Author Topic: QR codes - reading and embedding into meta data  (Read 455 times)

Offline Craig_S44

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QR codes - reading and embedding into meta data
« on: August 22, 2022, 02:33:37 AM »
Hi

I have already posted - so I thought - about this late last week - but can not find any trace of that post.  So here it goes again.

I currently use a plugin called LR Barcode for Lightroom  by www.capturemonkey.com , that can read and embed data from QR codes into specific IPTC fields in an images metadata.

This plugin is no longer being developed or supported though and while it still works, it's only one Lightroom upgrade away from oblivion.

I rather depend on it.

As PhotoMechanic already has many abilities regarding reading and writing metadata, it seems a natural extension that it would be able to do this as well, and would fit right in with the broader capabilities of PhotoMechanic Plus cataloguing abilities.

All I need is for PM to see a QR code, read it and then write that info to the fields I require in the subsequent images, until it comes across a new QR code.  Wash. Rinse. Repeat, until it runs out of QR codes.

I am unable to find another plugin for this and while I know that there are entire commercial event photography platforms that can also do this - there are reasons that I can not / do not want to go that route. 

This ability is would gain you customers in the event photography market, I've no doubt.

I hope you will consider this.

Thanks

Craig



Offline Jeff Vogan

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Re: QR codes - reading and embedding into meta data
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2022, 07:45:11 AM »
Craig,

QR Codes are unnecessary.  You can do what you are looking for using Hot Codes, a feature that was introduced in PM 6.  I create a spreadsheet before, for example, a large portrait shoot for a sports club.  The spreadsheet will have a line for each athlete with their first name, last name, jersey number, position, age or any other info you care to add. I add a storage folder number to each line in the spreadsheet.  So, for example, Becky Smith is photographed in storage folder 101, Alice Jones in 102, etc.  SO rather than having to create a QR code and then photograph it, I switch the storage folder number in camera and shoot away.  I have programmed a Fn button on my camera so allow me to switch storage folders in about 2-3 seconds.

I believe that using Hot Codes along with the storage folder number is easier and faster than using QR codes.

Offline Craig_S44

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Re: QR codes - reading and embedding into meta data
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2022, 11:08:01 PM »
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your ideas on how this could be done.  I am certainly interested in other ways of doing this.  Unfortunately, I do not think this would be a viable method for me the main reason being we often have 3-4 or more photographers working at the same graduation with no guarantee that all students will come for a photo, nor do we know what set they will come to, also there is a possibility that they may come back more than once and go to a different photographer.   I can see this an option for instances where there is a single photographer shooting all subjects in order, but as I understand what you have written it would just not work for us.

With QR codes, ,though, they have a copy given to them at the registration desk and we retain a copy if they come back later and don't have theirs.

Good news is that I have upgraded my machine to a Mac Studio running Monterey and the latest Lightroom, and the plugin still works. 

I definitely feel this is a great fit for PhotoMechanic Plus would be nice to hear from Kirk, et al

Craig

Offline Jeff Vogan

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Re: QR codes - reading and embedding into meta data
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2022, 07:35:17 AM »
Craig,

Hot Codes would work just fine with multiple photographers and the students could come back multiple times, going to different photographers.  Works fine.  I have done that a number of times.  But if you are happy with the QR codes, keep using what works for you.  I just wanted to highlight to you that QR codes could be completely replaced by Hot Codes in PM.

Jeff

Offline Craig_S44

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Re: QR codes - reading and embedding into meta data
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2022, 07:22:30 PM »
Hi Jeff

Are you saying that you make a custom folder for each subject on your camera?  So for some of my schools where we have 400+ students, each of the 7 photographers for those jobs would need to create 400+ unique folders beforehand on their camera and then scroll through to find that folder before photographing them?  I would like to understand more about this - but if I have interpreted this part correctly, I just can't see this being a viable thing for us, the time needed to make this number of folders and then for the larger schools finding the correct one, as it would never be a case of just selecting the next one.  We are under significant time constraints as well usually only having less than an hour shooting time prior to the ceremony and about 40 minutes after.

I would like and alternative method to do this, so I am interested to learn more about it - but on the surface at least it appears that it would be time consuming and possibly prone to human error - forgetting to select a the new folder or choosing the wrong one for instance.

Craig

Offline Jeff Vogan

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Re: QR codes - reading and embedding into meta data
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2022, 09:25:29 AM »
Craig,
I do not need to create the storage folders in advance on my Nikon.  Each camera brand handles the creation/changing of storage folders slightly differently, but each brand allows you to create & change storage folders.  The act of selecting a storage folder creates the folder.  It takes me about 2-3 seconds. 

You refer to "custom" folders.  All digital cameras store the files in storage folders but most people just let the camera handle that.  I simply take advantage of the fact that you can change folders.

I can shoot 200+ athletes in one day by myself.  No QR codes, no bar codes, no writing image numbers down.  Simply switch storage folders for each person. AT the end of the day I have 200 named folders and each folder contains the named files for the athlete.

I guarantee that this is faster than creating QR codes, printing QR codes and then photographing each code. 

Offline Craig_S44

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Re: QR codes - reading and embedding into meta data
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2022, 11:44:31 PM »
Hi Jeff,

I guess I must not understand your process then, as it sounded like you need to have the folder numbers predetermined for each subject, and if not then at least know the order that the come up in to match this up later.

You mentioned:

Quote
I add a storage folder number to each line in the spreadsheet.  So, for example, Becky Smith is photographed in storage folder 101, Alice Jones in 102, etc. 

That led me to think that the folders for each student must be predetermined if they exist in the spreadsheet prior to shooting, and thus they would need to exist on the camera in advance, in order to be selected.

We too create a spreadsheet, and then drop it on my QR code generator and create the ID tags.

On the day the student collect ID tags from rego desk and presents to the photographer.    I can not see selecting a folder on the camera for the person as described in your method, or taking a picture of the ID tag as being faster for either method - literally it is sub 2 seconds to shoot the tag as they hand it to me as they arrive at the set and then walk the  1.5m from that there to the meter mark.

Also, it sounds like you are in a situation where you will definitely be photographing everyone in attendance and *perhaps* have more time??  Don't know,  that is speculation on my part.

We need the ID tags anyways as we do not usually have the address details for students, sometimes we can get this and others we can not, so we need to have them fill out the tag and take a photo of it so we can identify them later.  We do always have the names, but in the scenario you describe, the spreadsheet would not have the address details and if we do not collect that info on the day, then we don't have it and this would be a problem for us. So either way, I need to shoot an ID tag, I need to create that prior to the day so it might as well have a QR code on it and creating them is only about 5 minutes regardless of the number required. 

I am interested in understanding your process though as I may be able to take pieces of it to improve what we do, but as I understand it (or don't) at the moment - I do not believe that it is a good fit for how our events run.

I would appreciate it if you could bullet point what you do prior the day and then separatley what is done on the day and how multiple photographers are handled

Cheers

Craig


Offline Jeff Vogan

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Re: QR codes - reading and embedding into meta data
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2022, 09:29:25 AM »
Hi Craig,

If you are happy with the workflow creating and shooting QR codes, I suggest sticking with it.

I was simply indicating that QR codes are unnecessary given that you could use Hot Codes in PM. It sounds to me like you are looking for a way to inject data into each image based on the QR code.  PM can use Hot Codes to do the exact same thing, so no need for additional software to do the QR codes.

If you use Nikon cameras, you can create folders 100-999 on the fly.  That means that you can be in folder 100, for example, then create folder 255 in about 2-3 seconds.  Each person would have an associated folder number.  So when, for example, Becky Smith who you've numbered as 303, steps up, you switch to storage folder 303.

Sony, Fiji and some Canon cameras do the storage folder in sequential order. In that case, I'd simply write the storage folder you shoot each person in into the spreadsheet as you shoot.  The higher-end Canons allow you to create folders like the Nikons.

Hot Codes is Photo Mechanic's method to embed metadata into images.  You can take advantage of the {foldernum} variable to create the named folder and rename the images when you ingest.

You can predetermine the folder numbers in advance, or add them as you shoot.  The workflow is flexible.