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News & Insight

Excire Search | A Smart Lightroom Plugin That’s Like Google Search For Your Pictures (No Tags Required)

By Justin Heyes on August 17th 2016

Behind all the plugins and presets, Lightroom is, at its heart, a photo organizer and developer all wrapped up in a nice neat package. Some photographers, like myself, keep a separate catalog for each event they photograph keeping the library size small and precise, other photographers keep their entire collection of photos under the banner of one catalog. For being one of Lightroom’s key features, organization is not  necessarily one of its strong suits, and finding a particular picture in thousands or tens of thousands can be difficult. A plugin from Excire hopes to help find that one photo in a hard drive of thousands.



Similar to the way Google indexes the web, Excire Search indexes your Lightroom catalog without tags or uploading any data to the cloud. Before Excire Search can do its magic, it must initialize your photos, which takes about an hour per 10,000 images. For the security conscious, processing of images is done and stored locally.


Once initialized typing generic words like ‘girl’, ‘tree’, ‘beach’ or even selecting a dominant color will bring up immediate results. The more photos you have in a catalog, the better the results can be as it has a sample size, and you will need at least 10,000 images to see any benefits of the plugin. Though these days it’s easy to shoot 10k images, and fast.

Some users may be hard pressed to find out that the plugin only runs in OSX, with no mention of a Windows option available. If you are the type of photographer who keeps one catalog with tens of thousands of images, give Excire Search a try. There is a 15 day free trial and a web demo available on their site.

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Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Niklas Möller

    Lightroom mobile has a similar feature. It can be found unter “technology preview” and only works in english and for sure only with the pictures you synchronized to lightroom mobile. But it works quite good. I don’t know how good it is compared to this plugin. Just wanted everybody to know :)

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