file size, location of image file, and about a bazillion other fields that I might possibly want to fill out for a given image (including where and when it has been sold, if it's been part of a project, what it's been sold for, etc etc).

I then wrote some programs to pull data and images out of the database, and stuff them into a more web friendly database (postgres) that is the backend to my website. This allows me to build specific portfolios for clients that are web accessible, as well as generic galleries, and basically anything I want.

This constitutes my image management, from sorting and searching, to portfolios, to tracking sales and projects.

It's a little overkill, but it gives me plenty of room to grow, and unlimited flexibility.