What’s this EXIF technology people used to study Trump photos? (FAQ)



a man standing in front of a table: An Oct. 3 photo shows President Donald Trump at Walter Reed hospital. White House


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An Oct. 3 photo shows President Donald Trump at Walter Reed hospital. White House

President Donald Trump’s case of COVID-19 gave an obscure photo data technology called EXIF its 15 minutes of internet fame as people started scrutinizing photos taken of him this weekend at Walter Reed hospital. But what exactly is EXIF?

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In short, it’s a standard way cameras can embed metadata within a photo file. That data can include the camera model that took the shot, what exposure settings were used, where a photo was taken and, most pertinent in Trump’s case, the time the photo was taken.

That last point is of particular interest, since EXIF data from two Trump photos the White House released Saturday indicated they could have been taken 10 minutes apart. That fueled criticisms that the shots were staged photo ops. That, in turn, fueled debate

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