Metadata Matters Resources Posts


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

Image Regions IPTC tags
IPTC releases new metadata standard February 11, 2020

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

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

New IPTC viewer
New IPTC Tool Reveals Out-Of-Sync Metadata February 27, 2018

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.

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

Support the Embedded Metadata Manifesto September 1, 2017

What is the Embedded Metadata Manifesto? is an effort of the IPTC. I used to have an icon in my footer that linked to their manifesto, at (It’s not a link. Copy and paste it into a browser.) I upgraded this site to secure all its traffic with… 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

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

Screenshot of metadata in text editor
Metadata. What is it? July 6, 2017

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

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

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