Author Topic: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.  (Read 20788 times)

Offline matthewmpp

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Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« on: May 28, 2015, 05:18:34 PM »
Hi All,

Operating System: Windows 7 64-Bit
Software Versions:    Photo Mechanic V5.0, build 16438
            Lightroom CC (2015)
            Photoshop CC (2014)
            Bridge CC
               
I am a photographer that believes in filling out the metadata for my photos, and that is why I like to include Photo Mechanic (PM) in my workflow.  The other applications that I use in my photography workflow are Lightroom (LR), Photoshop, and Bridge.  My workflow is usually a little chaotic because I like to use the best application for the job I am doing. So, in regard to the color labels, if I add a color label with one program, and then look at the same photo in another program, the new color label should be there.

I have heard photographers say that you can not use color labels when using more than one application.  I don't believe that this is true.  In fact, I am 95% of the way there.  I will start by explaining how I have my preferences set in each of the programs, and then walk through an example, and at the end I have a question.

I use 5 color labels, and I changed the label names in Bridge, LR, & PM, so that it looks like this:

Color Purple:    change name to "Purple"
Color Red:   change name to "Red"
Color Yellow:   change name to "Yellow"
Color Green:   change name to "Green"
Color Blue:   change name to "Blue"

Note: I do not use the other color labels in PM, (Orange, Light Blue, Gray).

Now, in LR go to => edit menu => catalog settings => Metadata tab, and in the section called, "Editing", check mark the box next to "Automatically write changes into XMP".

Next, in PM go to => edit menu => Preferences => "IPTC/XMP" tab. Look in the section: "When reading IPTC/XMP:".

1. The first line reads: "For Jpeg, Tiff, PSD, DNG Photos:", change the pull down menu to read: "Read embedded XMP before IPTC."

2. The second line reads: "For TIFF-based RAW photos search in the following order:"
      A. Set the first option to read: "Read XMP sidecar file".
      B. Set the second option to read: "Read embedded XMP".
      C. Now the third option will read: "Read embedded IPTC".

Okay, still in PM Preferences Dialog box, and still in the tab "IPTC/XMP", look at the section called, "When writing IPTC/XMP:"

1. "For Jpeg, Tiff, PSD, DNG photos:", check mark the box next to: "Add embedded IPTC (XMP will always be written)".

2. "For TIFF-based RAW photos:"
      A. check mark the box next to "Allow RAW files to be modified".
      B. check mark the box next to "Add embedded metadata:", and change the pull down menu to read: "XMP and IPTC".
      C. check mark the box next to "Always create and/or update XMP sidecar file".
      
I have attached a jpg photo of my PM IPTC/XMP Settings.

Now for the example, in PM I will apply color labels to 5 photos like this: first.dng is Purple, second.dng is Red, third.dng is Yellow, fourth.dng is Green, and five.tiff is Blue.

Next, open Bridge and navigate to the same folder, and the same pictures. In a few seconds you should see the color labels appear on the photos.  Notice that if the pictures are in the same order, then the color labels will also be in the same order, (i.e. third.dng is still Yellow).

Next open LR, navigate to the same folder using the Library module, if you click on the folder, you should see your pictures in the middle of the screen and switch to grid view so you can see all of the photos.  Notice that the pictures do not have any color labels on them.  Now, right click on the folder and select "Synchronize folder..." and a dialog box opens.  Make sure, "Scan for metadata updates", has a check mark next to it and click: "Synchronize". All the color labels should now be visible.

So far, so good. Now let's go in the opposite direction.

In LR remove the last 3 color labels. So, remove Yellow from third.dng, remove Green from fourth.dng, and remove Blue from five.tiff.  If you open Bridge and check the photos, 3 of the color labels will have been removed.  But if you open PM you will notice that all of the photos still have color labels.

Go back to LR, right click the folder again, and select "save metadata" from the pop-up menu. Now open PM, right click the folder, and select "refresh" from the pop-up menu. Notice that these last 2 steps made no difference, the color labels are still present inside of PM.

I think it is important to point out that Bridge worked when going in either direction. The only way I am able to remove the color labels from inside of PM is to right click each photo, and set the "color class" to "none". Then open Bridge again and wait a few seconds and the last 2 color labels will be removed.

Finally, the question: so why is PM not recognizing that the color labels have been removed from the photos by another program?  It looks to me like PM is not checking the status of the color labels. Is this a problem that the programmers never thought of?

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to make sure that everyone could follow and understand what I did. Thanks for reading.

[attachment deleted by admin]

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2015, 11:32:10 PM »
Matthew,

PM writes out color labels that all XMP-savvy applications should be able to understand.  It also writes out another PMPrefs tag that contains things like the frame number, tag, label index, and rating.  If an image does not have an XMP label applied to it, PM falls back and uses the PMPrefs tag and thus sees the last label index you applied in PM.  So one cannot remove a label and have PM recognize it.  One can change the label to some other label but not remove it entirely without PM falling back to its PMPrefs label index.

Since you are using Adobe products and are using XMP sidecar files for your non-DNG RAW files, I suggest you do not embed any metadata in your RAW files whatsoever.  Also, IPTC is not necessary if you have XMP already.  IPTC is an old standard that has been all but replaced by XMP.

If you click on the snapshot button (the one with the lightning bolt on it) you'll see settings for Adobe products.  We suggest all users of Photo Mechanic that want the best compatibility with Adobe products use the Adobe snapshot in PM.

HTH,

-Kirk

Offline matthewmpp

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 09:58:53 AM »
Kirk,

Thanks for the excellent reply. I find this information to be very helpful.

Take Care,
Matthew

Offline matthewmpp

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2015, 01:37:37 PM »
Kirk,

Sorry to bother you again; I am just looking for more information.  I have been testing the color labels, and I can add, change, or remove color labels using Bridge or LR, and then view these changes with PM, however, if I apply a label in PM, I can change the color label using Bridge or LR, but to remove the color label I have to use PM because I applied the label there.  So, this statement is absolutely true:

"If an image does not have an XMP label applied to it, PM falls back and uses the PMPrefs tag and thus sees the last label index you applied in PM.  So one cannot remove a label and have PM recognize it.  One can change the label to some other label but not remove it entirely without PM falling back to its PMPrefs label index."

What is the advantage of this behavior?  I guess I don't understand why this behavior is good.  Why does PM go looking for a color label when there is not one?  Is there some way to disable this behavior?

Thanks,
Matthew

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2015, 02:15:14 PM »
Matthew,

Sorry to bother you again; I am just looking for more information.  I have been testing the color labels, and I can add, change, or remove color labels using Bridge or LR, and then view these changes with PM, however, if I apply a label in PM, I can change the color label using Bridge or LR, but to remove the color label I have to use PM because I applied the label there.  So, this statement is absolutely true:

"If an image does not have an XMP label applied to it, PM falls back and uses the PMPrefs tag and thus sees the last label index you applied in PM.  So one cannot remove a label and have PM recognize it.  One can change the label to some other label but not remove it entirely without PM falling back to its PMPrefs label index."

What is the advantage of this behavior?  I guess I don't understand why this behavior is good.  Why does PM go looking for a color label when there is not one?  Is there some way to disable this behavior?

It has to do with backwards compatibility.  Our "Color Classes" existed prior to the arrival of Lightroom and Bridge.  When they became available and used a different method to store their color labels, we adapted to them, but there were tens of thousands of customers who had only used Photo Mechanic with their many thousands of images and we couldn't just drop our method of tracking color labels (there would have been a lot of backlash on that change for sure!) so we "prefer" the cross-application way, but if the cross-application data isn't there, we fall back to our original method.

In the future we may change this policy.

-Kirk
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 11:30:02 PM by Kirk Baker »

Offline matthewmpp

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2015, 08:39:13 PM »
Hi Kirk,

Thanks again for an excellent reply.  I appreciate the information.

Take Care,
Matthew

Offline olidie

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 04:48:20 AM »
Sorry for seizing this thread Kirk but I have a question relating to this statement:

Since you are using Adobe products and are using XMP sidecar files for your non-DNG RAW files, I suggest you do not embed any metadata in your RAW files whatsoever.  Also, IPTC is not necessary if you have XMP already.  IPTC is an old standard that has been all but replaced by XMP.

With Nikon Capture NX and NX2 being out of date does it make any sense to use the Nikon snapshot anymore? As a Nikon user I am currently using the same settings "For TIFF-based RAW photos" as Matthew since I thought NEF files are dealing well with IPTC data. Do I understand you correctly that even with NEFs you recommend just using xmp sidecars?

Oliver

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 09:45:24 AM »
Oliver,

Sorry for seizing this thread Kirk but I have a question relating to this statement:

Since you are using Adobe products and are using XMP sidecar files for your non-DNG RAW files, I suggest you do not embed any metadata in your RAW files whatsoever.  Also, IPTC is not necessary if you have XMP already.  IPTC is an old standard that has been all but replaced by XMP.

With Nikon Capture NX and NX2 being out of date does it make any sense to use the Nikon snapshot anymore? As a Nikon user I am currently using the same settings "For TIFF-based RAW photos" as Matthew since I thought NEF files are dealing well with IPTC data. Do I understand you correctly that even with NEFs you recommend just using xmp sidecars?

What are you using for your RAW processing?

-Kirk

Offline olidie

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2015, 09:54:05 AM »
What are you using for your RAW processing?

I am using Adobe Camera RAW.

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2015, 10:35:48 AM »
Oliver,

What are you using for your RAW processing?

I am using Adobe Camera RAW.

Then I recommend using the Adobe snapshot settings.

-Kirk

Offline olidie

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2015, 10:44:43 AM »
I understood that from you earlier post but I am asking myself when if ever is there a benefit from including the data into the NEF file. Is there any software around aside from outdated capture nx2 that makes good use of that.

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2015, 10:55:48 AM »
I understood that from you earlier post but I am asking myself when if ever is there a benefit from including the data into the NEF file. Is there any software around aside from outdated capture nx2 that makes good use of that.

Besides Photo Mechanic itself?  Exiftool can access the embedded metadata.

Embedding metadata does have the potential to cause problems for an Adobe workflow since Adobe products won't update the embedded metadata when it changes and will only update XMP sidecar files.

-Kirk

Offline Hayo Baan

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2015, 12:30:42 PM »
Oliver,

I suggest you switch to dng, that way you can have all the metadata inside the files and have the preview updated, just like you were used to with NX2 (just tell Camera Raw it should update the preview). Works like a charm for me ????
Hayo Baan - Photography
Web: www.hayobaan.nl

Offline olidie

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2015, 12:33:53 PM »
Thanks Kirk. So you're saying that I could run into problems with embedded metadata when I for example add keywords via bridge? I use Adobe just for photo editing but all my IPTC editing is done with PM. Still I will give it a try.

@Hayo: DNG is not an option for me since the files get bigger and it's an additional step in the workflow that takes time. I was never a big NX2 user since I always liked the workflow of ACR in PS.

Oliver

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Using Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, & Bridge Color Labels.
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2015, 12:43:08 PM »
Oliver,

Thanks Kirk. So you're saying that I could run into problems with embedded metadata when I for example add keywords via bridge?

What I am saying is that the embedded metadata and the sidecar metadata can get out of sync.  This goes for keywords, captions, etc. and also ACR settings.

-Kirk