12 Replies Latest reply on Sep 28, 2016 12:46 PM by johnrellis

    Sorting by Capture Time?


      Any new digital photograph I take seems to be handled perfectly by LightRoom 2015 CC, there is a Capture Time displayed and when I sort a folder or collection of these by "Capture Time" it works as I expect, but when I take an older photo taken on an old camera, or one scanned recently or years ago, I run into serious problems trying to associate a date to the old photo and then having it sort properly and I have been reading and browsing for hours and have not found any clues other than that LightRoom stores several date/times with a photograph that I am sometimes (only sometimes) able to see in the EXIF Metadata Preset and they include:

      Date Time Original

      Date Time Digitized

      Date Time

      (see: Lightroom Files Can Contain Multiple Dates « Julieanne Kost's Blog )

      I do not see any easy way to edit those fields and they do tend to "come and go" when browsing different files with the same "EXIF Preset" selected. However, I can edit and sort by (yay!) something called Capture Time, which would be wonderful if it worked. But sadly editing the Capture Date/Time using Metadata / Edit Capture Time menu command does not appear to change how that photo sorts when "Capture Time" is selected for Sort. 


      The only other sorting option is something called "Added Order" which perhaps corresponds to one of the three metadata fields I list above?


      It would appear to me that someone over at Adobe has worked PRETTY DARN HARD to make this so difficult! : ) either that or I have a corrupted catelog, or the user, me, is missing some core concept. In any event, I hope all who read this will forgive my rather feble attempts at hiding my frustration over this. It's a lot of work to edit the date time stamp on 22 thousand photos, especially when you've already done it in Photoshop Elements Organizer and little if any of it has carried over and appartently needs to be re-done. So yes I am frustrated so forgive me and help me understand what's going on, refer me to something I should ahve read before starting this project, give me homework, I have a Lynda.com account, just please don't tell me about the well documented bug with editing the metadata in videos, that's not what this is. Please don't give me super detailed explanations of the three options for adjusting the Capture Date/Time on the selected images, I have been through all that. I just need to know how to edit a date field for a photograph that Lightroom will allow me to sort by and I don't care which it is or if I lose any reference to any other date the file tries to remember (I do not care to remember when a photo was scanned). And please excuse my tone! I really am a fan of the product, but it has me stumped on this issue! : ) Thanks in advance for any suggestions advice and patience!! : )



        • 1. Re: Sorting by Capture Time?
          Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

          LR only reads what is in the image file EXIF. If the date isn't there LR can't sort it properly. This is very true for Scanned images as no scanner I know of writes the scan date to the EXIF. You can use the EXIFTool, and I suggest exifToolGUI, to write this data to the EXIF part of the image.




          You would edit and or create dates in the 2 fields I've place a red rectangle around.


          Capture time is what the camera writes to the image file when the shutter button was pressed. If the camera doesn't write the Year, Month, Day, Hours, Minutes and Seconds to the file it can't be sorted correctly by Capture Time. LR takes a guess and or uses the File system Create date.

          • 2. Re: Sorting by Capture Time?
            johnrellis Most Valuable Participant
            When I take an older photo taken on an old camera, or one scanned recently or years ago, I run into serious problems trying to associate a date to the old photo and then having it sort properly

            That can indeed be confusing in LR -- it wasn't originally designed to handle images not taken by modern digital cameras.  However, once you understand what's going on, LR does offer sufficient tools to manage capture dates for images that didn't originally have them.


            The most efficient way to troubleshoot your issues is to upload a couple of sample problem pics to Dropbox.com (or similar) and post the link here.  We can take a look and then advise how to handle them in LR.

            • 3. Re: Sorting by Capture Time?
              NoHoWarlord Level 1

              Thank you very much both of you. I will try your suggestions, but first let me add these images to help anyone following along. 


              Screenshot 2015-08-30 15.42.37.png

              That is what it looks like in LightRoom now. I previously changed the date but it is not showing here now. 


              Screenshot 2015-08-30 15.41.39.png

              That's what it looks like in Finder's Preview (Yosemite)

              Screenshot 2015-08-30 15.40.50.png

              That is what it looks like in the Metadata tab of Bridge. Note the 1986 date at the bottom, that's the date I want it to sort by.


              Here is the image. Comments on hair of the subjects in the photograph are welcome privately.  https://www.dropbox.com/s/xxe78nb76fx1q75/00089_n_15amlhcqp70771.jpg?dl=0





              • 4. Re: Sorting by Capture Time?
                johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                I can see one confusing issue with that file: It's EXIF:DateTimeOriginal is actually "0086:02:01 09:27:", that is, 86 AD, whereas presumably it should be 1986.  I imported the file into my LR CC 2015.1.1, and it correctly read the date, as shown by the Edit Capture Time command:


                Unfortunately, LR and Bridge display years with two digits, so there's no way to distinguish 86, 1886, and 1986, and 2086.   Did you manually enter the two-digit year at some point? (I assume that the Noritsu Koki EZ Controller is a scanner?)


                Your screen shot of the Edit Capture Time command shows a different date.  Is it possible that you had already invoked Edit Capture Time on that photo sometime in the past?  Make a copy of the file and import the copy into LR -- does it show a capture date of 2/1/86 9:34:02, as it does in my LR? 

                • 5. Re: Sorting by Capture Time?
                  NoHoWarlord Level 1

                  When I did as you suggested it behaved as you predicted! Hmmmm.  What is the lesson here? What is the harm in doing this with any file that's acting up? I am set to "Automatically Write Changes Into XMP" and dealing with only JPG files, shall I just export, remove the original from the Catelog and the hard disk (maybe save a backup for the short term) and re-import?


                  Or shall I try my hand at re-rediting the Capture Time and hope it behaves?


                  This was handled by ScanCafe and I suppose that is the model of scanner they use to answer your question. 


                  I really appreciate your help.



                  • 6. Re: Sorting by Capture Time?
                    NoHoWarlord Level 1

                    Thanks I will have a look at exifToolGUI


                    I am more interested in getting through this project than I am in writing up a detailed bug report for LightRoom or even fixing lightroom, so long as I can fix this on the old photos and fix it for good? ...I'm good.


                    With that in mind, let me ask you:


                    Do you like this tool because it's better than LightRoom at changing date/time stamps with a file, or just when you have a problem set of images? I have no problem just using a different tool, just please advise also on workflow, will the changes just be read and understood the next time I open LightRoom? or will I want to reimport the changed files? 


                    Thanks so much for your help,



                    • 7. Re: Sorting by Capture Time?
                      NoHoWarlord Level 1

                      I am on a mac so I had to pass on the exifToolGUI and I have to say, some of the Mac versions of this don't seem that much better than Adobe Bridge and it's making me re-think my whole Workflow and maybe I should start a new thread or ask you kind people to refer me somewhere for a better clue on how to tackle this, but I am tempted to

                      1) Scan to a folder

                      2) Browse the scans in Bridge, splitting off any where I have placed two or more photos on the glass, do any rudimentary cropping and rotating

                      3) Open in Bridge once more to batch enter the dates I want for these

                      4) Import to LightRoom and hope the new date is there and that I have fixed this problem for good?


                      What do you think?


                      If there is some larger problem with my version of LightRoom or an issue with my catalog being corrupted, please let me know? Thanks



                      • 8. Re: Sorting by Capture Time?
                        NoHoWarlord Level 1

                        With huge thanks to johnrellis and Just Shoot Me for pointing me in the right direction, I think I will answer my own question since I think I know roughly what the problem was and what to do about it if you use a Mac like me. 


                        1) This was primarily a problem with scans I received from ScanCafe.com, they did a GREAT job but left something screwy in there with Metadata.

                        2) I went to the app store for Mac and bought this: Mac App Store - PhotoMill: Batch Convert, Edit Metadata, Rename, Resize, Watermark, and even more

                        3) Make sure you understand about file formats and how LightRoom handles metadata. In my case I am dealing with JPGs and have LightRoom set to update any metadata automatically. If you are not familair with this aspect of LightRoom, stop here and do some reading, you'll see why if you read on.

                        4) With LightRoom closed, I opened up all of the ScanCafe images and basically set the capture date, the creation date and the modified date all to the desired date since I didn't care about anything else so forgive me for not working this up further, but if you are like me and you have a scanned image you just don't care when you scanned the darned thing! Why change the Mod date? Because I don't know what I am doing so I just changed it all, knowing mod date will get reset to the date I make any other changes to that file, no biggie, I was just taking a shotgun approach since I was getting frustrated!

                        5) Very important, once you are done editing all the date/time stamps of all your misbehaving images, fire up LightRoom and select all the images you just edited metadata for, then right click on one of them and select Metadata / Read

                        6) It will warn you that you are about to over write the metadata in the catelog for these images, which should not be a problem, because you have read Step 3 above and you know that any needed metadata has already been written to the files. So you are good. Say okay and let it read from disk and start sorting properly.


                        Thanks everyone, sincerely. Drinks on me at the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood for your help johnrellis and Just Shoot Me you say when.


                        Your pal for life,


                        • 9. Re: Sorting by Capture Time?
                          johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                          Excellent that you've got this resolved.  In your case, using the external app to sort out the confusion sounds like a good move.


                          For others reading this thread in the future, in general it isn't necessary to use an external app to manipulate the capture times of photos that are missing them (e.g. scans).  LR has the ability to do that.  The only thing LR can't do is set Date Time Digitized, which likely matters mainly to archivists.

                          • 10. Re: Sorting by Capture Time?
                            NoHoWarlord Level 1

                            Thanks John and yeah I don't know if I would have ran into this issue without those weird scans from Mumbai and our good friends at ScanCafe who again, this is not a knock on them, just an idiosycracy of their workflow perhaps and one we should be on the lookout for, but whatever they had done I just could not fix within LightRoom. Weird things kept happening when I tried to change the Capture Time from LightRoom and this was the only thing that worked. I am in your debt johnrellis thank you!

                            • 11. Re: Sorting by Capture Time?

                              One might expect LR to write the capture date in the EXIF when you use LR to edit the Creation Date. It sounds very strange you would have to use another product to do what LR is supposed to be doing.

                              • 12. Re: Sorting by Capture Time?
                                johnrellis Most Valuable Participant
                                One might expect LR to write the capture date in the EXIF when you use LR to edit the Creation Date. It sounds very strange you would have to use another product to do what LR is supposed to be doing.

                                LR does indeed write the capture date to the industry-standard EXIF:DateTimeOriginal field when you do Metadata > Save Metadata To File (or when you have set the option Automatically Write Changes To XMP).  I manipulate large numbers of scans from several different scanners, and I've never had an issue with LR on that score.


                                It's not clear what was Michael's underlying issue -- we never got enough information to truly sort it out before he found a solution to his problem.