Perhaps the most important plugin that I offer to professional photographers who license their images is PLUS for Lightroom.
PLUS refers to both an XMP-based metadata standard for embedding licensing information directly into images, and to the large international consortium of companies that form the standard’s governing body.
The PLUS standard is very well designed, being both flexible enough to meet virtually any licensing requirements, and concise enough to be clear and unambiguous in its use.Metadata embedded into images can be read by a variety of tools; for example there are now PLUS panels built into directly into CS5.
Lightroom 3 now includes built-in support for a small but useful number of PLUS fields, such as model release identifiers, licensor information, etc. The fields that are available are those that also happen to be part of the IPTC Extension schema (the two standards bodies work together to avoid creating duplicate metadata fields where their needs overlap).
The PLUS for Lightroom plugin provides photographers with access to all the PLUS fields, and until now it has ignored the presence of the built-in ones, continuing to offer its own variants that were in place since its release (well before Lightroom 3 came to market). This has meant that for Lightroom 3 users there have been two distinct and unconnected fields into which the user could enter the same PLUS image licensing information. With the new release of PLUS for Lightroom I now offer full integration with the fields that are now provided natively by Lightroom 3. Any PLUS metadata that you had previously entered into the fields provided by the plugin itself can be migrated automatically to Lightroom’s built-in ones, resulting in a much more integrated experience1.
This improved integration aside, the plugin continues to offer its impressive feature set – access to the full range of PLUS fields and the ability to easily define licensing requirements and to embed these into your images during export.
If you’re licensing images as a commercial, editorial or stock photographer and you’re not yet up to speed with PLUS then we’d recommend that you take a look at what it can offer you, and then take a look at the plugin – we believe that PLUS for Lightroom offers the best PLUS license creation experience found on any asset management tool.
If you’d like to learn more you can also download the user manual.
- Note that the new version will continue to work under Lightroom 2, and that the plugin’s own versions of these fields will continue to be available to Lightroom 2 users. [↩]