Digital photographs contain "EXIF" information (metadata) from the camera about the photograph that makes organising photographs from a trip much easier. The date and time, and Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates are the most valuable. Ensure any camera you purchase has GPS. All phones have GPS, always enable GPS on your phone camera app.
To gain full use of these tips ensure that all cameras on a trip are set to the date and time.
- especially after daylight saving time changes
- when travelling overseas update the date and time to local time for every timezone
After the trip upload all your photographs from the camera or phone to your computer.
Renaming photograph to include date and time in the filename
Renaming photographs to prefix the filename with date and time assists with
- chronologically arranging the photographs from different cameras using filename
- avoids overwriting photographs when there are two photographs with the same name (many cameras use similar file naming schemes)
Rename all photographs to include in the file name the
- date and time the photo was taken (use the format "yyyy-mm-dd hh.mm.ss"), ideally as the file name prefix
- the name of the photographer
- suffix the name with the place or description
The best way to rename photographs on Windows is to use the free "Renamer".
Renamer uses a set of rules to rename the photograph using the internal EXIF information, and information you add to the rules.
Download suggested rules for use in Renamer. These rules do the following
- prefix the file name with the date and time of the photograph obtained from the information from the camera in the photograph
- suffix "Your Name" to the photograph
- change the file extension to ".jpeg" (you can disable this rule)
- tidy up and remove superfluous spaces in the file name
The original file name is preserved.
After installing Renamer run it to ensure the following settings are made:
Then it is easy to right mouse click on the folder of photographs and select the "Add to Renamer" option.
A good convention for folder naming is "yyyy-mm-dd Place or event name", eg "2021-05-12 Arthurs Pass expedition"
If your camera has a panorama mode use it to take a series of panoramic photos. If not try to ensure that exposure settings are as similar as is possible for each exposure. When taking photos ensure that each overlaps by ½ to ⅓ on each edge you wish to join. To join or stitch photos together there are a number of commercial products, some of which may be supplied with a camera, and the following free software:
- Microsoft Image Composite Editor (recommended, you can still find the download on the web))
- Hugin - Panorama photo stitcher
- CleVR online stitch photos
Adjusting photograph EXIF date and time
If the camera time was wrong, for example no date and time was set, in a different time zone, or the time was not updated for daylight saving, there is a free for personal use program that can help fix this - FastStone Image Viewer. Note: always make a copy of all your photographs before doing this.
Change Timestamp option under
Most cameras place the camera orientation when the photograph was taken in the EXIF information, eg Portrait or Landscape.
You can use the FastStone Image Viewer to losslessly rotate all portrait images (recommended).
Simply open a folder in FastStone Image Viewer, select all images (ctrl-a) then use the
JPEG Lossless Rotate under
Auto-Rotate based on EXIF Orientation Tag.
Other useful software