Metadata tells the story of a photograph. It gives us information about how, where, and when the image files were created. Additionally, it describes how the photo was edited in post-processing, identifies the photographer, and explains what the photo is about.
Throughout this article, we will explore the different types of photo metadata, as well as why these details are important.
What is the significance of photo metadata?
Metadata is useful for a number of reasons. The metadata consists of searchable text. Images can be named, described, and keyworded. This makes them easier to find. In addition, it makes them more discoverable online.
That’s why editing photo’s metadata is so important before you upload your photos to any other public platforms. If you don’t modify or remove some sensitive information, your privacy may be leaked out.
As soon as you upload a photo, this data is often attached. The title, description, and keywords are also uploaded when I upload an image to Flickr.
Photo metadata also includes creator information. Copyright information and contact information can also be added. You are still the owner of your photos even if you don’t watermark them.
The metadata of photos can also be used to learn photography and post-processing. Every image contains camera settings such as f-stop and shutter speed. You can check if a setting needs to be adjusted if something does not work in the photo. A blurry picture, for example, can be checked by checking its metadata. Perhaps you used a slow shutter speed.
Lightroom, for example, tracks post-processing changes in metadata. There is information in this section that you can find for your own images, as well as for images of other photographers. XMP files will be the focus of an upcoming section on how to access this type of data.
Photo Metadata Types
Various types of metadata are attached to your images. They each contain different information. Three types are often associated with photography: EXIF, IPTC, and XMP. The images will also be shown as we demonstrate how to find and edit information in them.
‘Exchangeable Image File’ is what EXIF stands for. The EXIF data is the information encoded by your digital camera in an image. When and where you took the photo will be included if your camera has GPS capabilities. In addition, you will receive details of the camera and lens you used and the focal length. The settings associated with your camera will also be available.
Lightroom Classic allows you to view EXIF data by selecting an image. Next, click on the Metadata tab on the right side of the Library module. Then, click on EXIF. To view information displayed in Lightroom CC’s workspace, click the information icon located in the bottom right corner of the workspace.
EXIF viewers are available in many programs such as Flickr. Flickr displays the EXIF data below the image. A brief click on ‘Show EXIF’ will reveal more information about a photo than you probably want to know.
An IPTC is an international association for press telecommunication. The format has been developed specifically for use by the media and press agencies. There is information about the photo they will need to publish. IPTC data includes information such as location, title, and description about the photo. It includes information about the photographer as well as copyright information. It also contains keywords, which are important for stock photography. Models or properties may need to be released before they can be published in the extended IPTC.
Lightroom or programs such as Photo Mechanic allow you to add IPTC information to your image file.
For images downloaded to your computer, look at the properties of the file to see the IPTC and EXIF data. Select the property window by right-clicking the image in Windows. Click the Details tab. On the IOS device, open the image in Preview. Choose Tools from the drop-down menu.e drop-down menu. Click on Tools > Show Inspector. Click on the information icon.
An XMP is an extensible metadata platform. You can use XMP files to store your image’s post-processing changes. Known as a non-destructive editing program, Lightroom lets you edit pictures without damaging them. XMP files are generated when you make any changes. They are applied to the image each time it is opened in Lightroom. Because it is connected to your original image file, it is sometimes called a ‘sidecar’ file.
Lightroom does not automatically show you this extra file unless you explicitly ask for it. Select Metadata from the menu. Choose Metadata > Save Metadata to File (Ctrl or ⌘S). Click on the raw image and a new file will appear. To view all the included data, open the sidecar file as a text document. XMP changes are embedded in the image when you export raw files as JPEG, DNG, or other formats. However, if you send someone your raw file without the XMP file, they will only see your original image.
Pixel Peeper, an image metadata viewer, makes it easier to see XMP data. Pixel Peeper provides information about JPEGs, such as their metadata. It includes information about XMPs. With Pixel Peeper, you can view one of my images’ EXIF data, which includes the model and lens I used. You can also view camera settings. What makes Pixel Peeper useful is that you can also see the changes I made in Lightroom. XMP data is read from the program.
Taking a look at more advanced photographers can teach you a lot about post-processing. To use these settings on your own images, Pixel Peeper lets you download them as Lightroom presets. Pixel Peeper is similar to Lightroom in that it reads the XMP information from an image file. By doing so, you can easily see any changes made.
Metadata for Image Files: Adding and Removing
Adding or changing metadata to your images can be done in many ways. For example, if you want to modify some of the photo’s metadata on your Mac, using an EXIF editor on Mac is more convenient for you. Generally, a comprehensive EXIF editor support single image edit as well as the bulk photo processing.
Make sure you have the correct date and time set in your camera. This is particularly important if you live in an area that observes daylight saving time. Traveling to a different time zone can also be a problem. Many cameras can also add copyright information and captions.
Metadata can usually be added to post-processing software. Typically, captions and keywords can be added. Much of the metadata can be automated in Lightroom Classic. Copyright information and contact information can be included in a metadata preset. This preset can be applied to all imported photos.
The File Info panel provides editing capabilities for Photoshop users. Select File from the File menu. Using the shift-option-command I combination, select File > File Info.
Metadata can be stripped from your photos by programs like Facebook and Instagram. The information you include with your photos is also in your control. You can choose what metadata Lightroom Classic exports with your files, for instance. All metadata can be exported or you can remove some. The information you share about your location or XMP may not be appropriate.
Before sharing smartphone images, various apps remove their metadata. iOS and Android both offer the option to hide GPS data when sharing.
Additionally, you can remove metadata from your Windows operating system. Simply right-click the image, then select Properties. Click on Details. Under Properties and Personal Information, you will find the option to remove them
A photo’s metadata contains information about the image. Besides camera information, searchable text, and post-processing changes, it contains information about your camera.
There are programs like Lightroom that allow you to view and edit metadata. With an image metadata viewer like AnyEXIF, you can view the metadata of other photographers’ images. Lightroom allows you to exclude metadata from exported image files if you do not want to share this data.