Lightroom: Metadata Edit Capture Time Is Erratic and Unpredictable

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This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Lightroom Classic: Edit Capture Time issue - Need a way to set all photos selected to same date & time

Lightroom 3.4.1 running on Win XP/SP3.

Error when selecting a group of photos in the grid view and then Metadata-->Edit Capture Time.

The capture time is only updated for some of the photos, and the remaining photos' capture times are either unchanged or changed to an unpredictable date/time. Changing metadata for photos individually works fine.
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xtexan

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Posted 8 years ago

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Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I can't replicate this Dan. Can you spot any patterns? Is it always the same photos that don't change or change unpredictably? Perhaps from a specific camera?
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xtexan

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Thanks for trying Victoria. The reported error occurred with the Olympus C3000Z JPG images, and the images that did not update properly were typically the last 1-4 photos in a group of 4-15 or so.

I was able to replicate it right away using Nikon D90 DNG images. I selected a group of 15 photos in grid view, used Metadata>"Edit Capture Time">"Adjust to a specified date and time", and specified 7-19-2003 at 12:00:00 pm.

You would expect LR to simply show 7-19-2003 and 12:00:00 pm in all photos, but not so. In this trial, all photos changed date properly, but the times were incorrect, as follows: (the numbering starts from the grid-view top-left selected photo (the "most selected" photo), and proceeds in reading order)

1- 12:00:00 pm
2- 12:01:31 pm
3- 12:13:26 pm
4- 12:14:23 pm
5- 07:34:17 am
6- 07:37:04 am
7- 07:34:47 am
and so on.

Although this is not the exact problem that I experienced yesterday, it is a flavor of the same issue. The times are clearly wrong. This is especially strange because LR attempts to honor the 12:00:00pm time for the first four photos, and then goes haywire.

PS - I enjoy reading your blog, thanks for authoring it !
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I'm glad you like the blog xtexan - I really must get around to posting more often! Hopefully after the website relaunch on Monday...

Does Mark's suggestion make sense and solve the problem, or are you seeing something different to the behaviour he describes.
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Mark Sirota

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What LR is doing is setting the first photo to your specified time. It then changes all the others by the same delta. So if the second photo was 91 seconds after the first, it will still be 91 seconds after the first.

It's often requested that each photo should get exactly the same time, and I think there's a feature request ("idea") in here somewhere for that functionality which you could vote for.
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xtexan

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Right on, Mark and Victoria! Yes, I did another trial, and Mark's proposal is exactly what was happening. I'm thankful for the clever and responsive LR community.

I'm not so thankful the way that LR 3.4.1 and it documentation handled this issue, however.

The LR command menu merely says "Adjust to a specified date and time," which is not what occurred at all. It's really a hybrid of this and "Shift by a set number of hours." Nor is the Using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 manual helpful, since it merely says "Adjust To A Specified Date And Time Changes the capture time to the date and time you specify" (which is precisely what I needed).

Maybe it does not matter to most people. But, it is probably difficult to anticipate every circumstances that might arise.

In my case, many of my photos' metadata was originally corrupted for an unknown reason, and the capture date/time showed null. (Thanks to Jeffrey Friedl's excellent online EXIF viewer to reveal this). So, I was trying to set my photos' capture date/time to their known date/time from my memory or other records.

Instead of doing this as I expected, LR set the capture date/time of the first selected photo properly, but then shifted the capture date/time of the subsequent photos based on their date/time modified since the there was no valid capture date/time to set the delta. The resulting (modified) capture date/time modified values were all over the place, since the "date/time modified" values had been changed when keywords were added and other metadata update events.

Anyway, in my case it would have been a great benefit to simply change the capture date/time in batch, to a specified value as stated in the LR documentation. It was time consuming to update the metadata photo, by photo since there were 300+ photos with the capture date/time problem.

Again, my sincere thanks for everyone's input!
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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A number of people have posted complaints about this. I think LR should have all three options:

- Set date/time of all photos to the same date/time. Used for photos that don't have any time set, e.g. from a scanner.

- Shift date/time of all photos based on the date/time of the first photo. Used when a camera's clock was wrong by an arbitrary amount of time, e.g. it wasn't set.

- Shift date/time of all photos by a number of hours. Used to adjust for incorrect setting when traveling between time zones.

The Photoshop Elements Organizer has all three, and I found myself using all of them.

As a workaround, you might consider this plugin:

http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/exchange...
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xtexan

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I like the cut of your jib, John Ellis.

Seriously, I like the three options you proposed. #1 would work equally well for photos with a corrupted or null capture date/time. (i.e., my situation).

Thanks also for the plugin suggestion. That was my next question, but you answered the question before I had a chance to ask it.
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Daniel Hyams

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Right, at the very least, as J. Ellis above has listed, Lightroom should have a way to just set the capture date/time for the set of currently selected photos. No fancy time deltas; just set it.
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Daniel Hyams

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This problem is not solved, I don't think. Here is a reproduction of the bug:

http://forums.adobe.com/message/38293...

Note that the pics provided by the yousendit link will only be good for six more days.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I created a separate topic for the bug:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Chrisf01

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I am having this problem. I just tried for the first time (new to LR) to edit the capture time of 30 scanned photos (scanned at different times) and wanted them to all be changed to the same date and time. It altered a few but the rest were a jumble. So does that mean that the first button "Adjust to a specific date and time" still does increments? I selected the photos in Grid view. It virtually means that I have to alter almost every photo individually - and I have hundreds more I would like to do!
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Rob Cole

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For the interim, consider a work-around: John Beardy's plugin to set capture time using exiftool:

http://www.beardsworth.co.uk/lightroo...

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