Prepare Your Images

Images submitted should be saved as JPG files. RAW files are not acceptable. 

The images should be prepared so the final file is no more than 2 MB. (1.5 - 2.0 MB is optimal). To do this, you can resize the image so the long edge about 2,000 pixels and save it as a JPG file. 

There are many places that you may want to display your work that can take advantage of metadata in the image file. For example, if you are preparing images to enter the Heard Nature Photography Contest, you'll want to ensure that the image Title and Copyright are included in the metadata of the image file. No identifying information should be visible on the image. 

Below you'll find information on Adding Metadata in...

  • Adobe Lightrooom
  • Adobe Bridge
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Windows Operating System
  • Mac Operating System
  • ... at the bottom you'll also find notes about adding/editing metadata in general

Adding Metadata in Lightroom

Adding Title

In the Lightroom Library module, you'll see a tab on the right that's labeled Metadata. Open this tab and set the view to 'Default'. The Default view hides a lot of the unnecessary metadata fields and shows you both the Title and Caption. Fill in an appropriate Title and Caption for your image.

Copyright Information

Unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to display the copyright information that's in the image metadata on the website. For this reason, we suggest that the Copyright information also be included in the Caption. That doesn't mean copyright information should not be included. On the contrary, it should be included in the metadata.

For example your description may be something like: "©2016 Rob Hull - Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National park tumbles almost 1,000 feet into the valley below." 

To add the copyright symbol use the appropriate shortcut:

  1. On a PC, the © symbol is created by holding the ALT key and press 0169 on the number pad. (This does not work on the number along the top of the keyboard.)
  2. On a Mac, simply press Option G

Your entry should look something like ©2017 Rob Hull. 

Note: This only adds the metadata to the Lightroom catalog. To use it in any other application, you must save the metadata to the original file. 

Save Metadata to the Original File

In the Library module, be sure the image file you are working with is selected. Then go to the Lightroom menu and select Metadata > Save Metadata to File. This synchronizes the metadata in the original file with that in the Lightroom Catalog. 

You can do this for any file type but if you're going to use the image on social media or on a website, you'll want to be sure it's in a compatible format like .JPG.

Save File as JPG

If you've added the metadata to a RAW file, you'll need to export it as a JPG first.  

Adding Metadata in Adobe Bridge

If you don't use Adobe Lightroom, you can also add metadata to your image file from Adobe Bridge. In the Bridge be aware that the field name where the Caption is stored is called "Description". 

Open Bridge and select the image to which you want to add metadata. In the right hand column look for the tab IPTC Core. Enter a Description for the image. 

Because our website development software doesn't read the Copyright field, it's suggested that you begin the description with your Copyright notice. Something like "©Rob Hull - This is a boat tied to a dock."

Also enter an Image Title and your Copyright information. 

Adding Metadata in Adobe Photoshop

In Photoshop, you can update metadata for any open image. Go to File > File Info. Update the Document Title, Description and Copyright Notice on the Description tab. Save the image.

Adding Metadata in Windows OS

You can also add metadata to your images directly from Windows. 

In File Explorer, right click the file and go to the properties.


Click on the Details tab and add your Metadata. 


Add Metadata on Mac OS

On an Apple Mac system, you edit an image's metadata using the Photos app. This app is a part of the operating system. The down-side is that you must import your images into Photos before you can edit them. 

  • In the Photos app, double click on the image.
  • Click on the (I) Information icon on the top tool bar.
  • In the Info panel, you can add your Title, Description, Keywords and other information. 
Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 10.55.54 AM.png

Note that the ability to add/edit metadata in the Photos app is somewhat limited. It's recommended that you use a more robust program like Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop. 

Notes About Adding Metadata

There are a lot of applications that allow you to add or edit metadata in an image file. But, it's important to understand that many of these tools provide you with a very limited view of the files metadata. 

Even a robust application like Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop do not show you all the metadata in a file. For example, my Canon 5D Mark IV writes a great deal more metadata into each image file than what can be viewed in any Adobe product. 

Just about every camera manufacturer provides a software solution for managing files created with their camera. For Canon, it's called Digital Photo Professional. For Nikon it's called Nikon Capture. Don't forget to look at these solutions for editing and managing your files.