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How to Add Information to Your Pictures


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It can be extremely useful to know things like:

  • The date a picture was taken

  • The exposure details

  • The image size

  • The image resolution

All this information (and more) is captured by your camera at the time the shot was taken in the form of metadata. This information is called EXIF, which is short for Exchangeable Image File Format.

Most modern image manipulation software already supports the reading of some of this information but this is usually quite basic stuff. If you shoot a lot of pictures and upload them to your computer you many well want to add details of your own for future reference.

You can also store information in your pictures using other types of metadata. Two of the most commonly used formats of metadata for photos are; IPTC, which is a standard developed by the International Press Telecommunications Council; and XMP, the “Extensible Metadata Platform" developed by Adobe.

To see if your image manipulating supports EXIF reading, move the mouse pointer over an image and a small box should appear with details like this;

Type: JPEG
Date taken: 02/05/2006 17:53
Dimensions: 2048 x 1536
Size: 739Kb

The amount of information displayed depends on your camera, the accompanying software that came with it and the standard of the EXIF reader. In this case there is only basic information available but you can change this.
You can download a free EXIF reader that will allow to read all the information that the camera has stored and to edit it if you wish. You could also download Fotoplus 6 which is a full image manipulation programme and completely free.

Microsoft offer a free software add on for Windows that allows you to add, edit or delete metadata. Jhead offers an open source, free program for Win/Mac/Linux users that allows you scroll through and extract the most important digital settings that the camera has recorded.

There are many other, completely free programmes available for download that allow you to view, sort, add and edit the information like the ones described. Just type in “Free EXIF Programmes" into your browser and take your choice.

But why would you want to add, edit or delete this information anyway? Well here is good example. Suppose you start to take really good shots and want to market them say, through a photo library. They will want as much information about each picture as is possible like this:
  • Where the shot was taken

  • The date the shot was taken

  • The camera used

  • The lens that was used

  • Any filters used

  • All the exposure details

  • The image size

  • The image resolution

Why would all this information be required? Well, If the shot was going to be sold to a photo magazine of perhaps a book to illustrate digital photography, the reader of these publications are going to want to know these details.

Another example is information that you may want to file with your pictures that might be very difficult to remember later. Want an example? Ok. I bought a new digital camera and naturally wanted to see how it performed against three previous cameras I had upgraded from but - I could not remember sufficiently well which images had been taken on which camera to make a comparison because there was very little EXIF information with each image.

So why not use an EXIF reader/editor like those described so that you can record all the important information with your images. The programmes are free and it only takes a little effort to record details that you may find very important and useful in the future.

Hi, my name is Peter Martin Jones. I am a keen photographer and use both digital and film formats and I like sharing information on this fascinating hobby with other enthusiasts as well.

I have a free book on digital photography packed full of information that you may like to view at:


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