Get a Look at Your Equipment Habits

by James Duncan Davidson

The metadata browser in Lightroom offers an informative hierarchical tree of information based on the various bits and bobs of metadata that are associated with your images. From the moment I saw this, I became fascinated with the way that it allowed me to browse my images. For example, I could look at all of the images taken with my 135 f/2 lens and compare them without any interference from shots taken with a wide angle lens. But then, as time went on, I found it not only served as a way to browse images, it also told me a lot of information about my equipment habits, at least in terms of usage.


2007-05-16 06:04:24
I think this is just a good chance for you to show off the expensive list of L glass you own... ;-)
2007-05-16 06:13:02
It looks like this would be a good place to extend the use of synonyms. Allow the user to define equivalences and choose a default for which displays in the metadata browser.
2007-05-16 09:08:47
Is there any way to *modify* the metadata to put in which lens you are using? I'm using an older lens that is not recognized (a film lens for my K10D)
Scott Laird
2007-05-16 10:13:40
I went through the same thing a month or so ago. If you have XMP exporting turned on, then it's pretty trivial to extract focal lengths from the XMP files and summarize using Unix tools.
2007-05-17 10:21:51
Haven't had time to work something out yet, but have a look at (sqlite odbc) and use excell!
Otherwise, knowing that you're more of a mac person, you could use the dump command in the actual sqlite tool and import the whole shebang in MySQL, although other (transactional) databases might be a better choice ;-)
Otherwise, the xmp exporting also seems a good idea to grab the information you need !
2007-05-19 20:02:24
You can use the SQLite browser to achieve the same without having to export individual XMP files. See my comment on Scott Laird's blog article at
2007-05-21 11:32:27
Daveed... The focal lengths are in a a table field containing the complete xmp data ;-)
So whether you get it out of the xmp files, or xmp fields in the database: same difference ;-)
2007-05-22 13:40:03
MIke: Right. However, I don't really want to create thousands of XMP files just to get all the focal length data. So instead I can use the SQLite browser to generate a single file that contains all those XMP fields, extract the info I'm interested in (the focal lengths in this case), and them delete the one file dump. If you always export XMP files, it probably doesn't matter much, of course.
James Duncan Davidson
2007-05-25 13:59:01
Guy: I'm a strong believer that the image is the important thing, equipment is just how you get there.

AndyP: I agree, this would be an awesome place for synonyms and equivalence.

Shazron: Unfortunatly, I don't know of a way to modify that metadata in the LR interface.

Mike, Scott, and Daveed: Nice ideas and interesting implementations in the links. Thanks! I'm really looking forward to the LR SDK so that I can poke around through the API rather than digging through the back end data. :)