Correcting Capture Time After Import


Today’s Question: I saw your recent post about changing the capture time for a series of images, doing so in Adobe Bridge. I recently took some pictures in Europe and neglected to change the time zone until after the first day. However, I have already imported all the images into Lightroom Classic. Is there a way to change the capture time for these images?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can easily correct the capture time for selected photos in Lightroom Classic using the “Edit Capture Time” command.

More Detail: The previous answer about adjusting the capture time using Adobe Bridge related specifically to updating the metadata for photos that had not been imported into a Lightroom Classic catalog. After photos have been imported into Lightroom Classic you should only update metadata within the catalog. That includes updating the capture time, which can be done using the “Edit Capture Time” command.

To get started, simply select the photos you need to correct the capture time for. In this case that would involve only selecting the photos from the first day of your trip, but it could also involve selecting all photos in a given folder, for example.

Once you’ve selected the applicable photos, go to the Library module and from the menu choose Metadata > Edit Capture Time to bring up the Edit Capture Time dialog.

In most cases, including in the context of today’s question, you’ll want to use the “Shift by a set number of hours” option. This enables you to shift the capture time for the selected photos by a specific number of hours, such as for a time zone correction. Select the number of hours from the popup on the right side of the “New Time” section, selecting a positive value if you need to increase the time or a negative value if you need to decrease the time.

Once you have configured the settings for the capture time change for the selected photos click the Change button to apply the change.

Note, by the way, that there is a message at the bottom of the Edit Capture Time window that indicates you can’t use the Undo command to revert to the original capture time if you change the capture time incorrectly. However, you can always apply a corrective change. For example, if you accidentally apply a time zone change of negative five hours when the correct adjustment would be negative four hours, you could always apply a positive one hour change to update the images to the correct capture time.