Excire is software that identifies subjects and major characteristics in your photo library. There’s two applications compliment your existing workflow — Excire Search is a Lightroom Classic plugin, while Excire Foto stands alone.
I spent a few days exploring both and found each to have clear use cases.
Let’s imagine the scenario in which you have a folder with hundreds of unsorted and untagged pictures. A naming scheme like IMG_01234.jpg isn’t especially helpful on its own. What if you could turn a tool loose on that folder to create search terms like dog, animal, person, mountain, lake, etc.? Imagine the next possibilities: Person, two people, eyes open, wearing glasses …
Getting started with Excire Search
Select a folder/filmstrip in Lightroom Classic to start indexing. Select Initialize Photos from Library > Plug-in Extras > Excire Search.
Excire Search starts poring over your photos to help identify what’s there. I started with a filmstrip of pictures from a recent backpacking trip. This has around 300 pictures of landscapes, wildlife and candid photos of my hiking group. This took a couple of minutes to initialize — your mileage will vary depending on size of the photos and the media on which they’re stored.
Excire Search results
Results were stored in a new database separate from my Lightroom Classic catalog. By selecting a photo in the filmstrip I could let Excire Search find similar images. I chose a picture of the Tuolumne River lined with granite and trees. Excire Search displayed a group of photos ordered by relevance.
Search for people
One of the coolest features is the ability to search for people. Not only does it find people in the most general sense, but it’s pretty good at finding characteristics like male, female, young, adult, etc.
I thought I knew everything in this filmstrip but Excire Search also found some from a portrait session with Danielle weeks earlier (note to self: Clean up that library).
Excire Foto is a standalone application with the same features as the Lightroom Classic plugin. Search results are stored in another local database.
This application more readily displays the keywords that it assigned to the photos. More metadata is displayed including the histogram and other technical details.
What I love is the keywords associated with this admittedly poor self portrait: Adult, beard, bright, one face, person and nature. Now I can search my whole initialized library for photos of an adult with a beard. The first thing I thought of is how great this would be for somebody trying to manage a massive library of stock images.
“Find this one dude”
Time to give Excire Foto a real exercise — finding snapshots of one specific individual. There was a gentleman who shared a lot of the same features as me. Adult male, beard, sunglasses and a hat. I built up my query to find these keywords: Person, face, sunglasses and beard.
Then I narrowed it down to a male with sunglasses and a beard. Bingo!
Finding more photos of him was as simple as clicking Find similar photos.