Most of us are self proclaimed Adobe Lightroom addicts. While Lightroom can search images stored inside the catalog, isn’t it nice to see your photographic statistical data stored in that catalog? Have a look at the new Lightroom Dashboard, a free online utility that you can access directly from your browser which can reveal about your shooting habits and methodologies.
To get started in using the Lightroom Dashboard, all you need to do is drag and drop your Lightroom catalog file (lrcat file) into your browser after opening the link called “Load Catalog” on that webpage. The catalog is read by your browser without being uploaded to any server. It’s all 100% free, and there’s no software to download and no plugins to install. All done within your browser and the algorithm will immediately display your camera statistics in visually appealing charts and graphs based on your library. Your Lightroom Catalog is not uploaded. Being a web app it does everything within your browser and within your computer.
I tested this utility in Chrome and Firefox on my Windows 7, and it worked fine in both. Throwing my 1.4GB lrcat file containing information since 2013, into the browser did not crash it. Results were displayed within few seconds. Obviously there is no way it can be uploaded so fast in my relatively slow internet connection.
It gives you photo volume by month, statistics like your most-used camera and the number of cameras you have shot with from that library. It can read your favorite ISO and divulge your general ISO usage. It also tells you your most-used lens, favorite aperture and focal length usage. File statistics include the total number of files in your catalog, formats and bit depths of your photos by percentage and favorite resolution.
My statistics from these screen captures you can see here, shows the 88,000 which I have clicked since 2013 till today. I have clicked highest number of photos during November 2014. My most used camera is EOS 5D Mark III at 48.6%. My favorite ISO is obviously ISO 100 with whopping 23409 photos, ISO 400 is my second preferred ISO. Three of my favorite lenses are Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM version I & II, and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 😉
My favorite aperture seems to be f/5.6 with around 14,000 photos clicked at that aperture. Preferred focal length is 100mm, 420mm & 600mm. The last two focal length are using derived from using 1.4x tele convertor & 2X tele converter on the 300mm lens. 87% of my files are in Raw format with a miniscule in JPEG, probably those are the one which are downloaded from my Facebook forums or sent by my friends. Finally I love large resolution as 41,000 of my photos are in 21 mega pixel size derived from 5D Mark III camera.
I suspect the web app is sending the small subset of data from the Lightroom catalog to the server for analysis, which may be truly harmless. Author however recommend using a catalog backup rather than your live catalog. Lightroom Dashboard does not write to your catalog, it only reads it. Just to be on the safe, using backup files is preferred. If you are not confident, use the demo dashboard to see the whole picture.
The dashboard was built by San Francisco-based software engineer Cheyne Wallace, a photography enthusiast. He states in the About section of the site, “I built this tool so I could better understand my photography habits and possibly justify to myself purchasing that new f/2.8 lens (as it turns out, I can’t).”
While the Lightroom Dashboard was built as a “side project,” and Wallace is offering it to the community for free, he leaves open the possibility of further development, and accepts donations on his website, if you’re interested in supporting it.