Syncing capture date and time across multiple cameras with Lightroom

I have 1,754 pictures from our wedding last August. From 9 different cameras.

That none of them have the same time set on their clock is expected. That some of them are still set at the year 2001 is not as good. Even if they were off by just a few minutes, the timeline of the ceremony would not work.

Something had to be done to fix that. What looked an easy task at first, became unmanageable until, that is, I figure out the trick – with the help of Google and forum contributors.

The basic idea is to first start with a reference camera. For this I used mine.

Next is to find two pictures taken at (almost) the exact same time with one of them being from the reference camera, the other from the target camera. In my case, I used then entrance of my wife-to-be with her father as the reference picture. A good choice since most cameras took a similar frame.

You need to note the “good” date and time of the picture. Then you select all the pictures from the “other” camera, the target camera, with the frame of the matching picture selected as the top most one. It is important that the matching frame be the top most selected picture – you know it is when it is of a lighter grey.

This works well in Grid mode and you might want to use the Filters to select only pictures from the target camera.

Then, in the Metadata menu, select the “Adjust to a specified date and time” command and set the date and time based from the good camera. If you think that the target picture is after the “good” one by a few second, then go ahead, and adjust it accordingly.

The magic here is that all the other pictures from the target camera will see their date and time stamps adjusted according to the selected matching frame. So, shots taken 1 hour prior to the matching frame will now see their date and time readjusted 1 hour prior to the selected frame.

Victoria Bampton, The Lightroom Queen, has a good post explaining this. Maybe she says it better that I do :-).

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2 Responses to Syncing capture date and time across multiple cameras with Lightroom

  1. kahon says:

    Hi,
    maybe you could use this application to order the cameras.
    The video tutorial:

    and to download:
    http://code.google.com/p/photosmixer/downloads/list?saved=1&ts=1336678876

    It is specialiced to order the picture from several cameras. If you have some question. No doubt to ask me :).
    Best.

  2. Pingback: My first wedding photoshoot: One always remembers his first time | MaxPhotoBlog.net

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