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Sorting by file creation data

New Here ,
Jan 27, 2021 Jan 27, 2021

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Hopefully you can follow my line of thinking: My objective is to sort all of my photos by creation date.  So first I learned how to display the creation date beneath the file in Grid view.  At least that's what I thought I was displaying.  What I'm actually displaying is Capture Date.  I then sorted the files on capture date.  So far so good.  Then, as I was looking at the photos, I realized that many were not in capture date order.  Because I have capture date displayed beneath each photo I can see that many capture dates are incorrect - hence the improper sorting.  So the next thing I learned was how to edit the metadata so that I could correct the capture date.  However, in doing so I found that there is an option within the edit window which allows you to convert the "capture date" to "creation date".  When I selected that for one test photo I discovered that the creation was actually the correct date.  Aha! So what I really want to sort on is not "capture date", but "creation date".  This is where I run into trouble.  When I go into preferences for Grid View and drop down the list of available display or sort options, "capture time" is an option, but creation date is not.  So my question is: if the program knows the creation date, is there any way to sort on that piece of metadata?  Thank you

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LEGEND ,
Jan 27, 2021 Jan 27, 2021

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There is no way (without using a plugin) to sort by file creation date.

 

However, to test my understanding: In Library Grid view, you sort the photos by capture date. But when you look at the dates under the thumbnails, they're not all correctly sorted by the date that appears under the thumbnails.

 

Is my understanding correct?  If so, are these photos scans or do they come from very old digital cameras or older photo apps (e.g. 15 years old)? 

 

If so, you may have tripped over a longstanding bug that Adobe has never fixed -- LR stores capture dates in multiple places in the catalog, and it doesn't always update them correctly, especially with photos initially missing capture date in their metadata (e.g. scans).

 

If you confirm my understanding, then I can explain the workaround.

 

[Use the blue reply button under the first post to ensure replies sort properly.]

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New Here ,
Jan 28, 2021 Jan 28, 2021

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Thank you for your reply, and it's a little bit of all of the above. Some
from old cameras, some from scans, some that just seem to have lost exif
data, and most perplexingly, many many that just seem to have adopted
today's date as the capture date - literally today (1-27-21). Those I
don't understand at all.

Any workaround would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks


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LEGEND ,
Jan 28, 2021 Jan 28, 2021

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LR has very old, longstanding bugs with how it handles photos missing capture dates in their metadata (e.g. scans). Adobe has tried half-heartedly over the years to fix these bugs but failed.

 

"many many that just seem to have adopted today's date as the capture date - literally today (1-27-21)."

 

This is the screwy result of one of Adobe's recent attempt to fix the bugs. When a file is missing capture date (and any other dates) in its metadata, LR will display the file's currrent file-modified date (the date the operating system modified the file on behalf of any program or utility). 

 

So if any program, including LR, modifies such a file, LR will display the new file-modified date as capture date after the next restart of LR (sometimes sooner).  If you do Metadata > Save Metadata To File (or you have set the catalog option Automatically Write Changes), that will change the file-modified date and thus the capture date that LR displays!

 

Another bug is that LR stores capture date for a photo at least three different fields in the catalog, and different parts of LR use the different differents.  With scans missing capture date, LR has never been able to store the same date in all three places.   


The result is that you'll see discrepancies between the date shown under thumbnails, the date shown in the Metadata > Default panel, the Date column in the Library Filter bar, and the ordering of photos when sorting by capture date.

 

The workaround for this screwy behavior is simple: Select all the photos missing capture date in their metadata, do Metadata > Save Metadata To File, and do Change All.  Now all the selected photos will a consistent capture date (usually the date shown under their thumbnails in Grid view), and the capture date won't change as the files get modified.  (Note that this procedure does not set all the photos to have the exact same capture date.)

 

Sometimes, using the Change To File's Creation Date option in Edit Capture Time is more useful than staying with the file's modified date, as you've discovered. But beware that many programs and utilities, including LR itself, don't maintain the file's creation date as the file is modified or copied. This is true on both Windows and Mac (to the chagrin of old-time Mac users).

 

[Use the blue reply button under the first post to ensure replies sort properly.]

 

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