Adobe Lightroom and the EXIF dates

February 21, 2008

A couple of days ago I wrote a blog entry about changing the Exif date in my photos. Adventures in Exif land.
Off course the big missing application which I did not try was Adobe Lightroom

When I downloaded the trial, to my big amazement I noticed a Find function on EXIF.

Find in EXIF

So I can select on the camera. Only those photos will be selected. Wow!

Then I noticed that I can edit the Metadata date.

Change Time in Lightroom

Even better if you notice the highlighted text: If you do a multiple select, Lightroom will change the date of the other photos relatively. Now that is really really smart. This is just what I need. A very nifty feature in my opinion.
It is a pity about the steep price of Adobe Lightroom. About €300. I guess it is worth it, but for just Exif editing, perhaps not.

So if you need this feature, Lightroom is a much better product than Aperture. Unless I completely missed that feature in Aperture.
Actually Lightroom feels to me a much more polished product.
What the hell was Apple thinking with those context sensitive menus in Aperture? They look completely different then anything else on Mac OS X.

Aperture menu

JAlbum, Adobe Bridge, Adobe Photoshop, Apple Aperture and…. exiftool

February 18, 2008

How to update the EXIF dates

Recently I have been trying to get my online photo album up to date.
I use the excellent JAlbum software to create my photo albums. A bit of Photoshop for cropping, rotating and resizing. Although technically the latter two are not necessary since JAlbum can do that as well.

JAlbum will sort the photos on file modification date. Fortunately there is an option which sets the modification to the EXIF Date Time Original. Precisely how I like it, sorted on the date the photo is shot.

All is well and good…until

…I arrive at the photos from a holiday in Malaysia with three friends. We used four cameras.

  • Olympus SP550UZ
  • Olympus U770SW
  • Canon Powershot S1 IS
  • Canon Powershot A40

When I was busy adobefying the photos from Malaysia, I noticed in Adobe Bridge when sorted on Date created that one of the cameras was 3 days and a couple of hours out of sync…Yeah it was mine.

So I started the simple task of changing the EXIF Date Time Original, or so I thought.
Amazingly I could no do this with Adobe Bridge or Adobe Photoshop. I looked at Reveal but changing one file at a time was a bit troublesome.
I looked at the Apple Aperture 2 trial, but to no avail.

I was really amazed that none of these tools supported what I needed.
After some googling I found exiftool
This is one amazing tool, although I could not get all the features to work. Theoretically it can find all the files in a folder of a certain model and then change the date for instance. Well for the Canons this works as advertised. Unfortunately it does not for the Olympus.


exiftool -AllDates +=0:0:20 0:0:0 -if '$model eq "Canon PowerShot S1 IS"' .

works, but

exiftool -AllDates +=0:0:20 0:0:0 -if '$model eq "u770SW,S770SW"' .

does not. Or

exiftool -AllDates+=1:30 -if '$make eq "Canon"' .

works, but

exiftool -AllDates+=1:30 -if '$make eq "OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP."' .

does not. Although I got all the data with exiftool -a -u and copied that.

So I manually removed all the photo files besides the photos shot with the Olympus U770SW and did a

exiftool -AllDates+='0:0:3 16:0:0' .

Touchdown! Way to go Phil Harvey.
These features would be nifty when inside Adobe Bridge or Photoshop.