Friday, February 6, 2009

My Geotagging Workflow: RAW / DNG Files and Lightroom

Although I haven't tried any dedicated plug-ins in Lightroom for geotagging photos (one is available here), the workflow below is relatively straight forward and allows you to geotag photos manually or automatically with a GPS track file (NMEA, GPX). I've summarized a workflow for geotagging JPEG files using the program locr already, but in this post I'll concentrate on DNG files (and RAW files, assuming you'll be converting your RAW files to DNG format). Adobe has a pretty straight forward converter for this here.

1.) Find the files you want to geotag. If the files are currently in RAW format, I convert to DNG since storing metadata in RAW files can be problematic and/or keeping track of sidecar files can also be a chore.

2.) If you have imported your photos into Lightroom already, now is the time to save your metadata to the files - any changes, keywording, edits, etc. you've done to each file in Lightroom. This step is crucial, especially if you have done a lot of edits to your photos before geotagging - similar to my case as I continue to go back through my catalogue and update/improve a lot of the metadata. If you don't save any previous edits done in Lightroom, then when you import the updated information (GPS coordinates in this case) generated in GeoSetter, all other edits will be lost if you did any.

3.) With each DNG file you want to geotag, updated with the latest metadata from Lightroom, you can now work with these files in a separate Geotagging program (GeoSetter in this case, since locr doesn't support DNG or RAW file formats).

Screenshot from GeoSetter website.

4.) Tag your photos manually or automatically with GeoSetter, adding any additional metadata you want at that time. One interesting feature in this program is the ability to automatically populate the location fields in IPTC data (Country Code, country, province, city) once the image is geotagged. You can also do the same thing with altitude values.

5.) One you've tagged and saved the new data to your files in GeoSetter, you can then go back to Lightroom and "Read Metadata from files" to update the files in Lightroom with the GPS data (and any other location/elevation/metadata you've added).

6.) Repeat the process for any files you want to Geotag!

Overall I've found Geosetter to be more intuitive, user friendly and flexible than locr, so will probably use this program for all my geotagging needs.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

More Vancouver Photos: Jericho Beach to the Sea Wall

UPDATE: I've now actually moved to Vancouver and have started a blog with daily posts here - Vancouver Daily Photo
It's interesting that after all the editing, I only chose one colour image and the rest are black and white.  These first three images are from Jericho Beach Park south of downtown Vancouver.  The remaining two images are from a walk around the Sea Wall at Stanley Park.
I wanted to get quite a contrast and silhouette in this photo, so I cranked up the dark and light to near max in post production.  Although there is much more detail in the original photo, I really like how the blown out areas and over-dark areas work in this image.
Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver

Monday, February 2, 2009

Vancouver Panorama

I recently grabbed this shot from a series of 7 shots in Vancouver.  I've stitched them together with Hugin, and have been quite impressed with the seamless stitching it produces.

I always find it difficult to appreciate a big panoramic image on the screen, since you have to scroll along at any decent resolution.  The image will definately look better in a separate window (click image).
UPDATE: I've now actually moved to Vancouver and have started a blog with daily posts here - Vancouver Daily Photo