Cannot edit EXIF data in iPhoto

Those of us using iPhoto (up to version 6) are probably pretty disappointed to find out that we can’t edit a photo’s EXIF data. What’s more, whatever data we add to the photo (changing title, date, description, rating) also doesn’t get stored to a photo’s EXIF fields. Instead, it gets put in some other associated file, and gets lost entirely when the photo is exported out of iPhoto — for example, uploaded to Flickr.

This may not be so bad for photos that we take with our digital cameras, because they’ve already got a good amount of EXIF data stored in them, but it absolutely stinks for photos that we’ve scanned in. I’ve got all of my family’s photos in iPhoto, organized and rated and dated. A good chunk of those photos — over 60% of some 17,000 odd photos — are scanned in. That means that when I email those photos or import them into a program like Picasa on my PC, or upload them to Zooomr, all of the date information and other data that shows up in iPhoto is lost, by design (and a poor one at that). Isn’t this ridiculous? It makes all of that time spent working with the photos in iPhoto useless. They pass through the program like a duck through water. All of that “water” drips right off when the photo’s out of the app. It’s just not right.

If I can crop and adjust a photo’s color, brightness, contrast, exposure, sharpness and other parameters in iPhoto, and have those changes be preserved when I drag that photo into an email, it stands to reason that any other changes made to the photo (date, title, description, rating) should also be preserved. Otherwise, iPhoto is really not a full-fledged photo management app.

Now, I understand there are apps like Aperture, Lightroom, and of course, Photoshop, for editing photos and getting at more of a photo’s EXIF data. But not everyone wants or needs those applications. They’re meant for users who do a lot more with photos. To me, even though I have Photoshop, it seems silly to open it up just to edit the EXIF data of a photo. And I’m not going to get Aperture just to edit EXIF data. Aperture is meant for professional photographers and I’m still just an amateur photographer. This is such a basic function that it should be integrated directly into iPhoto. If the EXIF data from a photo can be viewed in iPhoto, it should also be editable, and that same data should be preserved inside the photo when it is exported to the web or for use in other applications.


2 thoughts on “Cannot edit EXIF data in iPhoto

  1. Pingback: ComeAcross » Editing EXIF data in photos

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