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Camera and lens data14/09/2009 - 12:08 AM
I remember when I started on my photographic journey, slavishly reading books, magazines and brochures and noticing strange little numbers and letters under some of the fabulous images before me. Youíve probably seen them yourself. 1/250 @ f8 or 1/60 @ f22. Sometimes, the exposure data was supplemented to include the camera and lens combination used.
Conventional advice at the time was to write down your exposures in a notebook for later reference when reviewing your pictures. I must admit, I never did this when shooting 35mm film. Much later, when I used a medium format system, I did record everything. I still have the notebook and if I read through it not only am I reminded of each image documented, but of how laborious a task it was.
With digital, almost all the information you may wish to document about your camera, lens and exposure information is recorded automatically in the EXIF data embedded in each image. It can be quite useful too. With appropriate software, you can query your photographic archive and find out things such as your most frequently used lens, to mention one single example.
This EXIF nomenclature can be transcribed when uploading your latest masterpiece to ePhotozine, which has two nice convenient fields just waiting for you to reveal the camera and lens used. Time and time again I would enter this data before pushing the upload button.
Where possible, I endeavour to provide a useful title. When time and knowledge allows, I like to provide (and read) a description. A picture is supposed to paint a thousand words, but often it can help place an image in context. Other times there can be an interesting back story to add some more meaning to the picture. In short, Iíll include anything I feel enhances the experience for the viewer.
Recently, I have also added geotag data to all my pictures, with a few notable exceptions. I have not tagged any images taken in a private residence, and there may be one or two images taken so long ago that pinpointing the precise location isnít reliable.
However, camera and lens data is now absent. Some time ago I stopped providing this information with each upload. I then went further and removed it from existing images in my portfolio. That was a time consuming exercise, so why would I want to do it?
I always believed that the finished picture is all that matters. Any reaction and perception to the quality (or lack thereof) of the image should not be influenced in any way by the brand of camera or lens used. If itís bad, itís my fault and not that of the equipment. If itís good, why should the equipment get the glory? Iíve not yet reached the lofty heights where any equipment manufacturer is sponsoring me, so I cannot see any reason to actively endorse their products, for free.
Which reminds me, Iím not especially enthusiastic about branded camera straps either, but thatís another story!