Lightroom users, you can change the photo capture time of your photos, in bulk no less! Did you know that?

I can’t say that I knew this two weeks ago, but I sure do know it now! I used two cameras plus my iPhone as I was working on Ali Edwards’ Week in the Life™ project in August. When I imported all of my photos into Lightroom, I used this method to sort them by capture time.

After sorting, however, the photos weren’t in the correct order. The Metadata field in Lightroom’s Library indicated that the photos from my Olympus were exactly 12 hours off. I apparently reversed the AM/PM settings last time I set the camera time and date.

Curious about how to find the time in your photo’s metadata? Using Lightroom, go to the Library module (shortcut G). Click on Metadata from the panels on the right, and scroll down until you see the Date and Time.

lightroom change photo capture time

You can see that the photo above indicates that it was taken at 1:01 AM. Ha! I haven’t seen 1:00 AM since my kids started sleeping through the night!

(Don’t see the Capture Time in your photo’s metadata? Change the metadata view like this.)

So, once you’ve identified which camera is causing your sorting problems, you can change all of the photos at once. Use Lightroom’s metadata filters do make this a quick job. If you know that every photo your camera has ever taken was wrong, for example, you can can select All Photographs from the Catalog panel on the left and then use the metadata filter to look at only the photos taken with that camera. That might look something like this:

lightroom change photo capture time bulk

For me, I know that I didn’t use that Olympus for several months earlier this year. Both the external and the internal battery died, and I had to reset the time. I don’t remember exactly when that was, so I don’t want to change all my photos taken with that camera.

Instead, I just changed the capture time for the Week in the Life, as well as our summer vacation. To change the times of a specific group of photos, navigate in Lightroom to the photos that need to be changed and type command/control A to select all of them.

Next, move back to the metadata panel on the right. Capture time is now blank because you have multiple photos with multiple times selected. Click on the icon to the right of capture time.

lightroom photo capture time change

The following dialog will open. Select the options that work best for your situation. For me, I need to move the times 12 hours back. The time zone option did that nicely.

lightroom change photo capture time dialog

You see that scary message at the bottom about how the operation can’t be undone? That’s true, you can’t undo it. But, you can repeat the steps above to change the time again. That means you can fix it if you mess up, so don’t let the message scare you!

Summary: Change the Capture Time for a Group of Photos in Lightroom

  1. Navigate to and select the photos with the wrong time.
  2. View the metadata panel and click on the icon next to Capture Time.
  3. Choose the appropriate options in the resulting dialog box and click Change All.

You’ve now changed the capture time of a group of photos in Lightroom. Good job! 🙂