How ToCull Images Faster with Photo Mechanic

Professional wedding photographers know that you can easily drown in work. Especially when overwhelmed with photo editing. Editing can be slow, mind-numbingly tedious, and tiresome. So finding efficiency in the photo editing process becomes paramount. Most of us use Adobe Lightroom to edit photos and house our photo library. However, the first step in editing is always culling images to find the best ones. This step can be done in Lightroom, but you can cull images faster with Photo Mechanic.

In the video tutorial below, I explain why Photo Mechanic is the better choice. I also take some time to cover my process to culling, some detail about how I capture weddings, and a little bit about how I shoot.

The real issue with culling images in Lightroom has everything to do with previews. When you capture a RAW photo, the camera will automatically create a JPEG preview and embed that preview inside the RAW photo. When that same RAW photo is imported into Lightroom, Lightroom throws the embedded preview away and creates a new one. Doing this extra step on 3000+ photos can really slow down the culling process.

Instead, you can cull images faster with Photo Mechanic. Photo Mechanic does not throw away the embedded preview. Instead, Photo Mechanic preserves the embedded so that you can get straight to culling. Opening a large library of photos becomes lightening fast. Once you cull the images down to a more reasonable number using Photo Mechanic, you can then bring the selects into Lightroom for editing.

If you enjoyed the above photography tutorial, consider subscribing to my YouTube photography channel. You can also find recent work on Instagram.

How to Safely Ship Film

Tons of thought goes into how to safely protect images for any professional photographer. Consideration is given to image protection when shooting, photo archive back-up, and even protection against hazard using cloud storage. For the digital photographer, any concerns usually stops there. However, for the hybrid or film photographer, film must be shipped to their photo lab for processing. This extra step can bring with it extra risk. But there are steps you can take to mitigate this risk. In the video below, I cover how to safely ship film to your lab.

The steps aren’t about choosing the best shipping company. I’ve heard so many people complain about FedEx, UPS, and USPS. Fact is, they’re all the same. Each shipping company delivers regularly and occasionally has issues. Choosing one company over another really won’t make a difference. Instead, mitigating risk is done how you pack and address the shipment. Here are some top tips from the video:

  1. Secure your film inside zip-lock bags
  2. Use a good shipping container – use a box and avoid envelopes
  3. Securely seal your package with good, thick tape
  4. Use a printed label – ensures the shipping details are easily scanned by the shipping company
  5. Never hand-write the shipping label
  6. Consider buying a label printer to make at-home preparation easy

How to safely ship film really boils down to ensuring the shipping company can easily read the intended destination. Equally important is choosing a good photo lab that will treat your film well.

If you enjoyed this quick tutorial, try subscribing to my YouTube photography channel. You can also follow recent work on Instagram.

How to Use an External Light Meterwith Film

From time to time, I get an itch to produce tutorials for fellow photographers. It usually starts with a Facebook post asking a question, or a friend seeking help. In one of my favorite Facebook groups, I’ve recently noticed a lot of questions about how to use an external light meter with film.

It’s so much easier for me to record a short video to demonstrate my techniques. So in the video below I quickly cover how to use an external light meter with film. However, the video isn’t specific to film. I also cover how I use the same meter for digital photography. The video is specific to color film, as black and white film is a little different. Once I got used to using an external light meter, it quickly became part of my regular arsenal. I pretty much never work without a light meter.

I also take some time to cover mistakes people commonly make when using an external light meter. Keep in mind that there are as many ways to meter as there are photographers. What I describe is my method for metering. There are many other methods that work well for other photographers. That being said, there definitely are bad methods too. Just find the best metering method for you.

You might also consider following my YouTube photography channel for additional video tutorials, or keeping up with my latest work on Instagram.