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475 Messages

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10.5K Points

Mon, Jun 30, 2014 4:49 AM

Lightroom Classic: Changes creation date of image files

Lightroom 5.5 running on Macintosh Mavericks 10.9.3 clobbers the creation date when modifying a file.I did the following test: I added a folder of jpgs to Lightroom, and then I added a keyword to all of them. I have "Automatically write changes into XMP" set in my Lightroom catalog. After changing the keyword, the creation date is now set as the same as the modification date which is incorrect behavior (and an important loss of metadata).It is not necessary to change the creation date to change tags, for instance the command line% exiftool -overwrite_original_in_place -subject+="Jane Eyre" image.jpgdoes not change the creation date, but only the modification date.See https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1192949 for other reports of this bug, now over 1 year ago.

Responses

2 Messages

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110 Points

5 years ago

I am experiencing this bug in LR for many years.

I have lots of files that don't contain any capture time in a metadata part (for instance, JPEG-photos from some old mobile phones). Therefore the file creation date becomes the only source for knowing when the photo was shot.

As a user I don't need to know about those weird things that LR does when it updates and rewrites a file. It's just not my business. From my, user's sight, LR simply corrupts this *important* information without no valid reason.

Excuse me for my emotions, but after so many years this behavior is inexcusably.

50 Messages

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778 Points

5 years ago

It's very frustrating and the sole reason I don't use Lightroom and won't use it until this is fixed.

7 Messages

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176 Points

5 years ago

Notice with the new Lightroom CC 2015 the modified date is changed as the files are uploaded/synced with the Adobe Lightroom Mobile.

It's a problem. I use the last modified date to find the most current version of the image ( I often have different versions, due to captions in different languages etc).

The "write date or time changes into propietary raw files" is unchecked. The catalog is set to automatically write metadata changes into files.

This seems to be a new "feature" or bug,as no changes in the modified date appears in Lightroom 5.x appears unless I do changes to the files (caption,flagging,rating,adjustments etc).

There should not be any reason for the files to have their modified date changed only because their upload status in LR mobile have changed. Use a log file instead.

LR CC 2015, win7prox64, 32gb ram

Champion

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5.3K Messages

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95.7K Points

I'm not able to reproduce this. Can you provide a more detailed step-by-step recipe?

67 Messages

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950 Points

5 years ago

Whatever opinions you have: if a file is modified, in which manner ever, only the modified date has to be changed. The creation date is very important for archiving purposes and for time lines of photos when you are travelling for a long time: you want to see them in a row with time in the finder/explorer. The counter in the file name can't be a sort criterion if you use differ cameras on your way.

That's why I normally don't use the adding feature in LR. And if, I have to copy EXIF time and date back to to system time and date from time to time in this directories I made changes I'd additions.

It's Adobe who has to remove this bug (as many others they know for years!). Or add a switch somewhere ("preserve creation date y/n").

Champion

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5.3K Messages

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95.7K Points

5 years ago

Note that in Windows File Explorer, you can sort pics by capture time by doing View > Sort By > Date Taken. Unfortunately, Mac Finder is much more limited in its capabilities and doesn't off that ability.

Champion

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5.3K Messages

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95.7K Points

5 years ago

Photo software generally ignores the operating system's file-created and -modified dates, and when it doesn't ignore them, it generally treats them in non-standard ways that vary from program to program. Instead of relying on the operating system's file dates, the photo industry has defined metadata fields with all sorts of photo-specific dates: date/time of capture (when the shutter was pressed), date/time of digitization (when a film or print image was scanned digitally), date/time photo software last changed the image or metadata, date/time of GPS location. While some photo software will attempt to maintain the file-created and -modified dates, many programs and Web services won't (including, but not limited, to LR). In addition, many file utilities will not always preserve the created and modified dates as you move, copy, backup, and restore files.

Thus, I highly recommend that if you care about photo dates/times (as I do), then regardless of which photo software you use, you store the capture dates in the photos' industry-standard metadata using the tools provided by LR and other photo software. That way, as you migrate from program to program over the years, you're more likely to preserve that important metadata.

For old pictures and scans without that metadata, when you first import them into LR, LR will assume the capture time is the file modified time. You can cause LR to write the metadata capture date back to the file by selecting it and doing Metadata > Edit Capture Time, clicking OK, and then doing Metadata > Save Metadata To File. You can do that in batch -- select all your old pics, do Metadata > Edit Capture Time, click OK, do Metadata > Save Metadata To File. LR will set each file's capture time to its modified time. If instead you want to set the captured time to the file create time, select that option in the Edit Capture Time window before clicking OK. But beware that many Windows and Mac file utilities may not preserve create time, even if they preserve modified time, so your files' create times may be bogus. And of course make sure your backups are current and valid before you do any new file procedure with which you're not familiar.

118 Messages

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1.5K Points

Pure balderdash and poppycock! Shouldn't be happening plain and simple. Until I started using LR 3 never had this problem. In fact I didn't realize LR was even changing the creation date until I went to look for old images shot pre-LR that I moved to my new image archive location using LR to keep track of the files. I have had a dickens of a time trying to fix the problem. Many of the images are so old I have forgotten exactly when they were shot. I've even noticed LR sometimes changes keywords on previously selected images after deselecting all then selecting new images to add or change keywording. LR representatives even deny this behaviour even though I've documented it several times.

67 Messages

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950 Points

5 years ago

You all describe the bug Adobe has to correct very clearly: they just have to treat OS data as they are intended to be treated. That's all I want.

Champion

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5.3K Messages

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95.7K Points

5 years ago

“treat OS data as they are intended to be treated”

That’s the crux of the issue – what you intend is not what some operating systems and many applications intend. In general, there is no widely accepted standard across Windows and Mac applications for how to treat a file’s Date Created.

Some examples:

- Mac Finder preserves Date Created when a file is copied, but Windows File Explorer does not. So you better not use File Explorer (or many other Windows file utilities) to make backup copies of your files if you expect Date Created to be preserved.

- Windows File Explorer doesn't preserve Date Created when you use it to change a pic's metadata (e.g. its Title).

- By default on Windows, when any application copies a file, Date Created is not preserved. Some applications take extra steps to preserve it, some don't. It was for this reason that Adobe changed LR to use an imported video file's Date Modified as the capture date rather than Date Created (when it wasn't able to read the video's metadata) -- on Windows, the Date Modified was much more likely to reflect when the video was taken rather than Date Created.

- Mac and Windows Picasa does not preserve Date Created when you edit a pic or change its metadata.

- Mac iPhoto doesn't preserve Date Created when you edit a pic or change its metadata.

Given that the photo industry has standardized on recording date/times in a photo's metadata, not in the operating system's file date/times, and given that there is no widely accepted practice for how applications treat file Date Created, in my opinion it's not very likely Adobe will change LR's current behavior.

67 Messages

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950 Points

5 years ago

That's why I do the management by hand by copying the EXIF time and date from time to time to preserve my timelines in finder...

21 Messages

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300 Points

5 years ago

My problem is that I've got tens of thousands of images, going back to Photoshop 2, in 1992, on a Mac. No way I'm going to go thru and hand-enter all the creation dates.
Bigger problem is that I'd have to either write down, or frankenstein some way to grab a directory's worth of creation dates *before* I let LR touch them, because it corrupts the creation date when it adds the file to the catalog. So asking LR to write the file date to the metadata is a null option, because LR has already corrupted the data.
I've got a friend working on a way to script EXIFtool to grab the file date, and crossload that to the metadata creation date automagically. That may help. I'll post it when/if it ever gets done.

Another issue is that a lot of those old files just don't have the resource structure for modern metadata.

I'd be happy if Adobe just came out with a little applet that only did that: take current file creation date, and crossload it into the metadata creation date. Dump a whole directory on it, and go to town.

I'd like to see LR fixed, but what I really care about is getting my files cataloged, in the right order, with the original dates. However that gets done is good enough.

-Brian

67 Messages

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950 Points

5 years ago

@Brian: Have a look at "BETTER FINDER RENAME 9" and/or "ExifChanger", they may help you.

475 Messages

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10.5K Points

5 years ago

Champion

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5.3K Messages

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95.7K Points

5 years ago

Brian M wrote, "No way I'm going to go thru and hand-enter all the creation dates. Bigger problem is that I'd have to either write down, or frankenstein some way to grab a directory's worth of creation dates *before* I let LR touch them, because it corrupts the creation date when it adds the file to the catalog. So asking LR to write the file date to the metadata is a null option, because LR has already corrupted the data."

Actually, if you have pics that are missing their metadata capture-time field, it's quite straightforward in LR (though not well documented) to batch-set their metadata capture time to either their Date Modified or file Date Created:

1. Make a backup of your catalog and photos (using a backup program you know 100% preserves file Date Created and file Date Modified).

2. Uncheck the option Catalog Settings > Metadata > Automatically Write Changes Into XMP. This stops LR from automatically updating metadata in the files (and changing their file dates).

3. Import a batch of photos. If the pics are on a local volume, you can use either the Add or Move options; but if they're on a network volume, it's safest to use Add, since not all network volumes on Windows will properly preserve file Date Created when an application does a move (don't know about Mac).

4. Select all of the imported photos.

5. Do Metadata > Edit Capture Time.

6. If you want to use the files' Date Modified as the metadata capture time, select the option Adjust To A Specified Date And Time. If you want to use the files' Date Created, select the option Change To File's Creation Date. Verify that Corrected Time matches the file Date Created / Modified as shown by Finder / File Explorer for the pic shown in the dialog. Click Change All. Note that this will not set all the pics to the same exact time -- it will set each pic to its own file Date Modified or Date Created. (The words at the top of the dialog attempt to explain this, but it's still confusing.)

Of course, test out this procedure with a few pics first to make sure you understand each of the steps.

444 Messages

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6.6K Points

5 years ago

Surely the crux of this problem is the fact that the filesystem's create date, modified date and accessed date are just that - they are part of the file system, stored in the file system, and are not stored in the actual file. They are simply a means of the file sytem keeping track of files, and different file systems do this in different ways, and with different success. They are what you see in File Explorer or equivalent.

The only dates stored in the raw images normally are the Exif capture date, digitised date, and modified date set by the camera when you take the images.

So if you copy an image to a different folder, the file system will give the copy a new create date - the date the copy was made. But the Exif dates remain the same in the copy of the image.

So there is little point in relying on the filesystems dates for anything to do with images.

Lightroom's dates are a third set of dates, part EXif part LR only, stored in the catalog or in xmp sidecars (raw files) or in xmp in the image (jpgs, etc,).

Not surprising we get confused at times!!

Someone will no doubt tell me I'm confused!!!!

Bob Frost

67 Messages

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950 Points

>> So there is little point in relying on the filesystems dates for anything to do with images.

So, why you think the programmers of UNIX invented a file creation date? And why a photo is not a file like any other?

475 Messages

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10.5K Points

5 years ago

Sorry Bob. You are confused. Most programs for the Mac (including Finder and Path Finder) will conserve the create date when you copy a file. Also most programs will conserve the create date when you modify a file. After all, this is what a "create date" means, the date that the file was created. The modify date is, duh, the date that the file was last modified.

Our gripe is that Lightroom is one of the programs that does not follow what would seem to be very simple guidelines—if modify a file, don't change the create date.

Given that this bug, and it is a bug, is in Lightroom for Macintosh, and given that Adobe seems to have no interest in fixing it, I agree completely with all your other comments.

Like most bugs, the issue is not that the problem cannot be worked around, it is that it creates so many special cases that you make mistakes, lose time and don't make progress in your goals.

A

67 Messages

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950 Points

Exactly. Word by word!

444 Messages

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6.6K Points

Confusion reigns! As far as the MS OS file system is concerned, when you copy a file you create a new file (there are now two files where there was one!) and it is given a new create date by the file system. That is what it is meant to do. The file system does not care a jot about the contents of the two files being the same as far as create date is concerned.

21 Messages

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300 Points

Yes, but we're talking about the *MAC* file system. Which preserves the file creation date of the original file. Which it is meant to do.

67 Messages

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950 Points

Who ever found an example on a Mac that showed a new creation date/time when copying a file? This would be horror. A copy is a copy, exactly.

Champion

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5.3K Messages

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95.7K Points

Let’s use the same widely-used terminology as operating-system and application developers, so that we can all communicate and have a chance of understanding each other, and more importantly, so that others in the same situation reading this thread have a chance of making sure they preserve their creation dates.

The Mac filesystem proper doesn’t preserve creation dates of copies – it’s applications like Finder and Photoshop that preserve creation dates. To see what the Mac filesystem proper does, just use the Mac command-line tools, as Alan Harper (the original poster) has done. When you use “cp” or similar commands to copy a file, the creation date and modification date are set to “now”.

67 Messages

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950 Points

So the Finder is correcting what already the OS is doing wrong. Learned a lot today... Never copy in the terminal.