Types of files: raw
As the name implies, the photos are in a "raw" state –no processing of any kind has been applied. Often raw (sometimes you’ll see RAW instead) photos look dull and flat. However with a raw file you have all the information about a photo that you need. The panel to the right of the picture on the next page (Raw data) shows where the picture was taken, global positioning data (gps),when it was taken, the type of camera, the lens used ect..
All my photos start as raw files. I then process them to an appropriate format. I supply all my pictures on a CD. The raw information is contained in the raw file. If you do not have appropriate software on your computer to see raw files and read the raw data there are various programs available which you can download for free. My personal preference is Picasa which is a Google photo editing suite. The good news is it’s free, you don’t need to sign up for anything (be aware of any‘offers’ to install various Google bits ‘n’ pieces though) and you do not have to give any personal information. I have provided a link on my links page.
And finally - camera manufacturers use their own version of raw, so I convert my Nikon (NEF) files to a universally accepted file called Adobe "dng". This should be readable on your photo software and all the meta data is embedded within the file, not as an additional file. It is this data which you see when you open the file with appropriate software, e.g. Picasa, Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop.
Metadata: when a digital camera takes a picture it can record very useful information and embed or add itto the photo. It doesn't appear on the picture itself, bt appropriate software can read this data and display it onscreen. Metadata can prove that a picture has not been tampered with.