Lightroom Video – Changing the Capture Time If You Travel

A while back I traveled to Dubai and realized I never changed the time/date on my camera. As a result, all of the capture times of my photos were off by 9 hours. Well there’s a cool little feature in Lightroom that (if you’re like me and always forget to change it) let’s you change the capture date and time after the fact. Thanks for stopping by!

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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35 Comments

  1. Hey Matt, don’t know if its just me, but clicking the link to the movie from in Google Reader pops a tat and it closes right away. Same result copying the link and pasting it into a newly opened tab. Clicking the link to the article pops it into a new tab and displays the movie though. Just a heads up

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  2. Super tip. I had no idea that was there and had downloaded a freeware metadata editor in the past to accomplish this very thing. This is waaay better!

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  3. Good tip – thanks particularly for clarifying how to revert the capture times if necessary.

    Do you know where Lightroom is applying these changes? I am assuming that, just like with other modifications, it does not make the changes to the metadata stored in the original image files.

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  4. I never change the time/date in my camera. Main reason is that geotagging is getting more complicated. So my entire workflow is based on UTC and I am very happy with it.

    But I use the feature you shown, to fine tune the capture time if I have slight deviations from UTC.

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  5. I always used to forget to change the camera time when daylight savings time kicked in (or out) and I’d have to tweak the capture time by an hour.

    Now I create reminders in Google calendar which send a text message.

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  6. Killer Tip Indeed. Thank you very much. I am in the midst of scanning old negatives and I was frustrated that there didn’t seem to be a way of indicating the correct date. I am also a frequent time zone crosser and inevitably I forget to change the camera time. I am assuming this will allow me to link my incorrectly dated shots properly with my GPS track time but in any case it is a great help.

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  7. That was incredibly helpful, I just noticed a few travel photos I had with incorrect times. Thanks!

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  8. Now I can go and correct the 8000 photos I took in Vietnam last month.
    Thanks!

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  9. This has saved me several times, not just due to timezone changes but also when you forget to set the time after a daylight savings-time-change.

    -Jimmy

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  10. Thank you for the tip, I recently had to use this quite extensively as I preemptively set my new camera to 2011 (in November – oops!)

    Once you’ve updated the time/date, is there a convenient way to move the images into proper date-based subfolders on the filesystem?

    My solution was to create a temporary catalog, add the files w/out moving, then import them into my main catalog after the adjustment.

    Keep up the great work, I love the tips and learned a ton from the Layers vid you previously posted!

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  11. Thanks for sharing the tip. I keep my camera set to UTC time so I never have to worry about changing it for my current location. This way, I no longer have to keep track of the current time zone and whether Daylight Savings is effective (and honored in that area) (and remember to update my camera settings before and after the trip).

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  12. Great tip, very useful. Sometimes the best tips seem to be about things that are explicit in the pull-down menus, right up front so to speak — things that we seldom look at.

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  13. Thanks Matt! I just returned from China and was lamenting this very problem.

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  14. This solves the Problem in Lightroom but does not write the data back to the data files.

    I struggled HARD this summe when I tried to a) correct the time and b) apply GPS data to my images from vacation that I had already in Lightroom and that already had some develompments done. I either lost my developments or were unable to merge GPS data.

    I decided to delete all images from LR, corrected EXIF data with an external tool (GraphicConverter), added GPS data (myTracks) and reimported into LR, repeating my develompents. That worked.

    Herwig

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    • I use this to change timestamp and then sync with GPS log for geotagging, but you have to remember to select all photos and choose “Save Metadata to File” first. When doing so the timestamp is written back to the picture and a separate program can read this for geotagging.

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  15. Hi Matt… I bought your book, I’ve got to say, great book and straight to the point with great useful tutorials… I had a question, well actually two :)
    The first is, could you explain the difference between 8 bits/channel and 16,32 bits/channel?
    The second question is : In Bridge, if you stack some photos and then go the the stack option (clicking the right button of the mouse), there’s an option called “Enable Onion Skin” , which in Lightroom we don’t have this option. I was wondering what does this “Onion Skin” do ?
    Thanks Matt for all your great help…

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    • Hey Johnny,
      Thanks for picking up the book and for the kind words :)
      8 bits vs 16/32 just means more “information” in the image. You won’t see it with the naked eye though. Mostly, it just comes into play if you have to make major exposure and color changes. The quality of the file will hold up better at 16 than 8. But if your exposure is within a stop or so correct, you’ll be just fine with 8 bits. I rarely use anything more.
      Onion skinning makes the stack semi-transparent so you can see part of the various photos in it.

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      • Thanks Matt…Very helpful! Thumbs up :)

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  16. Been following your stuff for some time, I love your tips, and this is yet another one.

    I have a question that’s unrelated to the tip, I just saw that you have a export to Facebook option as one of your publish services. I simply can’t figure out how to get that, It’s to much bother to export photos to jpg and then upload them to facebook.

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    • Hey Martin. It should be there by default. Make sure you have the latest Lightroom update (3.3).

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  17. Thanks Matt! Life saver. I sometimes rent a second body and forget to sync the time. This will allow me to correct that.

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  18. Thanks for great tips :-)

    I wonder if there is a method for adjusting timestamps on video files I have imported to Lightroom? The walk through described here does not work on video files…

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    • I also want to change capture time for video files, but I can’t find any good video metadata editor for macos.
      Have you found anything useful?

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  19. Great tip, thanks, Matt! I usually keep the time on my camera on GMT all the time, I might rethink now that I now how easy it is to adjust it in LR.

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  20. Really look forward to your tips/info on this site and much appreciate the effort that you put in to publish them.

    Another unrelated question – how can one add geotag info to images in Lightroom after the event – ie after capture. I have a Nikon GP1 GPS unit, but it only redords the GPS data for outside shots – even then sometimes it does not pick up the satellite info in time. But indoors it cannot access the satallite data. I want to ‘bulk’ load the relevant GPS data into my images in Lightroom, but the GPS fields are not visible in the Library metadata panel where GPS data was not recorded at the time the image was shot – any suggestions?

    Thanks again for your good work and would really like to see you come to Australia sometime.

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  21. This was a very helpful tip! I didn’t even think about my capture times being off from my assignment in Italy last Spring, and sure enough they were. This trick made short work of that issue- Cheers!

    Matt

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  22. Hey Matt, thanks for your reply and help..
    Keep up the good work. :)

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  23. great tip… useful for when i forget to sync cameras at a wedding…

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  24. Great tips! Thanks for all that you do! Also thank you so much for the free digital issue great stuff :)

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  25. Hi Matt, thanks for posting this. I just tried it on mine but I can’t seem to find a way to mass-edit the time. So do I have to do this individually?

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  26. Hi, I cannot open the video … I will try again because it sounds interesting for my Gal├ípagos pics ;-)
    Sandra

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  27. Hi Mat. Thanks for all the tips. Always a pleasure to read you.
    I posted a question to Scott but never got an answer, so possibly you can answer me……Are you doing the DTown TV thing anymore? It’s been a few months now since your ”break” and it’s not back yet. Are you calling it off. I’d like to know so that I don’t tune in to it every Friday hoping I’ll see you guys again with your great tips!
    Thanks and I hope I’ll get an answer this time.

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    • Yep, we just re-recorded our first episode the other day. Should be up by early next week. Scott wrote a post about it on his blog the other week. We’re making some changes and you’ll find out all about ‘em in the first show. Thanks :)

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