I’ve been reading my photography book and trying to follow the instructions to see what sort of results I get. One issue I faced was that while taking pictures I knew what values I set and it was ok to compare the result with the next image with different settings of aperture, shutter speed and ISO right then, however; later on when I reviewed the images on my PC I had no idea what values I had set. This could be resolved by writing down these values before taking each shot but come on, that is never going to happen since its just too much work.
Upon some research it turns out that most digital cameras save JPEG files with EXIF (EXchangeable Image File) data. This is exactly the information I needed to get the best out of my practice. I found this out was when FLICKR told me that my photos had been taken by a KODAK Z612 camera and even showed me all the settings I had made when I asked for details. I immediately right-clicked an image file and looked at the details and lo and behold there were all the values I wanted.
This is really cool information for me and there are also dedicated EXIF viewers that make the whole experience of comparing your photos more user-friendly. The EXIFPRO Image Viewer is one such viewer and can be downloaded here.
Read more on the EXIF format here.