It’s time to “fall back” an hour – again For most US-based photographers, Sunday, November 1 marked the time to readjust camera clocks at the end of Daylight Saving Time. In most of Europe, the fateful date was last Sunday, October 25. And in most of Asia, countries don’t take… Read more
Camera Bits has released Photo Mechanic Plus, the company’s new digital asset management product for photographers. Photo Mechanic Plus combines a full-featured instance of Photo Mechanic 6 with new photo cataloging capabilities.
Photographers have very different digital asset management needs than the usual customers of DAM systems, like marketing departments, for example. Read more
Google Images Licensable feature allows photographers to place clickable contact information on images The IPTC announced today that Google’s new Licensable feature is now live on Google Images. The new feature allows photographers to trigger a badge that identifies photos as “Licensable” by filling in the correct fields in their… Read more
Which of Photo Mechanic’s two IPTC editors should you use and when? Photo Mechanic has two, count ‘en two, big fancy metadata editor dialogs – Metadata (IPTC) Info and Metadata (IPTC) Template. What’s the difference? When should we use one or the other? Let’s look at both editors in some… Read more
Google and a persistent photographer each provide a victory for artists’ rights Beginning today, May 27, 2020, Google Images will display image rights metadata just under an image’s preview rather than hiding it behind a link. And in a separate victory for artists rights metadata, website hosting company SquareSpace… Read more
The entire Licensors structure is now available in Photo Mechanic; Google Licensable will expose two of the fields Photo Mechanic has released support for the PLUS Licensor metadata fields that will be exposed in the new Google Licensable feature. You’ll find it in Photo Mechanic 6, Build 4538, and later.… Read more
Optimizing images for WordPress. There’s been a lot of digital ink spilled on the subject. There are tons of urban myths swirling around. There’s stuff that’s true, stuff that was true five years ago, stuff that was never true, and stuff that’s way over complicated or just plain wrong.
But the real lowdown, circa early 2020, is stupid simple.
You don’t optimize images for your WordPress site. WordPress does it.
All you have to do is upload a good quality image, at the largest size your site will need, saved at a JPEG compression of 82 or higher.
And, by the way, make sure you have ImageMagick enabled as your imaging library.
Now here’s the long-read version Read more
Let’s optimize some images for uploading to WordPress, step by step. In this How-to, we’ll use Photo Mechanic. Photo Mechanic is known as a hard-core tool for professional photographers. It’s not usually thought of as a program that web designers would turn to.
But, as it turns out, Photo Mechanic is a great tool for this particular job. It’s powerful, comprehensive, fast, and straightforward to use. Maybe it’s time to commend it to the attention of the web design community.
It’s what I use in real life for this kind of thing, if that means anything to you. Read more
We should use ImageMagick on our sites; here’s how Everybody who has a WordPress website should enable ImageMagick (at least for the time being) to protect artists’ rights metadata. Why? Because we’re ethical, socially concerned folks, that’s why. How? Read on. It’s real easy. A bit of background. WordPress uses… Read more
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. Read more
We may be seeing a long longed-for trend toward WordPress hosting providers enabling the ImageMagick imaging library by default. That causes their customers’ sites to respect embedded metadata on images. Preserving metadata means preserving rights information, powering rights-driven features like Google Images’ “Image Credit” and “Licensable”. Which makes life better for honest people all over the web. When hosts turn on ImageMagick for all of their customers, millions of sites at a time will switch to honoring metadata. If indeed we’re seeing a trend, this is really good news. Read more
IPTC fields will drive new “Licensable” feature Google is beta testing a new feature that will help honest people obtain licenses to use pictures found on Google Images. “Licensable” will help identify images whose owners can be readily found. Cash can be exchanged and a license issued in the speed… Read more
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. Read more
A nefarious metadata plot has been unearthed and news of it is streaking around the interwebs. An Australian law student named Edin Jusupovic was casually looking at photos downloaded from Facebook in a hex editor and tweeted about what he saw.
And from there, as they say, the rest was history. When last I looked, Jusupovic’s tweet had been retweeted 16,637 times, there were nearly 2,000 mostly clueless replies to his thread, and no less a journalistic standard-bearer than Forbes had weighed in: “Facebook Embeds ‘Hidden Codes’ To Track Who Sees And Shares Your Photos”, cried their headline. Read more
How do you deal with photos that come to you with no metadata? If you watched my videos on preparing images for the web, you may have noticed that I said that “I tried to make the demo images look halfway professional.” Most of them had embedded metadata, in other words. You may have cried foul. “None of my [insert adjective] clients ever send me pictures that are labeled in any way!”
We can deal with that. We can slap on some metadata. To our optimizing for the web process, we’ll just add a step to apply the metadata that should have already been there. But we’ll only add seconds to the amount of time it takes. We’ll invest some think/plan/learn time now (again) and the physical process will go by in a blink. Read more
Camera Bits has released version 6 of Photo Mechanic. Version 5 was released way back in 2012. According to Camera Bits’ Director of Marketing Nick Orlowski (sp?), there have been 43 updates to Photo Mechanic 5 during its six-year run. Many of those updates introduced new or refined functionality. Clearly, Camera Bits isn’t pestering their users for upgrade fees every time we turn around
Camera Bits has lowered the price of a full Photo Mechanic license by $11, to (USD) $123. The upgrade fee drops by a buck, to (USD) $89.
So, what’s new in this long-awaited new version of Photo Mechanic? I’ll go over some of the high points here. Read more
Have you advanced the year in your copyright notice? As I write this, the new year is a couple of weeks old. That’s about when most photographers start to feel a slight gnawing feeling that maybe there might be something they’ve forgotten.
So, go increment your copyright year while it’s still early enough to pretend that you did it in time for your first assignment of the new year.
Users of Photo Mechanic don’t have to go through this copyright year nonsense. In Photo Mechanic, you can just put a variable in the copyright field in your template. The variable will fill in the copyright year when you apply your template. And you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Ever. Again. Read more
Google has begun actively surfacing copyright metadata on Google Images. Now that the Copyright field itself is working, users can see all three of the IPTC fields Google promised a few weeks ago. What does this mean for website operators?
It means that, if you haven’t already, you should make sure your site respects metadata on images.
If you haven’t already, you should, ah… encourage your content contributors to put their names on their work. Read more
Did you set the time on your camera’s clock back from Daylight Saving Time to Standard time this morning?
For those of us who live in the US, at two o’clock this morning time slipped back and we gained (temporarily) an hour of sleep.
Around lunchtime, I somehow remembered that I needed to change the time back on the clocks in my cameras. And I felt good about it in the way that you feel good about doing something that you know you should do religiously, but, well, you aren’t quite as diligent as you should be. Read more
On September 27, Google announced that it would include limited support for IPTC metadata in Google Images. Next to the gratuitous “Images may be subject to copyright” disclaimer, users may now find a link for “Image Credits” if that metadata exists in the photo. They can now see for sure who owns the picture. That is, if, the relevant metadata exists in the image file.
Google will now display to users, at least those who look, the contents of three copyright-related metadata fields – the IPTC Creator, Creditline, and Copyright fields. (The first two are operational now, the latter will be “in coming weeks.”)
This is a huge step forward for photographers. But “if” the metadata exists means we have to put it there.
This post is a HOW-TO for putting it there. Read more
Google Images will include copyright-related IPTC metadata Google announced today that Google Image Search will support some IPTC metadata. In a blog post dated today, September 27, 2018, Google Images product manager Ashutosh Agarwal says that “Starting today, we’ve added Creator and Credit metadata whenever present to images on… Read more
You’re a web designer. An email full of images lands on your desktop with a thud. You experience a momentary euphoria. But euphoria slowly turns to dread as the prospect of actually dealing with those photos looms. In this HOW-TO post, we’ll lay out a workflow that gives you the tools you’ll need to bring order to the mess, be duly diligent about rights and licenses, automate the drudgery of optimizing images, and it’ll be dead fast. Read more
There is a metadata angle to this story. We’ll get to that. But first, let’s vent about the outrage. Outrages. Multiple outrages. There is so much that is so wrong here.
Our tale begins as the Post Office, best known in some circles for delivering letters, and in others for infringing sculptors’ copyrights, begins production for a “Forever” stamp to be issued in late 2010. They wanted to do a Statue of Liberty stamp. They hired an image research consultant to scour stock agencies for a photo of the great statue.
Stock agencies?!!!!! Stock?! Why on earth would the Post Office use a stock photo of an iconic statue Read more
Today – May 25, 2018 – the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect.
The GDPR is a 200-page law designed to protect internet users from spam and abuse at the hands of websites and services that use or store data on individual users. It applies to any website that does business with people who live in the European Union. Which means every website in the world. Including this one.
I’m posting this GDPR update to let you know that I take your data and security seriously. And, for that matter, to let you know how much I appreciate the time you spend on this site. Read more
In this post, we’ll talk mostly about the considerations and decisions that must be made to get ready for labeling our works under Creative Commons. Once you have a plan in place and some templates made, the actual workflow process is quick and easy. Read more
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. Read more
The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) has named Brendan Quinn as its new managing director.
Quinn joins the IPTC with two decades of experience in managing technology for media companies. In June 2018, he will succeed Michael Steidl, who will retire this summer after 15 years with the organisation. IPTC made the announcement today at their Spring Meeting in Athens. Read more
A South African photographer is suing an agency of the South African government for copyright infringement. He is seeking a breath-taking 2.1 B-i-l-l-i-o-n Rand in damages. (I’m sorry. I can’t even type that number with a steady hand.) That’s north of $180,000,000 in US dollars.
So, how did this happen?
“I attach a photo you can use.” is how. Read more
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.
So you run a website and you read my post about the Jessica Simpson lawsuit and destruction of copyright management information. Now you’re thinking about how not destroying metadata would help, well, everybody. True enough. You can protect your contributors, reduce pollution on the web, make assets easier to manage and, just maybe, prevent a nasty lawsuit by preserving metadata (and CMI). Read more
A photo agency has sued clothing mogul and former pop singer Jessica Simpson for copyright infringement and, of more interest to the readers of this blog, removal of copyright management information (CMI). Photo agency Splash News alleges in a lawsuit filed in federal court in the central district of California on January 23 of this year that Simpson posted on Instagram, and later Twitter, a photo owned by the agency. Read more
A reader sent in a super-clever method, using Photo Mechanic’s Find and Replace dialog and its ability to use Grep and regular expressions to get rid of the mess that Lightroom can make in our keywords. This post is a sidebar to my post on using Photo Mechanic’s Structured Keywords feature. (Keywording in Photo Mechanic Part 2) Read more
This post is Part 2 of our HOW-TO for keywording in Photo Mechanic. (See Part 1 here.) In this installment, we explore hierarchical keywording, or “Structured Keywording” as Photo Mechanic calls it. Hierarchical keywording allows us to add all the keywords along a hierarchical path by double-clicking on a single keyword, which we will find in a, yes, hierarchical organization.
Not only does hierarchical/Structured keywording allow us to quickly apply keywords, it also allows those of us who need giant keyword vocabularies to manage big keyword lists without any major loss of sanity. Read more
Photo Mechanic is a powerful keywording tool; we’ll learn how in two HOW-Tos Now that we have a plan in place for our keywording strategy (see this post), we can dive in and actually keyword some pictures. This post is the first of two HOW-TOs on keywording in Photo Mechanic. (I’ll… Read more
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. Read more
This just in – site search 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… Read more
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. Read more
Users discover that their iPhones are using AI image recognition technology to tag their pictures. Of their underwear. Gasp! A ripple on the internet ensues. But for real, can machine learning image recognition be useful? After some snarkiness, we take a look. Read more
OK. So what, exactly, is it that I want you to do about this metadata thing? If you give birth to photographs – label them properly with a caption, copyright notice, and some contact information before you send them out into the world. If you operate the means of publishing… Read more
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. Read more
What is the Embedded Metadata Manifesto? EmbeddedMetadata.org is an effort of the IPTC. 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… Read more
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. Read more
New website tells where dick pics come from; it’s all about metadata
Dick pics. Film at eleven. This week’s internet’s social, er, upheaval has it all. Bad puns. Check. Click bait. Check. Moral outrage. Check. (I guess.) Metadata. Check. Wait. Metadata? Read more
If you have captions on your photos, WordPress will place them on your page (or post) along with the pictures. If the details in the caption were correct when the photographer – you or whomever – originally captioned the picture, they’ll be correct on your site. That means less chance to make an error. (And less room for excuses if you do.) Read more
Considering its power and low cost, XnView is a must-have. XnView is a photo browsing/editing/metadata tool. It operates in a files and folders environment, like Photo Mechanic, and unlike Adobe Lightroom. It’s available at a price that suggests that there’s no reason not to have a good tool for working with metadata. Read more
Captions connect pictures to the world. That connection between an image and its subjects, time and place (and its author, too) gives a photo the power to endure. Join your Aunt Louise as we explore the power of the caption. Read more
Replace stripped-away metadata on your WordPress server with this quick workaround If your WordPress hosting provider makes ImageMagick available for your site, that’s good news. It’s good news for metadata. It’s good news for image optimization. It’s just a great day all around. But what if you’re stuck with GD?… Read more
Enable ImageMagick on your server and your WordPress site will be metadata-friendly The good news: WordPress, by far the most popular content management system on the web, supports embedded metadata. The bad news: Well, not always. But we can fix that. If you import a photo into WordPress that… Read more
It’s a quick task to set up your desktop WordPress server to run ImageMagick Recent versions of the local desktop WordPress server MAMP come with ImageMagick already installed. If you want to check out ImageMagick on a locally-hosted test site, enabling ImageMagick on MAMP is a one-keystroke process. (Granted, you… Read more
Photo Mechanic is a powerful metadata editing tool Photo Mechanic is the high-power tool of metadata editing and photo selection. If you’re a woodworker, it would be the Festool track saw. If you’re a photographer, the Nikon D5 or Canon EOS 1D would pop to mind. While it’s not expensive… Read more
A mini-glossary post…….Labels. Most definitions of metadata start by saying that “‘metadata’ literally means ‘data about data.” In a technical, database-y kind of way, that’s exactly true. But for us it’s labels. We’re talking about behind-the-scenes labels attached to digital content assets. Read more
Last week’s release of new French president Emmanuel Macron’s official portrait, by photographer Soazig de la Moissonnière, caused a stir on Twitter. Metadata on the version of the photo released on the government’s website revealed that somebody had the picture open in Photoshop for some fifteen hours. But vital information was left off the photo. Read more
It’s about labels. Labeling digital assets, particularly pictures. Digital image files have places to put labels – labels about what’s shown in the image, who owns the image, who made the image, what you can do with the image, that sort of thing. In the old days, people put this kind of stuff on the backs of prints with a rubber stamp and pencil. Read more
Move metadata templates between Photo Mechanic, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Bridge, and XnView In this post, we’ll learn how to import, export and exchange metadata templates between Photo Mechanic, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Bridge, Adobe Photoshop, and XnView. We can easily import and export metadata templates to and from… Read more
Lightoom has powerful metadata authoring features Adobe Lightroom is one of the most popular photo editing applications on the market. Lightroom differs from some of the other applications we’re going to talk about both in scope and function. Lightroom is a big, sprawling program. It is used to edit photos,… Read more
Which IPTC fields are we really concerned about? And what do the fields mean? If you peruse the photo at the top of this page, you’ll see that some of the field labels are pretty opaque. We’ll see which ones we will need to fuss with picture-by-picture, which ones we fill in our template just once, and which we can safely ignore. Read more
Webmasters — metadata is your friend. Respect it. We should be able to look at a photo, or another digital asset, and see for sure who owns the copyright, how to credit the photographer, and what the heck is going on in the picture. It’s one thing that the client… Read more
Put a copyright notice and caption on every photo! Once upon a time…. photographs were physical prints. “8×10 glossy” was a then-pop-culture buzzword. People usually/often/hopefully wrote notes on the prints about who or what was in the picture, who made the picture and when. If you looked at that picture… Read more
Welcome! This blog will focus on using embedded metadata to help photographers and other content creators protect their work and make it more valuable. We’ll talk about how website operators can do their part and help protect themselves from copyright problems, simplify their workflow and make their sites more authoritative.… Read more