Aperture is great for adding metadata to digital photos, but I recently discovered a shortcoming while trying to modify some metadata on a series of images. Last week, after importing photos from two cameras into Aperture, I realized that the cameras’ clocks were not in sync and my photos would not accurately sort by date. I assumed this was no big deal, figuring I could simply use Aperture’s Batch Change operation to change the Image Date field on the affected photos.
Non-editable Image Date Field
Not the case. The Image Date field is not user-editable in Aperture: it’s generated during the import process from the EXIF information in your photos. If the imported photo does not contain this EXIF information — for example, a scanned photo — Aperture will use the file creation date as the value for the Image Date field. In either case, there’s nothing you can do within Aperture to modify this metadata. Micah detailed this dilemma in his article “Digitizing Your Film Archive with Aperture”.
Enter Timeature from developer Adam Tow. Timeature works in tandem with Aperture: select the photos whose Image Date you want to modify, then launch Timeature and it will automatically populate with the names and image dates of the selected images. You can adjust Image Dates in three ways: by date, setting a specific date; by increment, adding or subtracting time; or by EXIF, reseting the field to its original date.
Timeature with Name and Image Date Populated
Timeature is a handy little utility — for me it was incredibly useful and performed exactly as expected. It’s shareware: the download is fully functional, and will occasionally remind you to register. A license costs $15 US.