Lightroom: Swaps "Date Time" and "Date Time Original" in Location

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In Library mode with the "Location" view of Metadata selected there are two timestamp fields:

"Date Time Original" which displays the timestamp currently in the Catalog (and the timestamp used for sorting)

and

"Date Time" which displays the original timestamp from the EXIF data on the source file.

this seems very backwards to me.
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Christopher Craig

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Posted 7 years ago

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"Date Time" is the time stamp it was added to the catalogue. "Date Time (original)" is the timestamp when the original raw or JPEG image was created.

The original date should be what the UI sorts on, yes.

In most cases the timestamp on the actual image file is not very useful. But I would expect it to be similar or identical to the time it was added to the catalogue, assuming the way you added it was to create a new file from a card or camera (and/or convert to DNG.)
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Christopher Craig

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This isn't consistent with what I'm seeing. The situation is that I have a series of images taken with a borrowed (digital) point-and-shoot that had the date set to 2011.

I used "Edit Capture Time" in Lightroom to correct the timestamps so that the images lined up with photos taken with my SLR. Everywhere else in Lightroom the time displayed or used for sorting or filtering is what is shown as "Date Time Original" in Location or EXIF views on Metadata (which is consistent with what you're saying), but "Date Time" does _not_ display the catalog add date, which was over a week after the files were taken (and over a year after what's displayed). The time displayed in "Date Time" is the timestamp that was in the EXIF of the file as it came out of the camera (and is still stored in the unaltered copies of the jpeg). Please note I don't mean the operating system timestamp on the file; I agree that that's utterly useless information.

Also, if I use "Revert Capture Time to Original" from the Metadata menu Lightroom will change the "Date Time Original" to match "Date Time" (which is what I want, since "Date Time" is the time from the original EXIF data but I still think the labels are backwards)
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Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

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What is the source of your photograph? I bet it's not a digital capture.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Regarding the terminology "Date Time Original": That name comes from the EXIF industry standard, where the metadata field DateTimeOriginal is defined to be the "date and time the original image data was generated", as distinguished from other date/time fields such as DateTimeDigitized, "the date and time the image was stored as digital data". DateTimeOriginal and DateTimeDigitized could differ when, for example, you scan a film negative ten years after the negative image was taken.

The term Date Time Original is widely used throughout the industry, coming as it does from the EXIF standard. I can see why you might have been led to believe that Date Time Original might mean the original capture date/time before you applied the Edit Capture Time command; but that's not what it refers to, as you've discovered.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Regarding the field "Date Time" shown in the LR metadata panel: This corresponds to the EXIF:DateTime / XMP:ModifyDate fields in the file's metadata. The Metadata Working Group's standard (which LR is following) says that EXIF:DateTime and XMP:ModifyDate be set to the current local time whenever the file is written. LR doesn't do this -- if the field is not present, the Edit Capture Time will set it to the same value as Date Time Original, but if it is present, then LR never changes it, contrary to the MWG standard.
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GEGJr

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He already said it was a digital capture with a BORROWED (DIGITAL) POINT AND SHOOT. I realize it's an old post but I am experiencing the same issues now some two years later with Lightroom 5.

So is Date Time Original the capture time from the camera?
Does the Date Time Digitized change if you edit the image, say in photoshop with LR edits intact as a TIF or PSD and then return the edited TIF or PSD to the catalog? And, does the DATE TIME ORIGINAL stay the same or do they both change and what should LR's behavior be?

What is the LR EXIF DATE TIME field used for? And LR IPTC Date Created field.

This is all very confusing and Adobe should clarify and document the fields and how and when LR changes the information.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I agree that it's all very confusing, and Adobe hasn't made much effort to explain it to LR users. The root of the confusion is multiple legacy industry standards that are imperfectly followed by camera manufacturers, other software vendors, and other teams within Adobe. Within those constraints, I think LR 5.6 has finally gotten to where it does an OK (but far from great) job of handling time for images, though it punts completely with video metadata.

The industry standards define three date/times for images: The original date/time, the digitized date/time, and the modification date/time.

The original date/time is when the image was taken by a camera. It is stored in these industry-standard photo metadata fields: EXIF:DateTimeOriginal, XMP:DateCreated, and IPTC:DateCreated/TimeCreated. LR accurately displays these fields in its Metadata EXIF and IPTC metadata tagsets.

The digitized date/time is when the image was first recorded in digital memory. For digital cameras it is the same as original date/time, but for scanned images, it could be much different (e.g. a photo taken in 1904 that is scanned in 2014). Digitized date/time is stored in the photo metadata fields EXIF:DateTimeDigitized, XMP:CreateDate (sic), and IPTC:DigitalCreationDate/Time. LR also displays these fields in its Metadata EXIF and IPTC metadata tagsets. LR (except for one version 3.4) does not modify digitized date/time fields.

The modification date/time is when the digital image was most recently modified by software or firmware. It is stored in EXIF:DateTime and XMP:ModifyDate. LR displays these fields in its Metadata EXIF metadata tagset as "Date Time". Not all cameras set the modification time, and neither does all software. LR will set it correctly on exported photos but it doesn't update it when it saves metadata back to photos in the catalog. Note that the modification date/time metadata field is completely different from the operating system's file-modification time.

LR maintains its own notion of capture time in the catalog, displayed as Capture Time/Date in the Metatadata Default tagset. The catalog capture time is initially set from original date/time metadata fields, but if they are not present, LR will look in other fields including digitized date/time and modification date/time (I don't remember the exact rules off hand), and if there are no metadata fields that it's able to read, it will use the operating system's file-modification time. Past LR versions were quite buggy in how they handled missing original date/time metadata, but I think LR 5.6 has fixed all the known bugs except one.

LR lets you change catalog capture time using the Metadata > Edit Capture Time command, and it will save it back to the correct metadata fields in the cataloged photo and in exported versions. Note that you can edit IPTC Date Created in the LR Metadata IPTC tagset, but that effect catalog capture time.

I haven't examined the editing loop between LR and Photoshop, but I think in general Photoshop does a decent job of following the standards. I haven't seen any reports here in the forums over the years about problems there.

See this message for how LR handles time zones, yet more complexity created by the industry standards: https://forums.adobe.com/message/6689....

If you suspect problems in how LR is handling your date/time metadata, the most efficient way to troubleshoot this is to upload a sample pic to Dropbox and post the link here.
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Update: Corrected a typo in the metadata fields used to store digitized date/time.
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GEGJr

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Sorry to beat this dead horse but here is what LR5.7 has done. The camera is a Nokia Windows Phone 1020 with latest firmware. See Attached link from Dropbox. Why can't get LR techs to acknowledge this problem? Please note the "date/time/original is a future date! How could this possibly happen? https://www.dropbox.com/s/559kz43dttru6l3/LR_date_time_orig.PNG?dl=0
(Edited)
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While it's possible this is caused by a LR bug, more likely it's a problem with the metadata added by the phone or some other software.  (I've noticed that the phone manufacturers aren't always fastidious about following industry standards.)  If you upload the photo to Dropbox or similar, I'll put it under the microscope to determine the cause and suggest possible workarounds.
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Hello John,
Sorry for the untimely response but family duties over the weekend :-)
Anyway, here's the link to the photo https://www.dropbox.com/s/woxkyofsamhal4c/WP_20160526_09_45_11_Raw.jpg?dl=0 as well as a link to a screen shot of Windows Explorer properties from the same photo https://www.dropbox.com/s/p29pam4praf0jgr/wp_20160526_09_45_11_winexpprop.PNG?dl=0. Please note that the date information in Win Explorer is even different the https://www.dropbox.com/s/559kz43dttru6l3/LR_date_time_orig.PNG?dl=0. I am very interested in your analysis. Thank you so very much for taking time to look at this for me.

Best Regards,

GEGJr

P.S. Especially note the "Date Taken" field. It says 9/25/2023! How can that possibly be? I took it and it was 5/26/2016. Unfortunately I have no way of looking at exif data in the Nokis 1020. This is why I have had to resort to renaming images with the actual date taken. Also please note, which I'm sure you already know, that the Nokia 1020 is capable of shooting what it calls Raw jpg thus the end of the file name. Basically all it means is the original photo is captured as jpeg+DNG. If you'd like the DNG let me know but it is 38MP.
(Edited)
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Please upload the DNG as well.

And can you shoot another DNG+JPG pair that has not been touched by LR or any other software, other than Windows Explorer to offload from your phone, and upload both, so we can see what EXIF is actually being written by the phone and not some software afterwards.

BTW, you can add smallish images like screenshots directly to a forum message using the web version of the forums, and clicking on the little camera icon below where you type in text:

It would be my understanding that Date Time Original would be whatever the camera wrote to the metadata, and Date Time would be whatever it was corrected to by some process, perhaps LR either by adding a timezone automatically upon import if you have that preference set to allow it or by a user correcting the date/time.

Here are various dates as shown by ExifTool, but of course this JPG has been touched by LR so we can't tell which ones might have been modified and which are just being reported:



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GEGJr

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Here is the dng and the jpeg straight from the camera via Win Expl to Dropbox.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/4o5jrikdoboyjzc/WP_20160526_09_45_11_Raw__highres.dng?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tpyw0ws4hgbb01e/WP_20160526_09_45_11_Raw.jpg?dl=0
Keep in mind the dng is about 47MB
Thanks again for taking the time to look at this. I really owe you.

Looked at what you uploaded here's what's strange the "date/time original shows 2023:09:25? that down right baffles me. Also all other times are 09:45, why would the time be off by 20 mins? I don't get it.
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"Date Time would be whatever it was corrected to by some process"

The EXIF:DateTime field is defined by the standard to be the date/time that an application last changed the file.  However, LR and other apps do an imperfect job of maintaining that field.
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To me is seems like LR is messing up the Date/Time-Original field, while the rest of the dates are reasonable.
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"Please note that the date information in Win Explorer is even different"

The dates shown by File Explorer, date created and date modified, are the date/times when the file was created and modified by the camera and/or Windows.  There is no necessary relation between the file dates and the dates recorded in the photo metadata -- in general, ignore the file dates.

However, it is curious that the file date created is 2009 -- is your P: drive a network drive on another computer by any chance?  If it is, that might account for the wierd 2009 date (many Unix-like systems don't maintain file date created).   If P: is a regular attached disk, then perhaps the camera recorded that date.
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GEGJr

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You are correct. I originally imported the files using Capture 1 Pro for Sony using my laptop to my Image storage which is a network drive. The network drive on laptop was mapped to different directory letter (but that shouldn't matter should it?). Then, when I got back to my desktop I added keywords to the files. Apparently when I imported the files, which had been originally exported to from my phone to my laptop, I didn't include the dng files. However, I still don't think any of that should have mattered. When I used C1Pro for Sony I didn't do any manipulation to the files.

Unfortunately,  I have went back and downloaded the matching dng files and deleted the jpgs. So I no longer have the file with the 2023 date. However, and this strange, in Lightroom the dng files have all the correct dates but when I look at the files in Windows explorer they show a 2009 creation date. I don't get it. In fact they all show a date of 2009 in explorer. So what is I'm not understanding?
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I still have the 2023 file on my computer if anyone wants it.  I don't think it matters, though. 

It would appear that the date/time on some computer that is being used to manipulate or store these files is way off or maybe the locale options are off.

I don't see anything wrong with either the DNG or JPG on Dropbox after downloading them to my computer and working with them in LR.  So I don't think this is an Adobe-software problem, at least not on a properly-working computer.

You might try your all of your workflow the local drive on your computer and make sure everything is ok, then change bits of it to other storage locations or other computers to see which one is messing things up.

BTW, in your Explorer listing, above, there are JPGs and XMP files with the same base filename.  This looks like some software is creating XMPs for your JPGs.  What software is that?


(Edited)
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GEGJr

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Sorry just now responding. I am USA EST (EDST now)Lightroom creates XMP files if yu have it set up in the preferences. See attached screen capture.
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GEGJr

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Don't understand your logic when you say "I don't see anything wrong with either the DNG or JPG on Dropbox after downloading them to my computer and working with them in LR.  So I don't think this is an Adobe-software problem, at least not on a properly-working computer".

To my way of thinking, which since I now 65 yrs old may be flawed, the dng and jpg files I sent directly to the dropbox had not been touched by Lightroom (connected phone directly to PC and dragged the files from phone to dropbox) so how can you conclude the date changes are not being made in Lightroom but by a flaw with my PC system? Both my PCs (laptop and desktop) are working fine and I have not noticed any other date issues. I also checked BreezeBrowser Pro and Downloader Pro and neither of them are changing the data. The issue also is not caused by Capture 1 Pro for Sony because this date problem has been going on with LR ever since version 4. At least I never noticed it in version 3.

Hope I didn't come off as defensive it is not my intention. I am truly thankful that you and John have taken an interest in the issue.

Regards,
George
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"but when I look at the files in Windows explorer they show a 2009 creation date."

The file creation date could be set by the phone or the computer hosting the network drive.  (Is that computer a Linux system?)  The clock on the phone or one of the computers could be wrong, or this could be an artifact of the computer hosting the network drive.  

But I wouldn't sweat the weird file create dates -- software changes the file create and modify dates all the time, and they're pretty much out of your control.  The dates that matter are those stored in the metadata fields inside the photo, which LR shows in the Metadata panel -- Date TIme Original (Capture Date) being the most important.
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The date/times look fine in the untouched DNG (and JPG):

A suggestion would to be to find, and disable/uncheck the LR setting that allows it to write to proprietary raw files and see if anything is different, although it may not make any difference because DNGs are not "proprietary" (like NEF or CR2 or ARW) raw files, they are standard-DNG raw files:


So it would appear that LR is messing up the Date-Time-Original date that is fine in the original DNG.

(Edited)
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GEGJr

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Over the years I had tried enabling and disabling the "write date or time changes into proprietary raw files" preference and it hasn't mattered. I typically leave it checked because if for some legitimate reason I need to change the capture date I want to be sure the raw file gets change. Apparently I don't know what I'm doing because I've had this issue with LR forever.

In all fairness and full disclosure, I did used to use Breeze Systems Downloader Pro and Breeze Browser Pro to import, manage, and even sometime convert raw files. Breeze Browser has a pretty robust and plain text exif/iptc management component. I really like it. The only reason I stopped using it and switched to LR is because BB has no search/cataloging capability. So when LR came along I switched. But I have kept DL and BB pro updated because I like the exif/iptc and keywording capability.
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The first .jpg you posted:

 https://www.dropbox.com/s/woxkyofsamhal4c/WP_20160526_09_45_11_Raw.jpg?dl=0 

doesn't match the file that Steve analyzed with Exiftool.  Steve's file was 304 kB, little-endian byte order, EXIF version 0230, a Software field "Lightroom 5.7.1 (Windows)", an XMP section containing LR develop settings.  But the file I get is 1321 kB, big-endian byte order, EXIF version 0220, no Software field, and XMP section but no LR develop settings.     Did you replace that file in the Dropbox folder?

When I import into LR 5.7.1 / Windows the three files you uploaded (two .jpg and one .dng), I get correct date/times (all 5/26/2016), with none having year 2023.

Can you please re-upload the .jpg that has the year 2023?  Clearly some application wrote that value into the file.  But the file I examined has indications it was modified by an application other than LR.  It's not at all clear yet that LR is the culprit.

What is the exact workflow you use to get photos off the phone into LR?

 
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GEGJr

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I am sorry, yes I did replace the file because I noticed the file I first uploaded to DB wasn't the size of the file I had in LR. For some reason when I exported out of LR in DB the file size would decrease. Even though I made sure I had all the sizing options in the LR export dialogue box unchecked. So I went back and got the original file. However all the other exif/iptc info was the same. Sorry for the confusion.
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Here's what we know:

- Exiftool doesn't show any issues with sample DNGs and JPEGs taken directly from the phone.

- When we import those sample DNGs and JPEGs into LR 5.7.1 and CC 2015.6, LR shows the correct metadata dates.

- The file with the 2023 date might have been touched by other software before importing into LR: Capture One Pro, Breeze Systems Downloader Pro and Breeze Browser Pro.

This suggests the issue is triggered when you use some of the other software.  That doesn't necessarily mean the other software is at fault -- it could be the other software modifies the photo in a standards-conforming way but that triggers a bug in LR.   Or it could be the other software isn't conforming to the standards.  Without having "before" and "after" copies of the exact files going in and out of each program, I can't say.

Steve suggested a process of elimination to see which program in your workflow might be causing the problem.  E.g. we know that importing the file directly into LR works ok.  Next, try downloading the files with Downloader Pro -- does that introduce the problem?  Next, try adding keywords with Breeze.  Etc.
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I think i have a related issue.
I'm not sure how it happened but I have a number of JPEG files that seems to have lost their "Date Time Original" data, in Light room (version 6) I still see the "Date Time" value (which in my case should be the same as the "date time original" value that has been lost.  
 
Is there a way to filter all the images in Lightroom that have an empty "Date Time original" value?

How can I easily copy the "Date Time" value into the "Date Time Original" field? (I have tried the edit capture time function of LR, and it works, but i have to enter the new date manually on each photo...)

This is not so much an issue in LR as it seems to use the Date Time value but when exporting the files in Windows the "date taken" field is empty which causes all sort of problem with other SW.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"Is there a way to filter all the images in Lightroom that have an empty "Date Time original" value?"

In the Library filter bar's Metadata browser, add the Date column.  Then pics with missing Date Time Original will show up as Unknown.
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Thanks I have tried that yesterday. But these files are showing up with the date that is in the "Date Time" field. :(
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Vincent Gadani

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So far I can only identify them by searching my drive for all the picture that do not have a "date taken". But that is outside of LR
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"How can I easily copy the "Date Time" value into the "Date Time Original" field?"

It's not possible with LR. You could select all the affected pics, do Metadata > Save Metadata To File,  use the free Exiftool to copy the fields, then do Metadata > Read Metadata From File.  If you're not experienced with command-line scripting, Exiftool has a steep learning curve, and it could take you at least a couple hours to figure it out.  There is a simplified version called ExiftoolGUI, but I don't know if it's powerful enough to do this.  Make a backup of your LR catalog before attempting this (Exiftool makes individual backup copies of each photo it modifies.)

You might upload one of the problem pics to Dropbox (or similar) and post the sharing link here -- we can take a look at the file to see if there's anything going on that might be confusing LR.
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Vincent Gadani

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Thanks I might try that option this week end. I have not done scripting for a while so I will have to take the time. I will also share one of the images this WE.
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Thank you to  John R. Ellis, Champion - I have been able to begin to fix the incorrect dates allocated by Lightroom.  But I am still of the opinion that Lightroom is not importing the information correctly when it is in the EXIF.

I found this thread because I am really frustrated with Lightroom, and could not find out how to fix the mess it seemed to have made of my jpgs.  These were taken with my own digital cameras.

I installed Lightroom as part of the CC Photography suite on 14 October 2016.   It has set a huge number of them to a "Capture Date/Time" of then.  Initially I thought it was setting them to that date of import, but it seems that is because it used the last time the file was changed, and most files had their "ModifyDate" amended on that date.

Looking at exactly the same photos in Windows explorer and other programs shows their correct time under "Date/Time Digitised". 

Until today, all I could tell was that Lightroom was doing it "wrong".  It has internally allocated its "Capture Date/Time" field but doesn't show it except in sorting.

Following the suggestion of using attributes to filter, I find that most of my files show under "unknown" in the Date column.  So why does Lightroom show a date in the "Capture Date/Time" that it uses for sorting? How can it say unknown yet have a "Date/Time Capture"?  Why is it "Unknown" when there are valid entries in the EXIF? This inconsistency has caused me to waste so much time.

I have now looked at the EXIF using ExiftoolGUI.  There is a field called "DateTimeOriginal" which is I am guessing what you mean in your comment above by  "original date/time" field. That has the correct information, as does the field "CreateDate".  So it should work.  Lightroom has just ignored those, and used the date of last modification to set the "Capture Date/Time" which it insists on using as the default field for sorting!  If Lightroom would allow sorting by the other fields, it would not be as important.


Thanks to this thread, I have now found the way of using ExifTool and ExifToolGUI to fix the date and time so that the incorrect data is corrected and files are sorted correctly by Lightroom.

There is now a field called "Date Time Original" in the EXIF section of Metadata in Lightroom, that was not there before:


So what happened? 

It appears that prior to Lightroom importing the files, some XMP data has been lost, or not created. Because there is SOME XMP data, Lightroom then ignores valid EXIF data.

I fixed the first mentioned files before doing screenshots, so for comparison, here is the Metadata as shown in Lightroom for two other files.  The first has been given an erroneous Capture Date/Time; the second is correct.



In ExifToolGUI, the missing fields are XMP:CreateDate and XMP:ModifyDate.  All of the EXIF fields are there and correct.  Yet Lightroom only allocates the correct date for sorting to the file below which for some reason has those XMP fields.



The two files are on dropbox in case looking at them will help confirm whether I have worked out the issue, or if there is something else that Lightroom is doing / not doing.  Do I need to report a continuing bug?

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31011761/Lightroom/20030615%20Canon%20PowerShot%20A40%20105_0585.JPG

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31011761/Lightroom/20030615%20Canon%20PowerShot%20A40%20105_0592...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Merging with existing topic.

Please reference the new conversation here: Inconsistent capture dates
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GEGJr

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I don't use CC I have stand-alone LR. WOW, what a lot of work! I have given up trying to understand when and why LR chooses to change dates. Adobe completely ignores the issue and most of the LR pondents act like it's user error. Now I just add the actual capture date to the file name when I import the file. I am also in process of changing over to Capture One. It has a better raw processing engine but lacks some of the organizational capabilities of LR but doesn't screw up capture dates. Capture One also allows for importing into sessions as well as catalogs. Sessions I've found to be very helpful for studio and location portrait work.
(Edited)