You may hear the term EXIF data in relation to digital photographs. But what is it? EXIF (meaning EXchangeable Image Format) is the specific information on the picture you are looking at. It has a lot more information that looking at a negative, and it gives you complete information on the camera’s settings at the moment of the picture being taken.
In the paranormal setting, the EXIF data can be used in two main ways.
- The picture can be dissected and using the information, it can be used to help us explain an anomaly in a photograph.
- It can be used to attempt to recreate the photograph taken using the exact settings at the time.
But what does that data mean? I will now advise you of what the information means.
Even though these last couple of strings of data the Make and Model of the camera seems straight forward and somewhat basic. These two strings are important. Specially if analyzing a photo from someone else. You use the Make and Model to look up information on that specific camera. This aids us in a couple of ways. We can find out if there are any known defects in the camera that may be causing odd anomalies in resulting photos, or recalls, or look up detailed manufacturer specifications on the camera.
Software This tells us the software used to create the photo. For example on a non-edited photos it should show the information of the camera’s internal software. It can also show if an image has been edited. For example, it shows on this figure it has been edited by “Adobe Photoshop CS3”
Date Time - This is the date and time the photo was taken.Sub Information
Exposure Time This is telling us the amount of time the shutter of the camera was opened to allow light into the camera onto the image sensor, to produce the image. The camera generally calculates this time in seconds, or split seconds.
EXIF Version This is telling us what version of the EXIF standard this particular camera is using when writing its EXIF data and displaying it.
Compression Bits This is telling us the amount of compression the digital photo has had from
Per Pixel the camera's internal storage. Watch this; too much compression can result in loss of quality in the photo.
Exposure Bias Value This is telling us the amount of exposure compensation this photo was given by the camera.
Maximum Aperture This is telling us the maximum size our aperture can go on this specific camera.
Metering Mode This is telling us what metering mode the camera used in determining the correct exposure of the image.
Flash This section indicates if the cameras flash was used or not. Some times you may see flash being indicated it was used but with a side note of compulsory. This means flash was forced, it had to be used.
Focal Length This is telling us the size of the portion of the lens that was used in focusing the image properly. For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focal_length
Image Height & Width This is telling us the size of the photo in pixels.
Vendor Original Information
Mode This is telling us the cameras mode or setting that was used. Such as creative, night scene and so on.
Quality This tells us the quality mode used in the camera. For example, Small, Medium, Large or RAW.
Macro Mode This is a setting for extreme close up shots.
Digital Tele This is the cameras digital zoom that most digital cameras have.