We all talk about tags, and flags and meta data whenever we are importing our photos into Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, or whatever program you use. While there are discussions ad infinitum about the value of adding extra tags to your photos like “2010” or “Canon” or “family vacation” or whatever labels you like, there is an underlying set of “fixed” data that contains HUGE amounts of information about your picture, and that is the EXIF data.
EXIF data refers to the data the camera records about the scene you are capturing, including things like shutter speed, aperture, camera body, date, time, and all that sundry stuff. While this may seem like useful information to have (and it is at times), it can often be misleading. To prove this point I did a little test shot with the trusty rusty 40D in hopes that it would help illustrate the perils of relying on the EXIF data…(yeah, I knew the outcome ahead of time, but humor me here!)
For this exercise, because no models were handy around midnight, you’re gonna have to deal with yours truly here. I captured an image and recorded several settings, and want to show you which ones were correct and incorrect in camera. So, here’s the image I captured.:
While the camera reliably recorded things like shutter, aperture, ISO and all that jazz, take a look at the native EXIF data here, and tell me what you think is missing from the shot (I’ll share the answer tomorrow). To leave you with a hint, it’s something pretty obvious that is missing from the EXIF, so don’t try to read between the lines too much. If you look at the shot, and the EXIF that was reported, it hopefully will jump right out at you.
Fair warning too, because I will be using this shot to talk about a few aspects of portrait photography coming up next week…but the biggie is coming tomorrow, so tell me what you think is missing and we’ll see who gets it right. In the meantime, go read another blog so you can stop looking at the smirky face above! Happy shooting! 🙂