Using Photo Ninja with Photo Mechanic

Photo Mechanic is a streamlined browser developed by CameraBits of Portland, Oregon. It has long been favored by photojournalists for its speed of browsing and its efficient approach to rating, sorting, tagging, and captioning images. (Indeed, several other browser and catalog systems have "borrowed" heavily from Photo Mechanic.)

Photo Ninja can be registered as an external editor in Photo Mechanic. In addition, you can configure Photo Ninja to automatically reopen RAW files when you send a processed JPEG or TIFF from Photo Mechanic. Here are the steps:

  1. In Photo Mechanic's Preferences dialog, go to the Launching page and register Photo Ninja as the default application for editing photos. (Alternatively, you can set it for specific file types.)
  2. In Photo Ninja's Preferences dialog, go to the File Handling page and enable "Attempt to open/re-edit matching RAW file when JPEG/TIFF received from another application".
  3. When you render a JPEG/TIFF, make sure you check "Include Photo Ninja settings" in the Render dialog and in the Quick Render configuration dialog. This will embed editor settings in the JPEG/TIFF that are "linked" to the original raw file.
  4. In Photo Mechanic, right-click on a thumbnail and choose "Edit photo" or "Edit photo with -> Photo Ninja". This should launch Photo Ninja if it isn't already running, and send the image to it. If the image is a raw file, it will be opened directly. If it is a JPEG/TIFF and you have followed steps #2 and #3 above, then Photo Ninja will attempt to locate the matching raw file, and it will apply the linked settings that were embedded in the JPEG/TIFF.
  5. Make adjustments in Photo Ninja as usual.
  6. You can either save your work to an XMP sidecar, or you can render a JPEG/TIFF. If you render to a JPEG, it will not take up much space, and Photo Mechanic will be able to generate a thumbnail for it that reflects your edits. If you save to an XMP sidecar, the Photo Mechanic thumbnail for the raw file will not be updated.

  7. If you sent a JPEG/TIFF to Photo Ninja, then you can render the new adjustments on top of it. The Quick Render button should already be populated with the file name, path, and rendering settings.

Alternatively, if you prefer, you can point the Photo Ninja browser at a folder after you have done your initial sorting and captioning with Photo Mechanic. The Photo Ninja browser should be able to display the Photo Mechanic tag, rating, and color label values so you can identify images selected for raw conversion.

NOTE: The "Re-edit original" functionality is described in more detail here.