Change capture date without losing edit history

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#1
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I have many old pictures in my collection that were scanned from paper photographs (upto early 1900). I'd like to properly date these with the estimated date taken. In that field now is often the scanned-date. Is there a way that I can change that date without losing any edits (metadata) in LR? I know it's possible outside LR but then the picture is labeled as "having changed metadata" and I can choose to either discard and keep LR edits or read the new data from the file but lose my LR edits. I guess I need to find a way to do this inside LR.
 
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#2
In the Library module, menu Metadata>"Change capture time". It can be applied to unique photo or to a group of photos.
 
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Yes, I knew that. Sorry, I now realize that I did not formulate my question correctly (I do apologize).
The fact is that my files DO have the right name: they start with YYYY MM DD (or YYYY MM, or YYYY) based on how much I know. I'd like to find out if I could use that information somehow to facilitate / semi-automate the renaming process... Any ideas?
 

JohanElzenga

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You can change the file name of an image in the right panel of the Library module. I don't see how you could semi-automate this however, because if I understand you correctly you want to use the date that the picture was supposedly taken (could be as early as 1900), and how on earth is Lightroom going to know this date? The only thing Lightroom knows is the scanning date, which could be a century later...
 
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#5
If I understand correctly, you're looking for a batch that would extract the date from the filename and put it in the exif metadata. In my knowledge, LR has no way to do that, you must do it manually.
I think this should be possible by writing a script that would extract the date from the filename then call exiftools to insert the date in the exif metadata.
 

johnbeardy

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EXIFtool is only relevant if LR itself has failed to read the correct date from EXIF. A simple LR script would be easier.

Often a script is needed to do complex file renaming within LR and not to lose edit history (see this method Complex File Renaming). My Search and Replace plugin could batch copy the filename to the capture date field, but you'd probably need to copy it to another editable field (eg Headline as in above article) and then manipulate that field to produce a strict date format that can be copied into capture date field.
 
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"You can change the file name of an image in the right panel of the Library module. I don't see how you could semi-automate this however, because if I understand you correctly you want to use the date that the picture was supposedly taken (could be as early as 1900), and how on earth is Lightroom going to know this date? The only thing Lightroom knows is the scanning date, which could be a century later... "

Because the real date is in the filename (I put it there :))
 
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EXIFtool is only relevant if LR itself has failed to read the correct date from EXIF. A simple LR script would be easier.

Often a script is needed to do complex file renaming within LR and not to lose edit history (see this method Complex File Renaming). My Search and Replace plugin could batch copy the filename to the capture date field, but you'd probably need to copy it to another editable field (eg Headline as in above article) and then manipulate that field to produce a strict date format that can be copied into capture date field.
Right John, indeed if I'd do this via Exif tools, that would be a change external to LR and I'd lose my edits. I actually purchased your Rename Plug-in a few years back (it's great and helped me a lot) and thought I could do it with that but it seems that the right fields are not supported.
I guess, I could live with reading the first 4 (positions) digits (YYYY in my case) from the filename and inserting these in the "capture date field" in LR (all from within LR).
If that works, it woul dbe even nicer if I could do a second run where I could read the first 7 (YYYY MM) and insert these for another part of my pictures where I know not only the year but also the month.
Finally, in a third run, I could read 10 positions (YYYY MM DD) and enter that for those where I know the foll date.
The 2nd and 3rd run would be an extension of the 1st obviously and doing only the 1st for all scanned pictures would already be great.
Now if your tool could do that... ;)
 

johnbeardy

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It does. So I suggest reading that article and adapting the method.
 
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OK, I transfer the filename to HeadLine. Then in "Search & Replace" I select "Chars", then 11 to 500 and replace with nothing.
That turns a test file with name "1929 01 02 Test.TIF" into a headline reading "1929 01 02". So far, so good.
Now I go back to "Transfer" and go from "HeadLine" to "Capture Date". Can't find that last one but I selected "Date Created". That seems to change the "Capture Date" field. When I click "Transfer", the date becomes "February 22, 2015 21:02:39" (which was. I'm guessing the original scan date).
So next I try with the first 4 chars (the year only); result is "January 1, 1929 00:00:00"; that seems OK but the date in my Library Filter still show "1" and Feb 22nd, 2015".
Last I tried with YYYY MM, with result the same as the full date...

My system is configured to use DD-MMM-YY, would that be the reason this fails maybe?
 
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