Photo Mechanic built its reputation on being the fastest software to ingest, review, and keyword images. And although a slew of image browsing and editing software has been introduced in its wake, Photo Mechanic – now in version 6 – is still a crucial part of many photographers’ workflows. As 50MP pro cameras become commonplace, file size can dramatically slow workflows, so having fast software is imperative.
Photographers still rely on software like Photoshop, Lightroom, Luminar, and Capture One to edit and catalog images, but for photographers working on deadline, nothing beats Photo Mechanic to winnow down thousands of images to a few selects.
But did you know you can upload to PhotoShelter directly from Photo Mechanic?
For over 10 years, Photo Mechanic has supported native and FTP uploads to PhotoShelter to speed your archiving or distribution workflow. Although photographers use PhotoShelter in many different ways, here’s my PM -> PS workflow.
Although I am an Adobe Lightroom Classic user, I don’t rely on the software’s ingest function because I find that it’s slow compared to Photo Mechanic. Because my cameras use XQD and SD, I utilize Sony’s XQD/SD Card Reader with Photo Mechanic to ingest two cards simultaneously.
The best practice is to rename your files with a unique identifier (e.g. NBAConfFinalWest-), but I’m lazy and simply ingest as is. Photo Mechanic has a bunch of ingest options (e.g. applying a keyword template) that make it an incredible time saver.
Rate & Select
Although there are a number of metadata standards for images (e.g. IPTC, Metadata Working Group, etc), the tagging and star ratings in Photo Mechanic are portable to Adobe products like Bridge and Lightroom. This is much faster way to do a first pass of your images compared to reviewing them in almost any other software.
Although I pull my images into Lightroom for editing, I always upload the full take to my PhotoShelter Pro account, which has unlimited RAW storage, for archival purposes. PhotoShelter is my primary cloud-based storage, which augments the two copies I keep in my apartment, and another copy that I keep at my parents’ home.
In this example, however, I’ve tagged (keyboard shortcut: T) a few images from several hundred images.
Once you’ve picked your selects, there are two ways to upload to PhotoShelter from Photo Mechanic.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is an old school network transfer protocol. If you’ve used software like Transmit or WinSCP, then you’re already familiar with the FTP. Although FTP is reliable, it’s not secure. Because it doesn’t use encryption to transmit your username and password, PhotoShelter requires a different FTP login/password from your main login. To configure FTP from PhotoShelter follow these directions.
Once you have your login info, you can go to File -> FTP Photos as… and enter the login information. The main downside to using FTP in this scenario is that you cannot set the target folder or see a folder hierarchy through the Photo Mechanic interface. The destination folder is configured through the PhotoShelter settings.
I tend to use FTP when I’m uploading thousands of photos because the lack of encryption makes transferring files faster (encryption is computationally expensive). It’s a calculated trade-off between security and speed, but in truth, the security risk is confined because the login information is only used for uploading.
A much more robust upload method is to use the PhotoShelter upload. Go to File -> Upload, then select PhotoShelter.
Because using this method is encrypted, use your PhotoShelter login and password. Photo Mechanic uses the PhotoShelter API to access your “Listed on Website” and “Unlisted on Website” sections and the collections and galleries contained within each. You can even set the visibility permissions from this window.
Photo Mechanic provides an itemized log of every file that is transferred (and those that fail or are rejected because the file type isn’t supported).
Photo Mechanic has been an indispensable part of my arsenal for most of my digital photography life, and the integration with PhotoShelter makes it that much more useful and convenient.