Have you ever wondered how photographers capture the perfect images? What settings they use on their camera, what filters they might apply in post-processing, and so on. While some of this information may be revealed in the image itself, there is another source of data that can provide even more detail about how a particular photograph was taken – EXIF data. In this article, we will take a look at what EXIF data is and how you can extract it from images.
What Is EXIF Data?
EXIF data is a set of information embedded in an image file that can reveal details about how the image was taken. This data can include the camera used, exposure settings, date and time, GPS location, and more. With this information, you can learn a lot about how a particular photo was taken and what factors went into its creation.
What’s The Difference Between Metadata and EXIF?
Metadata is a general term that refers to data about data. So, in the context of images, metadata would refer to information such as the file size, dimensions, date created, and so on. EXIF data is a specific type of metadata that contains information about how an image was taken.
Why Is EXIF Data Saved In Images?
EXIF data is saved in images for a variety of reasons. One reason is that it can be helpful for photographers to have this information available when reviewing their photos later on. Additionally, this data can be useful for others who view the image, such as photo editors or those looking to purchase an image for commercial use.
Do All Photos Contain EXIF Data?
No, not all photos contain EXIF data. In order for a photo to have EXIF data, it must be saved in a format that supports it such as JPEG. Additionally, the camera used to take the photo must be set to store this information. Many cameras have this option turned off by default, so you may need to enable it in the settings before taking photos.
Pros Of EXIF Files
There are a few benefits to having EXIF data saved in your image files. First, as we mentioned before, it can be helpful in reviewing your photos later on to see what settings were used. Additionally, if you share your images online, this data can provide valuable information to others who view them. Finally, EXIF data can help ensure that your images are properly credited when used by others.
Cons Of EXIF Files
There are also a few potential drawbacks to having this data saved in your image files. One is that it can take up extra space on your hard drive or other storage device. Additionally, there is always the possibility that someone could access this information without your permission and use it for nefarious purposes.
How To View EXIF Data
There are several ways you can view the EXIF Data of your images, which you’ll find below:
If you’re using FireFox, you can use an EXIF Viewer add-on that you’ll install on your browser to view the EXIF data of images.
Similarly, you can also download a similar Chrome Extension to view EXIF data of images in your browser.
With A Photo Viewer App
If you’d rather not use a browser add-on or extension to view the EXIF data of an image, you can use your operation system (OS).
Simply right-click the image and select the “Details” tab to review the EXIF data of the image you’ve selected.
How To Extract EXIF Data
There are a few reasons why you might want to extract the EXIF data from an image. Maybe you want to view the data in a different format, or perhaps you’re looking to remove this information before sharing the image with others.
Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Use an online EXIF data extractor, such as Jeffrey’s Exif Viewer.
- With a photo editing program like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, you can remove the EXIF data by opening the image in Photoshop and going to File > Save As. In the “Save As” dialogue box, select a file format that doesn’t support EXIF data, such as JPEG.
- Use a standalone EXIF data removal tool like exiftool to remove the EXIF data from an image.
How To Remove EXIF Data From Images
Now that you know how to view and extract EXIF data from images, you might be wondering how you can remove this information before sharing an image. As we mentioned earlier, one way to do this is by using a photo editing program like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.
Another way to remove EXIF data is by using a standalone tool like exiftool. This tool is available for both Windows and MacOS, and it’s a great way to remove EXIF data from an image without having to open it in a photo editor first.
Reasons To Remove It
There are a few reasons why you might want to remove the EXIF data from your images. One reason is that this information can be used to track you, especially if you share GPS location data in your EXIF data.
Another reason is that some social media platforms, such as Facebook, strip away EXIF data when you upload photos to their site. So, if you want to keep this data with your images, you’ll need to remove it before uploading them.
Finally, some people simply prefer not to share this information with others and would rather keep it private.
Option 1: Completely Remove EXIF Data
If you want to remove all EXIF data from an image, you can do so using the exiftool. This tool is available for both Windows and MacOS, and it’s a great way to remove EXIF data from an image without having to open it in a photo editor first.
You can also utilize Photoshop or Lightroom to completely remove EXIF data.
In Photoshop, simply go to File -> Export -> Save for Web and check that the Metadata tab is set to “None.”
In Lightroom it’s even easier. Simply select “Copyright Only” in the drop-down within the “Metadata” section to remove your EXIF data.
However, using this option will retain your copyright information and an embedded image thumbnail. To take the extra step of removing everything, you can use the ExifTool and enter the following command prompt:
exiftool -all= SourceFile.jpg (make sure to replace SourceFile with the name of the JPEG file, you want to strip the EXIF data from).
Option 2: Selectively Remove EXIF Data
If you want to keep some of your EXIF data but remove others, exiftool makes this easy as well.
To do this, open the command prompt and type exiftool -TAG=VALUE SourceFile.jpg.
Replace TAG with the name of the tag you want to remove and VALUE with what you want to replace it with.
For example, if you wanted to remove the GPS location data but keep everything else, you would type exiftool -gpslongitude=0 -gpslatitude=0 SourceFile.jpg.
This would set the longitude and latitude values to 0, effectively removing your location data while keeping everything else intact.
Optionally, you can also use a hyphen (-) in place of 0 to remove the tag entirely. So, exiftool -gpslongitude- -gpslatitude- SourceFile.jpg would also work.