Skip navigation
Ori246813579
Currently Being Moderated

How to edit raw files' metadata directly?

Nov 18, 2013 8:08 PM

Is it possible to edit raw files' metadata directly?  If so, how?  (I am using Bridge CS6 v5.0.2.4 x64).  In my case, raw files are from Nikon digital cameras, i.e., .NEF.

By directly, I mean the original file is changed, rather than the sidecar .xmp file.

 

This is necessary under some circumstances where it may be required to prove ownership or origin of a photo.

 

Help most appreciated.

 

Thank you.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2013 11:06 PM   in reply to Ori246813579

    Original raw files are always treated as read-only by Adobe software—and by most other software.

     

    You can convert your raw NEF files to raw DNGs with the free, stand-alone Adobe DNG Converter and then embed the xmp metadata in the same DNG wrapper that holds the raw DNG when you edit them in Camera Raw hosted by Bridge or by Photoshop.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2013 1:15 AM   in reply to Ori246813579

    This is necessary under some circumstances where it may be required to prove ownership or origin of a photo.

     

     

    They once (about 10 years ago?) advertised some sort of expensive device for your camera that claimed being able to serve in court for proof of a Raw file being original from camera without any modification other then the camera data.

     

    But then there was a statement of Thomas Knoll, the creator of both Photoshop and Camera Raw, that nevertheless he would be able to add anything to the image without any sort of device or human being able to detect it…

     

    It is very unlikely Mr. Knoll would do so in your case and he is certainly a man of great knowledge for digital imaging but if he can do it there is no reason anyone else (with also the correct knowledge) can't do so.

     

    Hence I stopped bothering about this subject. As Station two already stated Raw files are read only (spoken in general for common people like you and me, not for the Knolls of this world). DNG data is also read only but has the option to include the metadata in the file itself instead of needing a side car XMP file, yet ACR settings for a DNG are still undoable. One of the great advantages of DNG but also not suitable for proof of origin I'm afraid.

     

    There are also several scripts and applications that easily let you alter the metadata written by the camera to the Raw file. Date taken or date created, date modified, no problem to change.

     

    And not to mention the image itself once developed. Select all, copy, create new file and paste, you end up with a new image completely stripped of all metadata. And then there is the screenshot etc.etc. …

     

    Put your energy in building a good relationship with honest clients, there have always been people that won't act by the rules and there always will be, sad but true.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2013 7:13 AM   in reply to Ori246813579

    You can put watermarks on the image, which many do.

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2013 7:14 AM   in reply to Ori246813579

    So how do you prove an image is yours?

     

     

    I did understand the ownerships problem but I also would point to the impossibility of hard proof with current technology.

     

    As said, I put my energy in good clients and for my images that are used on personal websites without my permission I really don't bother.

     

    Don't know where you live and what your country has in its law regarding copyright. I also don't know to what extend you want to go and how much money is involved with your problem.

     

    Never had to do it myself but I heard of several cases in the Netherlands. If you are certain it is your image and it is used without your permission and without paying you there are normal ways to seek justice.

     

    First call the person or company that betrayed you for info and explain, then put this in writing with the request of a reasonable fee. If no luck seek a lawyer for a first letter with warning for extra costs and fine.

     

    If you want (depending on the law in your country but most western countries do respect copyright) you can get it to court. Be sure to have the original raw files at hand (the whole series makes it more believable) and eventually if needed or possible seek witnesses seeing you taking the pictures.

     

    But it can be a long and hard road that is certainly not suitable for a small case. Then again, most of the cases have been decided in favor of the photographer, the company that first refused to pay left with the usual fee to pay including a fine (mostly the same or more as the fee) and having to pay for the costs of the court…

     

    Also keep in mind this is not good advertisement for you as a photographer, especially if the fine is big the word will spread around in the business. It is always problematic in this cases, hence my advise to invest in good clients...

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2013 11:20 AM   in reply to Ori246813579

    Ori246813579 wrote:

     

    …So how do you prove an image is yours?…

     

    Shoot film and hang on to your negative. 

     
    |
    Mark as:
  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2013 2:18 PM   in reply to station_two

    Shoot film and hang on to your negative. 

     

    A reproduction with a good macro and glossy print would be the analog equivalent of copy / paste…

     
    |
    Mark as:

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points