Howto : Viewing EXIF in image within browser


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lennyl

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Mar 27, 2008
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#1
There are occasions where knowing the EXIF of an image can help you learn how a photo is taken. Not everyone posts their shooting information together with their image, however. In some cases, the shooting information is available from the EXIF header within the JPEG. I'll describe how you can easily access this information from within your Firefox browser with just two clicks.

Note that EXIF information is not always available. Some users choose to strip EXIF from their image for privacy reasons. Some photo sharing sites do not show the EXIF for resized images (SmugMug is one of them).

I'm writing this only for Firefox 3, because that is what I use. Earlier versions of Firefox should be fairly similar. If anyone would like to add an Internet Explorer, Opera or Safari section, please go ahead.

First, a brief introduction. One of the wonderful things about digital photography is that with most modern cameras (some camera phones are the exception), when you shoot an image, the date, time, camera model, shooting data such as exposure information and shooting mode, and depending on camera, lens, focus point and even custom function settings, are all stored in the JPEG or RAW file. This is called the EXIF header (exchangable image file format). There is also another metadata header, usually added by 3rd party software instead of the camera - IPTC. IPTC is useful for adding caption, keywords and author copyright information to the image.

To view the EXIF, if it is present, you can save the image to your local disk, then open it up with an image viewer, or (in XP) right click on it and select Properties. This gets tedious after a few images. Wouldn't it be better to be able to view it directly from the browser?

In order to do that, you will need to install Add-Ons to Firefox. Click on "Tools" and select "Add-Ons"



You will be presented with the Add-Ons dialog box. Click on the "Get Add-ons" icon on the upper left. Type in "exif" in the search filter just below the icon. You should see at least 2 results : Exif Viewer and FxIF.



Personally I like FxIF better because it is nice and light. You can install either or both. They do not conflict with each other. Select the add-on you want to install, and click on the "Add to Firefox..." button. Follow the prompts on the screen. You will be asked to restart Firefox when installation is complete. If you're installing both, you can do that before restarting.

When Firefox has restarted, you're good to go.

Find an image that has embedded EXIF. Right click on the image, and select "Properties"



This should usually be the last item on the list. Mine has "Adblock Image..." because I'm running Adblock Plus. I don't mind banner ads, BTW, and even click on them occasionally, but I positively despise link rollover ads.

If EXIF is present in that image, you will see it in the dialog box.



I've obscured some information in this dialog box, but you should have a pretty good idea of what information is available. You're good to go. If, for any reason, you want to copy the EXIF information into your clipboard as text, there is a "Copy" button right there.

You can test with the moon photo at the next post.

I won't cover Exif Viewer. It shows a lot more information, however, and sometimes it works when FxIF does not (rare). I won't show a screen shot of the Exif Viewer window, but to access it, you right click and select "View Image Exif Data".



One final note. Sometimes, when Firefox is updated, it breaks the add-on. If that happens, try using the Add-On dialog to update the add-on. If all else fails, remove the add-on and re-install.

This concludes this mini tutorial. Hope you find it useful. Feel free to suggest changes or add to it.
 

lennyl

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#2
EXIF is available on this image. You should be able to tell that it is taken with a Canon 20D at 400mm, f/11 and 1/125 seconds (among other things).


 

lightrules

Senior Member
Mar 20, 2007
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#3
i couldnt see any exif from your image
I am using firefox 3 with EXIF 1.45
( seems to install properly, so I assume it should work with Firefox 3 )


Maybe i should go back to firefox2 ?

oy,yes
thanks very much for the intro to EXIF VIEWER
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#5
Good article lennyl :thumbsup:

Will try tonight

Ryan
 

Jul 2, 2004
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#6
Nice one. Just installed EXIF viewer and it works like a charm.:)

One thing though; the plugin has to reload the image in its own window to extract the EXIF data, resulting in a momentary lag. Wonder why that's necessary if the image is already displayed in the browser window (e.g. the program could just extract EXIF data from the browser's temp or cache folder).

Looks like Fxif is a mite better in this regard.
 

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lennyl

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Mar 27, 2008
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#11
D300.:) (referring to shutter count)
I've not seen shutter count in any EXIF I examined with either of these two tools. If it is available in the EXIF, you should be able to extract it out using Opanda.

From reviews I've read, the D300's shutter count is available from within the setup menu (but Nikon cautioned that it could be reset through software). Is that true?
 

lennyl

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Mar 27, 2008
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#12
i couldnt see any exif from your image
I am using firefox 3 with EXIF 1.45
( seems to install properly, so I assume it should work with Firefox 3 )
I'm using FF3 with Exif Viewer 1.45. Looking at the moon image, I could see the shooting data under Exif Sub IFD. With only Exif Viewer installed, "Properties" will not show any info, you need to right click image, then choose "View Image EXIF Data".
 

HTCahHTC

Senior Member
May 9, 2008
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#13
was wondering,
how do you strip information from EXIF before posting online?
 

HTCahHTC

Senior Member
May 9, 2008
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#14
was wondering,
how do you strip information from EXIF before posting online?
 

ExplorerZ

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2006
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#15
for Nikon dSLR, it is possible to view the shutter count of an image using opanda, but it is provided that you used the right software to convert the image(iirc photoshop discard the shutter count info)

HTCahHTC: if u use photoshop, use the "save as web" option instead of "save" or "save as"
 

HTCahHTC

Senior Member
May 9, 2008
896
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#16
for Nikon dSLR, it is possible to view the shutter count of an image using opanda, but it is provided that you used the right software to convert the image(iirc photoshop discard the shutter count info)

HTCahHTC: if u use photoshop, use the "save as web" option instead of "save" or "save as"
dude, thanks alot.
muacks! ;p
 

lightrules

Senior Member
Mar 20, 2007
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#17
I'm using FF3 with Exif Viewer 1.45. Looking at the moon image, I could see the shooting data under Exif Sub IFD. With only Exif Viewer installed, "Properties" will not show any info, you need to right click image, then choose "View Image EXIF Data".
got it

thanks

dont know why didnt work the first time
 

Jan 23, 2005
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Singapore
#18
Note that EXIF information is not always available. Some users choose to strip EXIF from their image for privacy reasons. Some photo sharing sites do not show the EXIF for resized images (SmugMug is one of them).
There's also other reasons for stripping files, e.g. not wasting bandwidth. Your sample image comes as 80371 bytes. Just stripping the additional stuff (Exif tags, embedded thumbnail, and all the junk added by photoshop), without any further optimization, brings it down to 46180 bytes. In other words, the non-stripped image file comes with a hefty 74% overhead added.
 

lennyl

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Mar 27, 2008
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#19
There's also other reasons for stripping files, e.g. not wasting bandwidth. Your sample image comes as 80371 bytes. Just stripping the additional stuff (Exif tags, embedded thumbnail, and all the junk added by photoshop), without any further optimization, brings it down to 46180 bytes. In other words, the non-stripped image file comes with a hefty 74% overhead added.
Hmm, good point. I'm surprised it is so large - have to take a closer look at what crap gets written in there. I should at least strip the thumbnail for posting on web. Most of the time SmugMug takes care of stripping it out when resizing for me though.
 

lennyl

New Member
Mar 27, 2008
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#20
was wondering,
how do you strip information from EXIF before posting online?
If you're using Lightroom, it has some plug-ins that allow you to selectively choose what EXIF you want to include in your export. The one I can recall is "Metadata Wrangler".

http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/metadata-wrangler/

Exiftool (command line) can do it to a batch of existing images.
 

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