Photodesk and all that.

Alright, so we'll start with Photodesk. I'm going to try to cover everything, so if it's something you already know then skip ahead, I just want to make sure everything is covered.

The Dashboard:

The dashboard is where you'll find your calendar of events. If you request to cover an event then you'll see it on here. If it's greyed out, it's declined but if it's yellow then you're approved to cover it. 

So you can see from there the assignments that I have and the assignments that were declined. Sometimes too you'll get "Event Invites" asking if you're available to cover a certain event, that will show up on here as well. This is where you're also going to get your caption templates as well as your code replacements if you want to receive them from Icon. 

So to get to this screen, you have to click on the box for the assignment. In this case if you look at my calendar, I clicked on the Maple Leafs game and you'll get a pop up that looks like this. From here as well, you can cancel assignments if you need to, but you do have to give a reason. The most important thing is the "Caption Template" and YOU MUST download this for every event. So for example you can't reuse the template for multiple NHL games, you have to download the template for that specific event. You can also download code replacements from here if you like, however some events don't have them (like college football) so you have to get them from someone else or go 3rd party to get them,

Also you already know about requesting events, but just as a reminder, you need to click "Request Event & Receive Credentials" unless you have a season credential/already have a credential, then you can just click "Request Event." 


Captioning for me starts in Photo Mechanic and applying the IPTC Stationary Pad settings before I even start transferring my cards. To find it you go to the toolbar and click Image > IPTC Stationary Pad. This is where the Caption Template (CT from here on out) file you downloaded comes into play. Click "Load" and the locate the CT file wherever you downloaded it and select it. It'll load in with all the information you need, all you need to do is fill in the keyworks and the description. Mine looks something like this on game nights.

I have my description like that because I fill in with the code replacements beforehand and that's usually the information I need to make it a complete sentence. 

Code replacements are easy enough to get, whether you downloaded from Icon or through the set up and use is still the same. 

To start, go to Edit > Settings > Set Code Replacements... and then you can add/remove your code replacements on this screen.

Select "Add" and then pick the code replacement file from your downloads. Once it's loaded into this screen, select it by clicking on it (I picked Leafs/Wild) and then click "OK." Also pay attention to the delimiter character in the bottom left, that's what makes code replacements work. They can be anything you like, I keep it to the "\" but people also use "." or something of that nature. Up to you. 

Here's how it works. Normally I caption my stuff after I've cropped/edited in LR but for the sake of this, I'll do it before hand. When your mouse cursor is over a photo you'll have 4 little icons to click in each corner, you want to click the bottom left corner, the "i" because that will bring up the IPTC pad for you to edit.

So now we're at a familiar screen. For your code replacement to work, you'll need to type in the deliminator character (for this it's \), the team abbreviation, and then the deliminator. If you download straight from Icon, the abbreviation you need to use is right in the file. If you use code replacements you can choose what the abbreviation is. For this tor = Toronto Maple Leafs and min = Minnesota Wild. For specific players, you type in \min40\ and it'll show up as "Minnesota Wild Goalie Devan Dubnyk (40)", etc. This does autofill in, so if nothing happens then double check that you selected your code replacement when you loaded it in and check to see that you're using the correct abbreviations.

So here you can see that I have the code replacement in, all I need to do is finish it with "\" so that it's "\min40\" Obviously fill in the information that you need, like "\min40\ makes a save on \tor34\ in the 2nd period" so that the sentence completes itself. 


This part is pretty simple, I use hotkeys as it's quicker. So you have to rename your images and they have to be in order as well. With the way Icon wants it done as well, they want a good, strong image as your first one so select the one that fits that description and press "ctrl+m" (Macs it's cmd+m I believe) and the renaming pop up will appear. It can be confusing how Icon wants it done, but it's your photographer code (mine is DFY, you can find yours on the Dashboard right next to "Photographer's Dashboard), year, month, and day. Be sure to add a 0 when needed, so if it's January 8th, it should look like "DFY160108". Year only has to be the last two digits. Be sure that you have "Sequence" selected when doing this as well then include the event details. So for instance this would be "Maple_Leafs_at_Wild." 


Now, click "Set {seqn} variable..." and you'll get another pop up (the screen on the right) and set it to "001." This is a good idea especially if you're going to be sending 100+ photos. This sets the image you selected to 001. Hit OK on the "sequence variable" pop up then click OK on the "rename photos" pop up. Double check to make sure that your image will be renamed properly, it says so on the pop up. After that all you need to do is select the remaining ones that need to be renamed, hit the keys to bring up the rename photo pop up then press ok and that's it, they'll rename themselves into that sequence. 

Once you've renamed them, the keys to save is "ctrl+s" (cmd+s) and you'll get a "Save As" dialog box come up. 

So, important things to note. I have the quality slider all the way to low, that's because I have the option "Limit file size to:" ticked. I feel that it's more consistent across the board with how large my file sizes are and I don't have to mess with the slider to make sure my files are within what Icon asks. DO NOT click "Apply IPTC stationary" as this will erase your caption and will revert it back to the original caption when it was transferred to Photo Mechanic. I also have "no scaling" selected since that's all taken care of in LR when exported out. Save to whatever folder you wish, in my case I have something on my desktop when working assignments. After that you just need to send it via FTP, personally I use FileZilla but you can send through Photo Mechanic as well. FTP info should be in the email from Icon. I think that covers everything!