File organization - how to find my PL3 edited images in the future

I am trying to think of a way to organize my photos, so perhaps a year from now, I can find an image that I edited with PhotoLab. Since for what feels like “forever” I have been storing and editing my images in Adobe Lightroom, my “Lightroom Folder” would be a logical place to start. I’ll describe what I think I’d like to do - and if it is acceptable, then I have one question.

My workflow is to capture images, usually with my Nikon Df, Nikon D750, or Leica M10 (or M8.2). They get “ingested” from the memory card into a folder on my hard drive with Photo Mechanic, at which time I delete “the trash”. What remains gets imported into Lightroom in an organized system ( Country > City > Year > Date-or-topic ). Until now, this is when I would edit the photos using Lightroom. My plan is to do the same thing, but with no editing. I would then close Lightroom and open PhotoLab 3 to process the photos. When finished, I would “export” the edited image into a folder, from which I would send it to email, or whatever else I need to do.

Assuming the above is reasonable, and I’m not going to create issues, if I’m trying to find the images I edited in PL3 perhaps a year or two from now, does PL3 have a tool that I can use to locate all the images I have worked on using PL3 ?

As soon as you have edited a file in PhotoLab, a .dop sidecar file will be created in the same folder. Just look for those files.

Thank you - so all I need to do is search for my *.dop files, and I’ll then find all the ones which were edited in PL3. Great.

Follow-up question. I also use Lightroom to add my “watermark”. While I’m still editing the image in PL3, at the bottom of the page is an EXPORT TO LIGHTROOM option. If I do that, will it create problems, since the original image already is stored in my Lightroom folder?

I assume I need to “export” the finished PL3 file to get it into Lightroom, so Lightroom can add the water mark as it exports the completed file to someplace on my computer?

Or, has PL3 gained the ability to add a watermark, as I have been doing in Lightroom?

Maybe my idea isn’t working out so well. I found that if I send the photo from PL3 to Nik Collection, it is returned to PL3 as a …filename…_Nik.tif …so it is saved that way in my Lightroom folder, corrected, but to allow Lightroom to “see” it, I’ll then need to import the ‘tif’ file into Lightroom.

Maybe I’m better off starting a new photo database, exclusively for PL3, and I’ll then need to import a finished image into LR in order to export it once more with the watermark…

PhotoLab doesn’t “import” photos, it simply reads the files on your disk, however you want to organise them.

I don’t believe any of your additional edits are attached to the raw file. Maybe they’re added to the intermediary file but you’ve to check that.
As I can see you’ll end up with a LR section, a raw file connected to the LR catalogue with or without a sidecar file, and a PL section with the intermediary file with its database setting and sidecar file. I think that will become a huge mess.
You know you can add keywords directly to the D750 raw file using ViewNx2?


PholoLab has a search function based on keywords and image properties iso date that kind of stuff

Can’t you use Photomechanic for the things of organising you do in LR? (P.M. is an DAM kind of program if i look at it (don’t have it.) (i assume you want to cut LR (and it’s DAM function) out your workflow in the furture and search for a new database workflow setup.)
I assume you have a raw folder system based on year/month/project and a mirror of this on the Jpeg side?
i think if your cataloguing system is based on IPTC, DPL can run them through and safe them in the exported files but there is no showing in the DPL navigator.

you want find file which where processed by DPL?
when exported it’s written in the software header in the IPTC data.

if you can search for that mark you can find dxo processed by that.

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I realise this is a bit of an old post and also I am new here. I am in a similar situation and am just trying to understand the implications of me giving up Lightroom. Google found this post for me :slight_smile: I’m planning on using PL3 and am about to start a trial of Photo Mechanic.

It occurred to me in the scenario you state, where you might have gone straight into PL3 to edit without going via Lightroom, that what you could do, is export the image to disk (not to Lightroom) and then go into Lightroom and sync the folder (could be done at a top level like 2020). It will then pick up any new images to import. You could then say label them all red (in the latest import folder) to easily find them again in Lightroom.

Photo Mechanic Plus has just been released and that may watermark - or didn’t Photo Mechanic 6 watermark?
I’d be interested to know how you’re getting on with your work flow before I take the plunge - I have to decide this week, so any tips gratefully received!

While I’m not addressing any of your workflow questions, if you decide to add PhotoLab to your toolset, I would probably hold off for a few weeks. DXO generally announces a new version of PhotoLab in late October or early November.


Ah thank you, but I purchased PL3 last year. It was my plan to move away from Lightroom then, but to my surprise they managed to take payment from my expired card. So I have dabbled with PL3 mostly for noisy images, but I’m now planning to use it as my main editor.
I have just learnt that Lightroom will still work as a catalog function and for importing even if I stop the subscription, so perhaps I don’t need Photo Mechanic after all.
It does all feel like a big change, but I really like the way the photos come out with PL3, so I’m sure it’s worth it :slight_smile:

Sorry. I got the impression you were a new user.


I feel like I am because I barely knew what I was doing until this last week or so ha ha! I have had it about a year, but have barely used it, and although I’ve been a member of this forum, I hadn’t posted or read any posts until a few days ago. I kept meaning to get to grips with it, but now I really am making the move. I don’t have Photo Mechanic which is why I was interested in this thread.

I’m always grateful for more experienced users to point me in the right direction and that would have been a really useful tip to hold off buying if I hadn’t already invested. There is still a lot for me to learn!

Edit: I’ve just realised the google reference probably misled you, but that is how I found this actual post when I was googling using Photo Mechanic with Photolab.

i try to understand your question.
which implications?
What’s your work flow now?
how many pictures per month are you load in your pc?
why do you think to have problems?

Hi Peter

I think I know what my workflow will be, but one thing I am missing is being able to date time stamp my images when I import them - only important for when using more than one camera or sharing a shoot. I was thinking Photo Mechanic would help me with that, but now think I can still use Lightroom.

Sometimes I shoot sport and so can have a large number of photos to go through. This year so far about 12k, but I would usually say about 1,000/month.

I don’t have a problem (yet!) but was interested how @mikemyers was getting on with his workflow with Photo Mechanic.

Ah understood,
i can’t help you with that, i am a mostly single camera shooter so no experience in that.

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A few years ago I moved away from Lightroom and purchased DPL and Photo Mechanic (PM) and have never looked back.

Photo Mechanic Plus had now been released with full DAM functionality. PM and PM+ both do watermarking and are hugely powerful for managing your photos. The manual is very comprehensive so give it a go. I can do everything with DPL and PM+.

My workflow is simple:

  1. Ingest and rename with PM
  2. Cull and mark best using stars with PM
  3. Use DPL to find all starred photos and develop to an output folder related to the original file location.
  4. Watermark with PM+ if required

Hope this helps.

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Thank you that is exactly the sort of info I was hoping for.

I have now realised that I don’t lose the catalog import/export/keyword features of LR when I unsubscribe, so I have toyed with sticking with LR and then editing all in PL3, but the quick browsing feature of PM sounds very desirable.

I was about to trial PM when I read about PM+ and now I’m in a quandary. The cheapest option is to stick with the unsubscribed LR.

I am not quite clear how the two programs interact - are they independent? I expect it may all come clear when I trial it. I’m off to look at it again now :slight_smile: Thanks for your input!

They do this by using sidecars.xmp
For you the best way is using Lr for the catalog and PL for editing.

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Thank you. I think you are right, but I have downloaded the Photo Mechanic trial just to see. First impressions are that the speed for culling is absolutely stunning! It is an extra expense though.

Glad I could help. If you have any questions feel free to message me direct.