Metadata Matters HOW-TO Posts


A controlled vocabulary keyword in Photo Mechanic's Keywords field
Use Controlled Vocabulary Directly in Photo Mechanic’s Keywords Field May 26, 2021

Enter controlled vocabulary terms with just a few keystrokes in any Photo Mechanic field that has a flyout menu

In Photo Mechanic and Photo Mechanic Plus, you can use the Autocomplete type-ahead feature to enable a controlled vocabulary right in your Keywords field.

In my last post, I entered a keyword for the name of my cat Donut by typing just three characters – “Don[enter]”. Read more

Search box in Photo Mechanic Plus
Photo Mechanic Plus Released October 16, 2020

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

IPTC Editor vs Template Editor illustration
IPTC Editor vs Template Editor in Photo Mechanic July 20, 2020

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

Licensors dialog in Photo Mechanic
Update: Photo Mechanic adds Licensor fields May 4, 2020

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

Illustration of resized images created by WordPress
Optimizing images for WordPress April 28, 2020

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.

That’s it.

Now here’s the long-read version Read more

Drag and drop illustration
Using Photo Mechanic to Optimize images for WordPress April 28, 2020

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

Screenshot of adjusting time in Photo Mechanic
Synchronize your capture times in Photo Mechanic March 9, 2020

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

Mockup of new "Licensable" feature
Google Images to add more metadata support February 26, 2020

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

Paper "metadata" displayed on a computer keyboard
If photos for the web have no metadata May 30, 2019

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

Illustration on using variables on Photo Mechanic to update copyright year
Photo Mechanic can update copyright year automatically January 17, 2019

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

Image Credits popup displayed on a news photo on Google Images
Using Google Images Image Credits October 12, 2018

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

XnView preview at 100%
Preparing images for the web in XnView August 24, 2018

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

A De Havilland Otter on floats
Creative Commons needs metadata May 16, 2018

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

Screenshot of sharing gallery
Linking back to original Creative Commons pictures May 16, 2018

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

Screenshot of Drupal site with image
Preserving Metadata in Drupal with ImageMagick February 16, 2018

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 non-exporting keyword "label", seen in Adobe Lightroom Classic
Clean Up Lightroom Keywords in Photo Mechanic January 30, 2018

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

Structured Keywords panel in Photo Mechanic allows hierarchical keywording
Keywording in Photo Mechanic Part 2 January 29, 2018

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

Keywording in Photo Mechanic
Keywording in Photo Mechanic Part 1 January 22, 2018

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

Photo illustration showing keyword cloud
Keywording – Considerations Before you Start January 10, 2018

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

search illustration
New search engine and Boolean primer January 5, 2018

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 field need individual attention? Which are filled by the template? And which can we ignore?
Photo Metadata – Which Fields, Which Files December 4, 2017

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

Jeffery Friedl's Image Metadata Viewer
Online metadata viewer survey September 4, 2017

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

Your metadata may be stored in multiple places in your media file. We took a deep dive to find out wh
XMP, IPTC/IIM, or Exif; which is preferred? August 28, 2017

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

Caption field in Photo Mechsnic
Automatic captions in WordPress August 16, 2017

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

XnView is a powerful photo browser
XnView metadata How-To August 7, 2017

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

You'll need FTP access for this to work.
WordPress Metadata Workaround July 26, 2017

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

Resized images
WordPress honors metadata, sort of July 21, 2017

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

MAMP webstart page
Using ImageMagick on MAMP July 21, 2017

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's Copy Options dialog
Metadata in Photo Mechanic How-To July 14, 2017

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 portion of the Photoshop history for Emmanuel Macron's official portrait.
Macron portrait meta-mess July 5, 2017

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

Import and Export templates
Import and Export Metadata Templates June 21, 2017

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

IPTC Metadata in Adobe Lightroom June 15, 2017

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

IPTC fields guide
Guide to Photo Metadata Fields June 5, 2017

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

Share this content