Digital Lifestyles Photography Tutorials Workflow

Green Volcano’s Photon

Green Volcano has announced Photon 1.0.2, a digital image viewing and sorting application for Mac OS X. Photon has an intuitive interface based upon a stacks analogy to allow the user to quickly scan through large sets of high-resolution images. Photon can load images either from a hard disk or from a memory card.

Intended to serve as a companion to other image management systems such as Aperture ™ and Lightroom ™, Photon is designed to serve as a fast-sort application in order to delete unacceptable images before a serious final sort is done. Photon allows you to import, view, sort, and convert and save images to other formats either individually or in a batch.

Photon will run on Mac OS X 10.4.10 or Leopard 10.5. It is a universal binary for Power PC and Intel and can function on the G4, G5 or Intel CPU. It requires 3.8 MB of hard drive space and a minimum of 1 GB of RAM.

It will open RAW and standard files and will batch convert images to .jpg, .png, .psd and many other formats. It automatically detects card readers and memory cards, has full drag and drop support, and supports multi-processor systems. Finally, it has customizable keyboard shortcuts.

Here’s a quick look at the four stages of processing: (1) Import images from a hard disk or a memory card. (2) View a full resolution detail at high speed. (3) Sort images by using keyboard shortcuts and stacks. (4) Convert images, either singly or in batches, or copy files in their original format.


Let’s walk through the four steps. Step One: We’ll import images.




Step Two: We’ll view the images.



Step Three: We’ll sort the images.




Step Four: We’ll convert and save the images.




Here is what the interface looks like. In this instance one stack has begun and one image has been loaded and appears both in the collective picture area on the left and in full picture view on the right. Remember, the image on the right can be blown up to 100% by holding down the mouse button while positioned in the center of the image, or the image can be enlarged by toggling on the switch below. In either instance the entire picture can be seen by holding down the mouse button and navigation left, right, up or down. This will allow a close up view of any part of the image.




Clicking on the Histogram window will bring up a quick histogram (and those paying attention will realize that the histogram below is not a match for the image above—thanks for understanding your histograms and knowing the difference).



Clicking on the Metadata window exposes Metadata including image EXIF, GPS, IPTC, JFIF and TIFF properties. The only data missing that is of interest to me is the shutter actuations for the camera used. This information is available from some EXIF viewers. Here’s the data from a shot done with the Nikon f 2.8 80-200 zoom lens on a Nikon D2X body.



So here is a neat, small program that takes up little disk space and provides a quick method of downloading, viewing and sorting your camera images whether in RAW or normal formats.

Available at the introductory pricing of $49.95 USD from the Green Volcano store.
The Photon product website is
The Photon download directly is
The Photon Purchase option is at

By Dr. Michael N. Roach

Dr. Michael N. Roach is a retired Professor of Art from Stephen F. Austin State University. His 33 year teaching career spans the silver to digital age. His images have been shown throughout the American South, Russia, Ireland and France; some of them are in the permanent collection of the Combes Gallery at The American University of Paris in France. An avid Mac Computer advocate he teaches workshops on digital imaging and courses in Adobe Photoshop as well as digital printing for the Fine Arts.