What is EXIF Metadata?

Most digital cameras include EXIF metadata in each photo that they create. This data commonly includes:

  • Date and time photo taken
  • Exposure settings (mode, aperture, shutter speed, ISO)
  • Camera and lens make/model
  • And a bunch more information…

This is the data that your software uses to provide that information to you (EG: in Adobe Lightroom, any other photo software or when clicking ‘Properties’ in Explorer/Finder).
This data is often included when saving or exporting images. For example: a lightroom export or a ‘save as JPEG’ in Photoshop will include the metadata.

Photo Summary App also reads this data using the normal Apple / Android tools to read EXIF data.

How can it disappear?

Each time you load an image in Photo Summary App it will load all the metadata. It will automatically select the correct aperture/shutter/iso and will also list the name of the camera and lens used. If this isn’t happening it is because that particular file contains no EXIF data.

Methods of saving/exporting/transferring images that are known to remove metadata:

    • Adobe Photoshop: ‘Save For Web’ tries to create the smallest file size which includes stripping all metadata
    • Facebook Photos: Facebook recompresses the images when they are uploaded and this usually strips metadata
    • Email Images: Attaching files works fine as it’s the original file, but inserting an image into the body of an email will usually strip the metadata as it recompresses the image
    • Screenshot of a photo: just creates a new photo including whatever it is on the screen which doesn’t contain the metadata of the image.
    • Some iPhone Camera Photos in HEIF format: this is the only ‘bug’ that could possibly be fixed in future

How to fix it

This is not a ‘bug’ that can be fixed as the data is no longer in the file so it’s impossible for any app to read the data. The good news is that there are heaps of ways of transferring images that work.

Methods of saving/exporting/transferring images that definitely keep metadata:

  • Photoshop ‘Save As’ rather than ‘Save For Web’ or other Export options
  • All Lightroom exports (make sure ‘Include All Metadata’ is selected under Metadata tab)
  • Using original photo (IE: transferred straight from camera)
  • Any transfer method that transfers original file rather than recompressing the image (EG: file attachment in email, AirDrop, Google Drive/Dropbox)

Test File

Link to test file. This file definitely contains all metadata so you can use it for testing purposes.

If you have anything you would like to add to this list to help others please use the contact form on the home page, I’d love to get more information added to these lists!