Tips & Techniques » Metadata in Aperture 3
Metadata in digital images has become an essential aspect of modern photography. Imagine being able to use the image file itself as a vehicle for information. It is an incredibly useful and entirely appropriate opportunity.
If you are new to metadata, the concept is relatively simple; a portion of a digital image file is set aside for owner/creator information. The info doesn’t appear as part of the image but can be read and displayed by most Internet and computer imaging software.
Apple’s Aperture 3 allows the user to easily pre-populate digital photos with customized metadata info while also storing that info for later usage and application.
Here is the Aperture workspace with the Metadata pane selected.
I’ll use the drop down menu in the Metadata pane to choose the IPTC Core set of metadata options. IPTC stands for the International Press Telecommunications Council, which is an industry group that works to standardize and enable ease of info sharing for digital media. The IPTC Core set contains the most common options as well as some very specific to press work.
So, now it is time to fill in the blanks…
You will notice that I only filled in some of the info, and that’s OK to do, some of it is unnecessary in this case and some is image-specific. I want to be able to save this metadata set as a preset so I can apply it to any image. When satisfied with my set, I click the option wheel, and choose New Preset From Version.
That will bring up the New Preset dialog box. You should give a name to your preset here; additionally you can also add to or edit the metadata, or even temporarily turn off an individual entry by using its check box.
With my preset saved, I can now easily apply it to any individual image or whole sets of images just by selecting the images and choosing the preset from the option wheel.
Aperture extends the preset’s usefulness by allowing you to apply it when importing your images, so you can have a wedding’s worth of images, for example, clearly identified and searchable before you even start your wedding post-production. Another example of Aperture’s metadata use is when creating web photo galleries. It becomes much less of a chore when your content is auto-captioned straight from your metadata