If you’re not comfortable with the idea of uploading photos to the Web with geotag data baked into the file, there are some easy ways you can scrub the data to protect your privacy. Both Mac and Windows computers offer simple solutions for quickly removing sensitive location info from your photo files.
One of the advantages of digital photography is having information about how each photo was shot embedded within the photograph’s file itself. This EXIF data is something photographers commonly jot down in notebooks as they walk around and shoot with their analog cameras.
Photographer Oriol Garcia wanted a better solution than manually writing down shot times and details. Since most people have smartphones now, why not make an extremely easy to use app that can document the info of every photograph taken? He ended up creating an app called PhotoExif that can do just that.
How well does your favorite photo hosting and/or sharing service handle the copyright information and EXIF data of your photographs? How do the popular services stack up against one another in this regard?
Metadata handling isn’t often discussed when photo sites are compared, but that’s what the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) has been devoting an entire study to. The organization has published its findings regarding which companies play nicely with your metadata, and which pretend it’s not there.
If you’ve been following the news, you might have heard that a man John McAfee is on the run from police who want to question him about a murder. Not just any ol’ John McAfee, but the John McAfee, the once-ultra-rich founder of anti-virus software company McAfee. Well, a photograph published to the web today may have revealed the exact location McAfee
is was hiding.
Reuters has published its list of the best photographs taken in 2012, a massive collection of 95 powerful images showing different events that have occurred around the globe over the past year. In addition to large photos, descriptions by the photographers, and the official captions, each image is also accompanied by information about the equipment and settings that were used to capture it.
Flickr has quietly rolled out a great incremental update to its photo-sharing service. Individual photo pages now display a number of EXIF details under a new section labeled “Additional Info”, found in the column to the right. With a quick glance, you’ll be able to see the shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and focal length that a photographer was using when he or she snapped any photo.
Here’s a friendly public service announcement: remember to time on your camera before and after Daylight Savings Time (which just ended yesterday in the United States) — unlike cell phones, digital cameras generally don’t adjust their own time. If you accidentally forgot and now have a bunch of photos with timestamps that are off by an hour, there are some programs out there that can help you set things right.
Donalee Moulton over at The Lawyers Weekly has an article describing how EXIF data is beginning to be accepted as valuable evidence in courtrooms — at least in Canada:
Traditionally, a photograph was a picture of one point in time. It could only tell what someone was doing, or not doing, at a particular moment on a particular day. What came before or after was unknown. This uncertainty meant that even what appeared to be a damning image had little value as a piece of evidence because there was no context […]
Digital photography does not pose the same problem. In some cases, the metadata are enough to counter the snapshot argument by demonstrating that an activity was performed repeatedly or for a lengthy period […]
Apparently judges are considering EXIF data to be relevant in personal injury lawsuits, in which photos could “prove” that the plaintiff isn’t too injured or depressed to function properly. Hopefully the courts are aware of how easily EXIF data can be faked.
Smile, You’re on Metadata [The Lawyers Weekly]
Thanks for sending in the tip, Phil!
Image credit: More Exif Info configuration by mortimer?, Courtroom One Gavel by Joe Gratz
One of the big conveniences of shooting digital is that your pictures pop out with useful details baked into the EXIF data. Exif4Film is a tool that makes recording EXIF information easier for film photographers. It comes as a pair of programs: an Android app helps shooters store specific details as soon as photos are captured, and a desktop application takes the Android app data and automatically adds it to your film scans. The apps are completely free, and developer Kostas Rutkauskas tells us that they’re planning to open-source the project soon. If you’re an Android user and analog shooter, give it a shot and let us know how it goes!
This past Monday, someone posted a photo to imageboard 4chan showing a Burger King employee stomping on two tubs of lettuce. The caption read “This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King.” Other tech-savvy vigilante users immediately pounced on the case in hopes of identifying the poster. Unfortunately for the lettuce defiler, the photograph was taken with geotagging enabled, allowing the EXIF data to be used to zero in on the precise restaurant where the image was created: 1475 Worton Boulevard, Mayfield Heights, OH.