How Important are EXIFs to You?


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Today, I met up with a photography buddy of mine and got onto the subject of EXIFs. In the analog era, many photographers used to take little notebooks with them in order to jot down settings and exposure parameters. This is/was particularly useful for the development (push/pull), error and cause search (how can you get to the bottom of interesting optical effects without knowing the shooting parameters?). Nowadays, this information is automatically included in any photo file. Despite diverse “safety nets” that easy-to-use, digital technology brings in its wake, there is still need for this information from a photographer’s point of view. But what is the advantage for the viewer, if EXIFs are included in the file or captioned under an image?

EXIF

My buddy believes that EXIFs enable insights into the shooting process and thus offer a recipe that you might borrow if you like a photographer’s pictures. Missing EXIFs are reason enough for him to avoid a photo website, even if it may otherwise be interesting and readable. Allegedly, you can’t learn anything on these pages anyway.

What’s your view, are EXIFs really that important? Do you like borrowing secret recipes? 😉

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2 thoughts on “How Important are EXIFs to You?

  1. When I was trying to learn how to use my broken previous compact camera (it just worked in totally manual mode) I found a blog from a young lady that with every photo she published iso, shutter and aperture. Then I learnt to use it when night and day. So I’d say yes, it’s pretty important to learning.
    But when you are not learning it’s not that important because it’s probable that someone is using a raw convertor and with those tools adding exposure, reducing highlights, etcetera the exif don’t represent very well the road to the image.

    • When I was trying to learn how to use my broken previous compact camera (it just worked in totally manual mode) I found a blog from a young lady that with every photo she published iso, shutter and aperture. Then I learnt to use it when night and day. So I’d say yes, it’s pretty important to learning.

      You are right about learning. However, it’s not the only way to learn to get a correct exposure. When I was getting into photography, the “sunny 16” rule helped me a lot.

      But when you are not learning it’s not that important because it’s probable that someone is using a raw convertor and with those tools adding exposure, reducing highlights, etcetera the exif don’t represent very well the road to the image.

      That’s correct. But some things, like bokeh for example, cannot be done in post processing, without investing an enormous amount of time. For some things EXIFs are quite informative.

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