Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video What is the value of photographic metadata?, part of Learn Photo Management: Metadata.
- If you've ever taken a picture with a digital camera, which I'm sure you have, then you have used metadata, whether you've realized it or not. So then the question is what exactly is metadata? Well, essentially metadata is information about other information, a little bit of a circular definition. But when we're talking about photographic images, essentially metadata is just information about our photos. And there are basically two categories of that information, what I think of as automatic metadata and then manual metadata. In other words, the metadata that you get for free just by taking a picture, that's the metadata that your camera captured, indicating what lens you used, what exposure settings, etc.
And then there's the metadata that you add to the image, the keywords so you can remember what a particular subject was, the location information, whatever other information you would like to be able to gain access to for your photos. When we're working with that metadata, of course we're going to have value added to our workflow because we can use that metadata to locate images, but also to remind ourselves about particular details about the photos with keywords for example. Not only does a keyword enable me to find a particular image using that keyword, but it also reminds me of what that subject was if I forgot some detail about the image itself.
It might remind me where I was when I captured an image, which lens settings, which exposure settings, all of the various information that the camera's recording or that I've added to my images. I can use that information to remind myself about my images, to locate specific images, and over all, just to improve the efficiency of my workflow. So metadata is really one of our best friends in photography. It helps our workflows tremendously, and for me, at least, more importantly, helps me locate my images later.
Metadata may not be glamorous, but it's a priceless tool for managing and organizing photos. Your camera records metadata with every shot: the date, time, camera and lens settings, and much more. You can also add metadata using programs like Adobe Lightroom.
In this course, photographer, author, and educator Tim Grey demystifies metadata, describing what it is and showing how it's an essential part of photo management, from categorizing photos to creating fun searches, such as "show me all the photos I took a year ago today."
- Viewing image metadata
- Creating and using metadata presets in Lightroom
- Importing metadata from the camera
- Adding metadata to batches of images
- Correcting metadata for capture time
- Getting location information with auto GPS
- Mapping locations manually
- Resolving and avoiding metadata conflicts
- Backing up metadata
- Locating your images with a simple metadata search