May 20, 2020

MetaGear tees up metadata on the go

With a wifi-enabled camera and your iPhone, you can add metadata to your photos in the field with MetaGear

When I am filing photographs to the photo agencies I work with; time is of the essence. It’s essential to get photos off the camera and on the desk of picture editors as quick as I can. Traditionally, this would have meant attaching a card reader to the laptop, downloading photographs onto the computer using Photo Mechanic. Once edited, they needed to be sent to the agency using an available wi-fi connection or hoping that the tether to phone option worked. I had many frustrating episodes when my pictures didn’t reach the desks as quickly as possible. I have been looking for a simple tool that allows me to use the wi-fi functionality of the EOS R to get rush pictures to the desk. I think I may have found an almost perfect solution – an app called MetaGear.

What does MetaGear do?

I need to make it clear that MetaGear isn’t a replacement for Photo Mechanic or Lightroom. It does a couple of jobs quite well and answers the problem I had. The app has a preset function that allows the creation of metadata templates. It also allows the editing of presets and attaching the metadata to photographs held on your phone. Editing of the images is still done using the in-built apps or third-party apps such as Lightroom mobile.

Creating a preset

The first time you start up the app, you’ll see the photos in your various albums. Click on one of the photographs where you can view the existing metadata. I haven’t added any metadata through the camera, so the only metadata visible is the Exif info recording the camera settings such as aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

I file with several agencies, and each one wants to see the captions in a slightly different format. To do this easily, I can create templates for each agency. The information I always keep the same are listed on the IPTC tab at the bottom of the screen. When creating the template, fill in the information you’ll want to be the same on every single picture in the future. When you’re done, click on the Presets option at the top of the screen and then press the + button on the next screen. Give the preset a name and then click on Save.

Adding presets to multiple images

Now we have a preset, we can add them to the pictures that might make the news the next day. Select an image you’re going to send away and then click on the Presets button. Select the Preset to apply and press the blue Apply button in the top right of the screen. Update the information specific to the photograph such as the location, title and description. When everything is updated, click on Save where you can either replace the image with the updated metadata, change the quality of the photograph and rename the file. I would love there to be a function to add this update to multiple images – for now; there isn’t. If the same metadata is going to be applied to several images, add it as a new template then apply individually to each photograph.

I’m not going to say this app is perfect. There are a couple of suggestions I have made to the developer. I would want there to be a function to apply the same metadata to many photographs. It would also be great to be able to pull information from one field into another field. For example, many agencies want the city to be included in the Title field – a look-up function would be brilliant. As it is, I can knock off a few minutes from the filing process using MetaGear. My mobile signal is more reliable than trying to find a wi-fi hotspot so I’ll no longer be cursing poor connections. For £3.99 this is a great little app if you want to be able to update metadata on the go.

Coronavirus shut-down

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