Facebook, Flickr, and Lightroom, getting filenames and titles to sync

This past weekend, I shot almost 9,000 photos at Attack of the C Squads Roller Derby Tournament – Fantastic Four with four lenses and two bodies. I rented a second Canon EOS 7D Mark II from BorrowLenses, and learned a few tips and tools to make life easier.

First, make sure that your clocks are set correctly between the two camera bodies. I kept getting a warning when using the USB cable to connect the camera to my MacBook Pro about time-zone issue. The EOS utility will sync the clock to the computer. But I ignored this warning. In short, double check the clocks on the camera bodies before shooting.

However, Lightroom to the rescue. Using the Metadata menu, you can “Edit Capture Time …” and adjust each image’s capture time +/- hours relative to each image.

Second, Lightroom 6.3 has some issues with sorting and ordering. You can order by filename, or capture time, but not a dual sort, like capture time, then filename. (I set a custom filename to DPDAxxxx and DPDBxxxx for camera A and camera B, and reset the numbering to manually, with continuous numbering.) The 7D Mark II will do 14 fps, so many images will show up in the same second. So, ideally, I’d like to put the capture time then sequence number in the filename. Again, Lightroom to the rescue.

Using the Menu “Library” and option “Rename Photo …” and easily bulk rename photos. The options are pretty easy to figure out, and a few other blogs out there with more how to information.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 7.39.12 AM

Going further – I believe you can do this on import too. Save the template above and it can be used durning importing. Haven’t used this yet, but will be in the future.

Now, finally, my love-hate relationship with Facebook. I would have much rather just manage my images on Flickr. However, the power of Facebook was allowing the Derby Girls to tag themselves, share, and use as profile images was too much to continue to ignore. The flickr -> Facebook path … just isn’t feasible for the general user, especially via Mobile Apps.

The biggest gripe I have with Facebook, unlike Flickr, it does not title the image with the filename. However, some googling found blogs that Facebook does take the EXIF/IPTC metadata tag “Title” And “Caption” (and possibly the copyright information) and add these to the posts. This might be only done when adding to an album, and not individual photo posts. ( This serialization/back reference is important for linking to printing sites or otherwise referencing back to the original image. )

This is where Lightroom fails. There isn’t any ability to copy the filename to the title. And no free add ons for this. (There are some non-free plugins, but I’m being cheap for this task.)

Now, there is a Perl module for that. This might be more of a geek tool, however on MacOS X, you can easily install it using a terminal window.

sudo cpan install Image::ExifTool

I won’t explain the rest of this, but I pieced together this form blogs and man pages:

exiftool '-title<${filename;s/\.CR2$//}' -r -ext CR2 /Volumes/SeagateSlim2TB-NA77CSLG/photography/2016/2016-05 -overwrite_original

This will basically update each file, coping the file name, without the CR2 extension, into the IPTC title field.

There are some draw backs. First, this is a really slow operation. Because exiftool is copying the entire image image, modifying it, and then replacing it. Also, do this before doing any other edits in Lightroom. As Lightroom keeps its metadata in its own library, not the original files. After using this external tool, you need “Synchronize Folder … ” to read all this data back in. As a result, this will revert most of your edits. “Sync Metadata …” did not seem to work how I expected it to.

With the -overwrite_original option … it is advisable to have a backup of your originals, just in case something goes wrong.

Ok, exiftool is still running, but will soon get back to Derby Photo Editing.

PS : oh yes, I’ll be posting the derby sets over the next few days at David P. Discher Photography over on Facebook, as well as my Flickr