I remember that often when I had test paper in front of me I found myself recollecting the page where the subject in question was discussed, the form of the page, headline, picture and even the caption. But in no way could I recollect the content of the text and what was said in the text. My memory had captured the metadata of that page but it was not that much of a help.
In taking photographs the metadata that digital camera saves is absolutely brilliant invention. I learned photography by taking photos with a film camera, and I used to go around with a notebook in my pocket and write down notes about the photos and settings. Only this way could I afterwards check individual settings and even learn from mistakes. Sometimes even the date of the photograph was forgotten on the bottom of a bag with a film roll and the exact date and time of the photograph was impossible to recollect. Metadata of digital files makes it easy to check the date and time of an old photograph. Also checking the settings afterwards is easy and convenient.
I have taken this photo almost exactly five years ago on December 3, 2009. The day was beautiful and sunny, one of the first winter days of that winter, and the frost had covered the landscape. When I today watch out of the window, landscape is still waiting for the winter to come but the photo from years ago reminds me of the wonderful weather of that early December and eases the wait for the winter to come.