Image Notes in Lightroom

Flickr allows you to add notes to an image. They take the form of a movable, sizable, rectangular dashed-line box with an associated text box. You can have any number of notes on an image and they can overlap.

Notes don’t alter the image – conceptually they are in a separate layer.

I think similar Notes would be useful in Lightroom. I would use them for two purposes: personal notes (not to be exported) and notes that I want to draw a viewer’s attention to. See the illustration below for a very nerdy example.

Lightroom Image Notes

A further enhancement would be that I could export notes to Flickr so they appear as Flickr’s notes.

A much simpler version of this is to include a Notes field in the Lightroom database (ok, catalog). Many times I want to make a personal note about an image but I don’t want it to appear in the image’s EXIF or IPTC data. “This model is really hard to work with …“.

I wrote my own simple add-in that provides this. Indeed that’s all you can do in the current add-in architecture – add-in defined fields are never written to the image by Lightroom. That’s why Jeff Friedl’s Geoencoding add-in has to go through its gymnastics using EXIFTool.

Some day I’ll write a blog entry about my limited experience with writing a Lightroom add-in. Heresy warning: I like VBA.

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