Metadata refers to a description about an item of various formats like documents, spreadsheet, music, photos and other types. Metadata can be automatically created with the item. Other details can also be added or created by the author of the item. Other data can even be edited or deleted as well.
Metadata come in handy when it comes to photos. With the metadata embedded with photos, it is easy to go back to the images one has captured. If one needs to describe his images and how he took them to somebody else or to an audience it would be easy because the settings are recorded.
In an age of digital photography photos are typically processed through the use of various types of photo processing and editing software. The Adobe Lightroom is one of the most commonly used software around. Not only does it allow viewing and processing of JPEG images but of RAW files too. It is therefore useful even to more serious photographers.
And in processing captured images in Lightroom, metadata about the processing instructions is also recorded. The original RAW file remains as is but Lightroom metadata is recorded through XMP or eXtensible Metadata Platform. The effect is that the original image would appear unchanged when one opens the file again.
One can actually embed this metadata into the original file. However, most Lightroom users don’t practice this. One reason is that doing this process for a hundred images could take time. Another reason is the risk of corrupting the original file.
One good option for viewing the processed image instead is to record it as JPEG or TIFF files. It’s even more useful especially when one uses other software than Lightroom.