I have several hundred jpgs from approx 20 years ago. Most of these are showing identical capture dates of 22 Nov 2014 in LR. They are also showing a mix of metadata conflict and updates externally reports. When I look at the files in windows explorer the correct capture times are showing, however the files are all showing "date modified" as 22 Nov 2014. LR does not have an entry against Capture Time/Date in the metadata panel although it shows 22 Nov 2014 in grid view. I have tried sorting all the images in LR by capture time and LR treats the problem jpgs as if LR has the correct capture dates despite still showing the capture date/time in grid view as 22 Nov 2014.
It sounds like you've encountered a long-standing bug in LR where it behaves inconsistently with files that are missing industry-standard capture dates (which your 20-year-old JPEGs probably are): Lightroom: Still inconsistent capture date/time for photos and videos | Photoshop Family Customer Community
I suspect that you're looking at the Date column in Windows File Explorer, which is synthesized from the Date Taken (capture date recorded in photo metadata) and Date Created (when the operating system created the file). So most likely File Explorer is actually showing the Date Created field for the "Date" column. See this post for more details: Re: LR Timestamp is wrong on "Edit with" when usingTIF
To resolve this going forward:
1. Configure File Explorer to show Date, Date Taken, Date Created, and Date Modified and verify the problem photos are missing Date Taken, and Date Created is the date you want.
2. Select one or more of the problem photos, do Metadata > Edit Capture Time, and select the option Change To File Creation Date For Each Image:
(Make sure your photos and catalog are backed up first!)
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After you've solved the issue of getting correct capture dates to show in LR's Metadata panel, you can address the metadata conflicts. There have been infrequent but recurring reports over the years of spurious metadata conflicts. If you're sure that you haven't modified the files using an external program, then it seems to be generally safe to always select Overwrite Settings:
John - thanks for your advice here.
I have checked the dates in Explorer, looking at Date, Date Taken, Date Created, and Date Modified. For each of my capture time problem files in LR, Explorer is showing the correct Date and Date Taken. Date Created looks to be when I installed the disk that the files are on so not related to the Date Taken/Capture event at all. LR is showing the Windows Explorer Date Modified.
When LR is sorting files on capture time, LR sorts the problem files as if it has the correct Date Taken but does not show it in any metadata field. This makes me think that the data is still available to LR but I guess this is of no practical value to me at this point.
So I don't want to change the LR metadata capture time to the file's Date Created which looks to be the only tool available in LR. I am wondering whether this leaves me with 2 options, 1) edit each file date manually, or 2) find a bulk editing tool for the job. I used exiftool over 10 years ago but found it very diffiuclt then. Maybe there are easier tools around now.
Do you think I am on the right path with my 2 options? Also is it in any way normal (or acceptable??) for LR to work like this? It is not cheap software....
For each of my capture time problem files in LR, Explorer is showing the correct Date and Date Taken. Date Created looks to be when I installed the disk that the files are on so not related to the Date Taken/Capture event at all. LR is showing the Windows Explorer Date Modified.
It sounds like LR is unable to read the industry-standard capture date (what Explorer calls Date Taken) from the files. This is not normal and may be a bug. If you upload a sample file to Dropbox or similar and post the sharing link here, I'll put it under the microscope to see what's going on.