Changing The Cameras Timestamp In Lightroom

One thing that I should write onto the front of my camera bag is “Remember to first sync all cameras before shooting”. I have a habit at weddings to forget to sync my cameras with the assistants that are also shooting with me on the day. Since I use a few people who also use other photographers to assist me their camera timestamp is usually different from the cameras that I use. At least with Lightroom it is very easy to change the timestamp on any images and then get all photos organized.

Here is a quick step by step process on how to edit the timestamp of your photos using Adobe Photoshop Lighroom 3.

1. First where is the timestamp information stored? This information (also known as the Capture date) is stored in the metadata of the image along with many other important settings that record how the photo was taken by your camera. One of the great things about Lightroom is you can sort by this meta data so you can easily view the photos taken with each camera separately.

2. Make sure you are in the Library module in Lightroom and go to the Grid view. At the very top of the screen will be a bar where you can filter by certain criteria. Click on the Metadata link in the middle to bring up the filter options. The normal default filters will be; Date, Camera, Lens and Label. These 4 can be changed to many other search criteria or you can also add more rows to filter by. Since I usually shoot with a few bodies that are the same camera I will click on the Camera filter (just click the text ‘Camera’) to bring up more options to filter by. Instead of filtering by Camera I want to filter by Camera serial number since that will be unique for every body.
adjust lightroom camera time stamp

3. Next find a photo that was taken at the same time from both cameras. To make things easier its a good idea to take a quick photo at the start of a shoot with all cameras you are going to be using. If you don’t have one just find 2 photos that were taken very close together. Look at the one of these photos from camera 1 and find the capture time. To find the capture time in the Library module just go to the bottom Metadata section on the right column and look for the “Capture Time” field. Write down this time as we are going to tell Lightroom to match the similar photo from camera 2 to this timestamp.

4. Sort by the 2nd cameras images and find the matching photo. Select this photo and then click Command and A to select the rest of the images from this camera.

5 Go to Metadata –> Edit camera capture time. Here choose “adjust to a specified date and time” and enter in the time that matches the photo from the 1st camera. When you click change all this will change that image to match the photo from camera 1 plus adjust all of the rest of the photos accordingly. Now both cameras will match up and you can sort by capture time to view the entire shoot from multiple cameras all in order.

change lightroom capture time

Pretty quick and easy and your photos are all in sync. If you have any post production questions I love to hear them, drop me a message anytime or add a comment at the bottom of this page.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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