Photomechanic to Photolab workflow problems - any advice?

Hi all. I’m having problems using Photomechanic to cull images and then send the chosen images across to Photolab2 for editing and would really appreciate hearing from others that use this workflow please.

If I give images a star rating in Photomechanic, then choose ‘edit selected images in Photolab2’, when Photolab subsequently opens:

All images are sent across to Photolab (not just the starred ones)
The star ratings do not appear (I have set preferences to 5 stars in Photomechanic)

Alternatively, if I save the images starred in Photomechanic to a new folder on my hard drive, then open Photolab and choose this new folder, the following happens:

Star ratings can be seen
The ‘lens sharpness’ autocorrect option, and PRIME noise reduction are greyed out.

Does anyone have suggestions, has encountered this themselves, have recommended settings that work for them in the Photomechanic/Photolab preferences please?

Thanks in advance…


Does Photomecahnic create .XMP files for the starred images? These should be picked up by PL.

Sounds like in this case Photomechanic saved the files in another format like JPEG or TIFF and did not just move them.

The same scenarios work fine in FastRawViewer, so generally I would expect PhotoMechanic to be able to do the same.

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Hi and thanks for your reply.

I believe that Photomechanic does create .XMP files for the starred images.

When using Photomechanic to save starred files to a separate new folder on the hard drive, it has saved the files in the .TIF format.

I’ve emailed Photomechanic tech support with the info in your reply as this could help them to pinpoint the issue.

Thanks again - I post an update when more info becomes available in case it helps others.

I believe I’ve found a temporary workaround by selecting the chosen images in Photomechanic, selecting Cmd-Y (Mac) and copying using this method to a new folder on the hard drive. This is different than previously where I was right-clicking on the images and selecting ‘save selected photos as’ .

If I then open that folder in Photolab is transfers the information across.

However, using this workaround has two drawbacks:

  1. It uses up more disk space
  2. It’s slower than just exporting from Photomechanic to Photolab

What happens of you just open your images in Photolab, star those you wish to edit and bypass PhotoMechanic all together? Or is there something so extraordinary with PhotoMechanic?


If I open the images in Photolab and bypass Photomechanic, it all works OK.

Photomechanic is extremely fast for culling and rating images, ready to export to an external editor (It’s not designed to be an editing programme. With three events shot over the last week or so, that gives me thousands of images to cull/rate and so can save me hours of time over something such as Lightroom (which I used to use).

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DxO PhotoLab is a slow horrible, worse than torture solution for quickly switching between images: unsuitable in any way as a culling or evaluation tool. Andy is doing it right: striving to bring either (small shoots) an already rated folder into PhotoLab and filtering or (large shoots) putting selects into a new selects folder and pointing PhotoLab at the selects folder.

Andy, what sometimes works to make PhotoLab behave better with a folder with XMP in it is to either 1. rename it or 2. delete the database. If PhotoLab considers the images in a folder already within its database it can ignore the external XMP

Hence why there shouldn’t really be an images database at all in PhotoLab. XMP and DOP sidecars are cross-compatible with other applications, portable between drives and computers and more reliable.

Good advice by uncoy. I recommend not to start PhotoLab before culling with Photomechanic is complete. Once PL has “seen” the images it won’t pick up the .XMP ratings anymore because of its own database, just as uncoy explained.

This works well for me (using FastRawViewer) and I rarely have to delete or rename anything.

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Andyjk, I’m running Photo Mechanic Plus Beta, but the behavior for the functions you use seem to be the same as Photo Mechanic 6 on my imac.

The star ratings applied in PM+ always appear in PhotoLab when sent to that application.

The grayed-out “lens sharpness” autocorrection and PRIME noise reduction in PL when you save images to a new folder suggests to me PL is seeing your license as “essential” rather than “elite.” I have no idea what would cause that.

Because PL is slow, I have tended to use it for images needing critical lens correction and other special purposes only. However, since it’s now possible to call the Nik plugins from within PL, I find myself using it more often.

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Thanks Uncoy and Calle… I’ve noticed the benefit of making sure that Photolab isn’t already open when loading images into it. A definite issue. Thanks for the advice both.

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Hi Bob,

Thanks for taking the time to give your input. Interesting that the star ratings applied in Photomechanic appear in Photolab when sent to that application, whereas it doesn’t in my case.

I wonder if I could trouble you for your IPTC/XMP preference settings from Photolab as I suspect that’s where the issue lies. I feel like I’ve tried all combinations, but also that there’s a simple fix (if only I could find it!).

Many thanks

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