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Batch Change Capture Date and Time on Scanned Photo Files in Lightroom Classic

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tomcarm3

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Joined
Jan 19, 2021
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5
Lightroom Version Number
LR Classic 9.3
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.14 Mojave
I tried the method you listed (in LRQ "How do I change the photo dates on scanned / photographed images?") for changing date and time on multiple photos. I have a lot of scanned images and only want to change the date. Using this method, the date changed ok on each photo (Metadata Date unchanged, Date/Time Original changed, Date Time changed). However the time shown on each photo was changed to that of the first photo, rather than adding a few seconds or minutes to the time on each of the later photos.

I tried again, but this time only adjusted the date. This initially seemed to work until I realized that the times on each photo were not in sequence. Further examination of my scanned photo files showed that many photos had same time stamp and that time seemed random, sometimes increasing and sometimes decreasing (in both the original scanned photo file and the file resulting from this time change process).

It appears I need a way to not only adjust the date, but also to adjust current time stamp to a new time that is sequentially increasing in accordance with the photo number.

What did I miss? How do I correct this?
 
Many people get confused by this (indicating an issue with the UI design). When you select multiple photos, the Edit Capture Time command always shifts the capture date/times of the photos by the same amount of time:
1611088924047.png


To change all selected photos to the same capture date/time, you'll need to use a plugin -- see the last section of the article you mentioned:
https://www.lightroomqueen.com/change-exif-dates/
 
Thanks for quick reply! In reading more about the plug-in and your posts, I am realizing my initial post was confusing, although it accurately captured my confusion.

I have scanned a lot (6,000 plus) slides and negatives and want to import them through LR Classic. Although most will just be archived through its database, some will be edited in LR. I set my Library screen to sort via Capture Time, and thus need to have the Capture Date set to correct shoot date (not the scan date) & have the Time increase in the same direct "direction" as the image / file number. I don't want to set bot date and time to same value as that messes up my Library screen sort. As I read about the plug-in it would only set same date and time on each image.

I took another look at my scanned files and realized a problem. Although each file has a unique increasing file number, and the scan date is consistent, the time on each file is erratic. As I progress through the files in numerical order of file name, I see that several of the first files have identical capture times. Then the next fe files show a slightly later capture time )by a few seconds). But then the next few files (in numerical order) show a capture time that is lower (earlier than) the capture time on first scan file.

It looks like I thus have two problems to address.

First is to adjust Capture time on each scanned photo / file so the time increases consistent with increase in file number (same direction, not same amount). This would allow me to continue using L/R Library screen sort set at Capture Time.

Second issue then is batch change from the Capture Date and adjusted Capture Time to a new Capture Date and Time, such that time increases in same order as file number increases.

I believe I can address the second issue ok using Edit Capture Date/Time on LR Classic. But first I need to adjust the time on the scanned files so the time increases as the file number increases.

What are your thoughts on how to approach this first issue? Can it be done via LR? Will I need to go to a plug-in? Will I need to first make this adjustment via another program such as Photo Mechanic? If so, which one?

Thanks
 
Thanks for quick reply! In reading more about the plug-in and your posts, I am realizing my initial post was confusing, although it accurately captured my confusion.

I have scanned a lot (6,000 plus) slides and negatives and want to import them through LR Classic. Although most will just be archived through its database, some will be edited in LR. I set my Library screen to sort via Capture Time, and thus need to have the Capture Date set to correct shoot date (not the scan date) & have the Time increase in the same direct "direction" as the image / file number. I don't want to set bot date and time to same value as that messes up my Library screen sort. As I read about the plug-in it would only set same date and time on each image.

I took another look at my scanned files and realized a problem. Although each file has a unique increasing file number, and the scan date is consistent, the time on each file is erratic. As I progress through the files in numerical order of file name, I see that several of the first files have identical capture times. Then the next fe files show a slightly later capture time )by a few seconds). But then the next few files (in numerical order) show a capture time that is lower (earlier than) the capture time on first scan file.

It looks like I thus have two problems to address.

First is to adjust Capture time on each scanned photo / file so the time increases consistent with increase in file number (same direction, not same amount). This would allow me to continue using L/R Library screen sort set at Capture Time.

Second issue then is batch change from the Capture Date and adjusted Capture Time to a new Capture Date and Time, such that time increases in same order as file number increases.

I believe I can address the second issue ok using Edit Capture Date/Time on LR Classic. But first I need to adjust the time on the scanned files so the time increases as the file number increases.

What are your thoughts on how to approach this first issue? Can it be done via LR? Will I need to go to a plug-in? Will I need to first make this adjustment via another program such as Photo Mechanic? If so, which one?

Thanks
IF you have the intestinal fortitude, you might try using EXIFTool. It runs on nearly everything, but it is a commandline tool. Ugh. On Windows, there is a tool called EXIFToolGUI, which allows you to set/edit various metadata values including time. There might be a MacOS equivalent.
 
The Capture Time To Exif plugin has an option "Incremented time stamp (seconds)" that is described here:
https://www.photographers-toolbox.com/products/jbeardsworth/jbcapturetimetoexif/index.php?sec=faq'
So do these steps:

1. Do the LR command View > Sort > File Name to sort the files by the numbers in their file names.

2. Select all the files that were captured on the same day.

3. Run Capture Time To Exif with the Incremented option, choosing the date and time of the first photo. All the subsequent selected photos will have the same day, with their times incrementing by one second each.

I use the same convention for managing my catalog of 15K scans. I set the time of the first scan for a day to be 12:00:01 AM, and all the rest will be 12:00:02, 12:00:03, etc. (The original slides were a jumbled mess, and I scanned the slides from the same roll over a period of many years, so I can't simply rely on scan order/file names to view them in proper capture-time order.) (I use my own private plugin that does the same thing as Capture Time To Exif.)
 
I, too have recently gotten a bunch of old slides back from being scanned and am busy changing the date/time on all of them. (Windows 10/LR Classic 10.1.1) Although I own the Capture time to EXIF plugin and used it for adding the camera info to hundreds of files, I started using the LR on-board tool to change capture date/time on groups of 5-10 at a time because it's much faster than the plugin.

I had a similar problem as @tomcarm3 out of a group of 10 photos, maybe 8 would have the correctly changed date/time and 2 would have random times assigned with the correct year but dates anywhere from days to months incorrect. Bizarre behavior.

I've gone back to using the Capture Time... plugin. It may take a little longer but it works like a charm.
 
I had a similar problem as @tomcarm3 out of a group of 10 photos, maybe 8 would have the correctly changed date/time and 2 would have random times assigned with the correct year but dates anywhere from days to months incorrect. Bizarre behavior.
This is likely due to the 8 photos and 2 photos having been scanned on different days. LR's Metadata > Edit Capture Time always shifts the capture date/times by the amount that the most-selected photo is changed. The command explains that in a way that confuses many people:

1611595303520.png
 
I've used Capture Time to EXIF for years, but now it's not working. It appears to be running, but when I read back the metadata, nothing is changing.

Version 1.26 is installed in Applications/Adobe Plug-ins and active in LR's Plug-in Manager.

Is it because it's not compatible with Big Sur? Is anyone else having a problem?
 
This is likely due to the 8 photos and 2 photos having been scanned on different days. LR's Metadata > Edit Capture Time always shifts the capture date/times by the amount that the most-selected photo is changed. The command explains that in a way that confuses many people:

View attachment 15968

Ah, you've got a point there, although since they were sent to a scanning service I'm pretty sure the photos were all scanned on the same date or within one 24 hour period and thus the capture dates were all the same. They were all imported into LR at exactly the same time. Another point was that the photos with the incorrect "new" date/time were a) not in sequence (when sorted by name) and b) the "incorrect" new dates were also not sequential, i.e. where the corrected date time should be, for example 12.July.1983, the one of the "false" dates would be 14.September.1983 and the other 16.October.1983.

After having this occur in about 10 groupd of photos, where I then had to check each photo and make sure it was changed correctly, I ended up using Capture Time to EXIF because although it took longer, it produced the desired results. (Thanks, @johnbeardy !)
 
Most likely, you're observing the effects of LR's screwy way of handling files that don't contain capture date in their metadata, not a problem with the Edit Capture Time command per se.

When LR imports a photo with no capture date in its metadata (and no related dates, such as the date of digitization), it uses the file's current last-modified time as the capture date. So depending on how you imported those photos and what commands you've done in LR, different files could have much different last-modified dates. Making it even more confusing, when you do Metadata > Save Metadata To File (or when that is done implicitly if you have the option Automatically Write Changes set), the file's last-modified date will change, and the next time you restart LR (sometimes even before then), it will show the new last-modified date as the capture date for these scans.

You can prevent this screwy update of the capture date in LR: After importing the scans, select all the photos, do Metadata > Edit Capture Time, and select Change All. This records a fixed capture date for all the scans that won't change in the future unless you run Edit Capture Time again or the Capture Time To Exif plugin. (It also works around other bugs in LR's handling of photos missing capture dates.)
 
I wondered if it might be something like this, as I've never had a problem with changing the time when I've forgotten to change the camera's timezone or when I adjust the time to match a gps track.

I've copied this bit of advice and copied it into my OneNote where I keep useful bits of information. Thanks!!
 
I've copied this bit of advice and copied it into my OneNote where I keep useful bits of information. Thanks!!
I just want to add that about six months ago I started using OneNote to keep track of various bits of photo-related information, instead of saving emails or creating PDFs of interesting LRF threads. Much better way to organize ideas.

I'm a Windows user. I don't know if OneNote is available for MacOS.
 
I just want to add that about six months ago I started using OneNote to keep track of various bits of photo-related information, instead of saving emails or creating PDFs of interesting LRF threads. Much better way to organize ideas.

I'm a Windows user. I don't know if OneNote is available for MacOS.
OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office suite. That includes the version of Office for Mac. There is even a Web version of OneNote and a OneNote app for iPhones and Android. I have been using One Note for many years just like the poster.
 
I too am a longtime user of Onenote, first on Windows (with my Thinkpad tablet in the 2000s) and now on my Macbook and iPhone.
 
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