Photo metadata - User Comment = Screenshot

There are times when looking for possible copyright violations, I see this in the photo metadata, as illustrated below.

Can someone with greater knowledge of metadata explain if this literally means it was a screenshot ? It is unlikely something to have been manually typed in. I most often see it in photos that based on user behaviour seem likely to have been stolen, but dont return results via the image reverse tools lookups.

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I just took a screenshot, then uploaded it, and get something different

If I instead use the snipping tool (as opposed to the actual prtscn key as above), I get the same info again

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i’ve seen situations where it looks like a user took a screenshot of a photo that they took on their phone. i’m not sure why they might do that. maybe that’s just the workflow they know. for example, maybe the have something pulled up on Seek and aren’t sure how to turn that into an observation. so they just screenshot and crop. or maybe they aren’t sure how to crop a photo. so they just pinch zoom and drag until the image is what they want, and then screenshot that. this photo sort of looks like it was taken with a TOF camera. so it might be something from a recent iPhone, which i think has fewer features in its version of the app (vs Android).

It sounded like @thebeachcomber’s attempt was on PC, so I tried screenshotting a photo on my Mac and uploading it, and it does appear with a comment of “Screenshot”


Hi everybody, I also (might) submit from time to time a screenshot because at the time of the observation I was filming with my camera not taking a photo; so when I review the footage I’ll select a frame from a 4K video file. Regards


If I have my trail camera set to video, I will take a screenshot for my iNat observation. My file doesn’t show that in the metadata. I do my screenshots by hitting the print screen key then opening it as a new file in Photoshop. I agree this person is probably taking a screenshot from a video.


My phone automatically uploads photos to a cloud-based photo sharing service. On occasions, for sake of convenience, I’ve used a quick screenshot as a means to quickly grab & crop a photo. I doubt that my observations metadata would include such info given the software that I’m using and subsequent steps. But, as others have pointed out, there are lots of legitimate reasons to be uploading a screenshot of one’s own work.


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