Developing as a photographer includes (but, of course, is not limited to) learning what specific camera settings create the kind of image you’re aiming for, and learning how to take that image to the next level in programs like Lightroom. But when just starting out, figuring out all of these separate variables and how they work together can be extremely overwhelming. Pixel Peeper, however, could potentially change that.

Freelance web developer Piotr Chmolowski created Pixel Peeper in order to offer photographers, or anyone interested, really, a way to upload a JPG image and learn the camera settings used to capture the image, as well as the Lightroom tools used to edit the photo. The website can be used for sincere curiosity and learning, or for the personal satisfaction of knowing the person claiming to have not used presets, actually has every VSCO preset back available.

The software works by reading EXIF and XMP files to obtain the camera settings and Lightroom alterations. Therefore, the metadata must be present or it won’t work. If a photographer doesn’t want this information to be known they can choose to remove the metadata. Social media websites, Instagram and Facebook specifically, also remove all metadata from pictures once they’re uploaded, so pulling an image from these platforms won’t work either.

More recently, Chmolowski has added features such as a Preset Finder. If the JPG uploaded has any preset Lightroom settings this software will identify it if the user has purchased the preset package. In simplest terms, if the user does not own any presets packs, then they cannot use the Preset Finder.

Chmolowski says on the website, “It’s implemented like this, because I don’t want to discourage people from buying certain presets, simply because they can copy the settings from this site.”

Another smaller feature that has been added is the ability to check pictures via URL. This one, however, is a paid feature. Users that wish to use this feature will have to pay for a premium account.


via Pixel Peeper

Pixel Peeper is still a work in progress. While Chmolowski has already worked out a lot of the bugs, it still only works for photos exported with Lightroom. Overall, though, as long as the EXIF data is present users can access camera settings, and as long as XMP data is present users can access Lightroom edits.

So far, the website has been met with happy users and good reviews. These two Reddit threads, the first and the second, have gotten a lot of up votes and interaction from both photographers and curious observers.

[Featured image via Wikimedia]