In most of the US, we have just sprung forward for Daylight Saving Time.
While we are busily setting the clocks in all our cameras, some of us might wonder if we can synchronize these things so that we can sort images by time. For real. Like frame by frame. Or play by play in a ballgame.
Well, no. The crappy clocks in cameras just don’t run well enough for that to really work. But we can use Photo Mechanic’s time manipulation feature to sync up multiple cameras after the shoot.
The IPTC has released the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard 2019.1 This new version of the fundamental standard for descriptive embedded metadata features Image Regions, which users, particularly including application developers, can use to define an area within an image.
Let’s say you want to tag faces with names that your AI recognition software assigns to them. To do that, you’ve got to carve out a shape in the photo and tell your program - and the rest of the world, ultimately - just what is depicted within that area of the picture.
The Creative Commons licenses require - as long as it is “reasonable” - provision of a link back to the original work. For photographers, that means a link to an “original” file. In this post, we look at what kind of file to host and how to host it.
A newly-released application can add metadata viewing functionality to websites and web apps, or even on a local computer. IPTC Managing Director Michael Steidl wrote the program, Get IPTC PMD. The application, as configured for a test system, here, can display whether or not metadata is in sync between the three data blocks where IPTC data can live in your files.
What are keywords? Why do you want them? Why is there air? Keywording is probably the trickiest wicket in the whole metadata game. Your keywording regime requires more forethought than most any other component of your workflow.
A good keywording approach depends heavily on a specific understanding of your collection, your searching needs, and the capabilities of your archive system.
There are lots of shades of gray here. Keywording can be controversial.
Looking for something? I just added a search engine to this blog.
If, say, you’re interested in using ExifTool to work with GPS data, you can now search exiftool gps, instead of reading through every post. (ExifTool and GPS are both mentioned in several posts, but closest to what you want, as of this writing, is semi-hidden near the bottom of the Emmanuel Macron portrait post. So, yeah, it was becoming pretty obvious that I needed to add that search functionality.)
(Note that I’m using orange type when I talk about search terms here because quotation marks have a particular meaning in the world of search and it would be confusing as all get out if I used them for, you know, quotations.)
There is a search box in the footer of every page and post, and the main menu at the top of every page and post now has a link to a search page.
Let’s get Boolean
The new search engine connects search terms with a Boolean AND operator. That’s like the default in Google
Today we have a new search tool and a primer on Boolean searching.
back in the day or the “Must Include All Of” option found in many search functions.
So, if you enter two search terms, like joe photographer a (hypothetical) post that included “Joe Smith is a great guy”, and “Suzy is a great photographer” would return.
AND means that a content item that contains both thisand thatand some-other-thing meets the criteria and will return. AND searches return few results (hopefully including what you were looking for). AND can be hard to wrap your head around. Another way of thinking about AND is that, on a Venn diagram, it’s the intersection. If thinking about Venn diagrams is how you roll.
You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking at first that an AND search would return, all summed up together, the results of individual searches for this, that, and some-other-thing. (Union, in Venn terms) You’d be wrong, but you wouldn’t be blamed.
OR searches are like summing up the results of separate searches. An OR search for joe photographer would return any posts that mention Joe in any way, plus any posts that mention photographer in any way. OR searches typically return tons of results that aren’t what you want. Venn-wise, OR is a union. In some programs, OR would be “Includes Any Of”.
That said, if you want to do OR searches here, I can buy an upgrade that makes that possible. Speak up in the comments. If enough people pester me about it, I’ll do that.
Our new search engine allows you use double quotes to search for an exact phrase. So “joe photographer” would return only posts that mention Joe Photographer specifically, excluding examples like the Joe Smith one above.
Partial strings are supported if the missing letters are at the beginning or end of a word. photo and grapher will both return posts with the word photographer. But graph will not.
NOT searches are not supported. Sadly.
Fancy search engines that I can’t afford (and would not likely be found in the sort of desktop software that most of you will use to manage your photos) allow users to string Booleans together like mathematical equations to make elegant searches. (joe OR photographer) NOT smith would return any posts that include either the words joe, orphotographer, but would exclude that anything that mentions that Smith guy.
So today we have a new search tool and a primer on Boolean searching. Enjoy!
Not finding what you’re looking for, even with the search functionality? It’s entirely likely that I haven’t written about it yet. Boot me into action in the comments.
Which IPTC metadata fields do you need to fill out for each of your pictures? Which ones do you take care of with your template? Do you need to add metadata to all your photos, or just a subset? Enquiring minds want to know.
You can use web-based tools to view metadata on photos. While I doubt that’s earth-shattering news to any of you, a quick Google search on the subject returns breathless posts. “OMG! There’s metadata! Look! See!.” Granted, we have a lot of educating to do if we are to improve the environment in which photos must live online, but it’s a bit over the top. Let’s exhale and see what, if any useful resources we can find here.
I used to have an icon in my footer that linked to their manifesto, at http://www.embeddedmetadata.org/embedded-metatdata-manifesto.php (It’s not a link. Copy and paste it into a browser.)
I upgraded this site to secure all its traffic with SSL. The link to their still-non-SSL site was causing web browsers to issue security warnings to my visitors. I want you to be comfortable here, so that wasn’t good.
I should point out that neither their site nor mine (before the upgrade) is/was a danger. The old thinking was that SSL was only needed for sites that dealt with confidential information, like credit card data. Now, the feeling is that everybody should do SSL, and Google is making it a requirement for ranking in search results. Every website operator is somewhere in the process of switching over. The IPTC’s main site is already SSL-friendly, for example.
I’m a manifesto kind of guy, so for the time being, I’ll just quote the manifesto in its entirety for you right here.
Embedded Metadata Manifesto
How metadata should be embedded and preserved in digital media files
Photographers, film makers, videographers, illustrators, publishers, advertisers, designers, art directors, picture editors, librarians and curators all share the same problem: struggling to track rapidly expanding collections of digital media assets such as photos and video/film clips. With that in mind we propose five guiding principles as our “Embedded Metadata Manifesto”:
Metadata is essential to describe, identify and track digital media and should be applied to all media items which are exchanged as files or by other means such as data streams.
Media file formats should provide the means to embed metadata in ways that can be read and handled by different software systems.
Metadata fields, their semantics (including labels on the user interface) and values, should not be changed across metadata formats.
Copyright management information metadata must never be removed from the files.
Other metadata should only be removed from files by agreement with their copyright holders.
More details about these principles:
1: All people handling digital media need to recognize the crucial role of metadata for business. This involves more than just sticking labels on a media item. The knowledge which is required to describe the content comprehensively and concisely and the clear assertion of the intellectual ownership increase the value of the asset. Adding metadata to media items is an imperative for each and every professional workflow.
2: Exchanging media items is still done to a large extent by transmitting files containing the media content and in many cases this is the only (technical) way of communicating between the supplier and the consumer. To support the exchange of metadata with content it is a business requirement that file formats embed metadata within the digital file. Other methods like sidecar files are potentially exposed to metadata loss.
3: The type of content information carried in a metadata field, and the values assigned, should not depend on the technology used to embed metadata into a file. If multiple technologies are available for embedding the same field the software vendors must guarantee that the values are synchronized across the technologies without causing a loss of data or ambiguity.
4: Ownership metadata is the only way to save digital content from being considered orphaned work. Removal of such metadata impacts on the ability to assert ownership rights and is therefore forbidden by law in many countries.
5: Properly selected and applied metadata fields add value to media assets. For most collections of digital media content descriptive metadata is essential for retrieval and for understanding. Removing this valuable information devalues the asset.
Now we’ll have a short chorus of “amens!”, please.
There’s good content on the Embedded Metadata site. Mostly, it tells you the same stuff I’ve been telling you. Which means you’ve been getting the straight dope here. I take that as a good sign. I encourage you to take a look around.
Hopefully, it won’t be long and I’ll be able to link to their site again.
Which instance of the IPTC metadata does your favorite application prefer? Inquiring minds want to know.
Let’s step back for a moment for some background. Because all things that should be dead simple usually aren’t, the IPTC metadata - important information like the caption, your byline, and copyright notice - is stored in multiple places in your file.