It's not easy being green, especially if you are this florescent green seaweed. I found this seaweed growing on some rocks at China Beach, which is located near Sooke BC, Canada.

I posted this image for our photo clubs monthly theme, which you probably guessed is Green. If you live in the Sooke area and are interested in joining check out our Meetup group.

© 2013 Mike Gabelmann. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)


Geotagging Your Photos with Lightroom


Geo tagging your photos can be a real pain if you don't have a device that can do it out of the box. Luckily there are other ways to achieve the same result, it just takes a bit more work.


You will need:
  1. Smart Phone with GPS or handheld GPS device
  2. Camera (compact, DSLR, mirrorless, etc.)
  3. Lightroom 4
NOTE: some DSLR cameras have the ability to attach a GPS module. If you have the module then all you need to do is attach it and your photos will be tagged auto magically.


To get the best results you must synchronize the time of your GPS device and your camera as closely as possible. This will allow the software to match up the images and locations more accurately.

It is not necessary to have the same time zone set on both devices, but it helps. Lightroom 4 can adjust this during the loading process if they are different.


When you go out to take some photos whether it be in the wilderness or the city all you need to do is turn on your GPS device and keep it on for the duration of your excursion. When you are done just shut the GPS off. 


OK, now you are back home. This is where the process gets a little more complicated.

First things first, you need to download your images and import them into Lightroom. I won't cover this part of the process in any detail since many people use different workflows. The basic premise is that you start Lightroom, insert the memory card into your computer and download the images that you want to keep.

The next step involves downloading the data from your GPS device. This is quite easy once you figure it out, unfortunately every device is different. Basically you want to export the data from your trip as a .GPX file. Save this file somewhere on your computer where you can find it easily.


Step 1

Click on the ~ icon.
You first need to click on the Map mode which is located at the top right hand side of the Lightroom interface. Click on the ~ icon at the bottom of the screen just above the filmstrip.

Step 2

Select "Load Tracklog" and locate the .GPX file on your computer and click Open.

Click "Load Tracklog"
Select the correct track and time from the list of available tracks.

NOTE: if the timezone offset is different on your camera and GPS device you can adjust that now by clicking on the ~ icon and click "Set Time Zone Offset".

Step 3

Click "Select Photos on Tracklog"
Now click on the ~ icon and click "Select photos on Tracklog". If everything goes well Lightroom should select all the images that you took on that track. If Lightroom selected any photos you should see them selected in the filmstrip (located at the bottom of the screen).

Step 4

Click "Auto-Tag X Selected Photos"
You are almost done, click ~ again and click "Auto tag X Selected Photos" where X is the number of photos located along the track.

Step 5

Make any minor adjustments to the image locations if you think they are incorrect.

Step 6

If you have additional tracks that you want to tag you can select them from the Track listing and repeat steps 3-5.


Once you have done the whole process a couple of times it gets easier. This can save a lot of time if you were tagging your images manually. Combine geo tagging, photography with geo caching and make an adventure of it.

Have fun!


What is Digimarc?

Digimarc is a paid service for protecting your photos. It allows you to embed information inside a photograph that you cannot see. The service costs $99.00US / year for the professional version and $49.00US for the basic version.

Digimarc does not place textual information in the meta data of the image file or a visible watermark on top of your image. It actually hides the information inside your image. This technique is called steganographyThis invisible watermark is not impossible to detect if you know how to look for it. Below is an image with a hidden Digimarc watermark.

So, you cannot see it, so how can you detect it? There are several ways to do this.

Read Watermark

Load the image into Adobe Photoshop or Elements and use the filter Digimarc and choose "Read Watermark".


Compare the original image to the watermarked image. If you are a thief chances are you don't have both images, but lets say you do. If you load both images into Photoshop or Elements and subtract the Digimarc image from the Original image and then enhance the result using curves you get something like the following image.

All those colored pixels are the information hidden in your photograph. You can see it only because we enhanced it using curves. If we didn't enhance it then the differences would be pretty minor.

To understand what all those dots mean is another matter and that would require information about the algorithm that Digimarc uses to embed the data which is most likely proprietary.


While this is not a perfect solution to protecting your images online, it is a step in the process. If someone wants to steal your work and it is worth stealing, they will. This just gives your photographs some extra protection.