I talked to Eric the other day about the wall labels for the Hartnell exhibition. He said he’d be happy to format and print the labels; all he needed from me was a Word file with the titles and dates.
Since the titles of the images were already entered as metadata in the image files, I set about to export the titles from Lightroom. I failed utterly. Near as I can tell, there is no way to export any metadata other than as part of an image file.
So here’s my suggestion for the Lightroom 4 wish list. Add an “Export Metadata” command that, when invoked, brings up a dialog box with check boxes next to all of the possible metadata fields. The user checks those boxes that apply to the fields that she wishes to export, then clicks “Export”. Lightroom exports the metadata for the selected images as a comma separated values file, which the user can then turn into either a spreadsheet or a text document. Extra points for allowing the user to export the metadata in common spreadsheet, database, and word processing formats.
Lightroom does have a feature that allows the printing of images with titles generated from the appropriate metadata field. I used that capability to print out all the pictures and titles for the exhibition on a four by five grid. We’ll need those pages when it comes time to hang the show so everybody can see which titles go with which pictures. I took the pages, opened up Word, and used the Windows 7 speech recognition feature to dictate in the titles. Then I spent 5 minutes cleaning up the mistakes; speech recognition doesn’t work very well except on complete sentences or phrases.
Not elegant, but the job is done.