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////Exporting in Lightroom: How to Protect Your Privacy When Sharing Photos

Exporting in Lightroom: How to Protect Your Privacy When Sharing Photos

Protect Your Privacy - Lightroom Export

Files that you export from Lightroom to share with people contain a lot of information, called metadata, that can be read by others using various applications. This can include where and when you shot the photo, who’s in the photo, copyright and contact information, keywords, stars, flags, and color labels; titles, captions, and other metadata that you added in in the Metadata panel; camera, lens  and exposure information; as well as a text version of all of the editing you have done on your photo.

Protect your privacy by making a conscious choice in the Export dialog about what you do and don’t want to share. The Metadata section in the Export dialog (and in Publish Services setup dialogs) allows you to specify what should be included:

Lightroom Export: Metadata - Privacy

Copyright Only

Choose “Copyright Only” from the dropdown to remove all metadata except Copyright Status, Copyright, Rights Usage Terms, and Copyright URL fields. (For information on how to add this information to your photos, watch my video tutorial on creating and using a copyright metadata preset in Lightroom.)

To see whether you have assigned this information to your photo, in the Metadata panel in the bottom right of the Library module, click on the dropdown at the top, choose IPTC, and scroll down to the bottom.

Copyright and Contact Info Only

In addition to copyright fields mentioned above, “Copyright and Contact Info Only” includes any of the following IPTC fields that you filled in: Creator, Job Title, Address, City, State/Province, Postal Code, Country, Phone, E-Mail, Website. (These are also discussed in my metadata preset video tutorial.)

All Except Camera and Camera Raw Info

By choosing “All Except Camera and Camera Raw Info” from the dropdown, metadata recorded by your camera (EXIF information) is removed except capture date and time, and editing information is removed. What remains includes keywords, title, caption, stars, flag, color labels and other metadata you have typed in.

With this choice, two more checkboxes become available, to specifically exclude or include Person and Location information. These are discussed below.

Include All Metadata

The “Include All Metadata” option does exactly this.

Keep in mind that including all the metadata increases file size. To see how much larger the file becomes, export with “Include All Metadata” and export again with “Copyright and Contact Info Only”, and compare file sizes.

With this choice, two more checkboxes become available, to specifically exclude or include Person and Location information. These are discussed below.

Person Information

If you used Lightroom’s Face Tagging feature to identify people in photos, check the box to “Remove Person Info” to exclude both the face region(s) and people’s names. They are automatically removed if you choose “Copyright Only” or “Copyright and Contact Info Only”.

Location Information

If your camera adds GPS latitude and longitude to photos (as mobile device cameras do), or if you dragged photos to the map in Lightroom’s Map module to add this information, then your photos by default include this GPS latitude and longitude. In addition, if you have enabled Address Lookup in Lightroom (called Reverse Geocoding before Lightroom CC/6), then these photos with GPS info will also have city, state and country, and sometimes neighborhood information. To see if a photo contains this information, select the photo, go to the Map module (in the top right between Library and Develop), and look at the Metadata panel on the right. The information may be very faint – it is dark text on a dark background – but if the location fields are filled in, the information will be exported by default.

If you don’t want to share where you shot the photo, be it at your home or at your secret favorite landscape photography location, then check the box in the Export dialog to “Remove Location Info“. This information is automatically removed if you choose “Copyright Only” or “Copyright and Contact Info Only”.

Try It Yourself!

To verify what is removed with a particular option, export with that option, and then reimport the file. Most metadata is available in the Metadata panel. Face tagging information can be seen in Loupe view with the Face Region tool selected.

Lightroom can’t display the included editing information. You can see this in Photoshop by going to File>File Info – it’s on the Raw Data tab.

2017-08-15T16:44:12-07:00 August 15th, 2017|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Melvyn August 19, 2017 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Hi Laura
    Great new format
    I enjoyed watching the your exporting catalogue video
    I think this is such an important aspect as it backs up the photos as well
    Keep them coming
    Your lessons are great

    • Laura Shoe August 20, 2017 at 1:06 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Melvyn!

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