PhotoReviewer app for triage

I just came across PhotoReviewer, a really nice (and free) Mac app for triaging photos.
I take lots of snapshots on my phone, but I also use my Olympus camera for birding, and that can give me a large number of photos to review (I’ve actually cut down, but yesterday I still came home with about 30 similar photos of a Common Kingfisher due to accidental use of burst mode).

Photoreviewer is a really good, quick way to look through the photos zoomed in and compare the pictures, using voting buttons to choose which to keep. It then processes the chosen pictures into subfolders and I set up a couple of simple Hazel routines to (a) import the chosen pics into Photos, and (b) delete the rejected photos after 1 week.

This video is a re-enactment of what I did. I found the loupe view particularly useful for this type of triaging. For photos that didn’t need the magnified view, the ability to cycle through pictures using the cursor keys, and tapping +/- to approve/veto photos was quick, especially as they get hidden once approved/vetoed.


And if you’re anything like me, accidental use of “outburst mode”. :joy:

There seem to be an increasing number of ‘focused’ apps like this. I can’t get my head into the “use more than one app” mode and out of the “use (e.g.) Lightroom for everything”. But it seems like there are real benefits for choosing the best tool for each task.

I’m already part way there because I cannot give up Lightroom (Classic) for keywording nor PhotoLab for processing. At least those two work together fairly well. Maybe I can add something like PhotoReviewer and not lose my head. :upside_down_face:

I use Photo Mechanic, definitely not cheap.

But there real reason for commenting is to say: nice Kingfisher shots!


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Wondering about proper division of labor in post-processing (I’ve moved from Lightroom to a brief stay with Pixelmator Pro and now use Affinity Photo with Photo Mechanic on the front end).

@zkarj, you use DxO PhotoLab coming from Lightroom. Would you agree that both of those softwares focus strongly on editing the RAW photo? Lightroom “enforces” that by having quite a conceptual wall to climb when moving beyond it to Photoshop. And PhotoLab just seems to run out of its own options, leaving you nowhere to go but Photoshop.

I find Affinity Photo, even though it offers a decent set of editing tools in its Develop Persona for RAW files, seems to want me to make only the most necessary global edits before “developing” the photo and moving onto editing a pixel-based object in its Photo Persona, which is where the highest quality tools reside.

It is taking me a while to get over the do-everything-to-RAW-photo-in-Lightroom mindset, but I think I am gradually coming to appreciate Affinity’s approach.

A friend said something not so long ago that I had been trying to pin down for years. Lightroom and PhotoLab and others like them are “digital darkrooms”. Inevitably they begin breaching those walls over time, but they are none of them a replacement for the “digital knife” that is Photoshop or Affinity Photo or their like.

I’d no more use Microsoft Word as a “writing environment” than I would use Affinity Photo as a “darkroom”. Affinity Photo has a RAW developing feature but because it contains so much else, it’s not optimised for that task (and I would contend it’s simply not very good at it either).

I would say 98% of my photo post processing is dealing with light, not pixels. The amount of light, the colour of light, and the relative light between different areas. Add a crop and straighten and I’m done. Very occasionally I will use a healing tool as a digital knife to get rid of a distracting element, like the tip of a foreground fence post that I could not address satisfactorily with a crop, or a bird in the sky that just looks like a speck on the lens. Beyond that, I use PhotoLab’s built in watermarking because it is so convenient (even with its limitations) and its AI power to tame noise and lens issues.

I’ve never understood why people use PhotoShop for photos. To me, it’s what I would call a “graphics editor” — a tool I use to cut and paste and composite and bend and blend multiple components. For that kind of work I use and love Affinity Photo.

As for using Lightroom and PhotoLab together, I have found the workflow that meets my needs. The files are imported into Lightroom, where they are organised onto disk in date-based folders, then keyworded within an inch of their lives. I will then make an initial selection of which will be processed for publishing. Once selected (picked), I send these to PhotoLab via the DxO plugin.

Once in PhotoLab, I go through all my processing steps (as above) and export the (almost) final versions. The final step before uploading to Flickr is addressing the in-file keywords. PhotoLab doesn’t understand Lightroom’s hierarchy (indeed it cannot, as some aspects are only in LR’s dictionary), so I export small “proxy” JPEGs from Lightroom, which are picked up by a Hazel automation and the keywords from those are copied into the files exported from PhotoLab. Then these JPEGs are uploaded to Flickr.

The only other thing I do after this is label the actually published photos in Lightroom with the green colour, to denote this.

It is extremely valuable to me to read the detailed description of your workflow as I try out software and establish a workflow of my own. Thanks for sharing your practices and insights!