As followers of my blog know, this year I’ve taken a little bit of a photography kick. This post takes some more photography without being a photo of the day, but also gets some of my geek on. This started as an e-mail exchange, but as I replied I thought it would make a good post.
It started when Rev Tom e-mailed me via flickr with the following:
Your photos have smashingly rich EXIF metadata! And Flickr seems to respect it, too, amazingly. What do you use? I take it you add XMP tags because some of them look remarkably unlike standard EXIF tags. Is that right?
(A good example is the metadata on my recent moon photo as seen on flickr.) Some of the following I’ve shared here before, but it was in the mail to Tom so I’ll reuse it here:
I’m using Aperture on my Mac to handle my photos these days. I have 16,382 photos, so I was out-growing “directories of images,” so I moved to iPhoto, which gave me the added bonus of being able to sync photos to my iOS devices and AppleTV. I then outgrew iPhoto for keeping them straight once I got the Canon T2i and started doing 18 megapixel RAW images, iPhoto was just choking on editing them. (And it looks like I’ve added 3,153 of those since I got the T2i according to a quick search I did.) In either case, I had to move to Aperture or Lightroom, and since there was a direct upgrade path to Aperture from iPhoto, and I’m drinking Cupertino Kool-aid these days, Aperture was an easy choice.
So, the answer on richer metadata is that I’m filling out the IPTC set for my personal information. It looks like some of the standard metadata like caption is also tossed in there. XMP is a super-set of IPTC (due to some collaboration) and looks like that’s how it ends up being shared when I expose it. (Check out this about.com article that quickly overviews EXIF, IPTC, and XMP and its relationships.) Aperture also directly is uploading into flickr for me, so it might be using some other stuff in the flickr API to fill it in.
The following images are screenshots of what Aperture lets me fill in when I select the “IPTC Core” metadata.
The next image shows the large amount of metadata subsets that Aperture will expose to me. Most of those screens have a few pieces of redundant data that can be found on the other, but each tab has a few unique things to fill in.
One of the things you can do on Aperture is have some automatic actions performed at import time. The next image is what I’ve got automatically done when I import photos.
I mostly add the IPTC bits, but I also rename the photos on import to the YYYY-MM-DD_HH:MM:SS that I’ve been using since I got a digital camera in ’97. That also becomes the default title, but I generally override that in images I share, or at least I try to.
Once I discovered that some of that stuff was exposed in flickr, I started filling in photos I KNEW I was gonna share with as much data as I’d ever used or added to the flickr experience.