Image metadata and color profiles

In this post, we will look at the available options around image metadata and color profiles and how they can be utilized to obtain different levels of optimizations. This is just a quick guide about metadata related URL parameters. You can get a more detailed explanation on how metadata impacts image optimization in this article.

URL Transformation – Yes

Image Metadata (md) – true / false
Image Color Profile – (cp) – true / false

Dashboard Settings – Yes

Settings > Image optimization setting > Image metadata

Preserve only color profile” is equal to using cp-true in the URL
Preserve complete metadata” is equal to using md-true in the URL
Discard all metadata” is equal to using md-false in the URL


1. Original Image

Notice the bright red petals and the bright green center of the flower. Image size is 262KB.,f-jpg,q-100/demo_photo.jpeg

2. Metadata Removed

Notice that, as compared to the original image, the red petals and the green center look a lot more saturated (or dull) in this image because the associated metadata and the color profile get removed. Image size is 59.2KB. //if correct setting is used in dashboard

3. Full metadata preserved and image optimized

The entire metadata is preserved in this image and the image is optimized as well. The image size is 61.2KB which is larger than the image with metadata removed.

Note that the metadata can be much larger than the 2KB data in this case and thus removing it not only homogenises the image across displays, it also saves on crucial bandwidth.

4. Only color profile preserved and image optimized

Instead of preserving all the metadata like camera information, copyright, lens information etc, we preserve only the most important display related information related to the image – the color profile

This image will always be smaller or equal to image with metadata preserved. It is a very common choice for e-commerce companies who want rich-looking colored images on their websites.

You can refer to the detailed documentation here to get more options for image metadata (md) and color profile (cp).