What is Exif Data? How Do I Go About Managing It?
Exchangeable Image File Format or EXIF for short is a standard that specifies the formats for sound, images, and ancillary tags used by scanners, smartphones, cameras, and other mobile devices or computer systems that handle sound or images files. It is capable of storing important data such as GPS location, the date and time the image was captured, and camera exposure. The EXIF specification uses the following file formats in addition to specific metadata tags:
- JPEG discrete cosine transform (DCT) – this format is used for compressed image files.
- TIFF Rev. 6.0 (RBG or YCbCr) – this format is used for uncompressed image files.
- RIFF WAV – this format is used for audio files
- Linear PCM or ITU-T G.711 – this format is used for uncompressed audio data.
- IMA-ADPCM – this format is used for compressed audio data.
As digital cameras continue to evolve and develop new features, new technology has allowed photographers to essentially embed EXIF data into their photographs. These settings such as white balance, aperture, white balance, lens used, focal length, shutter speed, and ISO speed can then be used to perform searches, organize photos, and provide documentation as to the ways in which a particular image was captured.
How do I view EXIF data?
The ability to view EXIF data is contingent upon the web browser that you are trying to view the photos from. For instance, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome now have web extensions that can download that will automatically pick up EXIF data. All a user needs to do is right-click the image and these extensions will provide any pertinent information. Contrarily, EXIF data can also be viewed via your computer’s operating system through a photo viewer. While this method will be slower than downloading a web browser extension it will more than likely be the easiest route for those who have images that have already been uploaded to their computer.
How do I remove EXIF data and why would I need to do so?
As EXIF data contains so much personal information pertaining to the picture capturing process, there may be certain scenarios in which this can serve as a detriment. For instance, as EXIF data contains GPS tracking information concerning where a photographer was when the photo was taken, EXIF data could be used to cause harm or foul play in this context. Moreover, as many cameras on the market today come with EXIF data capabilities automatically installed into the software, it is important to know all of the specifications of products before making an informed purchase. While personal protection is one major reason you may want to manage your EXIF data, there are a litany of others.
For example, some photographers may want to post images in a low bandwidth size in an attempt to keep their images small for aesthetic purposes. Alternatively, a photographer may be gaining steam in their business and want to ensure that they can protect their work and avoid revealing personal camera settings, camera gears, and even post-processing adjustments. Additionally, a photographer may want to remove certain aspects of EXIF data while retaining others such as removing unnecessary junk from JPEG images while keeping camera exposure settings intact.
Commonly used software programs like Photoshop or Lightroom can be used to delete select amounts of EXIF data from photos. These programs allow users to delete EXIF data from uploaded photos through menus in the user interface. Some photographers favor this approach as they wish to customize their camera settings to their unique liking. However, Photoshop and Lightroom process may not completely eliminate all EXIF data associated with the photo, they also don’t work for videos, PDFs, and other file types.
In order to remove all applicable EXIF data from any file type including images, videos, PDFs, and audio files, users must opt for more advanced specialized programs like CaseGuard Studio. With a software program like CaseGuard Studio, you will be able to automatically remove all EXIF data from any file simply by clicking on a checkbox.