Lightroom ignores partial dates imported from Elements

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I am trying to migrate from Photoshop Elements 12 to Lightroom 5.5. I have many scanned images in JPEG and TIFF formats. I have used PSE to set the dates of these images, but in many cases I do not know the exact date they were taken and can only set a year and month, or even in some cases just a year. When this catalog is converted to Lightroom with "Upgrade Catalog" all these partial dates are ignored.
Tooltips in Lightroom appears to show the images file create date instead. The EXIF/IPTC data shows NO "Date Time Original" or "Date Time Digitized". Worst of all, the images in grid view are moved to the very bottom, apparently being sorted as Unknown Date.
Please note, this is only a problem with partial dates. I could get around it by going through several hundred images and manually giving them spurious month/day numbers, but it seems to me that this is a clear Lightroom bug. One Adobe product is ignoring data created by another. This should not happen.
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Bob Millar

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Posted 4 years ago

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I agree that LR should implement partial dates (missing month, day, or time). It's frustrating that the XMP industry standard pushed by Adobe defines partial dates but LR doesn't implement them. In general, LR has focused on images coming from digital cameras, which have fully specified date/times, whereas partial date/times usually arise in scanning-based workflows, which LR has never supported well.

Note, however, that Photoshop Elements (at least as of version 8) didn't correctly implement partial dates, and many other photo tools get confused by them. So even when I was still using PSE, I stopped using them. Instead I use the convention that January 1, 0:00:00 represents a missing time, 1, 0:00:00 represents a missing day and time, etc.

As a workaround, after importing the PSE catalog into LR, you could use Exiftool to identify and change the partial capture dates, then you could reread the metadata of the changed files back into LR using the Metadata > Read Metadata From File command. If you're not familiar with Exiftool, beware that it has a steep learning curve for most people.

See these other topics for people with similar issues:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Bob Millar

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Thanks John, I'll investigate Exiftool. I sounds like it may offer a work round.
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Bob Millar

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OK, after some research with Exiftool (thanks for the pointer, John) I have filled in the partial dates in about two thousand images. Then a mass "Update Thumbnail" in PSE has the same effect as LR's "Read Metadata". Using LR's Upgrade Catalog then created a new LR catalog with no Unknown dates.
This gets round my problem, but I still hope someone updates LR to be more tolerant of partial dates in future. I found various odd partial date/time fields, not all of them created by PSE. I'm not sure they can be described as wrong, since the EXIF description of its date/time fields is pretty ambiguous. LR could be much smarter than just marking them all as "Uknown".
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Verena Cole

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom 4: More Flexible Capture Time Adjustments.

The lightroom 4 capture adjustment options available are great if you have an actual camera capture time as all photos (though maybe not with the correct date or time) will at least be in chronological order. However, it is not so great when trying to catalog scanned images with only approximate ideas of when the image was captured.

I've been scanning lots of ancient family photos and am using lightroom 4 to catalog them. For most of these photos I only have vague ideas of when they might have been taken. And hardly any were scanned in a chronological order.

To be able to view them by capture time in a relatively chronological order lightroom should allow the following:

A) Incomplete capture times (e.g. if you only know the year and month ... it could be entered e.g. as DD.04.1964 HH:MM:SS) and that way they would be listed either at the beginning or the end of all the april photos of 64)

B) Batch changes of a single entry (i.e. instead of changing the date & time relative to a chosen photo within a selection, change all the photos in that selection to a specific date/time)
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Merging second request with appropriate topic.

Please reference the new conversation here: Lightroom: Batch changes to date/time
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Norbert Baumhoff

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom 4.3: Incorrect / incomplete import of data out of PSE.

Lightroom 4.3: Incorrect / incomplete import of data out of PSE

Up to now I have used Photoshop Elements to manipulate and organize my pictures. As Lightroom gives a more elegant way to do this, I tried to migrate to Lightroom.

After the import of PSE catalogs into Lightroom 4.3 it came up, that Lightroom doesn't care of some data, which were put via PSE in the catalogue and picture file.

1. Most severe is the wrong presentation of the date and time, when the picture was shot. I scanned a lot of negatives and transparencies and added relevant informations by means of my PSE. Because
I would have to check and to correct many thousands of fotos, this fault is a no-go for the migration to Lightroom.

2. Next deficit is the lack of the given information in the field „Anmerkungen“ in the german edition of PSE, stored as Exif Information in „album:Notes=”. I'm very interested, that these information isn't lost when I migrate to Lightroom.

But Lightroom 4.3 doesn't care at all about these notes.

Lightroom manages to give very efficient and sophisticated tools to fine-tune pictures, it has a quick and powerful database, but failes in these basic requirements. I can't understand this.

I started to ask my friends about their experiences with other photo organizers. Up to now nobody reported me similar problems with the time stamp.

Are there any readers, who are willing to assist me in the call for the elimination of these insufficiencies?

Examples of the picture files can be found in my german request, action No 0184016843 and 0183981887

Norbert Baumhoff