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Editing the Capture Time of Images in Lightroom

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Chances are if you own a camera and enjoy travel you have experienced this challenge which I always have. Whether you are only holiday or on a travel adventure the excitement of getting to you destination and taking photographs can lead to one forgetting to set the correct time or timezone on your camera. You take 100s and 1000s of photographs but when you download them on your computer you realise that “oops, the date and time are totally wrong”.

Incorrect-Capture-Time-Lightroom
Incorrect-Capture-Time-Lightroom

Since I discovered how easy it is to modify this in Lightroom after the fact I don’t bother anymore with changing the time on my camera. Call me lazy if you will, but I want to focus on the creative process of capturing great images rather than worrying about setting the time correctly and then remembering to reset it back when you come home.

The Solution

To edit the Capture Time, you need to be in Library module as this feature is not available in the Develop module. Navigate to the Metadata menu and select Edit Capture Time.

Editing-Capture-Time-Lightroom
Editing-Capture-Time-Lightroom

You have several options to choose from to edit the capture time:

  • Adjust to a specified date and time
  • Shift by set number of hours (time zone adjust)
  • Change to file’s creation date
Options-Editing-Capture-Time-Lightroom
Options-Editing-Capture-Time-Lightroom

I use the second option all the time, where the photo adjusts by number of hours you want to shift in the time zone. For example, the camera was in New Zealand Time which is GMT+12 at 3.53AM (which was another location I had traveled to where I remember to set the correct time – but forgot to change it back..lol) and photo was taken in Chicago at the Willis Tower. The time zone difference was -18 hours between Christchurch, NZ and Chicago at that time, so I use -18.

Corrected-Capture-Time-Lightroom
Corrected-Capture-Time-Lightroom

The change applies to the selected photo from the Film strip. If you want to modify a series of images simply select them all then select Edit Capture Time and make sure “Auto-Sync” is enabled as you want to see “Change all” button rather than “Change” in the above dialog image.

Watch this video tutorial to see a demonstration of how to do this in Lightroom. If you like to discover more tips and tricks in Lightroom, head over to my blog category Editing.

Lightroom will complete this task pretty quickly even if you have thousands of photos selected. Problem solved!!