Lightroom Classic 2019: Sort by file creation time rather than capture time

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I have a collection of jpegs I have created, and added to a Lightroom collection, which are based on raw files. These jpegs are of images I have created using one or more raw images, so they retain the “capture time” of one of the raw files (the background image). Many of the jpegs are based on the same raw image, so they all show the same capture time.

I want to be able to sort the jpegs so they are in the order that I created them, which sounds simple enough (and hopefully it is, I just can’t figure it out). So if I made 10 variations of an image, I would like to be able to sort them from oldest to newest. I can’t use capture time, since it is the same for all the variations, nor can I use file name, since they are based on same raw image, but not numbered with the file name then say v1, v2, etc... I don’t always add them to the collection in the order I create them, so that won’t work either.

I tried sorting using Edit Time, which I think means something like sorting by modification date, but if I change the rating on a jpeg, that change is getting written back into the jpeg, so it changes the modification time to one more recent than the jpeg “creation time.” I have my catalog setting set to automatically write changes into xmp, which means it also seems to write to the jpegs as well. I don’t want to turn that feature off in preferences, as I need all my raw file edits to be written to the xmp files.

Any thoughts here? Am I missing a simple solution to this issue?

Thanks.
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Robert Ripps

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Posted 2 months ago

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Alan Harper

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If you are just starting out, why not just name them with v01, v02, etc. and sort by file name? As far as I know, Lightroom doesn't sort "v 9" in front of "v 10" (Macintosh does), but if you use "v 09" it will work fine.

But if you have a bunch of files that already exist, you could rename the files with their create date. I would use "A Better Finder Rename 10" to rename them as "My Image 2019-04-30 123203" using Create Date. The one gotcha on this is that sometimes Lightroom will erase a file and create a new one when you change the metadata, and then the new file has a different create date than the old one. You'll also have to delete the old copies and add the newly named files to your Lightroom databases, because the name change takes place "behind Lightroom's back."

Just to be clear, you are aware of how virtual copies work, and you are using jpeg versions for a reason instead of vcopies?
(Edited)
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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'as far as I know, Lightroom doesn't sort "v 9" in front of "v 10" '

When sorting filenames, LR does compare embedded numbers numerically, so "v 9" will come before "v 10".
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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You can sort files by the file Date Created using the Any Filter plugin's Sort command:



But as Alan indicated, the file Date Created isn't always useful. Most Windows programs and many Mac programs will reset the Date Created to "now" when they write a new version of the file (to the chagrin of Mac old-timers). Lightroom sometimes does this when it modifies the metadata inside a JPEG (including Develop settings).
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Robert Ripps

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No, I already have over 700 images created, and the file names need to remain unchanged, as they match the PSD files. Same going forward. I create the master images in Photoshop, which are then used later to make smaller jpegs to print from, upload to IG, put on my website, etc. What I am doing in Photoshop are not things that can be done as versions in Lightroom.

I wish LR had a setting to only write changes to xmp files, but NOT to jpeg files. I don't need a rating change to a jpeg image in the LR database to be considered something to write into that jpeg file. And yes, I working on a Mac, so macOS rules apply ;).

I also wish LR had a way to sort by date actual file (jpeg) was created, not date raw file was recorded. Thanks for suggestions so far- will look at Any Filter to see if there is a way to do what I need. And if anyone else wants to chime in, feel free.
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Alan Harper

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This is not going to help you, unless you want to really change your process, but, here goes...

I give every one of my images a unique number (in the Title field). I then link derived versions with the original using this Title field. In the case of composite images, I put both numbers in the title. It works pretty well.

I also am using (at probably less than 5% of its capabilities) a nice program called Keyboard Maestro. I have a macro called "Insert Now" and "Insert today" with hot-key strokes, that I use all over the place. Among other things, it is very easy when saving a derived file to just put the insertion point at the end of the file name and hit "⌥⇧⌘-" to put right now as a string at the end of the file name.

I think that this would achieve your goals. JPEGs would sort after raw files by name. You could find all related files by a smart search on Title. It is sort of a PITA to enforce these rules, but it becomes second nature after a while.

The issue is, of course, the pain of changing everything that you have already done.

Maybe Any Filter will bail you out. I hope so!

Alan

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Robert Ripps

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For this project, it made sense to me at the time to put the names of the raw images used into the subsequent PSD file, along with some notation about what I was doing, to make it easy to find the right master file later on. In the beginning I only made one variation, so it was simple, but later started to do a few variations, which made it a little more complex, but workable. Now, I may do 15-20 variations using the same base image, and then sometimes I do more switching around things, so this is where I am having problems. The issue of sorting jpegs later is of course the downside, but overall I want to keep my system intact.

I suppose I could just catalog the PSD files, which would solve the creation date issue, but I fear that LR would slow to a crawl trying to work with 700 (and counting) 500-900MB files...

I tied AnyFilter, but that did not have the flexibility I need to make this work.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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You could send me email suggestions of what you'd to see in Any Filter (see the Web page for the support address).
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"I wish LR had a setting to only write changes to xmp files, but NOT to jpeg files."

Please add your opinion and vote to this feature request: 
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/have-the-possibility-to-store-the-xmp-metadata-outside-dng-jpeg-etc-file-to-be-backup-efficient
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Robert Ripps

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Done!
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"I working on a Mac, so macOS rules apply"

If by this you mean that programs should always preserve the original file date created when they write new versions of a file: That used to be the convention on Mac OS years ago, but these days, many, many programs (including some Apple programs) don't follow that convention.