Tip – Wanna keep people from seeing your metadata?

Have you ever published a photo somewhere (Flickr, your website, blog, etc…) and some one emails or comments to you and asks “Why’d you shoot that photo at f/16? Don’t you think f/11 would have been more appropriate?”. Or perhaps you’re delivering them to a client and you simply don’t want them to know all of the camera info (maybe you got a killer shot with a point-n-shoot but you don’t want them to know it :) ).

I call them Metadata Creepers. They creep into your images that you unknowingly posted all of the metadata for and look through only to ask you semi-irrelevant questions. Well there’s a way to automatically get rid of your camera info. When you go to File > Export and the Export dialog opens, you’ll see a small checkbox called “Minimize Embedded Metadata”.

Turn that on and Lightroom will keep any copyright information in the metadata but it’ll remove all of the camera-related stuff. Hope that helps. Have a great weekend everyone!

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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14 Comments

  1. Although for professionals I can see why protecting your metadata can be an issue, personally, I’ve bee grateful to those who have left it open over the years. It’s been a great resource as a learning tool.

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    • This is exactly why I do not strip metadata. I was thankful for everyone who ever showed me theirs. I want to return the favor.

      There are no secrets in photography.

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  2. Sell a point & shoot image!!?? Who would do that? ;-)

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  3. Hi Matt,

    Only problem with minimizing it is that the caption does not get sent either. Any work around? Don’t want to send all my metadata but def the caption

    Cheers Vincent

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  4. Matt,

    Another reason you would want to minimize meta data in LR is in PS versions earlier than CS4 if you make brush or gradient adjustments, PS versions before CS4 don’t play well with those images. When it comes to saving after you have done all PS work, you would have to select all copy and paste to a new untitled document. PS seems to not know how to write embedded meta data of the brush or gradient adjustments made in LR.
    But this is only an issue for PS versions BEFORE CS4

    Ron

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  5. How about GPS info ? Sometimes I don’t want that in there.

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    • I don’t care much capture information, but leaving GPS information on a photo is really dangerous sometimes. I don’t want people to know where my client live for example. Good question.

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  6. I always do this now so my wedding clients don’t know how I got the results!!
    Also if there are 2 of us shooting I tend to move pictures around in LR3 by changing the meta times, a wedding always feel better when it flows right, after this I then export and wipe all the metadata.
    Amazing how valuable metadata can be to someone wanting to start in your form of photography, it doesn’t make them a photographer but sure gives them a good idea.

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  7. Until Adobe provide a more configurable feature I thouroughly recommend the
    Jeffrey Friedl plugin for this.

    “Metadata Wrangler”

    http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/metadata-wrangler

    Fully configurable and you can set up different presets for each different type of export. I have one for mail type exports which have little or nothing in except copyright and contact info and one for flickr type exports which have just about everything in.

    I have no connection with this plugin (which is Donationware, pay what you feel) other than as a long time satisfied user.

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  8. If you want have full control about embedded metadata, you can add a script or batch file in “Post-Processing” and use ExifTool (http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/). Under Windows a batch file removing all metadata looks like that:

    exiftool ^
    -all= ^
    -make= ^
    -model= ^
    -artist= ^
    -modifydate= ^
    –icc_profile:all ^
    -overwrite_original ^
    %*

    where “exiftool.exe” has to be in the executable’s path or has to be specified (e.g. “C:Program Filesexiftoolexiftool.exe”).

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  9. Thanks for this bit of info, it helps

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