Making a Metadata Template.

A couple of weeks ago I touched briefly on the topic of copyright. One of the things that you can do to help establish your ownership is to embed your copyright information into your images using a Metadata Template.

Metadata Templates can store a whole host of information besides copyright; you can embed your e-mail and website address, keywords and model release information.

Most cameras allow you to enter at least some of your information, directly into the camera. Things like ISO and F stop info is usually automatic but you can add your information afterwards using a Digital Assets Management System. The two most popular are Adobe Bridge and Adobe Lightroom. Here’s how.

Note

Adobe Bridge ships with Photoshop, and six other Adobe stand alone products. It is a useful tool for cataloging you images.

With the new features for editing camera raw added to Lightroom 4 many photographers have abandoned Bridge altogether. (If you are taking advantage of the Adobe Cloud you will have both available to you so it is your choice.)

Adobe Bridge

  1. Open Bridge


    Adobe Bridge desktop icon

  2. Navigate to the Tools Menu.


    Tools Menu

  3. Select Create Metadata Template.


    Select Create Metadata Template from the drop down menu.

  4. You should now have a template that looks similar to this.


    Create Metadata Template

  5. Fill in as much, (or as little) of your information as you want but the important lines are when you scroll down to copyright.


    Fill in your copyright information.

  6. Note:

    The copyright sign © is made by holding down the Alt key and then typing the numbers 184. For years, and in many tutorials, you will see Alt (or Cmd on a Mac) + 169 which now gives the ® sign.


  7. Make sure that the information you want to save has the check box marked


    Only items with checked / ticked boxes will be saved.

  8. Click the Save button.


    Click Save.

Now your template is ready to go.

Attaching your Metadata Template to a file in Bridge.

To attach your new Metadata Template to a document you just:

  1. Select the Image/s


  2. Select your image

  3. Go back to theTools Menu and navigate down to Append Template


  4. Append Metadata

  5. Select your template.


  6. Select your template.

  7. Done!

Adobe Lightroom

The procedure in Lightroom is very similar.

  1. Open your version of Lightroom. (You can download a trial version of Lightroom 4 here.)


    Open your version of Lightroom.

  2. Select your catalogue


  3. Select your catalogue.

  4. Select the Metadata menu.


  5. Select the Metadata menu

  6. Select Metadata Presets from the drop down menu.


  7. Select Metadata Presets from the drop down menu.

  8. Fill in your template.


  9. Fill in your template.

  10. Don’t forget to make sure the check/tick boxes are marked for the information you want to embed, then click Done.


  11. Click Done.

Having saved your template it will then be available for you to use on other images. You can attach templates as you import your images from your camera or you can pick individual images as you please.

Camera Raw Images.

The first time you try to append a template to any camera raw images you will get the following dialogue box.


Saving Metadata to a camera raw image.

What this is basically saying is that if your images are in the Camera Raw format the Metadata Template will be saved in a separate file and not embedded into the Camera Raw file.

You can download a PDF version of this tutorial here. Click to open or Right Click on the link to download.

For complete tutorials on both Bridge and Lightroom I suggest you check out Lynda.com.

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Adobe Creative Cloud.

The Creative Cloud, in my opinion, is one of the best things that has happened in a long time. I read Adobe’s announcement and thought WOW! You get everything for just $49.99 (USD) a month if you subscribe on a yearly basis, that’s brilliant!

So I was really surprised by the some of the negative opinions I’ve seen in the last week on some of the forums and user groups. I think this comes from a lack of understanding, and in some cases, fear of what Adobe is doing. The two major issues I’m seeing:

  1. Is all of the software on the Adobe Creative Cloud (Server)? Or the same question asked in reverse. Do I have to download all the software?
  2. Are all my files saved to the cloud?

The Cloud is like a subscription only better.The biggest issue/concern I hear is that people think the software and all of your creative work resides on Adobe’s servers; it doesn’t. You download the programs you want. That’s right you can download and install:

Well you get the picture… This is only a partial list, the whole list, including six new programs for tablets, can be found at Adobe’s creative cloud tools page.

The only real issue is how much space do you have on your hard drive. Your single license allows you to download to two machines as long as you don’t use them both at the same time. You work just as you normally would and you save your files locally to your machine.

So here is the big question:

Where does my work get stored?

You only use the Cloud when you want to share.

If you use automatic cloud syncing then yes all your work goes to the cloud but you do not have to sync everything.

The following is taken directly from Adobe’s FAQ page:

Do I have to save my files to the storage space on Creative Cloud?
No — just sync what you want. You can save every file to your desktop and choose which ones you sync to Creative Cloud.”

When you want to share with others you do it by providing an e-mail link.

The above two questions are the ones that I have heard over and over again. If Adobe has a fault it is that they make so much of their information so very difficult to get.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Adobe and its not that they haven’t thought of the issues or that the answers aren’t there if you look. I am convinced that there web site is designed by programmers who don’t understand what is important to more creative types. You ask a question and they give you half an answer. Two days later you find the answer to your original question when you are looking for something completely different. That said the effort to search is a small price to pay for such amazing products.

I started subscribing to the Adobe Creative Suite in May last year. My reasons at that time were as follows;I wanted to:

  • Go from Photoshop CS4 to CS5
  • Upgrade my Illustrator skills from CS2 to CS5
  • Learn Dreamweaver. (I code HTML & CSS but I was finally forced to give up GoLive)
  • Learn InDesign
  • Play around with Premiere and After Effects

Now to buy all those programs at once was just out of my budget but the subscription option opened a whole new world. The subscription options was one of the best decisions I ever made, I see the Creative Cloud as just an extension.

Announcing the addition of Camera Photo Art’s Online Store.

Today I’m excited to announce the addition of Camera Photo Art’s online store.

Powered by Amazon, (so that you know it’s secure) the store has two departments featuring the most popular items for Photographers and Photoshop devotees.

Cameras

Books and Magazines

Please take a few moments to peek at what’s there and let me know what else you would like to see included. Leave a message below or e-mail Lyn.

Copyright for Photographers.

One of the members of a photography group I belong to came up with a question on Copyright. There are so many variables to this question that it is mind blowing. (Or at least it blows my mind.)

As a rule of thumb, your images are yours from the moment of inception but to make sure you protect your rights there are a few things you need to do to protect your images.(In case you need to prove that it is your image.)

First you need to make sure of what the law is where you live.

Copyright laws for photographers are different in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US.

For example:

  • In Australia photographers can choose to assign their rights.
  • In Canada it is the person who commissions the work who owns it, (but only if they pay for it – see Section A.1.7 of the Copyright Act).
  • In the UK the photographer owns the work with exceptions.
  • In the USA the photographer usually owns the work.

In fact in all cases there seems to be exceptions to the rules and in each country the rules are slightly or vastly different.

Australia

Copyright for Australian Photographers Government site.

Canada

A copy of the Copyright Act for Canadians can be found at The Department of Justice Website.

If you’re in Canada and you don’t feel like reading the whole Act “General Copyright information for Photographs” can be found at the Professional Photographers of Canada web site.

The Business Development Center will send you free copyright information by e-mail one chapter per day.

United Kingdom

(England, Scotland and Wales)
http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/uk_law_summary is the place to start for information in the UK.

USA

Copyright registration information for photographers from the Government Website can be found here.

If you are in the USA, also check out the Copyright information at the American Society of Media Photographers Copyright-overview on their Business Resources page. These are starting points but always consult a legal professional in your area of the world to make sure of your rights.

How else can I protect my images?

The least you can do when publishing your images is to add a signature with a copyright mark. You can also watermark your images. If you are using Photoshop go into Bridge and make a Meta Data Template with your information to embed into your photograph or image.

To make a Metadata Template:

  1. Open Adobe Bridge
  2. Open the Tools menu
  3. Navigate to Create Metadata Template
  4. Meta Data Template

  5. Give the Template a name, e.g. your name – 2012
  6. Fill in as much or as little information as you want (scroll down the template for all the options)
  7. Save the template

Once created you can embed this information into your images by again going to the Tools menu and then going to Append Metadata.

None of this means that at some point your images won’t be used by someone else without your knowledge, especially if you publish to the web. (But that’s another blog.)


Disclaimer


None of the above is intended as legal advice.

This website its associates and employees do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of information presented here or on the linked sites and it is the individuals responsibility to check out the validity of any information that they use. Please consult a Lawyer/Solicitor in your country of residence for information as it pertains to you and your situation.


Blackberry 8900, 3.2 MP Camera.

A couple of week s ago I said that I would be looking at images from phones or the new and emerging art of “Phoneography.” Today we take our first look.

The video slideshow below was made from photographs taken last October (2011) with a Blackberry 8900, 3.2 MP camera.

The location is Banff Springs, Alberta and the Photographer was my husband. With the exception of the photograph of the High Street all of the photographs were taken from inside the hotel thru glass.

Yes, the photographs are a little dark, but these are unretouched snaps, taken by an amateur photographer, without the aid of lighting, on three consecutively overcast days.

Personally I think the camera comes off well. What do you think?

Image file formats.

A good starting point when you first begin to understand your images is to know a little bit about the common file formats or the way that your images are saved. So here we have seven, (one for each day of the week).

JPEG

The most commonly used image file format in both digital cameras and on the web today is JPEG. JPEG actually stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. If you are of a technical bent you might wish to go and visit the groups website at www.jpeg.org. For the rest of us when we refer to JPEG we simply mean the file format.

One of the reasons JPEG is used so widely is because, (compared to some of the other file formats) it produces a very small size file. The downside to JPEG images is that the small file size is achieved by degradation (loosing pixel clarity) of the image. Because of this degradation the file format is referred to as Lossy compression.

You can also choose to save these images at different resolutions as shown below.
Maximum size image 73.92K
Maximum resolution 73.92K
High resolution image 31.7K
High resolution 31.7K
Low resolution image 9.238K
Low resolution 9.238K

Lossy Compresion

Refers to a data compression techniques in which some of the data is lost. Now this is important:

Every time you save a JPEG image you loose digital information.

So if you are working in Photoshop (and I am going to assume that you are working in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements) if you are starting with a JPEG image before you touch anything else I would highly recommend that you save the image as either PSD (PhotoShop Document) or as a TIFF (Tagged Image File Format).

Lossless

Lossless is the opposite of lossy, and no image data is lost.

GIF

Graphic Interchange Format or *GIF is probably the second best known on the web.

*Note

One of the most controversial things about GIF is way you pronounce GIF. Having been brought up in England and living almost all of my adult life in Canada I learned to pronounce the acronym as GIF with a hard G. I was completely taken aback a few years ago while, at a tutorial I was attending in Seattle, the presenter began saying “JIF”.

It turns out that the originally intended pronunciation was in fact JIF and the acronym was a play on words to echo a highly popular TV Ad at the time for JIF peanut Butter. I must confess that in speech I still use GIF unless I’m really thinking about it, and I’m obviously not alone as both versions are accepted.

The cool thing about GIF’s (however you say it) is they allow animation. It is also a lossless (no data is lost). format, allows 256 colors per image.

PSD

A PSD is a Photoshop document and is the native file format of Photoshop. When I’m working in Photoshop I prefer to save and work on my images as PSDs.

*Note

Now I have to let you in to my little world of paranoia. Once I’ve downloaded my images and decided which ones I’m going to keep, if I shot them as a JPEG I always like to keep a backup copy as a PSD preferably on a separate drive on my computer.

BMP

Bitmap or BMP means a range of bits (computer code) that make a map. Usually a Bitmap is one bit per pixel (but not always). This is a vast over simplification but for the moment all you really need to be aware of is the name.

TIFF

Tagged Image File Format or TIFF was originally mainly used by the print industries. Because TIFF is a lossless format it is good for saving images where you want to retain detail but all the file size will be much larger than that of a JPEG.

Camera Raw

Camera Raw is the new darling of the photographic world. The files are huge but you loose no information.

The files have “raw” information and can be thought of like an old fashioned negative. Because Raw files are not ready to be edited they open (in Photoshop) in their own dialogue box which allows you to manipulate the image without any destruction before opening the image in Photoshop itself. The huge advantage is that you always have the original image in its original state with all its information intact. (As long as you don’t delete the file of course.)

DNG

Digital Negative Format DNG is another Raw file format developed for digital cameras developed to enable greater sharing capabilities over different software platforms.

This is the first of a series of Core Articles. These articles are designed to get you up to speed on fundamental terms and their meaning. Subscribe using RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss the next in the series.

Instagram is now available for Android.

Instagram is a Smart Phone application that allows you to take a photograph, apply a filter and share it to your favorite Social Media “instantly”.

The company was started by two Stanford Educated Engineers, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Their goal was to get back the instant excitement that you got with a Polaroid Camera. Since November 2010 they’ve done a great job for the iPhone. As of today they have 30 million plus Registered users, 1 Billion photographs total and 5 million photos per day being uploaded.

Today they announced Instagram for the Android. There are a couple of things you can’t do yet with the Android version. Instagram is available free from Google Play.

Emotional involvement with your photographs and artwork.

Or why what your think is a good photo doesn’t always work.

Photographs evoke emotion, or at least good ones do. Talk to any professional photographer and they will tell you about the passion they have for their art.

How many times have you taken a photograph where you’ve thought,

“Wow I’ve nailed it!”

only to have others go … “uhm”.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching a broadcast of The Grid where Scott Kelby was doing an analysis of photograph portfolios that had been sent in to him for critiquing. Suddenly it struck me…the photos that were not so good or just downright “bad” were emotional only to the photographer.

Now it may sound silly to say that was an emotional sunrise or sunset or the way that waterfall cascades just meant so much at that time that; I didn’t see the:

  • Overhanging branch
  • The dead tree that completely obstructed my view of the house behind
  • The rock in the foreground
  • The ugly fence in the background
  • The man eating a hamburger
  • The baseball player scratching his groin. (Yes that really was there.)

All the photographers, in my opinion were guilty of one thing, the photographer had become so emotionally evolved with the subject that they had forgotten the end result; a photograph that you want to look at again and again. A photograph that can be more than just a snapshot but something worth keeping; a potential piece of art.

We are all guilty of tunnel vision to some degree. We get so wrapped up in the moment and our subject that we just don’t look at the peripheries. Even experienced photographers make mistakes. Practice helps, asking others helps but I don’t think you can ever eliminate the blindness that we all develop to our own photographs.

My own classic example of this was photographing my dog. Over the years my English Setter had become the subject of literally hundreds of photographs. Usually I had known which to keep “just for us” and which to share but last August I got what I thought was the perfect head shot. When I went to upload it to my commercial site I suddenly realized that he had drool on his face. This in itself wasn’t that remarkable; almost all soft mouthed dogs drool. No, what was remarkable was that I had taken the photo, imported it into camera raw, adjusted levels and curves, cropped and sharpened and had somehow managed to miss the slime on the side of his face. I was just too emotionally evolved with the subject to notice.

I agonized over what to do. Do I leave the portrait as is or do I go back to retouch it and take out the slime? Do I post it or do I relegate to the family photo album? In the end I posted as is. Why? Because what I had captured was typical of all soft mouthed dogs. However beautiful the dog is, the reality is that they drool.

As it turned out this was obviously the right decision. Other dog lovers liked it and this is one of my better selling photographs.

If there is a moral to this story, it is to get a second pair of eyes to look at your work. A second pair of eyes can often see what it is that is taking your image of kilter. The horizon that isn’t quite straight, the edge of a building at the wrong angle. I’m not saying they should critique your work but just look for obvious anomalies.

Have you had something similar happen to you?

Blackberry is leaving the consumer market.

As a quick, and unscheduled follow up to yesterdays post where I mentioned how difficult it was to find out anything about the Blackberry cameras, a couple of hours ago Blackberry announced that it would be leaving the consumer market and:

(Blackberry) “Will return to its roots and focus on business customers, many of whom prefer BlackBerrys for their security.”

You can read the full article here at:MSNBC

Just saying.

Smart phone cameras; are they good enough?

If you have a smart phone you have a camera with you if not all, at least almost all, of the time. And as any good photography teacher will tell you:

“The best camera is the one that you have with you.”

Now I’m not suggesting that you go and do a high end fashion photo shoot with your iPhone or become the wedding photographer at your sisters wedding with your Android but smartphone cameras have come a long way in the last two years.

Over the next few months I’m going to be comparing the cameras in three phones: the Blackberry 9810 the Galaxy Nexus, and the iPhone 4 GS.
Let’s look at a few of their advertised features:

Blackberry 9810

  • 5 MP with flash
  • 720p HD video

Yes, this is all the information that the Blackberry website cares to share. On the plus side they do have a detailed user menu but I could not believe how difficult it is to get even basic information about the camera.

(My husband contends that this is because Blackberry is basically a business phone and that the engineers at RIM are more interested in its durability than the images it takes.) However having said that I’m impressed with the photographs that the Blackberry cameras take.

Galaxy Nexus

  • 5MP continuous auto focus
  • 1.3MP Front
  • LED Flash
  • Zero shutter lag
  • Single-motion panoramic camera
  • 720 HD Video
  • Video recording in 1080p

The Galaxy stands out as soon as you turn the phone on. An Android phone using 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, as far as viewing is concerned, the 1280 x 720 pixel *Super AMOLED display screen just knocks every other phone out of the water.

Note*

Super AMOLED

(Yes, I had to look it up too!) is a new technology for touch screen mobile devices. The main difference from other devices being that the layer that actually detects the touch is integrated into the screen. Instead of having three layers it only has two which makes it thinner (the touch sensor is just 0.001mm thick ) and eliminates some of the air gaps which makes the screen brighter.
Super AMOLED gives 3 main advantages:

  1. Brighter screens (See note above.)
  2. Less reflection from sunlight
  3. Less power consumption

iPhone 4GS

  • 8-megapixel iSight camera
  • Auto-focus
  • Tap to focus
  • Face detection in still images
  • LED flash
  • Video recording, HD (1080p) up to 30 frames per second with audio
  • Video stabilization
  • Front camera with VGA-quality photos and video at up to 30 frames per second
  • Photo and video geotagging

The iPhone has, in my opinion, been very smart and knows its market. The camera is aimed at photographers and particularly easy integration with iPhone Apps of which there are many.

The Pixel Wars

There is more confusion over pixels than just about anything else. More isn’t necessarily better. So what do *Megapixels mean in real terms?

The real value in pixels is image quality. If you intend to print your images and you are going to be printing large images the more pixels the better. However, unless you are intending to print large images, for the most part the argument is mute. A 3 MP camera will generally give you a good quality 8 x 10 print; an 8 X 10 8MP iPhone should give you an outstanding print.

Note*

What is a Megapixel?

Printed images are made up of millions of tiny dots, 1 million dots is 1 megapixel. Here’s where it gets interesting though megapixels are only half the picture, (if you’ll excuse the pun) you also have to look at dots per inch or DPI. It is the number of dots per inch that determine the clarity and sharpness on the page of your printed photograph.

But here’s the rub, according to the latest statistics over 80% of all images will only ever be digital. Social Media means we no longer need to print most of our images. Smart phones and digital cameras mean we upload and hit send or post our latest renderings to Flickr or Picassa.

So back to my original question are smart phone cameras good enough? Check back and we shall see.