We’ve just returned from our summer vacation to Puerto Rico.  While processing the images from all of the cameras, I discovered that one of the cameras didn’t have the date set correctly.

Incorrect dates in the EXIF information of your images can cause all kinds of funny things to happen when you use image organization tools like Picasa or Lightroom.

There were over 400 pictures taken with this camera, and I was not about to manually edit the EXIF data of each file. So I found an awesome command-line tool to perform EXIF updates in bulk; ExifTool by Phil Harvey.

This tool can read and update just about anything you could possibly need in just about any file format you can think of.  But the feature I was interested in was the “Date/Time Shift” feature.

By comparing images from this camera, with ones from another, I determined that the photos dated 4 years, 11 months, and 12 days too early and 1 hour and 6 minutes too late.

So I grouped all of the images that needed to be updated into a single directory and ran the following commands using the ExifTool:

Shift the Year/Month/Day Forward

exiftool "-AllDates+=4:11:12 0:0:0" c:\incomingimages\datecorrection

Shift the Hour/Minute/Seconds Back

exiftool "-AllDates-=1:6:0" c:\incomingimages\datecorrection

And that’s all there is too it!

ExifTool by Phil Harvey
http://owl.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/

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