No matter how many times I take my camera with me to new destinations—whether it is across an ocean or just one timezone away—there is a common thread from one trip to the next: I can never remember to adjust my camera’s internal clock to the new local time. My cell phone takes care of itself and I may or may not adjust the watch that is on my wrist. But once I grab my camera bag and get off the plane (or out of the car) the first thing I want do is start taking pictures, not fiddle with my camera’s settings—unless the setting happens to be the aperture, shutter speed, or ISO.
Typically I don’t even realize that I forgot to adjust my camera’s clock until I see that a photo taken in daylight was reportedly taken at three in the morning or some other ungodly hour. Luckily, Lightroom makes adjusting the capture time of your photos a snap, and it provides a few different options depending on what your needs are. Simply select the photos that need to travel through time and select the “Edit Capture Time…” option from the “Metadata” menu while you are in the Library module, and then choose one of the following actions:
- Adjust to a specific date & time, which does exactly what it says;
- Shift by set number of hours, which is handy if your camera has the proper date & time in some other timezone from where the photo was taken (unless you happen to be in or from Newfoundland); and
- Change to file’s creation date, which will be the date & time that the photo was imported into Lightroom or copied off your memory card to your hard drive (whichever happened first).
I’m not sure why the warning “This operation cannot be undone” is displayed; should you ever need to revert the photo’s capture time back to its original value, the “Revert Capture Time to Original” command in the Metadata menu will do the trick.
Now, if only I could train myself to never need this dialog…