Lightroom 5: Incorrect Metadata updated into OS X original file

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  • Updated 4 years ago
  • (Edited)
On OS X, for all my Lightroom 5 photos they will all have "Metadata file needs to be updated." When I allow Lightroom 5 to update the metadata file for a particular photo, then in OS X "Finder" the file's "Created" and "Modified" is changed from the photo's true Created and Modified date, to the date I tell Lightroom to update the Metadata. So, all my original photos on the hard drive have the incorrect "Created" metadata in the file. However, in Lightroom 5, the "Created" EXIF data is still correct, which is "Data Time Original", "Date Time Digitized". How do I get Lightroom to stop putting bad metadata into the original files? Now all my files have incorrect metadata, except for the Lightroom Catalogue now has all the correct data.
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Brian Chesko

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Posted 4 years ago

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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The Finder's Date Created and Date Modified are when the file was created or modified by any application. OS X maintains those dates for all files. So when LR updates the metadata of a JPEG photo, it actually creates a new .jpg file, and thus the file will have its Date Created and Date Modified set to "now". Generally, these dates aren't very useful for knowing when an image was captured.

There a number of metadata fields that store various dates, the most important being Date Time Original, when the image was captured. (Digital cameras record this date in the original photo.) These metadata fields are stored inside the photo file, and LR properly maintains those fields. You can view them in LR's Metadata panel on the right-hand side of Library mode.

So in general, when you want to examine photo metadata dates, look at LR's Metadata panel and ignore the Date Created and Date Modified fields of the Finder.