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Dates all over the shop when importing from both Photos and other sources

BentShed

New Member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
5
Lightroom Version
LRc v9.4
Operating System
macOS 10.15 Catalina
Short version: some photos imported from a Photos export (as unmodified originals) either don't have visible date/time data on them at all, OR import into completely the wrong folder/have the wrong date/time on them, OR they have the date of import on them, not the date taken. Movies and iPhone live photos in particular only have the import date stamp.
Is this fixable if I re-export from the original Photos library, or do I just have to grit my teeth and deal with it as the price of switching from Photos to LR? Imports direct from the iPhone and camera card appear to be ok thus far.

Full story

I've been gradually switching my Photos contents into Lightroom, over several months. I finally bit the bullet and did a bulk export of the unmodified photos, and re-imported. This means I lost all the keywords I'd laboriously been putting on to the files over the last umpteen years, but retained (I thought) the accurate date and time the pictures were actually taken, rather than risking them exporting with the date of any modifications (including adding keywords).

I'm using a straightforward yyyy/monthname folder structure for the import, planning to rely on my extensive keyword lists for more sophisticated searching and sorting. This level of sophistication is precisely why I'm moving from Photos to LR, and why I'm gritting my teeth and spending the next few weeks re-keywording all 50,000 of my photos.

To my dismay, however, the dates are all over the shop. I've searched around and found this is a relatively common issue with no simple fix. I'm in a bind, because I don't remember when many these pictures were taken. I rely on the photo's own metadata to remember that!

Three particular issues are standing out right now.
  1. Movie imports. I take movies both with my iPhone and my Olympus camera, plus there's the iPhone's "live" photos which LR imports as movie files. LR has imported the
    proper and live photos into the correct year/month folders, but the actual date and time on the movie's metadata seems to be the date of import. This is not at all helpful to me! Is this fixable, or do I just try to find roughly when I took the pics and manually change the date and time?? (Later. These are being tagged with "fix up later").
  2. No date at all on metadata. Some of my raw photos have imported into - I think - the correct folder, but there's no date AT ALL on their metadata list. I like to know the exact date a photo was taken. Why is this not diplaying? Example follows. Note "metadata has been changed" refers to the fact I've put a bunch of keywords on it. I've made no other changes to the image than that.
    Screen Shot 2020-10-04 at 4.51.34 pm.png
  3. Just plain wrong month and/or year. Some photos - esp. batches from overseas holidays - have either gone into 1/1/01, or 1/1/70. 1/1/01 is vaguely explicable due to my occasionally forgetting to change the date and time on the camera when I switch out batteries, but I don't quite get the 8000-odd quite random photos in 1970. I've put them in the too-hard basket for now. (They _may_ be the
It's still early enough that if I need to do some more re-importing and deal with duplicates afterwards, as long as ONE of the imports has the correct metadata on it, I can manage that.

Are any of these issues fixable at all? Or do I have to accept this as the price to pay for moving from Photos?

As far as I can tell, everything imported directly into LR from either the phone or the camera appears to have metadata intact.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
411
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
With regard to video capture dates, the industry standard is a mess, and Apple iPhotos, Photos, and LR further confuses the mess with long-standing bugs. The best you can do is select a video, do Metadata > Edit Capture Time, and change the Corrected Time field to the correct time.

"Some photos - esp. batches from overseas holidays - have either gone into 1/1/01, or 1/1/70."

These are magic dates that result from a camera or app recording an uninitialized date field as zero. The only thing you can do is invoke Metadata > Edit Capture Time to set the correct time.

In both situations, sometimes the underlying file still has an operating-system file create date that reflects about when the shutter was pressed. But these days, many apps and utilities (including iPhoto, Photos, and LR) often don't preserve that date. But in Metadata > Edit Capture Time, you can try selecting the option Change To File's Creation Date, to see if that's a better date.
 

BentShed

New Member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
5
In both situations, sometimes the underlying file still has an operating-system file create date that reflects about when the shutter was pressed. But these days, many apps and utilities (including iPhoto, Photos, and LR) often don't preserve that date. But in Metadata > Edit Capture Time, you can try selecting the option Change To File's Creation Date, to see if that's a better date.
Thanks John - I feel better now - I didn't do anything specifically wrong, and I basically have to grit my teeth and deal with it. I'll have a go at your suggestions - thank you very much!
 
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