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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

USATSI and Photo Mechanic
Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 4:43 PM on 06.29.13
->> Are you a USA Today Sports Images photographer who was NOT using Photo Mechanic before now? If so, since you are now required to use it, is USATSI reimbursing you for the cost of the software?

--Mark
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 6:29 PM on 07.03.13
->> Has anybody asked USATSI about reimbursement?

--Mark
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Sam Morris, Photographer
Henderson (Las Vegas) | NV | USA | Posted: 6:24 AM on 07.04.13
->> Ha!
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Bangkok | Bangkok | Thailand | Posted: 11:08 AM on 07.04.13
->> Silly question. Why would they mandate Photo Mechanic? I can see why photographers would want to use it but don't know it would be mandated. Thanks
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Michael Chang, Photographer
Mobile | AL | USA | Posted: 1:02 PM on 07.04.13
->> I'm guessing that it's because they want consistency with all the stringers. If everyone's work flow is the same then it's easier to train.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 3:21 PM on 07.04.13
->> Jack, They sent out an email to their contributors doing exactly that.

--Mark
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Mark Perlstein, Photographer, Photo Editor
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 9:17 PM on 07.04.13
->> It makes perfect sense that if a newspaper staff uses PM, that they require all their freelance contributors to use it too.
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Bangkok | Bangkok | Thailand | Posted: 11:10 PM on 07.04.13
->> When I was working for a newspaper PM was installed on our company MacBook Pros. Some used it, some didn't. But it's use wasn't mandated and the company paid for it. If USATSI (is that pronounced u-sat-si?) is mandating it, they should be paying for it.
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | US | Posted: 9:57 AM on 07.05.13
->> I think USATSI is "USAToday Sports Images"
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Bangkok | Bangkok | Thailand | Posted: 10:42 AM on 07.05.13
->> I know, just trying to figure out how to pronounce the acronym. Some jokes don't travel well. Sorry.
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Pat Lovell, Photographer
Bloomington | IN | US | Posted: 11:19 AM on 07.05.13
->> Seriously, what sports photographer, in 2013, is not already using PhotoMechanic??
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Jerry Miron, Photographer, Photo Editor
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 2:47 PM on 07.05.13
->> Pat Lovell beat me to it. I would have to think long and hard to come up with the name of one of my peers who has not been using Photo Mechanic for quite some time now.

But on a related topic, I am still waiting for Nikon to reimburse me for the purchase of all these XQD cards, since they are now "mandating" that I use them with the D4.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 3:38 PM on 07.05.13
->> FYI, not all pro photographers use Photo Mechanic. I know some who use Lightroom and some Bridge for their mass captioning for different reasons.

Also, Photo Mechanic is not compatible with all systems. For example, one must use FileZilla or another like program to FTP images to USA Today because PM's transfer ability is not compatible with the paper's server. I found that out last week when doing an assignment for USAT.

Yes, PM is a great product and I've used it for years as my default. But when there's an option of using another program at less cost -- sometimes free -- then which one to use is dependent upon the "photographer's" needs and his/her financial factors.
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Pat Lovell, Photographer
Bloomington | IN | US | Posted: 3:42 PM on 07.05.13
->> Doug, I use PM and it works with USAT for me, I've never had any issues with transferring images to their servers with PM. The only issue I've ever had was PM not resizing images to the size I select in the FTP window.
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Robert Deutsch, Photographer
NY | NY | USA | Posted: 5:18 PM on 07.05.13
->> Uh, Doug...
Photo Mechanic's built in FTP works just fine with USA Today's servers... I would know if it didn't since I have used PM to send my photos for a very long time:)
Same for USATSI servers (they are different)...
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 6:19 PM on 07.05.13
->> Pat and Robert...

Then something glitched last week because David Cooper couldn't get his PM to work either and was told by IT to use FileZilla which did work.
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Pat Lovell, Photographer
Bloomington | IN | US | Posted: 6:39 PM on 07.05.13
->> Doug,

I think it is easier to have someone use Filezilla (especially when on deadline) instead of figuring out what the issue is with PM.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 2:15 PM on 07.06.13
->> I guess this is a stupid question -- you know me: I'm full of 'em -- but are there other programs out there that do the same thing as PhotoMechanic, as far as IPTC stuff, editing, etc.?

Granted I'm at the employ of a newspaper that pays for the program; same goes for the last two papers I worked at. It's the only program of its type I've used, so I just kind of assumed it was, like, the only thing that did the job it does ... if that makes sense.

Just curious. And I know the folks at Camera Bits don't need any defenders in all this, but relative to what PhotoMechanic can do, I think it's an *incredibly* cost effective application. Seriously -- of all the investments one has to make as a photographer -- camera gear, computer programs, maybe insurance, etc. -- it's gotta be on the lower end of the cost spectrum, and when you factor in what it can do ... well, I know I'm a fanboy.

Cheers,

- gerry -
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Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 5:16 PM on 07.06.13
->> How is this any different from a construction company requiring that their sub-contractors have some certain tools/equipment/etc. to carry out their jobs?
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 5:35 PM on 07.06.13
->> Gerry...

Lightroom and Bridge both have IPTC and mass captioning capabilities. And there are others out there too like Aperture. However, while all have their strengths and weaknesses, PM is the best at what it is meant to do -- editing images, adding metadata, uploading images, etc. -- when it comes to workflow management. While it can do cropping, it cannot do tonal correction, dodging, burning, etc.; for that it allows you to do that type work through outside editors like Photoshop that can be launched from within PM.

To the contrary, Lightroom does tonal correction, dodging, burning, etc., which is that program's strength with metadata and transferring secondary in the way its workflow is set up. Whereas you can edit/add caption/metadata on the fly and transmit with PM, you have to export your images within Lightroom first before sending -- an extra step that can slow you down.

To the contrary to Lightroom, Photoshop does far superior work because it has more controls and abilities; but it doesn't have mass captioning/metadata and FTP abilities.

So basically there are two choices -- use the best of both worlds (PM and Photoshop) or a middle-ground compromise like Lightroom, Aperture, etc. Personally, I prefer the PM/Photoshop combo as switching between the two is just a mouse click.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 6:04 PM on 07.06.13
->> I have to agree with Mr. McCarthy.

In terms of bang-for-the-buck in photo software it's hard to beat Photo Mechanic. Not only does it do many things well, it does them quickly. Add to that the great responsiveness from maker Camera Bits and it's pretty much a no-brainer.

The only thing that comes close (IMO) as a great software value is Graphic Converter, $40 for a very neat "Photoshop Lite" that does a lot of nice batch conversions and modifications of image files.
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Bangkok | Bangkok | Thailand | Posted: 7:29 PM on 07.06.13
->> PM is faster than Lightroom, but LR can do it all, including ftp. There is a free ftp plug in for LR. Install the plug in, enter your ftp settings and you can export and xmit straight from LR. I use it all time.

I completely understand why a photographer would want to use Photo Mechanic but I still don't know why USATSI would mandate it.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 8:36 PM on 07.06.13
->> Love PM

However i think everyone is missing the point of the business question.

Being required to use a software when others will work is a question of financial compensation.

Turn the question around and ask if they required you to use PS CS6 and you used Lightroom did they compensate you to do so?

Funny how seldom we are talking the nuts and bolts of paying bills.

So is anyone being compensated? I think that was the question.
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Michael Prengler, Photographer
Dallas / Ft. Worth | TX | USA | Posted: 11:45 AM on 07.07.13
->> USATI may be crossing a legal boundary by requiring their contractors use certain tools to complete a job.

"Generally, if you control only the outcome of the work, by accepting or rejecting the finished product, then the person is an independent contractor. However, if you control not only the finished product, but the means and methods by which it is produced, then the person is an employee."
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 12:36 PM on 07.07.13
->> I didn't miss the point; I get what the "bigger picture" is here.

So then here's the question ... to those of you who string for Presswire (woops, make that USATSI) -- and I know there are a number of you -- who also DO NOT currently own Photo Mechanic ... what's the solution here, guys? My sense here is you have two choices: you pony up and buy the program, or you don't, and I guess you find a new client.

That about right? Seems simple enough to me. Granted, not great choices, but then again, those are the breaks. No one is forcing you to shoot for Presswire (woops, there I go again ... silly me ... make that USATSI), so ultimately the ball is kind of in your court, right?

- g -
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 4:31 PM on 07.07.13
->> So which part of my post was rude and/or offensive, the cheap shots at USA Today Sports Images, which a portion of was actually called US Presswire; or, was it the part about how if a client asks for something that you feel is unreasonable, and there's probably no room for bargaining (which I'm taking a guess is the reality here) then your choices are to do what they ask or agree to part ways ... ?

Seriously, I would like to know. How else am I supposed to learn unless a kind person takes the time to set me straight?

- gerry -
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Michael Prengler, Photographer
Dallas / Ft. Worth | TX | USA | Posted: 4:42 PM on 07.07.13
->> I'm just guessing but this is what I would think would be sent out regarding the Photo Mechanic standard.

THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE – NOT AN ACTUAL MEMO

Attn: USATSI Freelance Photographers

We are streamlining our workflow process and would like our freelancers to collectively incorporate Camera Bits Photo Mechanic into your workflow process.

Synchronizing our external and internal processes will allow our editors to more efficiently control our finished product. Your constant support in helping us grow our customer satisfaction rate is imperative to the continued growth and success our organization is experiencing.

You are not required to purchase Photo Mechanic; however, freelancers utilizing Photo Mechanic will be given priority with regard to assignments over those who have chosen not to.

Kindly,

Your USATSI Team
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Michael Prengler, Photographer
Dallas / Ft. Worth | TX | USA | Posted: 4:44 PM on 07.07.13
->> Gerry - You need to tap Liddy with your questions. He seems to be the inappropriate magnet when it comes to USPW/USATSI statements. :)
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 9:45 PM on 07.07.13
->> Michael, The real memo is quite clear:

"Effective immediately, we will be requiring ALL photographers to use ONLY the provided XMP files. These XMP files are only compatible with PhotoMechanic, so now PhotoMechanic is required in order to be able to caption/transmit images for us."

--Mark
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 10:04 PM on 07.07.13
->> Okay someone needs to save GM...so as I understand it....if you're going to work for USAPRESSWIREFREESTUFFFORARIDICULOUSRATE that requires you to buy a software program without reimbursement and EAT THE COST.... This is a GREAT deal right? I mean you get into these games for FREE!!!!! You provide a multi million dollar corporation with photos for a bargain price...which actually COST you money...but you get free food!!!! And you get to brag to all your buddies "I was at THAT game" or excuse me...your girlfriends or whatever....I might be confused but I fail to see the problem here. I mean you might actually score a jockstrap while hanging out in the locker room ....I fail to see the problem....I LOVE supporting multi million dollar corporations on my back.....after all....it HAS become the American way. Cult of Personality and all.....
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Al Diaz, Photographer
Miami | Fl | USA | Posted: 11:46 PM on 07.07.13
->> Curious, if you string for the Associated Press don't you need to use Photo Mechanic as well? Camera Bits has implemented special features within Photo Mechanic for the AP, including custom XMP fields and an AP-defined controlled vocabulary (taxonomy). When you enable these features you connect to the internet to communicate with AP's servers.

Is this just for staffers? If required as a stringer does AP reimburse you or can you use Lightroom, Aperture etc.? Come to think of it what about Reuters or AFP do they require stringers to use special software?
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington - Normal | IL | United States | Posted: 11:23 AM on 07.08.13
->> Which camera body and lens do they require you to use? They don't? Then why do they have a say in which editing software you use?

I'm a PM user and a big fan.
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Kent Nishimura, Student/Intern, Photographer
Honolulu | HI | USA | Posted: 4:10 PM on 07.08.13
->> @Al Diaz, when i started stringing for AP, i was sent instructions to use with PM's special AP features...IF i had PM. If not it was okay. As long as my photos were properly captioned and transmitted in a timely and professional manner, and the desk didn't have any issues with it, then it was fine. I just used Photo mechanic because that what I have been using since i started at the student paper, and subsequently freelancing.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 1:23 AM on 07.23.13
->> I forgot to pass this on: Camera Bits (the Photo Mechanic folks) has offered to license PM to USATSI contributors for a reduced rate. Contact Katie Werremeyer at katie@camerabits.com for details.

--Mark
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Thread Title: USATSI and Photo Mechanic
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