Photo Supreme V3

I’m an amateur photographer. I’m not a good photographer, but occasionally, more by luck than judgement, I take a photo that looks pretty good to me. Almost as important to me as the image is the information describing the photo; when it was taken, where, the subject – that sort of thing. In technical terms, this is the photo’s metadata.

I’ve been trying to capture, and manage, this sort of information since  2005, and have tried a lot of software applications in the process. In 2007, I settled on IDimager as the most suitable tool for what I was looking for. It was what I used for tagging my photos.

Two years ago, IDimager was suddenly withdrawn from the market by the company, and replaced by Photo Supreme. After my initial shock, I switched to Photo Supreme, and after an uncertain start, I found that it was, in large part, covering my requirements for a Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool.

This week, version 3 of Photo Supreme is announced. It has over 150 additions and improvements over version 2.

I was fortunate enough to be one of the beta testers for version 3. It is definitely a big step forward from version 2 (which in itself was a very good tool), so version 3 has become my DAM tool of choice going forward. I’m also a Lightroom 5 Standalone user, but the only reason I have that is for its image processing capabilities. The metadata handling of Photo Supreme strikes me as being head and shoulders above what Lightroom currently has to offer.

It supports a wide range of photo metadata standards out of the box: Exif, IPTC Core, Extension and Plus. I can now automatically synchronize entries for the IPTC Extension fields for “Person In Image”, “Places”, and “Event” IPTC fields – something that I had to do manually in V2. It also now supports the Image Region metadata standard defined by the Metadata Working Group – the same standard used by Google’s Picasa for People Tags. That means that as well as being able to list the people appearing in a photo, I can now show their names on the photo itself.

If you’re looking for a good tool to manage your photo metadata, take a look at Photo Supreme.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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19 Responses to Photo Supreme V3

  1. davidbroster says:

    Hi Geoff, Do have any comments on PhotoSupremeV3 and AdobePhotoShopElementsV12 which at a glance, comparable.


    • Geoff Coupe says:

      David, the last version of Photoshop Elements that I looked at was version 9. I was not impressed. Perhaps things have improved substantially, but I doubt it. And even if the metadata handling of PE 12 now matches that of Lightroom (which I doubt – PE is seen by Adobe as the consumer product, whereas LR is for professionals), then it would still lag what Photo Supreme can do.

  2. coffeemike says:

    Wait, I can’t just put them on Facebook or in iPhoto and let it automatically tag my friends? 😉

  3. davidbroster says:

    Thanks Geoff, I’ve just your article on Elements v9. I’ve never heard of hierarchical metadata prior to reading that. I’ll have to at what I’m missing. Might download the trial of SupremeV3 and see what happens with my library of pictures. Actually my next project was to digitise some 3,000 colour slides taken in the 70’s and 80’s but I haven’t found a cheap enough, good enough scanner so far so I might have to go to an external service provider. I do however have a question. Do you keep a common library with your partner ? I try to so we both have access to the pictures we’ve both taken. This is really tough with Elements as it locks the library and its slow getting the pictures from my HomeServer. I see that PhotoSupreme has a server edition (quite expensive though) and wonder which version you are using, etc etc. David

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Well, we do have a common library (held on our WHS 2011 system) which is then accessed by all the clients on our home network. That’s our PCs and tablets, and also potentially smart TVs, if we ever get one.

      However, I’m the one in the family who does the metadata work, and I do that on my main desktop PC, with the files imported from our cameras via Photo Supreme. Once the photos have been worked on, then the results are synced across to the photo collection held on the WHS. That means that I don’t need a multi-user version of Photo Supreme. I suppose I could work with Photo Supreme running against the collection on the WHS directly, but I prefer this two-stage approach.

      • davidbroster says:

        Hi (again), thanks for that. So only one of you takes the pictures from the camera’s adds the metadata you want. I’m interested in two aspects. How you store the photo’s (organisation) and your means of browsing (gallery style) and what client you use for that. Your system sounds perfect for me and my wife. I’d just like a few more details ….. in between Dr.Who commitments etc etc. David

        • Geoff Coupe says:

          OK. Photos end up in a hierarchical folder structure that is organised by date, and every photo is renamed with the date/timestamp of when it was taken. This is all done automatically at the import stage by Photo Supreme. This post gives the gory details (in the answer to question 1):

          It refers to using IDimager, but now I’m using Photo Supreme in the same way.

          At the time I wrote this post, I was storing hierarchical keywords using “/” as the delimiter. Windows Live Photo Gallery also uses this convention, so it would track metadata changes and the hierarchy automatically. WLPG is an easy to use browser for the family to use.

          I’ve now moved to adopting the Lightroom method of defining and storing hierarchical information in photo metadata. Photo Supreme understands this, but WLPG does not. This means that although WLPG will automatically track all the keywords and any changes, it no longer holds them in a multi-level hierarchy, but simply as a flat list of keywords.

  4. Greg says:

    I’m working to organize our digital photos and came across your blog. I’ve read a lot, but have some questions and would like to e-mail you directly, if possible. Thanks for considering this. Sincerely, Greg

  5. Bob McSwain says:

    Geoff, thank you for the review and info.

    I was seriously into DAM and was using iView and then MS’s follow-on products. I was running a photog business (mostly weddings.) About 4 years ago I retired and stopped shooting. Now I am shooting again.

    I tried installing MS’s software on Win7. It would not install.

    So I am in the hunt for new DAM/cataloging software. I don’t care if it has edit capabilities…BUT it
    must catalog. I also want it to write the tags and grade/quality (0-5) into EXIF/IPTC.

    Does Photo Supreme V3 do this, especially writing into EXIF/IPCT.


    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Bob, Photo Supreme V3 is superb at cataloguing and managing photos. It’s really the best I’ve found, and I’ve tried a lot of them over the years. It has image editing capabilities, but these are not its prime focus. I use the tools in Lightroom if I want to have advanced image editing. The cataloguing and management tools of Photo Supreme V3 are (IMHO) light years ahead of Lightroom. PS3 supports Exif and all the IPTC standards: IIM for backwards capability, Core, Extension and Plus. It also supports the Image Region standard of the Metadata Working Group, which is used for tagging faces in an image (this standard is also used by Google’s Picasa). Hope this helps. Take a look at the trial version of PS3; I think you’ll find it is probably what you’re looking for.

      Oh, and I forgot to mention, the User forum is very good, with lots of community support, and Hert, one of the developers, is also very active and responsive in it. He also runs a separate bug-tracking forum, where both bugs and suggestions for new features are handled.

  6. Bob McSwain says:

    Geoff, Thanks for the quick reply.

    My main question I need to be assured about is:
    >>I also want it to write the tags and grade/quality (0-5) into EXIF/IPTC.
    I am quite sure (as most do) it will read them and adhere to the format standard. But I want my time cataloging to saved in the EXIF/IPTC: not in a unique catalog, or a side car or any place except for the EXIF/IPTC. It can save stuff in a unique catalog also.

    My reasoning: I bought into LightRoom cataloging.But I really wasn’t satisfied. Then I bought iView and discovered that the LightRoom catalog wasn’t compatible for import. So I had to re-catalog a small collection when I began using iView, I was very satisfied until it was rebranded as MSMedia Expression. . Then MS ME was “endof-lifed.” All of the time spent cataloging 20,000+ pictures were gone.

    If either (especially MS ME) had saved the evaluation INSIDE THE PHOTOGRAPH, I would not face the challenge I now face. Just point to the import of pictures and BAZINGA… new catalog.

    So this time I am being very analytical about which product I select.

    Thank for your time and patience with me. I AM going to get this one right.


    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Bob, ah, OK, I see what you’re driving at. Rest assured that PS3 will save metadata in the image file itself if you require this. One of the reasons why I first looked at IDimager (the precursor to PS) was that it respected all photo metadata, both for reading and writing. PS3 is the same. You won’t be painting yourself into a corner.

  7. dgood133 says:

    Hi Geoff just a quick question for ya, I am an illustrator / designer. I have a huge library of photos I take for project ref.Dont even know exact count probably 20,000 or so, I am going to look at PS3 as possible way to organize this but I am wondering if yo have any advice for someone who doesn’t need meta data etc just a visual file system that makes sense? I currently just use adobe bridge and iPhoto…

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Hallo D. That’s a bit of a “how long is a piece of string” type question you’ve got there. What is “a visual file system that makes sense”? The answer is probably “the one that makes sense to you” – which means that the answer is very personal, I suspect.

      The way I do it is, when I return from a photo shoot, to ingest all the photos from my camera(s) into PS3.

      During the ingestion process, PS3 automatically renames all the photos from the camera’s IMGnnnn format to my preferred date/timestamp format of yyyymmdd-hhmmss-nn, and also places the photos into a folder structure that is ordered by date to three levels: year, month and day. If a particular folder does not already exist, PS3 will create it on the fly. At the same time, the first pass of assigning copyright metadata to every image is done by PS3. This is to add the Contact Info, Copyright Notice, Usage Rights, and Title fields to the images. I know that you say that you don’t need metadata, but surely you are at least assigning copyright metadata to your images, even if it is only Creative Commons?

      So my particular visual file system is organised by the date when the photo was taken (or the image was created). Other people might organise their file system by subject (e.g. People, Places, Objects, Activities, Styles), but that’s what I use metadata for.

      • dgood133 says:

        Hi Geoff thanks for responding and so quickly… You are correct my question was a bit vague. In some ways I am a bit of a caveman when it comes to technology…I have been searching in my off time for quite awhile now how to improve my photo and reference library.

        Your review of PS3 has helped quite a bit already. I found a little app called iPhoto library
        manager which after a full day has helped with the first part at least, getting rid of duplicate files etc. Down from 70,000 to 40,000 now I will install PS3 and see where it goes 🙂

        Thanks man

  8. Pingback: RIP – IDimager | Geoff Coupe's Blog

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