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LR gets creation date/time wrong on import

Selwin

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Joined
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Lightroom Experience
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Lightroom Version
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  1. macOS 10.13 High Sierra
After importing a bunch of iPhone photos into LR classic on my Mac Pro running High Sierra, I discovered that tens out of 350 photos had the wrong creation date/time. My version was 9.0 so I upgraded to 9.1: same issue. Then I tried a vintage LR5 version: same issue. All three LR versions imported the files with an incorrect date and time. One test photo had nov 8, 19:30 while it should be nov 9, 13:30. Other photos had other gaps like a few days. One had just 12 minutes difference, see screen shot attached.

I checked using "A better finder rename" but the files in MacOS Finder are good, i.e. the date/time displayed in Finder matches the creation date in the Better Finder app. Thus, Lightroom is messing up.

The photos are simple jpegs shot on the iPhone itself, no WhatsApp derivatives or the like.

Any clues? Thanks!
 

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    200115 - Fout datum in Lightroom 2.jpg
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The Date Modified and Date Created shown by Finder are the date/times when the file was last modified or first created by the operating system (in the camera or computer) on behalf of any application. But the Capture Date shown by LR is the time stored in a photo's EXIF metadata that is set by the camera when the shutter was pressed. Often Date Modified, Date Created, and Capture Date are the same (or within a second or two) but they may be different, and there's no industry standard that says they must be identical. So in general, you should ignore Date Modified and Date Created and just pay attention to the Capture Date.

If you think LR is reading in an incorrect capture date from a photo, attach it to your reply and we can examine its metadata to see what might be the issue.
 

Selwin

Active Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
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The Netherlands
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Hi John, you are correct, thank you for your reply. I investigated a little further and summarised my findings in the attached screen shot with comments. In short: Lightroom doesn't malfunction, but Apple Photos does:
- we're looking at sample image IMG_0379.PNG
- EXIF date/time is 20191108 19:30
- during some previous export from Photos and import in LR last year this image had the correct date/time in Finder and in Lightroom
- Now in january 2020 the file suddenly has different creation, last changed etc. dates when viewing in Finder: 20191109 13;30
- Still the EXIF in Apple Photos shows the original creation date
- LR imports according to EXIF date

Conclusion: Apple messes with the dates.
 
Joined
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Selwin,

A really useful tool for investigating all thing about metadata is Jeffery Friedl's MetaData Viewer. He lays out the metadata in three sections, what is in the image file (EXIF etc.), what is in the file system and what is in the catalog. It is very helpful with tracking down interesting anomilies.

Because by default it shows ALL the metadata it can be confusing but if you use the "search" you can easily see the elements you are interested in. Just typing in "date" in the search shows all of the metadata fields relating to date.

-louie
 
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Conclusion: Apple messes with the dates.
In the distant past (many years ago), by convention Mac applications preserved a file's date-created. But these days, many if not most Mac apps don't follow that convention, including some Apple apps (e.g. iPhoto and Photos). Windows never followed that convention, and online services generally don't. It's not at all uncommon for a file's date-created to get changed unexpectedly.

So the only reliable way to track a photo's capture date is to rely on the EXIF metadata fields. Unfortunately, Finder doesn't show the EXIF capture date as a column in its List view (unlike Windows File Explorer).
 
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I sometimes use Adobe Bridge to check EXIF fields for images not in Lightroom, but I’ve noticed something else that might help with this. The macOS Finder has a Preview pane option for a Finder window. If you turn this on (View > Show Preview) and select an image, metadata is displayed in the Preview pane. And this metadata display includes a field that Apple does not show in the List view or the Inspector/Get Info window: A field named “Content created”. From some brief tests, this field appears to correspond to EXIF Date Time Original in Lightroom Classic. Is the “Content created” field a reliable way to see EXIF Date Time Original in the Mac Finder without having to open another application?

Finder-gallery-view.jpg


Side notes: The Finder window is set to the relatively new Gallery view, which presents a large preview with a filmstrip of the folder contents at the bottom of the window. The Gallery view replaces the old CoverFlow view. But the Preview pane is available in all views. Also, the Date Time Original field shows 12:44 AM for a sunset photo because my cameras are set to UTC.
 
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"Is the “Content created” field a reliable way to see EXIF Date Time Original in the Mac Finder without having to open another application?"

I noticed that field last fall. I agree that it appears to come from EXIF: DateTimeOriginal. I don't know of any particular reason to mistrust it, though in general Finder and File Explorer have had only mediocre reputations for accurate display of metadata information.
 
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