Today, I met up with a photography buddy of mine and got onto the subject of EXIFs. In the analog era, many photographers used to take little notebooks with them in order to jot down settings and exposure parameters. This is/was particularly useful for the development (push/pull), error and cause search (how can you get to the bottom of interesting optical effects without knowing the shooting parameters?). Nowadays, this information is automatically included in any photo file. Despite diverse “safety nets” that easy-to-use, digital technology brings in its wake, there is still need for this information from a photographer’s point of view. But what is the advantage for the viewer, if EXIFs are included in the file or captioned under an image?
My buddy believes that EXIFs enable insights into the shooting process and thus offer a recipe that you might borrow if you like a photographer’s pictures. Missing EXIFs are reason enough for him to avoid a photo website, even if it may otherwise be interesting and readable. Allegedly, you can’t learn anything on these pages anyway.
What’s your view, are EXIFs really that important? Do you like borrowing secret recipes? 😉