Hummingbird intro

The wonderful world of digital photography is an amazing thing! You can take a photo of something and instantly see a thumbnail of the image on your camera or smart phone. Don’t like it, delete it and try again because it only cost you a little battery time. Gone are the hassles of sending your exposed film off to get developed, only to find days or weeks later that your finger covered most of the lens. Taking photos has become easier and graphic editors have allowed us, the picture takers, to change an image in ways we could never have imagined just a few years ago.

The interesting thing about digital images is that all that information is actually stored in a file within your camera or phone. That photo file contains metadata (fancy term meaning data about other data) and is called the EXIF, which stands for Exchangeable Image Format. The EXIF file contains a variety of info but usually includes day, date, time, camera brand, camera settings, copyright information as well as the GPS location of where the image was taken. Wow – that is a lot of stuff and it comes in handy when you take multiple exposures of a subject to determine the correct lighting, aperture and shutter settings for your photo.

Hummingbird thumb

While the EXIF information is of great benefit to those wishing to know the ISO setting, aperture, shutter speed, etc. that it took to create a unique image, it is generally of little use when sharing your images online and could in fact be harmful. More about that later.

First, let’s take a look at a typical EXIF file. I use FastStone (a free graphics editor that I highly recommend) for my go-to editor but it would not allow me to do a screen capture of an image and its EXIF info at the same time. So for this example I switched over to Zoombrowser EX, a graphics editing program that came with my Canon DLSR camera and used FastStone for the screen capture. To my knowledge all graphics editors available these days have the ability to view EXIF information. So to continue, in ZoomBrowser you click on the image to select it, then click on Properties (circled in red). The EXIF window opens displaying the EXIF info for that particular image.

EXIF 1 thumb

In the image below, one of the first things I want to point out is that you have the ability to add notes/text to any image because, after all, it is a digital file. When you first see the EXIF info, at the top you will note the date the image was last modified, file size, etc., but about 1/3 the way down you will see the section called Comment (circled in red). You can add whatever text you want to the image and it becomes part of the file. I use the Comment feature when sending turnings off to a gallery. I keep photo records of all my turnings and it is a great way to note which gallery the turning was sent to as well as listing the asking price.

EXIF 2 thumb


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Thursday the 18th. Thanks for visiting Woodturners Unlimited.