Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Scanned photos and Exif data

I don't know about you, but I use Exif data extensively to evaluate my own photos and learn from other people's photos. I scan my negatives via a Nikon Coolscan V ED and the drawback has been that the resulting files do not contain any Exif data. The TWAIN driver for the scanner nor Photoshop allow me to add more than just the Author information whereas my Pentax MZ-S stores exposure mode, metering method, shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation on the negative outside the actual photo area and I would love to add that information to the images.

There are a lot of GUI tools around like Microsoft Pro Photo Tools and GeoSetter that allows you to manipulate some of the Exif data, but for some reason, none of these tools allow you to change or add any basic information like maker, model and exposure data. I guess the programmers always expected this to be set already by the DSLR or digital compact and of no value to add this. :-(

The only tool I have found capable of adding or changing the basic Exif data is Phil Harvey's ExifTool, a very powerful tool which is a Perl script using a command line interface. Using this tool I have been able to add a lot of Exif data to my scanned photos and in combination with ExifTool GUI, I have the environment for which I have been looking.