Lightroom: Does not set capture time when exporting PNG

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  • Problem
  • Updated 1 year ago
  • Not a Problem
  • (Edited)
If I import a PNG file, Lightroom knows the capture time, but when it writes the processed image as jpg it does not set the file date/time to the capture time. This does work correctly for CR2 and jpg files that I import.
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John Pane

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Posted 3 years ago

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Bruce McLaughlin

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I just encountered the same behavior in Lightroom 6 today.

I have PNG files in Lightroom. I process them and export as JPEG. I would like the EXIF data in my exported JPEG to show the date and time the original PNG file was created. Instead it shows the time the export JPEG was created - in other words the current time at export.

This doesn’t seem right to me.

The PNG files are created by an iPhone app called BitCam. However I can make PNGs using Preview.app on my Mac and they behave the same way. Lightroom 6 uses the current time at export as the creation time in my exported JPEG, not the time the PNG file was created.

It would be better for me if Lightroom looked at the creation time and date of the PNG file and used that as the EXIF entry for the creation date of the JPEG.

I suspect the problem occurs because PNG files do not contain EXIF data. I'm guessing that with other file formats Lightroom uses EXIF data inside the file to get the creation date info. Since there is no data inside the PNG files, Lightroom defaults to the current time and date when creating the export file. If this is the problem, then Lightroom must do something different than usual to solve it.

(Edited)
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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This problem occurs with any photo (JPEG, TIFF, PNG) that doesn't contain the DateTimeOriginal field in EXIF metadata when imported.  When you export such a photo, it won't contain EXIF:DateTimeOriginal.

Who knows if this is was Adobe's original intended behavior or it was unintended behavior (a "bug"). In general, LR is quite inconsistent and buggy in how it handles photos missing capture dates.  It will show a date (usually the file-created time) under the thumbnail in Library grid view, but it won't show a date in the Metadata panel.  And it uses a different date for sorting.   See here for more details: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom-still-inconsistent-capture-date-time...

The workaround is straightforward: Select all the files missing capture dates, do Metadata > Edit Capture Time, and click Change All.   For a photo currently missing capture date, this will set it to the file creation date (what's shown under the thumbnail in grid view). For a photo that already has a capture date, this will not change it. Note particularly that this does not set all the photos to the same exact date.
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Bruce McLaughlin

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Thank you John E., that solves my problem. I can export from Lightroom and the creation date shows up in the EXIF data of the JPEG. When I post the JPEGs on my "Recent Photos" web page, Zenfolio puts them in the proper order.
(Edited)