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Image Processing and Workflow RAW, DNG , TIFF and JPG. From Capture to Ready for Publish/Display. All software and techniques used within an image workflow, (except extensive retouching and repair or DAM).

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Old May 12th, 2010, 12:00 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Default Photoshop CS5 - Metadata handling

As many of you know, we are looking into the possibility of adopting Photoshop CS5 as our "workhorse" image editor. This has caused me to look into a number of its features that correspond to our very basic, "bread-and-butter" needs (cropping, basic masking, tonal curve adjustment, sharpening, resampling, etc.). I will discuss my observations in that regard elsewhere.

A collateral area in the overall workflow is the handling of metadata. I thought I would take a quick look into just what PS CS5 does in that area. Others here may have far greater insights into this than I, and I would enjoy any further observations, including corrections where I may have come to the wrong conclusions based on my limited tests.

By way of reference, all camera files spoken of here were JPEG files generated by a Canon EOS 40D. These contained:

"Camera" Exif metadata

Some "identification" Exif metadata

Maker note Exif metadata

They contained no IPTC metadata (in either IIM or XMP forms).

Metadata in the various files involved was inspected with three tools:

Opanda IExif (which can be used to inspect metadata in files downloaded from Web pages

ExifTool/ExifToolGUI

GexifView

Basic scenario

The basic number I asked PS CS5 to do at its recital was to open a camera file and then do a Save As.

The result seems to be this:

"Camera" Exif metadata (describing the camera and the circumstances of the exposure) is written to the destination file.

"Maker Note" Exif metadata is not in general written to the destination file.
This is metadata in proprietary format covering a wide range of items, including (for the Canon EOS cameras) the owner's name (if it had been embedded in the camera) and the details of color correction vectors.
Some "Identification" Exif metadata is constructed and written to the destination file. Notably, the OwnerName is extracted from the Maker Note metadata and applied as the Artist data item. The role of Photoshop in the process is also recorded in that area.

Certain IPTC metadata in XMP form is created and written, including both OwnerName and Creator items, both drawn from the OwnerName item in the Maker Note Exif metadata.

Certain IPTC metadata in IIM (legacy) form is created and written. The main item here is Byline, taken from the OwnerName item in the Maker Note Exif metadata.

Original file includes IPTC metadata

It appears that if the incoming file included IPTC metadata, that is preserved and written to the destination file. There are some details of this I have not yet checked out.

Addition of further IPTC metadata

The user can enter a wide range of IPTC metadata items in the File Info dialog. There are not separate screens for IIM and XMP IPTC data. Entries made will turn into data items in one or both forms, as appropriate (not always with identical tag names).

There is a separate screen for IPTC extension metadata. This is a new aspect of the IPTC format providing further information of interest to photographers and publishers. It actually goes into the XMP form of the IPTC metadata area.

Metadata templates

A use can save all the metadata in force for the currently-open image to a metadata template. (The metadata cannot be screened; that is, we cannot elect to have IPTC metadata but not camera metadata, if present, saved to the template.

With an image loaded, a saved metadata template can be summoned, in one of three modes of effect:

Clear all existing metadata items and place whatever metadata is in the template.

Update all items for which there are values in the template and keep all other items unchanged.

Append the values in the template to the existing values for the corresponding items (for text values; we cannot append a new shutter speed to the existing one).

I had somehow expected to find a provisions for automatically adding, by default, certain user-determined metadata items (perhaps a fully-worded copyright notice, or "standard" usage limitations) to each file when it is saved by Photoshop, but with the few exceptions noted above (based on the OwnerName in the Maker Note Exif metadata), I find no such provisions. Perhaps a colleague knows how this works.

Well, that's what we know here, so far.

Last edited by Doug Kerr; May 12th, 2010 at 01:27 PM.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 04:46 AM
Mike Bailey Mike Bailey is offline
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CS5 seems to have a bug where it will add an extra character to the copyright notice field whenever it writes a file out. Normally I insert a copyright symbol as the first character in my copyright string, either in CS2 or Lightroom, if converting a raw file there. This character, 0169 on the keypad, , shows up correctly when viewed in Photoshop 7, CS2, CS3, and in CS5. But after touching the file with CS5, when that same file, a tif in this case, another extended character, 0194 on the keypad, is inserted before the copyright character. Oddly enough, CS5 will not display this added character, but it is seen in any other method of viewing that particular EXIF field.

Mike

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Old May 13th, 2010, 06:10 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Mike,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Bailey View Post
CS5 seems to have a bug where it will add an extra character to the copyright notice field whenever it writes a file out. . . .
Curious. I will look into that.

Thanks for the report.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old May 13th, 2010, 04:07 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Mike,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Bailey View Post
CS5 seems to have a bug where it will add an extra character to the copyright notice field whenever it writes a file out. Normally I insert a copyright symbol as the first character in my copyright string, either in CS2 or Lightroom, if converting a raw file there. This character, 0169 on the keypad, , shows up correctly when viewed in Photoshop 7, CS2, CS3, and in CS5. But after touching the file with CS5, when that same file, a tif in this case, another extended character, 0194 on the keypad, is inserted before the copyright character. Oddly enough, CS5 will not display this added character, but it is seen in any other method of viewing that particular EXIF field.
Yes, I see that in one of Asher's files that had been processed with (I think) PS CS4. I think the copyright notice was put in with another program.

I find here that if I add a copyright notice (Exif) in PS CS5 and it contains the character (anyplace - not just at the beginning of the string) what actually is written has a in front of the .

It does not show up when the file is read in PS CS5.

A character placed in the notice string appears as in PS CS5 but is written to the file as (0195).

Way curious.

Best regards,

Doug
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Old May 15th, 2010, 04:37 AM
Mike Bailey Mike Bailey is offline
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Hi Doug,

The same sequence seems to happen if you use an XMP file to save or insert the copyright notice. I tried that to see how persistent the problem was. This sure seems like a bug relating to the extended character set. After finding it, I did make an official bug report at Adobe on this so hopefully it's resolved in the point release. So maybe it's CS4 too? Since I found CS3 to be of little use beyond CS2, though I did the upgrade, I stuck with CS2 so haven't used CS4.

Now if only they'd take away the changed functionality of drag and drop onto the current document NOT creating a new document, but a new layer or smart object. That drives me nuts. But that's a different thread.

Mike

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