Quick Look : PhotoBulk

Most serious photographers use an editing suite that provides a variety of tools to help manage images.  However, there is an increasing number of folks who don't really want to get into editing suites, but want so basic tools that can be applied to a stack of images.  That's where PhotoBulk comes in.

Ivan over at Eltima Software, makers of PhotoBulk, sent me a request to have a look at the product, and since he was so nice, I decided to do so.  It's clean and simple and while not for my use cases, since I already do these things in Lightroom, I can see really value for folks using basic tools, or simply wanting to quickly make basic changes to their smartphone photos.

PhotoBulk provides four services.  The first allows you to apply a visible watermark to your images.  You can choose a simple corner text mark, to place an image mark that you already have, to use the script mode which covers the image with lots of watermarks, or to place a datestamp on the image based on the create date.  None of these are particularly sophisticated but all could be useful, although I suspect Script is most useful if you want to be sure that no one ever looks at your image.  Still if you have hundreds of images that you just want to quickly get a watermark on, this works a charm.  Simply drag and drop the images on the PhotoBulk app or use the dialog selector to pick them, choose your watermark, it's position and font where appropriate and hit start.  It creates a folder of the adjusted images, so the originals don't get altered.

Resize changes the image overall size, adjustable based on width, height, percentage scale, max size and free size, which is like a free transformation.  There's not a lot of clarity on how this is done, although my guess is that the application uses one of the open source resizing algorithms.  The use is simple and easy and will not confuse users.

Next up is Optimize, which can tune up JPG or PNG or both file formats.  There is a sliding scale for the quality of the optimization.  In looking deeper, this is a compression tool.  It won't fix overly compressed JPEGs but can prevent further compression during application of a watermark which is a good thing.

Last up is Rename.  Because this is a bulk service, it doesn't change the complete filename, instead it provides you the capability to add a prefix or suffix to the filename.  I actually like this capability because it retains the original file name should you need to find the original based on the renamed version.

This utility is available for Macintosh and for Windows.  I tested the product on a Mac where it is available from the Mac App Store and sells for $13.99 in Canada, equivalent to the few other bulk photo management tools.  The Windows version offered a demo download for which you can purchase an activation key.

It's simple to use app for those who want to do bulk actions on their images.  In my testing it worked as advertised.  As I noted earlier, it's not something that addresses a problem that a serious editor would typically have but for regular folks, particularly those working with JPEGs from their cameras or smartphones, it can solve some basic challenges very quickly.