Metadata for Derivative Images

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Today’s Question: I follow your suggestions where my “master” file is a Photoshop PSD file and I make JPEG images from the master files. Is there a way in Lightroom or Bridge to “mark” a photo (flag, color, stars, etc.) and have that information stay in the metadata of the exported image?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can most certainly add metadata to the “master” image, and have that information included in any derivative images you create. This is the default behavior when using, for example, the Image Processor from within Adobe Bridge. When exporting from Lightroom you can also enable the option to retain metadata for the exported images.

More Detail: If you’re using Adobe Bridge to create JPEG images from your “master” photos, I recommend the Image Processor utility as the most convenient option for creating derivative JPEG images. Simply select the photos you want to process, then choose Tools > Photoshop > Image Processor. You can specify the settings to be used and then process your photos to create JPEG derivative images that will include the metadata from the source photo.

The same option is available when exporting photos from Lightroom. Simply select the photos you want to process and click the Export button at the bottom of the left panel in the Library module to initiate the process. Use the various options available to specify how you want your derivative images to be created. In this case, the key setting is the “Include” popup in the Metadata section of the Export dialog. In this case you would probably want to use the “All Metadata” option so that all of the metadata from the source images will be included in the derivative images being created.

Keep in mind that only “standard” metadata can be included with this process. That means that Pick (or Reject) flags added in Lightroom will not be included in the derivative image. However, star ratings, color labels, and other standard metadata can be included in the exported images files, as long as the appropriate option for metadata is selected in the Export dialog.