In simple terms, image metadata is data about graphical content that embeds essential info into the digital picture itself. The latter includes details on the author, copyright notices, descriptions, locations, and dates. As to photos, metadata can be either added to them manually via specific software or automatically by your camera. The mentioned picture attribute protects graphical content from being misrepresented or misused and allows you to find images more easily. And now, let’s dive deeper into how to add metadata to photos.
What Are Metadata Categories
That's quite an ambiguous question, as different specialists divide the described photo attributes into various groups. There are particular basic categories, though. Namely, the following:
- Technical metadata. This is mainly about automatically added details that typically include camera model and brand, shutter speed, resolution, etc. Moreover, the GPS location of the place where one took a photo may also be added.
Administrative metadata. Specialists add and edit this information manually via specific metadata management tools. These usually include restrictions on reuse, licensing rights, use terms, etc.
- Descriptive metadata. This info is also embedded manually using specific software. Such information commonly involves image keywords, comments, original creators' names, etc. The latter helps search engines find your photos.
To add metadata to images properly, you should be aware of two main formats – IPTC and EXIF. The first one can be entered manually and edited, so it's related to the administrative and descriptive categories. The EXIF format, in turn, is created automatically by cameras. That one is about the technical metadata.
Metadata Settings on Different Devices
To adjust default settings info for images taken by your photo cameras, do the following:
- Connect device to your PC and find the necessary file using branded software.
- Click section with Camera settings. Go to section with Properties.
- Add needed details manually. Approve changes.
For iOS/Android gadgets, the algorithm is a little different:
- Launch Camera app.
- Go to Camera settings.
- Set the necessary photo info.
To change image metadata on smartphone, follow these steps:
- Open picture in an inbuilt image viewer.
- Tap Settings button. It usually has a three-dot icon.
- Go to image Features.
- Edit, remove, or add metadata you need.
Occasionally, image details are blocked. So, you can't change or remove metadata from a photo using inbuilt tools. In such instances, it's advisable to employ third-party applications like the ones below.
Adding Metadata to Your Images
Let's discuss how to add picture details using specific software initially. To embed metadata in Lightroom, the following should be done:
- Pick a photo from the Library. Go to Metadata panel (it's on the right).
- Click drop-down menu and choose IPTC and EXIF. A more comprehensive image details will be shown.
- Fill out blank lines by clicking them first. You can also edit photo info using Lightroom from Metadata panel or by picking Preset drop-down menu and choosing Edit Presets.
To embed image details in Adobe Photoshop, do the things as follows:
- Click File menu. Pick Export, then Export as.
- Select None option in the right pane under Metadata.
- Click Export.
Adobe Bridge has the following algorithm to get metadata added:
- Select one or several pictures from the list on the right.
- Employ the CTRL-K hotkey, go to Edit menu, and pick Preferences. Or click a small icon in the upper right corner of Metadata panel on the lower left, and select Preferences.
Check the lines you need. You can also simplify the necessary fields for metadata search by disabling unnecessary lines.
- Click the lines to edit them. Or you can press the Tab button to go to the following line after filling out the previous one.
Generally, adding metadata to photos using software is quite easy and doesn't require any specific skills.
How to Add Metadata in Windows OS
Here is what you should do to view and edit image details:
- Right-click a picture and pick Properties from the menu.
- Choose Details section.
- Embed photo information to the necessary lines.
To delete metadata, press Remove Properties and Personal Information. It's located at the bottom of Properties window. Thereafter, just choose the info you need to remove.
How to Add Metadata to Images on Mac
This operating system has a default Photos app to edit and view image information. One, however, should import images into the application before changing their metadata. To add data to a photo on Mac, do the following:
- Open the picture you need.
- Press Information key from the toolbar.
- Pick Info panel to access image details.
Photos app allows editing keywords, descriptions, titles, etc.
What Metadata Information Should Be Added
The basic set of image data includes the following:
- Author name. You may also protect your pictures from being used by third parties by enabling the Copyrighted field and specifying your contacts in the Copyright Notice.
- Creation date. This simplifies photo sorting.
- Image explanation. That's like a manually written memo note on a printed photo’s back stating who is in the pic, their ages, the place where the photo was snapped, etc. But in the case of digital photos, you make remarks in a digital form using metadata.
- Keywords, description, and rating. Qualitative picture viewers and editors allow for filtering graphic files according to these attributes.
- IPTC and IPTC Extension. These fields are highly recommended to fill out if you will use your pictures professionally or sell them to news agencies.
Also, one may edit or add EXIF data to a photo to include specific info about it, such as its color depth, resolution, etc.
How Metadata Helps Organize and Protect Your Digital Assets
Statista reports that about 5.3 bln people surf the web nowadays. Among other things, online users actively share photos they find on websites, social media, online portals, etc. Thus, a creator's unique work may be intentionally or accidentally published without their approval.
If selling original photos is how you earn money, this may cause essential financial losses. Some creators use watermarking to protect their works. Adding image details as one more protective layer is still recommended though.
Should Amateur Photos Have Comprehensive Metadata?
Human memory can't keep forever all the information about photos they took years ago. You can use metadata to store digital notes to help refresh your memory and not to forget all the important details. For example, a place where the photo was snapped, names of people in an image, and so on.
Graphical Content Administration in DAM Systems Through Metadata Management
Creators typically work with thousands of photos and pictures. They are forced to keep track of images' licenses. This implies either adding licenses or purchasing images and considering exactly how the graphical content can be used. All that, combined with adding metadata, is already quite difficult to manage manually.
Digital asset management solutions can be a great option here if you don’t want to spend even more time working with graphical content. Using DAM systems, you can make your workflow much more convenient and streamlined.
Pics.io is a high-quality digital asset management platform that offers helpful features not only for working with image metadata but also for watermarking, creating asset libraries, and many more.
Adding metadata to photos is useful for both professional creators and those managing personal photos. While the first ones want to protect their works, amateurs can leave remarks to refresh their memories when looking through their images years later.
Numerous people have plenty of questions on how to add EXIF data to an image. One of the ways to do this is by using DAM systems. These solutions are quite easy to use and allow not only to work with metadata but also effectively manage graphical content. Thus, users spend less time and effort.