It happens every time you press the shutter. Tiny circuits spring into action and furiously record the information from every sensor pixel onto your memory card. But pixel information is not all that is recorded. With every shutter press, your camera records dozens of interesting details about how the photo was taken. These details are tucked away deep inside the labyrinth of code that comprises your photo file. Photo editing softwares, such as Photoshop or Lightroom, can unlock some of this data for viewing later. But they normally only scratch the surface of the available information by displaying only the most commonly used Exif tags.
To mine the deepest depths of your Exif data, you may want to try a utility called Exiftool. This utility is known for its ability to squeeze every last drop of information from your Exif data. Don’t expect a slick, graphical interface, though. Although there are more user friendly softwares which incorporate the Exiftool engine, we’re going to demonstrate Exiftool where it is at its minimalist best – at the command line.
If you’re a geek (as most of you apparently are) and prefer doing stuff through command line rather than a GUI, Google has just introduced a new command-line utility that allows you to access various Google services.
GoogleCL is an application written in Python that lets you do things like upload a whole folder of photographs to your Picasa account with a simple command like this:
google picasa create --title "My album" ~/Photos/vacation/*.jpg
This would grab all of the JPG photographs in your vacation directory and upload them to a new album called “My album”.
Here are the possible commands for Picasa:
create: Create an album. create –title “Summer Vacation 2009″ –tags Vermont ~/photos/vacation2009/*
delete: Delete photos or albums. delete –title “Stupid album”
get: Download photos. get –title “My Album” /path/to/download/folder
list: List photos or albums. list title,url-direct –query “A tag”
post: Add photos to an album. post –title Summer Vacation 2008″ ~/old_photos/*.jpg
tag: Tag photos. tag –title “Album I forgot to tag” –tags oops
The utility isn’t limited to Picasa, of course. You can also manage Blogger, Calendar, Contacts, Docs, and YouTube data.
To get started head on over to the GoogleCL Google Code project to download the tarball. There’s also a manual and a page of example commands.