Image Reporter

One of the things I miss about Thumbs Plus when using Lightroom is the fact that Thumbs Plus uses a Microsoft Access database. In a previous life I did a lot of Access programming and I was able to attach the Thumbs Plus database to the Access 2003 client. the schema was self-explanatory and I wrote lots of reports on my photos.

Thumbs Plus has the concept of “user fields” where I could add as many typed fields as I liked to describe each image. I collect information on land, air and sea vehicles and I used user fields to store information like make, model, owner, fleet number and so on. I think a simpler method of defining user fields is a high priority enhancement for Lightroom.

I’ll talk more in another post about why user fields are much more useful than keywords or collections for categorizing my photos.

Anyway, the database geek in me was interested in this tool – Image Reporter. It comes from the same company that produced Image Ingester and Image Verifier.

Analyzes metadata in a Lightroom catalog and reports on cropping, camera makes and models, lenses, average focal length, ISO, and more. Filters by image type, rating, and capture time. Described in an article by Marc Rochkind at The Online Photographer.

I like free, so I downloaded it and tried it. Here’s a screen shot of my first report:

Image Reporter

Sorry to say its output is not very interesting to me. Cameras and lenses are not as interesting as statistics I can store and analyse on where my pictures were taken and what they are of.

Note it is a stand-alone program, not a Lightroom add-in.

I’d like to be able to write my own reporting program for Lightroom. My ideal would be to get a ODBC driver so I can attach its tables to Microsoft Access. Then I could write SQL queries against the database and use VBA to write tools.

Mark Rochkind in the article quoted about talks about how Lightroom’s catalog is based on a SQLite open source database and he references a tool that can examine it. I will investigate this. Maybe a solution to my reporting problem is closer than I thought.

I should also re-read the article and take note of how he uses its reports. Maybe I have more to learn than I thought in my summary dismissal above.

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