I was about to sit down and write a blog post about the last four weeks of my life – three and a bit of which were spent underneath Court 14 at Wimbledon – when I realised that I had written the self-same post this time last year. Instead I thought that I’d tackle the subject that causes me the most work and the most angst when I am working as an editor; IPTC captions. For those who don’t know or whose photography doesn’t involve writing them, IPTC (the International Photo Telecommunications Council) captions are the standard for adding the details in words describing the “where, when, who, what and why” of the image almost universally used in our industry. It is a form of metadata added after taking the pictures – although if you are smart and use the right software, quite a bit of it can be drawn automatically from the camera’s own EXIF metadata.
This has already turned into a geek-fest. I apologise to those who want to read about technique and kit but without good metadata, finding the right pictures in amongst tens and hundreds of thousands of others becomes a chore and can become almost impossible. (more…)