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Can I use a tool like exif2 or exiftool to programatically inspect and manipulate the flag used for "Rejected" in Lightroom? I can't find a field that seems to correspond to it. If not, is there another OSX/Linux/Unix tool that could do that?

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Here's a good intro to the LR database earthboundlight.com/phototips/… I've tried manipulating the Pick field directly in a test db using SQLite but the photo shows no flag and no flag options when I reopen the catalog so there's more to it than just the pick field. –  mmesford Oct 30 '14 at 16:22

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is Lightroom-specific metadata, stored in the Lightroom catalog. You can verify this with this command1 in the OS X Terminal:

$ exiftool -b -xmp mypic.dng > orig.xmp

Now go back to Lightroom reject mypic.dng and hit ⌘/Ctrl-S to force Lightroom to sync its copy of the metadata to the photo file on disk.2 Back in the Terminal, say:

$ exiftool -b -xmp mypic.dng > new.xmp
$ diff orig.xmp new.xmp

That will tell you what changes Lightroom made to the photo's embedded metadata. All you'll see are a metadata date change and some UUID changes. You will not see any mention of a "Rejected in Lightroom" type of field, because there isn't one. There is nothing there for exiftool to manipulate.

You'll have to do this in Lua, as a Lightroom plugin. Once you have the LrPhoto reference, you simply say:


to get the current value. It will be 1 if picked, 0 if neutral, and -1 if rejected.

You could then un-reject a photo with:

photo:setRawMetadata('pickStatus', 0)


  1. If you don't yet have exiftool on your system, the easiest way to get it is to first install Homebrew, then say brew install exiftool.

  2. Even with the Automatically Write Changes into XMP setting enabled, there can be a delay of several seconds between a change and the change hitting the disk.

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