I can probably name 100 reasons why someone would want to remove the location information from their photos. Not only would you preferably want to remove location information from your professional photos, but probably some of your iPhone photos too. You may not want people tracking down your whereabouts or even your own home address using the pictures you post on the web from your mobile phone.
A lot of independent fashion/portrait photographers have unique locations they go and scout out or find for shoots. Most of them would prefer to keep these locations secret so others cannot use them and the fauxtographers can’t go and destroy them with chalk and god only knows what else. The same goes for urbex photographers and their exploring of abandoned buildings and similar. I cannot tell you the last time I saw a badass urbex image on the internet and someone did not comment it asking for the location information. Luckily, for some of you, not all DSLR cameras are GPS enabled. At the same time, most of you like to post BTS shots from your shoots using your mobile phone. If someone wanted your location bad enough then they could easily find it through your mobile photos if you do not strip the location information away.
The location information is stored in an image’s EXIF data. There’s a ton of different ways to strip the location information from a photo. The method we will be using is with Adobe Photoshop. You can probably use many other editing programs, so check to see if yours has the functions described below if you do not have Photoshop. I have used this method previously over the last couple years and it is super easy and you do not need any extra random programs.
- You simply open your image in Photoshop.
- If you need to edit, go ahead and do that.
- When you go to save your image, select “Save for Web.”
- Choose your file type and quality.
- Click Save.
Bam! Location information is automatically stripped away when using the “Save for Web” feature in Photoshop. This method was also recently highlighted by Bryan O’Neil Hughes from Photoshop. So if you need a video with step by step explanation please check it out. He also goes into detail about how exactly someone can find your location from an image using Lightroom.
Obviously, the best and easiest way to strip the location information from your photos is to not have it there in the first place. On most devices you can choose to enable or disable GPS tracking when you take a picture. I know on the iPhone it is called “location services” and I assume it’s about the same for the Android. For your DSLR you will have to refer to the manual. Also, it is important to note that media sharing services like Facebook and Twitter actually remove EXIF data from your images. You really should not need to worry about posting to those services. A photo oriented site that does not strip images of EXIF data unless specified is Flickr. If you are unsure whether the place you are uploading your photo strips the EXIF data away then either ask them first, or simply use the quick Photoshop method above.