Q If I use the shell command
mdls to display the metadata for my photos, it does not include some EXIF fields which are shown when I inspect them in Preview or Graphic Converter. The missing fields include Destination Bearing Reference and Image Direction Reference. Why not?
A You are correct, and it is not obvious why the shell command
mdls does not give the full EXIF fields. However even Preview shows but a small selection of them: if you open an image using Graphic Converter and glance at the huge list yielded by its EXIF tool, you will see many fields which do not appear in other apps.
One possible explanation is that
mdls is actually part of the tools to support Spotlight, and only sees those metadata fields which Spotlight will index, which apparently does not include most of what is stored in the full EXIF metadata.