What is EXIF Data?

EXIF stands for ‘Exchangeable Image File’ data and it is the information that your camera stores with you image file that tells you about it. It is stored when you take images in JPEG format (or TIFF). Almost all camera manufacturers support EXIF and whether you know it or not your camera is likely to be recording it with your image file.

For a better example we will see a photo

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The EXIF data associated with this picture can be found in a number of ways.

1. Firstly if the image is still stored on a memory card in my camera I can view it there. On my Canon DSLR I do this by hitting the ‘info’ button while in preview mode. It will then give me an array of information about the image including shutter speed, aperture, date and time of shot etc.

2. Another way to look at an image’s EXIF data is to right click an image file and clicking ‘properties’ (if you’re on a Mac click ‘get info’. Here’s what I get when I do that on this image on my Mac:

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It doesn’t show all of the EXIF data but does gives some good basic information.

3. The last way of viewing EXIF data that we’ll talk about is via your image editing software. I’m using Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 (for Mac) so in this software I go to the ‘File’ menu then choose ‘File Info’ and then ‘Camera Data’.

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You can now see some of the information about the image taken including what camera I was using, the resolution, the time and date of the shot, the shutter speed, ISO and aperture and if I scroll down it will even tell me what focal length I was using.

You will find different cameras and different photo editing programs will mean that the EXIF data displayed will vary (older cameras stored less information) but most will give you the basics of your shot.

EXIF data is very useful for a variety of reasons – the main one being that it allows a photographer to compare shots to find out what I did right and wrong in them.

Using EXIF data is probably not something you’ll do with every image but especially when you’re starting out in digital photography it’s a worthwhile feature to play around with and to keep in mind as you seek to improve your photography.

By – Ghazala Shaikh

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