Whilst watching television a few days ago there was an interview with James Corden the actor. They had a couple of pictures of him as a younger man and he talked about working with Alan Bennett on The History Boys. That triggered a thought: I’m sure that I photographed the two of them together when they were doing an interview about the play and the film.
I have always catalogued my pictures and so I decided to put my IPTC skills to the test and search my system using the two words ‘Corden’ and ‘Bennett’. My archive is currently run using Phase One Media Pro (the software that produces the lovely contact sheets used on this blog) and so I opened the catalogue window, typed in the two words and waited. I waited for less than two seconds for the first thumbnail to pop up and probably less that five for the search to be completed. I could see four JPEGs and four Canon CR2 files – that’s pretty efficient. The catalogue told me that the JPEGs were on a mounted drive and that the RAW files were on an external drive that wasn’t mounted. One double click later I had opened the chosen JPEG in Photoshop and resized it.
Metadata is magic when it works. It works best when you, as the photographer, are a bit anal about adding captions and keywords to every single picture that you save. I have been pretty anal about captions for as long as I can remember – even adding tiny typed labels to the mounts on 35mm slides and stickers on the backs of prints. It’s easy if you can add them in batches and there’s plenty of software options out there to handle the task. My chosen application for adding metadata is Photo Mechanic – I love it to bits!
So there we go. Mission accomplished. I tried to find a fairly random image and I found it in seconds. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to be able do that?