Metadata in Images

Metadata is information that can be embedded into many forms of electronic data, including .jpg images. Metadata can include information such as copyright, captions, creator, date created, keywords and more.

Keywords can help search engines such as Google to find and categorise images to make them more accessible in searches.

Metadata can also help protect your rights in images placed on the internet as this metadata can be embedded into all .jpg images using the IPTC metadata format. IPTC stands for the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC), who created this standard for embedding the metadata into .jpg images. [Read more about IPTC Metadata - More Information on use in IrfanView (below)

KHS embeds metadata into all of the images placed on the internet.

KHS has been using some very useful FREE imaging software called IrfanView for all image manipulation. As well as the various image manipulation features, the IPTC metadata can be added to any image using IrfanView in .jpg lossless operations (meaning that no image quality is lost or changed when embedding metadata into the image). IrfanView also has some very useful and powerful "Batch Processing" features which allows batch conversion and renaming of entire folders of images at once.

When KHS started seriously using metadata in December 2010, metadata was added individually to each image which is a very laborious but necessary process. It was found that when these images with the IPTC metadata fields filled in were uploaded to Flickr, all of the metadata fields also transfer directly into the Flickr dialogue boxes. This meant that once uploaded all of the title, caption, keywords etc., were automatically "filled in" on Flickr, so that no more needed to be done, which was also a great time saver. Recent experiments on Facebook finds that this is also the case when uploading images to FaceBook IE. All of the information fields are pre-filled from the metadata in the images.

After contacting the IrfanView software author in January 2011 to discuss the possibility of including batch processing features to the IPTC metadata dialogue within IrfanView, the author not only agreed but had implemented my ideas into the IrfanView software within a week (Thanks Irfan!). These changes to the software now allow the batch processing of the IPTC metadata into multiple folders full of images, which saves a huge amount of time and effort in processing images.

How can I do this to my images?

We will eventually provide a step by step tutorial on how to batch process the IPTC metdata into the images. (Coming Soon!).

Download IrfanView

I would recommend downloading IrfanView from the IrfanView website so that you can follow the tutorial and try out the process as you go. Go to (Will open in a new window to leave this website open for access to the tutorial). Download and install the IrfanView software and the provided "PlugIns" as the separate "PlugIns" have the required additional software for the IPTC metadata.

OR Back to Archival Tips for your documents and photographs.

Important/interesting IPTC tags/placeholders, according to IPTC specification:

Placeholder Tag name/function

$I5 -        Object Name (Document Title)

[At KHS we use this as the main file name - eg.

"1961-03-25 - Site works for Diversion Dam - RA Hamilton Collections - KHS-1998-8-P2-D-23.jpg"

$I7 -        Edit Status

$I10 -        Priority

$I15 -        Category

$I20 -        Supplemental Category

$I25 -        Keywords [Single words or "Multiple Relevant Keywords" can be added in a list]

$I30 -        Release Date (see Appendix A for additional examples)

$I35 -        Release Time

$I40 -        Special Instructions

$I45 -        Reference Service

$I47 -        Reference Date

$I50 -        Reference Number

$I55 -        Created Date 

$I60 -        Created Time

$I65 -        Originating Program

$I70 -        Program Version

$I75 -        Object Cycle

$I80 -        Byline (Author) [eg. Photographer's Name]

$I85 -        Byline Title [eg. Photographer:]

$I90 -        City

$I92 -        Sublocation

$I95 -        Province State

$I100 -        Country Code

$I101 -        Country

$I103 -        Original Transmission Reference

[We use this field for the Archive Number - eg "KHS-1998-8-P2-D-08"]

$I105 -        Headline

[At KHS we use this for a Short Caption - Usually includes Year/Date first-named]

$I110 -        Credit

[At KHS we use this for collection source.]

[eg - "Kununurra Historical Society (KHS) Archive - Roy A. Hamilton Collections"]

$I115 -        Source

[At KHS we use this field for the collection name]

[eg - "KHS - RA Hamilton - 1960-63 Ord River Diversion Dam Construction Print Collection"

$I116 -        Copyright

$I120 -        Caption [Room for long captions - multi-lined detail]

$I121 -        Local Caption

$I122 -        Caption Writer

["KHS Volunteer AB"]

All of these fields above can be embedded within the JPG image with no image quality loss.

The information can be filled in a single form, to entire folders full of images, using (the Free! :^) Irfanview's powerful Batch Metadata and Batch Rename & Conversion facilities from within 'IrfanView ThumbNails' mode.

IrfanView IPTC "WildCards"

 All of the $ Codes above can be called in future batch operation for IPTC Metadata batches or in Batch Rename and Conversion operations using IrfanView - This is an incredibly powerful facility.

 For example one could rename an entire folder full of eg. A KHS archive of photographs - Building Ord River Diversion Dam in 1960 by Roy A. Hamilton JPG Master images, where all are named as the archive number, KHS-1988-8-P2-D - 76 x prints numbered  KHS-1988-8-P2-D-01 to KHS-1988-8-P2-D-76.

If all metadata had been embedded (in a batch), I could then use IranView Thumbnails - Go to that archive folder - 'Select ALL' (76) - Right Click on selected images and select "Batch Conversion & Rename" - In the requester - Select required image resize options then to the name field.

I would name the Year and month and date first if I have them, if not estimate.

$I105 - $I103.jpg

[Would then rename each image with whatever had been embedded in each image's IPTC Metadata fields as above.]

eg. "1961-03-25 - Site works for Diversion Dam - RA Hamilton Collections - KHS-1998-8-P2-D-23.jpg"