File Information and Logs – The Digital Photography Workflow Handbook

File Information and Logs

The Photoshop file information box (File ▸ File Info: or ) contains a wide range of useful information for the active image. The Camera Data tab contains (among other things) the image EXIF data embedded in the file by the camera. You can enter author tags, image titles, and copyright information in the IPTC tab, as well as keywords for later searches in Bridge or Lightroom. You can also include other descriptive data or comments here.

Figure 4-10. EXIF data is displayed in the “Camera Data” tab.

Check the other types of file information too, and don’t worry if some entries turn up multiple times in different places – different camera manufacturers use different tag names for various camera parameters.

History Log

We set up Photoshop to record all processing steps in the image metadata using the Preferences ▸ General dialog. We check the History Log option and select Metadata under Save Log items (A).

Figure 4-11. Use the general preferences to select which steps are recorded in the file’s log.

Use option B to select the degree of detail for your log. If you select Detailed, you can later scrutinize all the processing steps performed on the image via File ▸ File Info ▸ History. This super-useful functionality was introduced with Photoshop CS.

Figure 4-12. The log of processing steps performed on an image. This feature increases the file size a little, but is a great record of what has been done to an image and when.

Photoshop uses XML or XMP format to save metadata internally. We will be coming across XMP quite often in the course of the workflow. XMP data can be embedded in image files (which helps to preserve congruency when images are moved, renamed, or copied), or in a separate XMP file (selectable in menu B in Figure 4-11). This file has the same name as the image file it is associated with and the file extension “.xmp”. XMP data can be read by all Adobe applications and also by some other manufacturers. It is useful during later processing stages.

XMP stands for “Extensible Metadata Platform”, which is an ISO standard used for storing and exchanging metadata in all Adobe applications.