If you are a lens happy snapper or just a pixel grabber with a mass of images on your hard drive, then this free photo search software is worth a look. Simply explained, Photology is an image management software which allows the user to sift through large number of photos or images without the need to set up tags or organize collections. There, you have just done away with two of the most tiresome file management tasks of our computer lives.
The utility of the software is not difficult to imagine. Finding a single photo, perhaps the one where you were wearing your favorite tuxedo, among the thousands in your collection would take up a considerable part of your day. With Photology photo search and its use of innovative filters, you can narrow down on the probables and knock off a few hands of the clock.
The program’s slogan says – No tags, No folders. It just knows. That’s a sweet sound for someone who has a huge collection of photos, but is thoroughly disorganized about it.
Find the Photo…
The software canvasses photos by using its special content filters. It mimics our own behavior in the way we tend to remember a snapshot. Not by filenames but by the other vague details. We can search through thousands of photos within seconds using the following seven filters ““
- Time of day: Was it morning, afternoon, evening or night?
- Date: Nail it by the month and year.
- Features: Was it black/white, under-exposed, over-exposed, in focus, out of focus or in monotones?
- Location: Was it an outdoor shot or an indoor one?
- Content: Was it about people, plants, the ocean or the sky?
- Text: Perhaps a hint of a filename/folder name or tag to search it by?
- Color: Narrow down the choices by searching for a particular color using the color wheel.
The seven filters can be used alone or combined to get to the photo we want. The filters get stacked up on selection on the right hand side bar and can also be cleared if the results are not to the mark.
The Rest of the Software”¦
Photology has a smooth and clean user interface. Understanding the software is a no-brainer because the icons are easily evident and intuitive. Once installed, Photology lets us select the folders to monitor for photos. Once done with the selection, Photology takes a brief while to scan through the photos. A status window lets us know the progress as the software runs through our collection.
The interface has three areas. The left side is for the search filters. The large central area is taken up by a 5×4 array of thumbnails and the right side column by the current search filters. Hovering our mouse over the thumbnail gives us four more options to use for an image – show in order (view with others taken around the same time), rotate (orient an image), add to group (select and add to a group for sorting) and delete.
Click on a thumbnail and one can view the maximized picture with some added options. View the default file name and the date of creation. We can enter a caption for the photo to better describe it. The added options include:
Group ““ These are collections of similarly themed pictures we can create for ourselves. Put a single photo in as many groups as you want without making multiple copies.
Share ““ Easily share photos via an email link, Flickr, Picasa or SmugMug. We can also collect selected photos into a desktop folder for sharing through the “˜file’ share option.
Print ““ Print your photos directly from Photology.
Wallpaper ““ Use any photo as desktop wallpaper.
Adjust ““ Four basic operations like color, red eye, rotate and crop are given.
Delete – Don’t like the photo? Send it to the recycle bin.
The Final Results
After taking the software through a bunch of wallpapers mixed with another bunch of personal photos, the results weren’t picture perfect though not disappointing too. The more technically logical filters like “˜Features’, “˜Color’, “˜Date’ and “˜Text’ returned fairly accurate results with a few errors. Their abstract counterparts like “˜Location’ and “˜Content’ returned a wider variety of inaccurate results. Though, I was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of the “˜Faces’ component in the “˜Content’ filter. The “˜Time of Day’ filter gave me the most heartburn.
So why would I recommend this software?
It would be a fallacy to expect the moon from the abstract filters though it had its good share of hits (with the misses of course!). The combination of filters does give me another way to wade through my haphazard mass of untagged photos. Though, I wish they would add some multiple image handling capabilities especially related to naming and tagging so I can compensate for some of my previous laziness.
For its smooth, slick and simple interface, its potential and its zero price, Photology is worth its 12MB download.
Photology is compatible with Windows XP and Vista. Essential requirement: Microsoft .Net 3.0 Framework.