Getting the Correct Date & Time on Photos

Batch Adjust Photo Dates by Natalie Parker

Have you ever thought about the date and time on your photos?

My phone always selects the correct local time zone because of cell towers.  My camera, on the other hand, has a manually-set time zone.

Why is having correct date/time important?

It really matters for sorting photos from multiple sources.  If I have cell phone photos and DSLR photos, I’d like to flip through them at the same time so I can decide what I want to keep.  If I took a picture of the same thing with both devices (it happens).  I need an easy way to scroll through and see them at the same time.

Plus, my camera has this annoying habit of restarting photo numbering at odd points during the trip, so even just looking at that one source, I have to sort by date/time to see them in order.

It also matters for posterity.  Having at least the correct date is helpful for looking back in the future.

Option 1 – Change Time Zone on Camera

The first option is to change the time zone on the camera right at the beginning of the trip.  When you get home, no muss, no fuss.

Personally, I’m pretty sure I’ll forget to do this.  It hasn’t occurred to me on any previous trip and I don’t want to forget to switch it back.

Option 2 – Change Time Zones on Photos Afterward

This is much better.  If you know what time zone your camera is on and what time zone the picures are supposed to be, some quick math and a Picasa tool can fix it in a few seconds!

Use Picasa to Batch Change Time Zones

Understand what time zone your camera is in.  Either check your camera settings or pick a photo you generally know what time it was taken and compare the time recorded on the photo.

Make sure to take Daylight Savings into account.  I figured out my DSLR is in Pacific Standard Time (as opposed to Pacific Daylight Time, which is during Daylight Savings).  It’s also important to know if where you are traveling has Daylight Savings or not.  Our trip to Ireland was after the US sprang forward, but before Europe did.  I flew to London the next weekend during the spring forward.

Figure out how many hours off your photos are.  When I did the math, I realized my photos in London were 9 hours behind what they should be.

In Picasa, select the photos you want to change dates/times for.

Batch Adjust Photo Dates by Natalie Parker

Click the Tools menu, then click Adjust Date and Time.

Batch Adjust Photo Dates by Natalie Parker

In the pop up box, change the time.  It will show the time for one of the photos, so just adjust accordingly.  For my London pictures, I added 9 hours.

Make sure the radio button for Adjust All Photos by This Amount is selected.  Then click OK.

Batch Adjust Photo Dates by Natalie Parker

All done!  Sort your photos by time and they will appear chronologically no matter what device you took them on.


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