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  1. #1
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    Frequently when a photo catches my interest, my first instinct is to check its EXIF to see what the exact metering info was. Unfortunately, about half of the images I check don't have their exif data intact. For those intentionally stripping the exif from their photo - anybody know why? Why keep it secret? Whats the problem?

    For those who don't realize they are stripping the exif from the images - careful! In Photoshop, when you 'save for web', it strips the exif data.

    And I'm also pretty unimpressed by very large watermarks, they're web resolution jpegs, its not like you are throwing your original data on here.

  2. #2
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    Agree on both. The EXIF really helps. - TF
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  3. #3
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    Re: Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    I heard (but didn't technically understand) that in some cases Flickr strips EXIF data as well. I didn't pay attention enough to repeat under what circumstances though.
    Drink Coffee. Do stupid things faster with more energy.


  4. #4
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Brings unnecessary information to the viewer

    I usually remove EXIF data from images I do in the street. EXIF contains the precise date and time that the image was done. If by some chance I have someone recognisable in the photo who was supposed to be somewhere else at that time - then that may bring harm to the person in the picture. I choose not to bring more information than necessary to the viewer.
    Charles

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  5. #5
    Senior Member danic's Avatar
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    Re: Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    You can still obtain a reasonable image from the net, it happened to a member here! I'll try and dig up the thread.

    I find EXIF data to be relatively irrelevant to me. There are so many different tools (software) out there that almost make EXIF useless.
    danic



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  6. #6
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    I find EXIF data to be relatively irrelevant to me. There are so many different tools (software) out there that almost make EXIF useless.
    :skep: What are you talking about, do you know what EXIF is?

    Franglais - thats quite a stretch there, even assuming that in the very off chance, wouldn't it be nifty to have your picture essentially be a tattle tail? I mean, that person you photographed was probably doing something wrong then, ;).

  7. #7
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    Quote Originally Posted by danic
    I find EXIF data to be relatively irrelevant to me.

    I couldn't agree more. I don't consider the info in the EXIF data to be learning tool. Knowing what settings someone used doesn't really give me any useful information. I wasn't there, I don't know what the lighting was like so ISO 100, f/8 @ 1/250 of a second doesn't really help me. Did the photographer meter off of something, and then recompose the image? Did they crop out a section that was blown out, or too dark? There are way too many variables that I, as the viewer, would need to know in order for that information to be helpful. Throw in what can be done to alter the look of an image in post processing and that information becomes even less relevant.

    I know a photographer that when asks about 'what exposure he used to create an image?', his canned response is "the correct one".
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1973
    I couldn't agree more. I don't consider the info in the EXIF data to be learning tool. Knowing what settings someone used doesn't really give me any useful information. I wasn't there, I don't know what the lighting was like so ISO 100, f/8 @ 1/250 of a second doesn't really help me. There are way too many variables that I, as the viewer, would need to know in order for that information to be helpful.
    :skep: :skep:
    I couldn't disagree more. But, more than a 'learning tool' I find its just curiosity that it settles. Besides, do some reverse engineering on that metering data and you *do* have a pretty good idea of what the lighting was like.
    Throw in what can be done to alter the look of an image in post processing and that information becomes even less relevant.
    Post processing doesn't have a whole lot of exposure wiggle room, you've only got like, say a +/- 0.5 stop capability within that, the only thing it could totally change from the original shot is white balance. Totally abstract edits will be plainly obvious (layered overlays/etc).
    Did the photographer meter off of something, and then recompose the image? Did they crop out a section that was blown out, or too dark?
    EXIF data shows which exact mode you were in, your exposure compensation, and AEL toggle function, so actually you can gather a lot of that kind of info. In any event thats still sort of irrelevant, my primary interest is choice of F-stop, I don't think I was ever interested in whether someone AEL toggled or not.

    MJS are you just trying to excuse yourself for stripping the EXIF from your images? ;)

  9. #9
    GB1
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    Re: Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    I like the EXIF information. Nothing wrong with having the exposure and date-time information there. I've used it on many occasions. For example, I've thought I shot wide open, but the background was more in focus than I wanted, and when I checked the EXIF data I found that I hadn't shot wide open. The date is also very helpful for a disorganized photographer like myself

    As for watermarks, I'm all for protecting your work, but unless you use a super intrusive one (like one half the size of the image right across the middle) a reasonably skilled PPer could remove it in less than 15 minutes. And the intrusive ones destroy the viewing experience. So what do you do? The digital watermarks are also defeatable btw - see

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  10. #10
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    I don't understand how it can be said to have no value??? Look at the current waterfall thread:

    Chasing Waterfalls

    ISO= 100, f/22 & f/32, ~1/2 sec= probably needs ND filter.

    I see reviewers commenting all the time on 'low shutter speed= camera shake', 'why ISO 1600?', 'indoors and WB= sunlight' and even the wrong camera. It certainly seems to give a lot of clues.

    TF
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    Feel free to edit my photos or do anything else that will help me learn.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    The only time I would ever be concerned about protecting copyrights of my photos is if there is a person in there, otherwise if someone wants to use my photo's, I really don't care. Web resolution jpegs only offer so much, if they want to take that, be my guest. If they want to reproduce it in photo - they will have a tough time even getting a good 4x6 out of it.

    But yes, pictures of people is a whole other matter, I do take those copyright protections very seriously. But if some travel agency "steals" your landscape photo to advertise the Hawaii vacation, what skin is it off your back? Sometimes I feel like some photographers are like Lars Ulrich in that Napster fiasco, boo-hoo! ;)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    I agree with you Anbesol. But I go to extremes, out of necessity. As a landlord, I often have a need for photographic evidence. Post-processing being what it is today, it can be difficult to persuade a judge (or worse, a jury) thata particular shot hasn't been subject to tampering. In Oregon, if you can find one "expert" (don't get me started....) who says that it "could have been" altered, you may as well throw the photos out.

    The answer is Photoshop's ability to add a History log to the exif data. With it, I can record every setting of every command that the image encountered from first being opened to the final save. But it records EVERY setting: all the caibrations in the ACR plug-in that are set to 0, the location of all plotted points in the Curves command, etc. The result is normally a huge file, but one that can be duplicated exactly, starting from the camera image.

    I've also been known to record gps info in exif on some of my more remote landscapes.

    Point is, I don't always need all that. Now, I could go in and change PS's preferences to NOT include the History Log, and then restart PS so that it leaves it out. I could go in and decide to delete certain aspects of the exif, and keep others. But I don't. If the exif doesn't serve a specific purpose, it usually gets dumped.

    It's not that I mind sharing, I'm happy to answer questions about exif, It's just that "all or nothing" is an easier option than "this, but not that- those, but not these."

    Couldn't agree more about the watermarks though! :thumbsup:

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  13. #13
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    Re: Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    Another vote for leaving the exif in tact. Exposure information is interesting- how slow of a shutter did he/she use to get what kind of motion blur or panning or whatever. F stop is good to know for reference, as in how much or little DOF did they achieve? Focal length is a good one also...and ISO. A lot of times when I see an amazing image, I check these things to see if I've got similar equipment; hoping, that I don't, so I have an excuse as to why I can't capture equally impressive images!

    Exif is especailly useful in helping someone diagnose what went wrong with a photo... So, yeah, keep it in!

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  14. #14
    Senior Member brmill26's Avatar
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    Re: Leave your EXIF on, and the watermark off!

    I always leave my EXIF intact, but I host a lot of my photos on Facebook, which has started stripping the EXIF for some reason.

    As for Copyright notice, all of my photos have them. If you want to donate your photos to the public domain, knock yourself out. But for me, I'd like to retain the inherent value in my photos. By adding a simple, proper, Copyright notice to your photo, you get both infringement and DMCA protections.

    What does that mean? Say someone steals your unmarked photo. Not only does it become much harder for you to prove infringement, assuming you're able to do it, the judge can lower your damages to $200 per instance. Hardly worth it. On the other hand, if you have notice on your images and someone either modifies (or removes) the notice, and/or infringes your image, you get a minimum of $2,500 per instance, up to $150,000 per instance.

    It's up to you, but a small text copyright notice like I use is well worth $2,500 to me.

    This post breaks the law down to the relevant parts I'm talking about: http://rising.blackstar.com/heres-wh...-photos-o.html
    Brad

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