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Filter out photos without capture date and time

New Here ,
Feb 05, 2017

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Hey guys.

I have a library with photos from many different sources. Some of the photos lack time and date information, so that when I export them, and upload the exported images to Google Photos, they all get sorted under "today", as the date they are taken. In Lightroom I identify them by looking at the metadata panel to the right in library view. There they lack the lines that says "capture date" and "capture time", in other words, they do not have this information.

Lightroom has an idea about the capture date and time for these photos though, so they are placed in between photos that have date and time information when i sort on date and time. Even though it often is not the correct place for them, sometimes it is quite accurate. But again, in the metadata no information is given on capture date and time. Also lightroom suggest dates and times for many of them when I go into the "edit capture date" option, and it is sometimes off, sometimes quite accurate.


My question:

I want an easy way to find these photos. But I cant seem to get Lightroom to sort them out. I have tried the plug in "any filter" and did filter on all the "date time" + "unknown" variants I could find, but non of them locates only the photos without capture date and time in the metadata.

Anyone that have a solution for me?

Thanks in advance!

Mikkel S. Dahr

Most Valuable Participant
Correct answer by johnrellis | Most Valuable Participant

LR gets very confused when imported photos are missing the industry-standard capture date field EXIF:DateTimeOriginal (typically scans and photos that have been mangled by other applications). It behaves very inconsistently.   My test catalog shows Unknown in the Date column for imported scans missing DateTimeOriginal, but that's the nature of bugs -- the program behaves unpredictably.

Please add your me-too vote, details of your issue, and your opinion to this longstanding bug report in the official Adobe feedback forum: Lightroom: Still inconsistent capture date/time for photos and videos | Photoshop Family Customer Community

You can find photos that are missing EXIF:DateTimeOriginal by using the Any Filter plugin with this filter:

These are exactly the photos for which LR is getting confused. Note that LR will always display some date (typically the file date modified) under thumbnails and sometimes display a Capture Date in the Metadata > Default panel (which will usually differ from the date shown under the thumbnail). You can manually check for the presence of EXIF:DateTimeOriginal by looking in the Metadata > EXIF panel, e.g.

Once you've identified the photos missing EXIF:DateTimeOriginal, you've already discovered the workaround: Invoke Metadata > Edit Capture Time, and LR will (usually) default the time to the file's date modified, which is often (but not always) correct.   You also have the option of setting the Capture Date to the file's date created (which is often correct, but Windows programs rarely preserve the file date created, and more and more Mac programs fail to as well).

Regardless, setting the photo's capture date using Edit Capture Time resolves LR's buggy inconsistency and you shouldn't experience any more problems with that photo.

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Filter out photos without capture date and time

New Here ,
Feb 05, 2017

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Hey guys.

I have a library with photos from many different sources. Some of the photos lack time and date information, so that when I export them, and upload the exported images to Google Photos, they all get sorted under "today", as the date they are taken. In Lightroom I identify them by looking at the metadata panel to the right in library view. There they lack the lines that says "capture date" and "capture time", in other words, they do not have this information.

Lightroom has an idea about the capture date and time for these photos though, so they are placed in between photos that have date and time information when i sort on date and time. Even though it often is not the correct place for them, sometimes it is quite accurate. But again, in the metadata no information is given on capture date and time. Also lightroom suggest dates and times for many of them when I go into the "edit capture date" option, and it is sometimes off, sometimes quite accurate.


My question:

I want an easy way to find these photos. But I cant seem to get Lightroom to sort them out. I have tried the plug in "any filter" and did filter on all the "date time" + "unknown" variants I could find, but non of them locates only the photos without capture date and time in the metadata.

Anyone that have a solution for me?

Thanks in advance!

Mikkel S. Dahr

Most Valuable Participant
Correct answer by johnrellis | Most Valuable Participant

LR gets very confused when imported photos are missing the industry-standard capture date field EXIF:DateTimeOriginal (typically scans and photos that have been mangled by other applications). It behaves very inconsistently.   My test catalog shows Unknown in the Date column for imported scans missing DateTimeOriginal, but that's the nature of bugs -- the program behaves unpredictably.

Please add your me-too vote, details of your issue, and your opinion to this longstanding bug report in the official Adobe feedback forum: Lightroom: Still inconsistent capture date/time for photos and videos | Photoshop Family Customer Community

You can find photos that are missing EXIF:DateTimeOriginal by using the Any Filter plugin with this filter:

These are exactly the photos for which LR is getting confused. Note that LR will always display some date (typically the file date modified) under thumbnails and sometimes display a Capture Date in the Metadata > Default panel (which will usually differ from the date shown under the thumbnail). You can manually check for the presence of EXIF:DateTimeOriginal by looking in the Metadata > EXIF panel, e.g.

Once you've identified the photos missing EXIF:DateTimeOriginal, you've already discovered the workaround: Invoke Metadata > Edit Capture Time, and LR will (usually) default the time to the file's date modified, which is often (but not always) correct.   You also have the option of setting the Capture Date to the file's date created (which is often correct, but Windows programs rarely preserve the file date created, and more and more Mac programs fail to as well).

Regardless, setting the photo's capture date using Edit Capture Time resolves LR's buggy inconsistency and you shouldn't experience any more problems with that photo.

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Feb 05, 2017 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 05, 2017

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In Library, do these steps:

1. In the Catalog pane, select All Photographs.

2. Do Photo > Stacking > Expand All Stacks.

3. Make sure Library > Enable Filters is checked.

4. In the Library Filter bar, click Metadata.

5. Add the Date column and remove the other columns;

6. In the Date column, scroll to the end and click Unknown:

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Feb 05, 2017 0
New Here ,
Feb 06, 2017

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I hugely appreciate the fast suggestion! But unfortunately it did not solve my issue.

The option to chose date - "unknown" is not available, as you see below. Apparently Lightroom does not think that these images are without date. And in a way it makes sense, because lightroom seems to have a meaning about the date and time of these images, that it suggests when I go into "edit capture time..." with one of these images selected. But as you can see in the image bellow, the chosen image has no capture date and time information in the metadata panel to the right.

Skjermbilde 2017-02-06 kl. 22.32.09.png

I really appreciate any other suggestions.

Mikkel

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Feb 06, 2017 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 06, 2017

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LR gets very confused when imported photos are missing the industry-standard capture date field EXIF:DateTimeOriginal (typically scans and photos that have been mangled by other applications). It behaves very inconsistently.   My test catalog shows Unknown in the Date column for imported scans missing DateTimeOriginal, but that's the nature of bugs -- the program behaves unpredictably.

Please add your me-too vote, details of your issue, and your opinion to this longstanding bug report in the official Adobe feedback forum: Lightroom: Still inconsistent capture date/time for photos and videos | Photoshop Family Customer Co...

You can find photos that are missing EXIF:DateTimeOriginal by using the Any Filter plugin with this filter:

These are exactly the photos for which LR is getting confused. Note that LR will always display some date (typically the file date modified) under thumbnails and sometimes display a Capture Date in the Metadata > Default panel (which will usually differ from the date shown under the thumbnail). You can manually check for the presence of EXIF:DateTimeOriginal by looking in the Metadata > EXIF panel, e.g.

Once you've identified the photos missing EXIF:DateTimeOriginal, you've already discovered the workaround: Invoke Metadata > Edit Capture Time, and LR will (usually) default the time to the file's date modified, which is often (but not always) correct.   You also have the option of setting the Capture Date to the file's date created (which is often correct, but Windows programs rarely preserve the file date created, and more and more Mac programs fail to as well).

Regardless, setting the photo's capture date using Edit Capture Time resolves LR's buggy inconsistency and you shouldn't experience any more problems with that photo.

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Feb 06, 2017 0
New Here ,
Feb 15, 2017

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Thanks a lot for the fast and thorough answers!! Sure hope Adobe fixes this.
Thanks also for the procedure to find these photos with anyfilter. It seems to find them all, but it does also find some photos that I have given Date/Time, or has it from before. Does that make sense to you? Is it because they do not have "original" but might have "digitized" date/time?

Thanks again for providing your knowledge!

Mikkel

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Feb 15, 2017 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 15, 2017

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It seems to find them all, but it does also find some photos that I have given Date/Time, or has it from before.

By "given Date/Time", do you mean by using the Metadata > Edit Capture Time command, or something else?

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Feb 15, 2017 0
New Here ,
Feb 16, 2017

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I have only used the Metadata > Edit Capture Time command to give Date/Time. I have not used any other tools for this.

I can not be completely sure that I used that command on all the photos that the filter finds, and I can not be sure that it does not leave out some of the photos that I did use the command on, as I have no collection of these.
Was that clear?

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Feb 16, 2017 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 16, 2017

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For photos that Any Filter finds that you're suspicious about, do this: Look in the Metadata panel with the EXIF tagset.  The Date Time Original field should be missing for all of those photos.  If you find a photo that has Date Time Original shown in the Metadata > EXIF panel that Any Filter thinks is "unknown", let me know.   The Edit Capture Time command should always add the Date Time Original field.

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Feb 16, 2017 0
New Here ,
Feb 17, 2017

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When I use the AnyFilter search that you specified that should only find photos with date/time original is "unknown", it does filter out the photo below, and I believe you can see that this photo indeed has EXIF date/time attached. I think I added date/time manually through the Metadata > Edit Capture Time command to this photo, but I can be mistaken meaning that the photo had Date/time from before.

Skjermbilde 2017-02-17 kl. 18.43.06.png

Let me know if you have more questions!

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Feb 17, 2017 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 17, 2017

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Just to clarify: Does that photo show up in the Any Filter search results? (I'm not sure what you meant by "filter out".) Since the photo doesn't have a Date Time Original field, the Any Filter search should include it.

Note that the EXIF Date Time field has nothing to do with capture time -- it is defined by the standard as the date/time that the photo was last modified.  It is the EXIF Date Time Original field that stores capture time.  (The photo above has Date Time but no Date Time Original.)  For photos coming from digital camears, Date Time is usually the same or nearly the same as Date Time Original. LR doesn't update Date Time as required by the standard, though it does display it.  

This has understandably caused endless confusion. Don't know what the standards committee was thinking in choosing such poor names...

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Feb 17, 2017 0
shonza LATEST
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May 02, 2020

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I realise I am opening an old thread, but am having a related problem, and this is the best discussion of the issue that I've seen. I would greatly appreciate any help. I am new to LR - using Classic 9 latest release on a new MacBook Air. I keep my images in two main folders on my master drive: photos and "phone photos" for the images imported by various routes over the years from various iphones - both folders have subfolder structures which are YYYY/MM and were imported into the correct Year / Month when they were first imported.

 

Having selected the "phone photos" Folder in the Folders panel and looking at the images in Grid view, and selecting Sort by Capture Time, the images are sorted strangely - not randomly, and not exactly by File Name, but the first image is IMG_001, then 004 etc. - if I change the sort setting to File Name, then the sort order changes and the first image has a File Name 0b3A and if I scroll down to find IMG_001, it is followed by IMG_002, 003 etc - so other images are included that aren't in the other order (I realise this was really sloppy importing, I've learned a lot since I started, but these are legacy images).

 

The reason I post this problem here is that when I look at the images in the list I see that for most there is no time information at all (ie the fields don't even show in the Metadata panel when Default or EXIF is selected) and the Edit Capture Time workaround doesn't work. However, one thing I have noticed is that when I select EXIF and IPTC in the metadata panel a time shows up the top under Metadata Status:  Up To Date, which is Metadata Date: and that shows a 2019 date (not the date that the image was taken (by memory) nor the date folder into which the image was sorted whenever it was originally imported). Having said this when I look I look through the files in order (when sorted by Capture Time) the Metadata Date is not the order by which they have been sorted, as I say, they are sorted in fact by file name but only amongst those that seem to have corrupted or no time stamp information.

 

I have tried removing some of the files and then reimporting them to see whether LR puts them back into the folders they were originally in (ie to see if LR is seeing another date somewhere) and it is sorting them into 2019 / 2020 ie seems to be the Metadata Date that it is using, which was not what was originally seen by LR when they were imported the first time around - so something has been corrupted along the way it seems.

 

Grateful for any advice as to what is going on and how to correct a large batch of these. Or whether I just have to live with it (could be worse as these are only my random phone photos)

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May 02, 2020 0