Lightroom Classic:Incorrectly importing DNG files to folders by modification date instead of capture date

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  • Updated 3 months ago
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After much time on chat, phone and forum I still have issues with LR importing images into the wrong folder.  It works fine with CR2 files, but anything from DNG files or Tiffs and jpegs created from them get moved into a folder by the modification date (which must be an auto metadata update since i have not touched these files)  Thousands of files end up in one wrongly dated folder.  The files are not corrupt as they import correctly for other people( I sent them to others to try)  The folders are not corrupt, as I changed them out.  This happens on two different machines running the same version 8.4.1 on Macs running 10.14.6.  I have tried over and over to recreate the catalog and reimport these, but the same result every time.  I have used LR for many years and am doing things the same as always (and it works fine with other files).  I'm importing files from a local drive(that were shot in 2013 and converted to DNG in 2016)  These files have worked flawlessly for years.  I select the source, select Move or Copy(the result is the same either way) and organize by subfolder by date(and I select the date format).  The files are to be moved or copied to another folder on the drive(or elsewhere, it doesn't make any difference in my experiments) and organized by date.  I end up with an archive that is Ok for the CR2files and some others, but with every one of my DNGs in a single folder relating to the modification date in the file.  Lightroom can also read the correct date of capture as it's clearly visible in the software.  It can read the correct dates, it just doesn't use them.  Strangely, although almost all of the mishandled files are DNGs, there are also a few others included.  I saw a scan from a piece of film (a tiff) I scanned in 2013 and have not modified since that got dropped into that folder as well.  Please help.  This is ruining my archive!
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Cameron

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Posted 9 months ago

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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Since the files work for others, I would be first looking at the preferences on your machine and making sure you don't have a corrupt preference file: 

A Preference File will survive a Lightroom uninstall/reinstall. Sometimes weird behavior is corrected/cured by resetting the preferences. 

Reset Procedure:
1. Close Lightroom.
2. Hold down [Alt/Opt]+[Shift] while restarting Lightroom. 
3. Overwrite the Preferences when prompted by the dialog.
4. Close Lightroom.
5. Restart Lightroom.Does the behavior continue after resetting the preferences?
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Cameron

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Hi Rikk,
Thanks for your reply.  I did try what you suggested, but it did not solve the problem.  I have been very frustrated by this persistent issue.  I just tried a few things again and strangely, the software does not even treat the very same file the same way twice.  I just tried to move the files in the the affected database and create a freshly organized version.  Lightroom took the files and piled many of them, but not all, in the same folder again, dated 10.11.19 (20,000 files from various dates of creation).  I then created a new catalog and reimported the very same folder (10.11.19) that it had just created and it separated out SOME of them into dated folders.  Something is very wrong.  Why would it treat the exact same file differently?  Another confusing thing about this is that I have had the same results on two different machines.  Could I have corrupted the files somehow.  Is there a way to strip out the metadata and modifications data from the files and and start over?  Could you perhaps take a look at some of the files to see if you can find the problem?  They are correctly labeled as far as their original creation dates in both the lightroom software and the OS finder.  The software can seen the correct dates, but just is not using them to organize the files.
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Cameron

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Hi Again,

I tried agin to reset the prefs as you suggested, but nothing happened.  I am currently using V9 of LR CC classic on a MacBook Pro running 10.14.6.  Did this command change on an updated version?  I did this before and got the menu on startup that you refer to, now I do not.

Thanks,
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Cameron

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I have experimented more with the issue and it is even more confusing than I previously thought.  The files that are being mishandled have no consistency in how they are handled.  For example, I created a new catalog and imported my old archive.  Many of the files were correctly organized in folders by date, but I again had over 20000 files from various creation dates pulled into a folder dated 10.11.19 (which corresponds to the modification date of these files due to a metadata update or something, but not an actual modification)  These are various types of files, DNGs, jpegs, Tiffs, etc.  

So I created a new catalog and imported just the folder 10.11.19 that had been created by LR for the last catalog.  This time it took some of the same files and separated them out into dozens of folders according to their correct creation dates.  It left half of them in the 10.11.19 folder.  Out of curiosity, I again created a new catalog and imported the files that had just been reorganized into their correctly dated folders.  The ones that had first been mis sorted, then correctly sorted.  Upon importing those images, I found that most (9k out of 10k) had been sorted back into the 10.11.19 folder and the rest were in dated folders according to creation date.  So now they have been mis sorted, then correctly sorted, then mis sorted again.  The same files with the same setup on the same machine.

If I had to pin my bet on something, it would be the metadata update that gave these files their modification date.  It was done by LR as a metadata sync, I suppose.  None of these files were actually modified by me on 10.11.19.  I don't know what happened to make them get that mod date.  Is there any way to strip that stuff out and start fresh?  The correct creation dates are still in there, but are not being used.

Thanks,

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Alex Hase

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I have been experiencing the same issue and equally as frustrated.  LR has been a fantastic tool up until the proper foldering of photos has gone haywire.  I've done some work on this myself and found that the issue I'm seeing is with the exact same camera, on the exact same day, photos taken two minutes apart - one photo goes into the proper folder (actually all of the ones on that day up to that time), the other (actually all others taken two minutes later for the rest of the day) into the wrong "aggregated" folder.  Exif data shows Date Time Digitized and Date Time Original reflection date photo was captured so not missing.  All jpeg, all with the same camera, with no settings changed.  Truly makes no sense why some drop into the correct folder and the others don't...is this a Mac only issue?   I noticed I'm running the same machine as Cameron...
Help?
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Alex Hase

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I haven't been able to use LR for the past 6+ months, so at this point wondering why paying for the subscription makes any sense.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Cameron supplied some sample files:
https://community.adobe.com/t5/lightroom-classic/lightroom-is-importing-images-into-folders-by-modif...

At least some of the flaky behavior he's observing is due to the fact that the files don't contain capture dates, and LR has always had bugs with that:
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom-still-inconsistent-capture-date-time-for-videos

The table below shows the capture date and other dates displayed by the Metadata panel and the dated folder where Import copied them (click on the table to see it larger):



Two of these files (in red) are missing EXIF DateTimeOriginal (they're scans), and for those LR uses EXIF DateTime (when a photo app last modified the file) as its displayed capture date. It is these two files that were copied to a dated folder that doesn't match the displayed capture date. (The Import logic is using "now" to name the folder rather than the capture date displayed by the Metadata panel.)

This is another instance of the inconsistencies arising from how LR represents capture date in the catalog. But I don't think this bug report should be merged (yet) with the other, because Cameron was observing other strange behavior that isn't necessarily explained by the known bugs.

(Edited)
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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John, the previous thread you've referenced's bug was closed in the 8.x time frame. I've asked that the team review that bug and either reopen or recreate the issue. See Melissa's post on the thread. 
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Thanks much. That topic has a very tangled history and perhaps status didn't properly get transferred back into the internal tracking system:

12/13/17: Melissa marks the topic as Solved in LR 7.1.

5/18/18: I post that the bug isn't completely fixed in LR 7.3.1:

https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom-still-inconsistent-capture-date-time-for-videos?topic-reply-list[settings][filter_by]=all&topic-reply-list[settings][reply_id]=19530164#reply_19530164

5/18/18: Smit K confirms those symptoms and Rikk changes the status back to Acknowledged.





(Edited)