Capture Date Lost on Export


Today’s Question: I just got back from a trip with a few hundred NEF images from my Nikon Z6. I have developed them all and am trying to sort the exported JPEG copies by the date the photo was taken. However, the metadata indicates that the “captured date” is the date I exported the developed image from Lightroom Classic, not the date the photo was taken. The date on the NEF file is correct. When I look back at other vacations, this is not the case. The developed and exported JPEG inherited the date of the original NEF. What setting has changed? How to do I get the JPEGs to inherit the capture date from the source file?

Tim’s Quick Answer: In order for an exported copy of a photo to inherit the metadata from the original (including capture time) you need to select the “All Metadata” option when exporting from Lightroom Classic.

More Detail: When you export a copy of a photo from Lightroom Classic that copy can inherit the metadata from the original image, including all standard metadata fields such as capture date and time, keywords, star ratings, and more. However, that metadata is only included if you select the appropriate option in the Export dialog.

In the Metadata section of the Export dialog you’ll find various options related to the metadata that should be included in the exported copy you’re creating from the original image. To begin with, if you want to include as much metadata as possible in the exported copy you’ll want to select “All Metadata” from the Include popup.

The other options on the Include popup will cause various metadata values to be excluded from the exported copy of the image, including the date and time of capture.

In addition to the popup there are two checkboxes that enable you to exclude certain metadata from the exported copies of the photos. Even with “All Metadata” selected from the Include popup if you turn on the “Remove Person Info” checkbox then keywords that have the “Person” checkbox turned on will be excluded from the metadata for the exported copy of the image. Similarly, if you turn on the “Remove Location Info” then location information such as GPS coordinates will be excluded from the metadata for the exported image.