Instructions for Bib Tagging


We will take your photos, identify all of the bib numbers (and names if you want) visible, and apply the tags to each photo (in the metadata) so that they are searchable on your site.

There are two ways to get your photos tagged:

1. Small-Copy Sharing: You share small copies of your photos with us using DropBox (other services may be available).  After tagging is complete, you will receive a file which you run on your computer which applies the tags to your original files.  This method has the advantage of us being able to tag while you are still working on your originals, your not having to share your originals, and saves time and bandwidth usage.

2. Original Sharing: Alternately, you share your original files to a Dropbox which you share with us; we will then apply the tags directly to your files.  This is easier for you but uses more bandwidth, puts your originals in our hands (you can trust us but still...), delays the process since we can't work at the same time, and additional charges may apply.

There are a couple of considerations when applying the tags and uploading.  Please read this entire page, especially at the bottom, so that you understand the complete workflow.

Comparison of Methods

Original Sharing

Small Copy Sharing

Ease Very Easy, just copy original Easy, just make small (under 300KB) copies using Lightroom or PixResizer then run the batch file you receive back
Speed Slow, large file transfer (4-10MB files) uploading originals and receiving tagged files (5,000 files 5MB in size = 25GB up + 25GB back) Fast file transfer (300KB files) and tags back are under 6MB total, (5,000 files 300KB in size = 1.5GB up and 6MB down)
Limitations You cannot edit or delete the files once you give them to us for tagging. You can continue to edit the photos on your machine. The flow is typically: get most of your culling done, make small files to give to us, continue editing and culling while we generate the tags, apply your tags
Risk Medium, you are sending original files Low, only Small Copies are shared, there is risk applying the tags but it is easy to back up your photos before running the tagging file
Our Preference ABSOLUTELY. This makes the process faster all around. It's a bit more work for the customer but we have made it as painless as possible.

Instructions for Original Photo Sharing

1. Create a Backup of your files.

2. Copy the files to a Dropbox folder and Email with a link to the folder.

3. The files will be tagged and you will receive email when your files are ready.Note: You CANNOT modify your photos while we are working on them. Once the tags are applied, you can continue editing them.

Instructions for Small-Copy Sharing

1. Create a back up your photos immediately. You already do this, right? :-)

2. Create small copies of photos, between 150KB and 300KB each and 2000 pixels on the longest edge. In Lightroom 5, set a max image size of 2000 x 2000 @25% compression or in PixResizer with 2000 size and 40% JPG quality (click the button next to JPEG to see this option).

3. Copy the files to the Dropbox folder provided or your own Dropbox shared with us.  Place them in the same directory structure as the originals; if originals are in c:\pics\EventName then create a folder EventName in the Dropbox and place photos there.  Multiple levels of subdirectories are fine.  Email saying your files are ready.

Instructions for Windows Users:

4. You will be sent back a (.bat) file and exiftool.exe. Put the file and ExifTool in the directory under which the subdirectories are located. For example, if your pictures are in c:\pics\MyEvent, you would copy the file and ExifTool to c:\pics. 

NOTE: If you are a Lightroom user, make sure you "Save Metadata to Files" before the next step of applying your tags.  Lightroom normally saves your edits in a separate file.  Doing this step will save any changes to the files themselves so that the tags are added to your other changes. If you apply the tags without doing this, Lightroom will notice the change and ask you to discard any edits you made to the picture and sync the new tags or discard the tags.

5. Start a command prompt (in recent versions of Windows, press Windows key then type cmd), change to the main directory where your pictures are ("cd c:\pics"), and run the batch file by typing Tags.bat in the command window.

6. Verify tags are correct using your picture editor

Instructions for Mac Users

4. Install Exiftool-10.05.dmg (found on the Dropbox) as a normal OS X package. (Open the disk image, double-click on the install package, and follow the instructions.)

5. Copy Tags.bat to the same directory the folder is in (if your original pictures are in "/pictures/race" then put Tags.bat at "/pictures/Tags.bat"

6. Launch the "Terminal" application from the Applications Utilities folder

7. Go to the "/pictures" directory (or wherever you put the .bat file, where your pictures are) by typing: cd /pictures

8. Run this command: chmod 755 MacTags.bat (this allows the batch file to be run. Macs are weird, you don't have to do this on Windows : - )

9. Run the file by typing: ./MacTags.bat (be sure to include the period and slash before the filename

Workflow Considerations

There are a few things to think about when applying the tags and uploading files.  Please read the below for details.

Photo Editors using Catalogs or Sidecar Data (Lightroom)

When the tags are applied to your photos, make sure that any image processing you do afterwards maintains those tags.  For example, Adobe Lightroom stores metadata such as tags as well as any edits you make to the pictures in the catalog and not the files themselves.  If you import the files into Lightroom and then change the original files by adding tags, Lightroom will get confused on which metadata to use, that in the file or that in the Catalog.  To address this, either change your settings to always write changes to the file itself by choosing "Automatically Write Changes Into XMP" or write it manually by selecting all files and choosing Metadata > Save Metadata To File(s).  Once the files are tagged, you can Read Metadata From File(s).


Smugmug has a known issue where if you upload a file, add tags to the file on your computer, and use their Web Uploader to upload the same file (replacing the original file), SmugMug will NOT replace the original file.  Replacing the file only replaces the image itself and not the Metadata (tags).  To address this, either delete the files from SmugMug first or use a program such as Lightroom to synchronize your files with SmugMug as Lightroom will also update the metadata.  We have requested SmugMug address this issue but they have not yet done so.

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