In the world of digital photography, there’s a lot more to pictures than the photograph itself. When digital cameras capture photos, they record specific parameters and write the data in the picture file for use in the future. These parameters are known as metadata and stored as EXIF or Exchangeable Image File data.
The Meaning of the EXIF Format
EXIF or Exchangeable Image File is the data found in every picture file that the digital camera records. The data provided is stored in RAW, JPEG, and TIFF image formats. If you use an SLR or DSLR and store images in RAW format, you will notice that specific camera manufacturers have their particular file extensions. For example, .NEF for Nikin and .CRW for Canon.
The stored data can reveal interesting things about your pictures, along with the date and time the shutter was pressed. Additionally, several technical information will be stored regarding the captured image. The information includes shutter speed, focal length, white balance settings, max aperture, ISO, flash mode, camera model and make, metering mode, and so on.
Newer cameras and mobile phones with geotagging ability store this information within the image file’s EXIF data. Then, Flickr and other web services create a map of images tagged in this manner.
How can you View EXIF Data?
EXIF data can be viewed in several ways. First, you can see this data immediately after taking a photo. The information will be seen on your digital camera’s monitor; if not, you can scroll through the Information Settings until you find this data.
You can read your camera manual or search online to find out how to view EXIF data on your specific camera model.
Also, there are EXIF data viewer programs that you can use, like Jimpl, Metapicz, Regex, Exiftool, GIMP, Adobe Lightroom, etc.
The EXIF data on your pictures can be viewed from within your system’s file system.
On your Windows computer, right-click on the file you want to see the EXIF data for > click on Properties > Details. This is going to bring up the EXIF data for the particular picture.
On your Mac computer, you can open the picture with Preview and then click on Tools > Show Inspector > click on the EXIF tab.
How to Remove EXIF Data?
Do you share or post a lot of pictures online? If so, removing the metadata might be a good idea before posting them online. This guide will walk you through the steps of removing EXIF data.
Remove EXIF data from a picture on your Windows computer by right-clicking the image and choosing Properties > Details. At the bottom of the pop-up window, you will see the Remove Properties and Personal Information option. You can create a copy of the image with the information removed.
If you are using a Mac computer, you can remove EXIF data using Preview. Navigate to Tools > Show Inspector > choose the ‘i’ tab and choose the EXIF option > delete the data.
What are the Advantages of using EXIF Data?
There are several benefits of using EXIF data, and some of them are as follows:
- The data allows users to organize and search for pictures in different ways easily. You can quickly sort the pictures by date, place, time, or lens you have used.
- The data allows photographers to review the camera settings used for clicking each photo. This will help you assess what worked and what didn’t so you can learn from your mistakes and take property steps to improve your photography. Also, going through this data will help you stay consistent by analyzing the camera settings and environmental factors.
- You can quickly find the pictures you want to edit.
- The data helps photographers to protect their images against unauthorized use.
Are there any Disadvantages to Using EXIF Data?
Some of the cons of using EXIF data are:
- The data reveals the equipment and camera settings used by the photographers. Anybody can access this data. Therefore, someone else can click pictures similar to yours after going through this data.
- Your location and other information will be exposed if the photos are uploaded on social media accounts. This might be a threat to your security and privacy.
- Due to the metadata, the picture’s file size increases, impacting the website’s speed.
Therefore, if you have a secret style of clicking pictures, EXIF data will reveal the secret and expose it. This is one of the biggest reasons photographers must strip all the data before uploading their images online.
Now you know the meaning of EXIF data and how it can be viewed and removed. When clicking digital photographs, you need to understand how this data works. Remember to remove this data before posting your pictures online so you don’t risk exposing your location and other details to the public.