Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Exploring Excire

 I had gotten interested in Excire at the Visual Story Tellers on-line conference. It seemed to offer some useful feature that might help me tackle the process of working  through a lot of old family photos, slides, negatives and albums. Well it didn’t inspire me to start that project. However it is an amazing program.


The clearest use case for excire is during the import/ingestion of photos. Its was faster than lightroom, but it does have to create its own database (like the lightroom catalogue) and it uses either a jpeg or the jpeg built into any RAW file.

The fact that it can write this keywording and your ranking to a sidecar file as you import is a really massive benefit.


I still think photo mechanic lets you get through the import a lot quicker, but I’m seldom adding keywords. Once you have entered custom keywords both do a great job of finding your photos.

The second great application is for searching through a large collection, where its hierarchical keywords strategy can help  you find a lot of photos quickly within a larger collection. It also keywords several special terms related to aspects of the photograph, not things buried in the exif data (like lightroom) but general things like brightness, leading lines or silhouette.

Its biggest downfall for my “family history” project was that although you can put in customised to identify people and grouping people “like this” it misses enough to make it unreliable, as a fall back organizer.  By comparison google photos gives me a slightly better strike rate once I identify people (or alternatively say not matching). Picasa (although no longer supported by google) still appears to me to do the best job and It works on photos locally.   So my eyes are going to be the best tool, with assistance from picasa and photo mechanic for now.

So my conclusion is I’m not buying excire (just now). It is an impressive program and leads the way for AI classification and assistance finding photos. Its definitely something to keep an eye on. There is a free seven day trial if you are interested.           

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