Changing Capture Time

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Today’s Question: I just returned home from 10 days in Costa Rica and realized only now (while reading Ask Tim Grey) that I forgot to reset the date and time on my camera to Costa Rica time. Is there any way to fix this now, after I’ve already uploaded the images to Lightroom?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can most certainly update the capture time in Lightroom after you’ve imported your photos into your Lightroom catalog. Simply select the photos and then choose Metadata > Edit Capture Time from the menu. Choose the “Shift by set number of hours” option, set the appropriate time difference, and click Change to update the capture time for the photos.

More Detail: It is important to keep in mind that by default when you update the capture time in Lightroom you are only updating the capture time in metadata within the Lightroom catalog. In other words, if you browse your photos using software other than Lightroom (such as Adobe Bridge), you’ll still see the incorrect capture time.

However, you can update the settings in Lightroom so that the capture time for your original capture is updated when you use the Edit Capture Time command. There is a small degree of risk that in the process of updating the capture time for your original captures that the files will be corrupted. However, I’ve never heard of a situation where this process created any problems with the original photos. But again, there is some risk involved.

To change the setting so Lightroom will apply the capture time adjustment to the actual source photos, start by choosing Lightroom > Catalog Settings from the menu on the Macintosh version of Lightroom or Edit > Catalog Settings from the menu on the Windows version of Lightroom. This will bring up the Catalog Settings dialog. Choose the Metadata tab, where you can turn on the “Write date or time changes into proprietary raw files”. Close the Catalog Settings dialog, and from this point forward when you apply changes to the original capture time those changes will be reflected both in your Lightroom catalog and in the original files for your photos.