Fuss and feathers about DAM

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13 comments

  • Avatar
    Tom Pickering

    Sherwood -

    Yes, these are the standard features of most DAMs.  Skylum has stated they are building a DAM with a new paradigm, which suggests you may not find what you expect from Luminar's DAM.  For me, it's more important that they achieve parity between the Mac & Windows versions of their products, something they've also been promising for a very long time.

  • Avatar
    Daniel Voulkos

    Have to agree with all of Sherwoods post. Very important 'stuff'

  • Avatar
    Sherwood Botsford

    Tom -

     

    Not features of most photo manager programs, or implemented at very crude levels.

     

    Keywording:

    * Often clunky.  Either picking from an extensive list, or manually typing each one is common. Good keywording allows you to apply an existing keyword to the currently selected set of pix in a few seconds.  Right now Aperture and Photomechanic lead the pack.  (If you are applying 20 keywords to a set of 1000 images that's 20,000 applications.  At 4 seconds each that's just under 24 hours. Now you may have 30 images of the La Pieta that will take some of the same keywords. But you are still going to have to add the "Detail:Face to individual images.

    * Editing is often poor.  If I want to change all occurrences of Ms Carol Smith to Mrs Carol Brown nee Smith some programs require changing each one individually.

    * Controlled vocabulary.  Not implemented by most programs.

    * Hierarchical keywords.  Not implemented by most programs.

    * Synonyms.  Not implemented by most programs.

    * Many programs won't import existing metadata from image or sidecar files or both.

    Searching:

    * Mylio doesn't search exif data at all.  Photo Supreme doesn't have useful search capability of exif data.  Many programs can't search for multiple keywords (Holiday:Italy AND (Butterfly OR Moth)

    Version Control.

    Absent.  See my post on Softwarerecs.stackexchange.com 

    https://softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/47756/digital-asset-management-for-photography

  • Avatar
    Tom Pickering

    Sherwood -

    Well, you know what you want.  I wish you all the luck in the world finding it.  I also suggest you lower your expectations of finding it here. d:¬{(

  • Avatar
    Steve Adams

    Lower expectations can't be helped when all we have are promises of "later." 

    I've noticed that Luminar is receiving regular updates of some pretty important features... the update just released is the second in a few months listing "improvements" to the Raw Developer. It seems that something as important as the Raw Developer should have been right before the software was released.

    Since we've paid for the privilege of being beta testers so Skylum can "improve" Luminar as they go, I don't see why they can't issue the DAM update under the same conditions. At least that would give us something to work with while the software is being fixed.

    Just sayin'.

  • Avatar
    Sherwood Botsford

    Steve -

    I think Tom was referring  to my software recs request in my link.  In this link I give a fairly detailed view of my wishlist for photo management software.  This list has gone through several iterations as I've tried things and found more missing features, and participated in other forums discussing DAMs.

     

    Tom -

    I don't think I'm being unreasonable.  In Aperture right now I've got fast enough keywording, and some support for hierarchical controlled vocabulary.  Editing is good:  I can change the spelling of a keyword and have it apply to all uses of that keyword.  No support for synonyms, or keyword parents. Search in Aperture is excellent.  Import/export isn't complete.

    No package, AFAIK supports any real form of versioning.

    Aperture is 'good enough' to use.  However it is no longer supported, and I can't upgrade my Mac to High Sierra without losing my access.

    Aperture is only a middle of the road editor, but 95% of my edits take under a minute:  Crop, tweak levels, sharpen.

     

    I am surprised that no DAM implements version tracking

  • Avatar
    K.G. Wuensch

    @Steve, if the DAM isn't right from the word "go" then you'll have invested a lot of time and effort into organizing your images with a tool that doesn't work right. That's very costly, so the DAM must be the last component to be delivered, before that the image editing core must be rock solid. That means the RAW development core must function reliably and consistently cross platform and that includes no nasty surprises like the automatic noise reduction that currently can't be influenced and it also means a functioning color management. Without color management they need not bother releasing a DAM...

  • Avatar
    Sherwood Botsford

    @K.G.

     

    Wrong.  The only thing the DAM has to get right is data integrity, data portability and data editing.  

     

    Data integrity is a matter of database design.  Not trivial, but not rocket science.  For a new application, having a journaled entry system so that you could revert changes would be useful.

    Data portability is a matter of adhering to standards.  If you can write it to an xml standard format file without reinventing the wheel, you have portability.

    Data editing is where user time comes in.  There should be multiple ways to do this.  And this aspect is where developers can be creative.

  • Avatar
    K.G. Wuensch

    @Sherwood: Your point 3 is exactly what I am referring to - the image editing part of it to be precise. Without a  rock solid image editing core an image DAM is not worth having, and color management is a core functionality of such an image editor. Without color management it's unusable because without it doesn't provide data integrity on this part and it also can't adhere to basic standards without.

  • Avatar
    Sherwood Botsford

    My point 3 wasn't about image editing, but about metadata editing.

    But image editing isn't a function of the DAM.

    Consider the following model:

    * You have a DAM.  You can have any of a number of image editors that can be called from the DAM.  The functionality of the DAM has almost nothing to do with the editor -- the only requirement on the editor by the DAM is the ability to extract a version from it for the DAM's preview.

     

    Overall in my photo workflow I spend MUCH more time editing metadata than I do images. (10 to 1?  30 to 1?)  But most of edits are tweaking level curves and cropping.  And only about 1 pic in 30 gets that treatment.  But they all have to get keywords, or chucked.

  • Avatar
    K.G. Wuensch

    How can you cull images or give them ratings if you can‘t trust the DAM to show them properly?

  • Avatar
    Sherwood Botsford

    The dam is only incidentally a viewer, and I consider it to be a separate function of browsing pictures.

     

    DAMs are for editing and searching for metadata.  Browsing is a function of a DAM but mostly so you can see what the pciture is about.  It doesn't have to have a perfect rendition:  The ability to show A as better than B is all that is needed for ratings.  At some point you open an image in an editor.

    I assign most of my keywords looking at a 1/3 to 1/16 full screen image.  That's sufficient for the DAM aspects.

    Aperture is well enough integrated I can double click one of the 16 or so images, attempt a correction, decide it's not salvageable and discard.  Or decide it needs another star.

     

  • Avatar
    Federico Lazzari

    I am more of an amateur user than a pro, and agree that Aperture is what best handles my DAM needs and workflow by far. If they just replicated its functionality I'd be happy for my buck.

    Picture editing-wise ..... it was good enough in its time, until they closed the tap while others kept improving. 

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