What is Excire Search?
Excire Search is a Lightroom plug-in which searches the images in a Lightroom catalogue using the content of the images – that is the point – Excire Search uses the content of the images in the Lightroom Catalogue, and searches using an example image to find similar images with similar content.
Is Excire Search going to help you find images in your Lightroom Catalogue? Read on and you will find out.
By way of a spoiler the answer is yes, it will help. Quite a lot.
Before I go on, full disclosure
I was approached by Excire Search to trial this product, and I am an affiliate member, so if you click on my affiliate link here and buy Excire Search I get a commission.
Of course, I have an incentive to write good things about this plug-in. What you will find in this blog post though is my honest opinions on Lightroom and Excire, and their relative search capabilities.
This is not an advert for Excire Search, this is me writing about a tool that, now I have it, I will use regularly in my photography work.
OK now that is out of the way back to the subject in question.
What are the different versions of Lightroom?
I need to give you a bit of background to Lightroom to start with.
There are three versions of Lightroom. Lightroom CC, Lightroom Mobile and the one I use, Lightroom Classic.
What is the difference between Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile?
Lightroom Classic is the version of Lightroom where the photos are stored locally on a hard drive (of one sort or another). Lightroom Classic is the current evolution of what was Lightroom. This is what the standalone version starting with Lightroom 1.0 released in 2007 has evolved into, which is now obtained through the Creative Cloud and a monthly subscription.
Lightroom CC is the newer cloud-based version of Lightroom. Photos are stored on the cloud. This is not the full version of Lightroom but has features which you will not find in Lightroom Classic.
Lightroom CC was released in 2017
Lightroom Mobile is the version of Lightroom that is used on mobile devices. Photos are accessed from Lightroom through collections which are synced via the internet.
Lightroom Mobile is free but you need actual Lightroom Classic or CC to get the photos into collections.
For completeness there is also a web based Lightroom, which you can access at this link.
Which version of Lightroom do I use?
I use Lightroom Classic – the original full version now available through the Creative Cloud.
I do not use Lightroom CC as this is the cloud-based version, where your photos are stored by Adobe in the cloud.
I have no doubt that at some point in the future I will move over, as we all will.
That is why this article is about advanced searches in Lightroom Classic.
What are the search capabilities of Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile?
There are various search tools and filters in Lightroom Classic that I use all the time.
I use the following
Having said that my images are organised in a very logical, comprehensive but simple file structure meaning that I know where most of my images are.
Lightroom Classic has face recognition technology, but to be honest I do not use this as I do not photograph people, only buildings and nice places.
Read on for the good bit.
Lightroom CC - has Adobe Sensei technology.
I don’t have Lightroom CC, so not being at all familiar with it I decided to let Adobe explain Sensei search technology. This is what Adobe say on their website on their excellent help pages
“Start typing in the search bar, and Lightroom CC automatically offers suggestions to help you quickly find what you need. Search for cameras, locations, and other metadata with ease. Also, your enabled filters are kept neatly organized in the search box. You can even search for a filter using its name (try 'camera:').
But does Sensei analyse the content of an image?
It does carry out some form of auto tagging, but it is mainly intelligent search functionality.
Why do I not have Lightroom CC?
I should explain this. I have evolved from Lightroom 1.0 – yes, I was there at the very beginning in 2007 – to the Lightroom Classic that we have now.
I have heard that there are potential conflicts if you have Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic installed.
Now I do not know if this is true, but I am not going to risk it. I don’t want Lightroom CC at the moment as I do not want to pay for cloud storage. I don’t actually want or indeed need this as I have my own arrangements in place.
So, I, like most photographers so I believe, use Lightroom Classic.
I nearly forgot about Lightroom Mobile. I use this on my iPad and iPhone. All the images are organised into collections, so searching for images is not something that I do – it is done before things are added to Lightroom Mobile.
I use Lightroom mobile as my mobile working folders.