INTRO: I'm new to Lightroom. I've gone through a few books and lots of tutorial courses on lynda and youtube, so I feel quite comfortable with LR 5's import process. This post and question is a pre-import/organizational issue.
I have more than 30,000 old, digitized (scanned) photos dating back to the 1950s. Obviously, most of were taken with old, analog cameras. These are now organized into folders by date.
GOAL: I want to import these photos into LR and be able to find them by metadata dates (Capture Date & Time).
PROBLEM: Obviously, old scanned (or even more recent manipulated) photos often don't have the correct EXIF creation date info. Even worse, many (or most) of these old images don't even have an EXIF date field!
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Using exiv2 filename or evix2 -pt filename immediately shows whether there is or is not date info for the photo. If there isn't, exiv2 -pt filename shows nothing. If there is an EXIF date field, it will be shown.
For all these images with no date field, if I import them into Lightroom, there of course is no date info that shows up in the Metadata panel (under Default or EXIF), nor can you change the date (because the field isn't even there).
If exiv2 -pt filename DOES show the Exif.Image.DateTime field, then in Lightroom, you will see the Capture Time and Capture Date fields, and you will see an icon to the right of those dates that allows you to change that date.
If exiv2 -pt filename DOES NOT show this Exif.Image.DateTime field, you can ADD this field by using the command line:
exiv2 -M"set Exif.Image.DateTime Ascii 1965:01:25 15:45:00" filename (or whatever your date/time is).
Now if you import this image into LR, you will find the Capture Time and Capture Date fields under the Metadata > Default panel...AND you can edit them if needed. That is, the above exiv2 -M command added the EXIF date field that LR needs in order to search by date.
WHAT'S MY POINT, AND WHAT'S MY QUESTION? I have no problem using exiv2 to add/change an EXIF creation DateTime field one folder at a time prior to importing them into LR. This will enable me to search on those date fields**.
My question is this: Is there an easier method?
Surely there must be tens (hundreds?) of thousands of "older" photographers like myself who have troves of old photos that have incorrect EXIF creation date fields, or missing the date field entirely (in which case, as I stated above, cannot be added/edited using LR, PS, FileMultiTool, Graphic Converter, etc.).
I realize that I could look at images based on the folder names or file names, or I could enter dates into tags, but such methods of finding images are not nearly as convenient as using Metadata. Therefore, if I know that an image was taken in June 1962, then I'd like the EXIF metadata to have this info so that I can search on it. To have no EXIF date field or to have a date field that is incorrect is useless.
I'D LOVE YOUR COMMENTS! If there is an easier or better way, I'd love for you to help! There are so many experienced photographers on this forum, and more than likely many of them have old photos with incorrect or missing EXIF date fields that they've brought into LR.
THANKS! I'll really appreciate any and all help you can offer.
** there are other EXIF date fields that can be changed using exiv2: Exif.Photo.DateTimeOriginal, Exif.Photo.DateTimeDigitized, etc. But the principal date that LR uses to search for files is the one described above.
P.S. I've also tried jhead -ds1965:01:25 filename (or whatever your date is) to change the date. This works ONLY IF there is already an EXIF date field present. If not, jhead will report an error and not create one. exiv2 -M will create the field.