New User - Managing Metadata

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SirNameless
Posts: 2
Joined: 19 Jul 19 0:12

New User - Managing Metadata

Post by SirNameless » 19 Jul 19 0:41

Hi everyone,
I'm in the midst of my trial period, and am strongly considering using PSu for a DAM. I have a few questions about how to configure PSu (if it's possible) to do what I have in mind.

I have two main sets of images.
1. Family stuff. Mostly camera original jpegs and a few tiffs (from scanned negatives from my pre-digital days). I mainly want to catalog these and label them so I can find stuff, and add captions etc. when necessary.
2. Creative stuff. This is just for fun. I don't sell images. At least not yet. This consists of:
a. DNG's straight from the camera (Pentax)
b. Derivative files (jpegs, tiffs, .pp3 from RawTherapee, .afphoto)

For the most part, for the past 12 or so years, I have considered my camera original family jpegs and creative DNGs as files that shouldn't modified at all. (Though, early on, I did write some metadata to some of my family jpegs). I just started reading The DAM Book, which supports that idea, for what it's worth.

So, following the advice in that book, I was hoping to configure PSu to do something like the following:
- Not write to image files automatically. (Done, found that option in the preferences.)
- Write metadata changes only to the catalog database.
- Process my DNGs to a "master" finished version (a tiff probably)
- Use PSu to export that tiff to a jpeg as needed (downsizing, watermarking, sharpening, etc for specific uses like posting to the web or printing)
- On export, save the metadata to the exported jpeg file only.

I haven't been able to get this to work. It seems like the metadata has to be synced to the "master" file prior to exporting, in order for the metadata to be propagated to the exported jpeg. This is fine and all, but if I use versioning, and group the original DNG to the "master", then saving metadata to the "master" also saves it to the DNG.

Is there any way to make this happen, or am I missing something important?

Should I not be attempting this kind of setup with PSu? Is it better to just write the metadata to the files and trust (hope?) they won't get corrupted?

I wouldn't be too broken hearted if my creative DNGs got messed up, but I'm pretty protective of my family photos. Is there any benefit to maintaining two separate catalogs for the two kinds of images (and use different settings for each)?

I know that's a lot of questions, but thanks in advance for your help!!

sanphotgn
Posts: 469
Joined: 26 Aug 07 18:06

Re: New User - Managing Metadata

Post by sanphotgn » 19 Jul 19 13:49

SirNameless wrote:
19 Jul 19 0:41
Is there any benefit to maintaining two separate catalogs for the two kinds of images (and use different settings for each)?
In my view, yes. I have multiple catalogs/databases.

Photo Supreme provides Command Line Startup Parameters, so one can have multiple catalogs/databases, each with their own set of data files. Read more about them in the Quick Manual - Maintenance under Help.

Any time I am trying to learn something new or adjusting my workflow, I create practice directories and fill them with copies of files. That way, if I mess up or it doesn't go as planned, I am always working with copies of copies and not originals.
Photo Supreme 3.3.0.2602 (64 bits) (Windows)

Mke
Posts: 448
Joined: 15 Jun 14 15:39

Re: New User - Managing Metadata

Post by Mke » 19 Jul 19 16:24

There's a logic to keeping two separate catalogues, however I'd suggest starting with one, then splitting it later. That's because you're likely to spend a good deal of time building your label hierarchy, and it's easiest to do that just once - unless you think the labels / keywords for the two catalogues will have little overlap. Though you could export, merge and import your keywords to keep the two in line, if you wish.

As for writing metadata to the files, there are definitely two camps on that. Personally I prefer to write to the files, as that way the information is less likely to be lost over time - probably not in the short term, since you know what you're doing, but longer term. This comes with a historical perspective - I'm slowly digitizing the 'family archive' that dates back to the 19th century, with many of the photos having passed through several generations, some with and some without 'metadata' hand written on the back. If my own images survive that long, I'd be more confident that the metadata would survive in the images than that my PSU catalogue would still be with them.

Note that whether or not you write metadata to your files, they are likely to suffer some bit-rot over time, so having multiple backups remains a good idea. Doing some quick math on the Getty Research Institute report at http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/preventing-digital-decay/ suggests that around 2 images will be completely corrupted per decade per 1,000 images (+ partial corruptions, presumably). In fact maybe that rate would now be higher, since image files are now much bigger - so more data to corrupt?

So you need someone else to give you a definitive answer on your last question.

sanphotgn
Posts: 469
Joined: 26 Aug 07 18:06

Re: New User - Managing Metadata

Post by sanphotgn » 19 Jul 19 23:11

SirNameless wrote:
19 Jul 19 0:41
Is there any way to make this happen, or am I missing something important?
There are a couple of ways to do this (maybe more).

If you are using versions, destroy the version set and you will be able to save metadata to only the jpg file.

If you aren't using versions, you can copy and paste the labels and details to the jpg file.

Each way allows you control over the final metadata included in the jpg if that is important.
Photo Supreme 3.3.0.2602 (64 bits) (Windows)

SirNameless
Posts: 2
Joined: 19 Jul 19 0:12

Re: New User - Managing Metadata

Post by SirNameless » 20 Jul 19 17:05

Thanks everyone for the responses and the linked articles. @sanphotgn, I'd agree with your assessment--those are the only workarounds I could get to work. @mke, I do see your point about writing the data to the files; that's the best argument I can come up with to do so. Maybe what I need to do is a full back up of the family stuff before I touch it, then put that away someplace safe, and then incorporate the tagged family files into my normal 3-2-1 backup scheme.

Mke
Posts: 448
Joined: 15 Jun 14 15:39

Re: New User - Managing Metadata

Post by Mke » 20 Jul 19 20:09

SirNameless wrote:
20 Jul 19 17:05
Maybe what I need to do is a full back up of the family stuff before I touch it, then put that away someplace safe, and then incorporate the tagged family files into my normal 3-2-1 backup scheme.
That would be my choice. But before that, be sure that you're happy with your file naming scheme, so that you can easily related one copy to the other. There's one thread on the topic at viewtopic.php?f=57&t=27475&p=121566, but probably others too.

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