I saw that Excire Search would help find images, but it is an Lightroom Classic-based plugin. At that point I didn’t give it much thought, as I am an Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw and Photoshop user.

I put away any ideas of using this tagging and visual search software, until I was asked to take a look and review a new version. It’s called Excire Foto. You can see results from the keyword ‘fireworks’ in the header image. Very cool — I like it!

A portion of results from a search for Find Faces: Single portrait, adult, female.

Getting started

Getting started was easy. I installed the software on my main computer to give it a full workout. It stood up to the test. Performance was way better than I thought possible. I set the software to ingest the images and ‘do its thing’ before I went to bed.

Upon waking, I found Excire Foto had analyzed over 155,000 files. That’s the right word — thousands of files.

Predators was the keyword for these photos found by Excire Foto.

All images were cataloged into a searchable database. The really incredible part is that during the analysis Excire Foto recognizes image content, colors, properties and more, and assigns the corresponding keywords.

Accuracy in search

With no input from me, as far as I can tell, the keywords are approximately 95% + accurate. This includes many search terms of which I wouldn’t have thought.

‘Pets’ pulled these images. Gotta tell ya — I’m impressed!

The world is changing quickly. This being a case of one change that makes my life easier. When trying to find a specific type of image I can ask for a keyword or a similar image to another or more possibilities. In the past I used to have to remember file names, places or dates of the capture and wander through my folders. I gotta tell ya — the old grey cells ain’t what they used to be!

I didn’t realize how much time I was spending trying to locate images until I started using Excire Foto to comb through my files with keywords. Once the keyword selection is made the visual output can be displayed in many formations from a lot of tiny photos to just a few if you need to see more detail.

Is it worth it?

There was one little disappointment for me in that PSD files can’t be recognized by the software. As that is how I save my working files I thought it would be harder to search my worked files. I found that not to be the problem I thought it would. The software recognizes the RAW files. Viewing the RAW files usually gets me to the folder I need to find my working files.

Going forward I’ll be saving a small JPEG of my processed files to ensure I can find them using Excire Foto.

I only have two thumbs and both of them go up for this software. Check out this additional article by Andrew Ford on Setting up Excire Foto.

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob

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