Organizing Digital Images; You Just Shot Hundreds Of Photographs--Waddya Do Now? Page 3

Cumulus is available in Mac OS and Windows with identical functionality. The single-user version of Cumulus is for home users who want to organize photographs, graphics, or MP3 files and can manage two catalogs simultaneously that can contain 2000 files each.

Shooter's Software
While many--OK, maybe some--of the before-mentioned programs are useful for serious photographer or pros, what's really needed is an inexpensive cross-platform program I call ImageSifter that lets digital photographers edit their "take," sorting them into "ins" and "outs" that can be burned to disc. My proposed ImageSifter would include a way to examine and compare similar shots to select the best one and tag, caption, and file it. PhotoTune Software ( has taken an interest in this project and if anything happens, I'll let you know. However, that doesn't mean there aren't a few pretty good shooter's programs available right now.

Photo Mechanic: Photo Mechanic ( is the closest cross-platform program yet to my ImageSifter concept. In addition to the automatic generation of thumbnails and previews in the background, Photo Mechanic 4 supports multiple processors and keeps and provides accurate viewing of photos--even for supported camera models that mark photos with the incorrect color space. Camera Bits offers both phone and e-mail support at no additional cost. Photo Mechanic has an expected retail price of $149.99, and a 30-day trial version will be pre-loaded on Lexar Media's Professional Series CompactFlash cards ( The $49.99 Photo Mechanic LE is color managed and offers commands to put selected photos to work, such as contact sheet printing, web gallery (HTML) exporting, and e-mailing photos as attachments, but does not have Photo Mechanic's full complement of IPTC captioning fields.

Photo Mechanic automatically generates thumbnails and previews in the background and, for supported camera models, will mark photos with incorrect color space. A 30-day trial version is pre-loaded on Lexar's Professional CompactFlash cards.

DigitalPro3: DigitalPro 3 ( for Windows is a product of two of the best nature photographers and nicest people in this business. David Cardinal and Moose Peterson have created what might be the first-ever shooter's software that combines image browsing and color-managed workflow with
real-time cataloging to speed the process of loading, reviewing, cataloging, and publishing your photos. It has raw file support for Nikon and Canon raw files, including Raw+JPEG mode and JPEG 2000.

Unlike programs designed by computer geeks, DigitalPro maintains shooting statistics (capture, review, delete) so you can see how you're doing. If you have Photoshop CS installed, DigitalPro offers integrated batch raw file processing using Photoshop's engine. There's a multi-threaded Light Table for quick review of your images and a Digital Loupe to let you check image sharpness. An Image Navigator provides for instant browsing to any image on the Light Table and a customizable "tear-off" user interface, with dual monitor support.

Many, if not all, of the programs offer limited-use demos of their products. Download them and take them for a test drive on your own computer and make up your own mind. There are so many image albums and catalogers available that if I missed yours, it was unintentional. Drop me an e-mail ( and I'll look into it for an update in next year's Digital Guide.

David Cardinal and Moose Peterson created DigitalPro 3 for Windows and what might be the first-ever shooter's software that combines image browsing, color-managed workflow, and real-time photo cataloging.

Why I Don't Like Downloadable Software
There are many good programs and plug-ins that can be downloaded and used immediately, but when it comes to Windows-only imaging programs it's like "fingernails on a blackboard" to me. After five unsuccessful attempts to install one program, the president of the company sent me an e-mail shown below in edited form. It contains all of the reasons I don't like using downloadable software as well as why I prefer using an Apple Macintosh.

Could you check to see if you have this file (C:\Windows\System32\msdhmd.dll) on your PC? Note that you will need to modify your Explorer settings to show hidden and system files.

I followed the instructions, but didn't find the file.

Another solution that has worked is to update your Visual Basic Run Time components to Service Pack 6.0. Our program does not use Visual Basic, but it seems components of the worm do.

1. Visit Microsoft's website.
2. Click Download, save file to Desktop, close all programs.
3. Double-click downloaded file, to extract the vbrun60sp6.
4. Double-click to install update.
5. Restart computer.

The assumption here (turns out it's not true) is that I have a worm and am using Microsoft's Internet Explorer, but because of spending so much time running Ad-Aware ( and Symantec's Norton AntiVirus ( to remove worms, viruses, and spyware, I switched to Opera (, a faster, more elegant browser.

The most involved solution I've come across is at: Another possible fix is at: when used with the associated download (

At this point having done all this I still couldn't get the program installed. The final suggestion was...
Do you have access to another computer that you could try to install it on? I would overnight a CD to you if I believed it would fix the problem, but it seems unlikely that it would.

Yes, I have another computer. It is a Power Macintosh G4 and if any software had this many problems installing on a Mac, the company would be out of business in no time. I have another Windows XP computer in the Tortuga Testing Laboratory (my basement) that's not connected to the Internet and is used to test flaky software and hardware. They never sent me a CD, but did do something: They fixed their software so it worked and my role as unpaid beta tester continues. Now, as the man says, "You know the rest of the story."

ACD Systems
(250) 544-6700

Adobe Systems Inc.
(800) 833-6687

Brilliant Labs, Inc.

Camera Bits, Inc.
(503) 531-8430

Cerious Software Inc.
(704) 529-0200

Extensis, Inc.
(503) 274-2020

Friedemann Schmidt

iView Multimedia Ltd.
+44 20 7223 8691

Micro Research Inc.
(630) 963-5559

Photodex Corporation
(800) 377-4686

PhotoSoft, Inc.
(732) 617-1904

Pro Shooters
(650) 851-8350