Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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Is there any utility which will read a photo's date and time from its EXIF data and embed it into the corner of the photo?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

If you are comfortable with command line tools from ImageMagick, you can do something like this:

convert orig_image.jpg -gravity NorthWest -annotate 0 "%[EXIF:DateTimeOriginal]"  new_image.jpg

You can run this to batch process all your images.


ImageMagick has an array of command line tools to do different things with image. I'm using the convert tool here with annotate option to annotate a text on the converted image. There are whole bunch of other options that can be used to control font, color, shadow etc. Explaining all will be out of scope of the question, but you can take a look at this doc.

%[EXIF:DateTimeOriginal] is a shortcut for:

identify -format "%[EXIF:DateTime]" <image_filename>

You can do something like: identify -format "%[EXIF:*DATE*]" <image_filename> to see what all date related strings are stored in exif.

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What doe the timestamp actually look like? Is the font customizable? Color? Any shadow capabilities? Pretty cool command line, but it would be interesting to know more about how far its capabilities extend. – jrista Nov 5 '11 at 2:51
@Jon, i've edited my answer to add more details. I hope that answers all your question. – Vikas Nov 5 '11 at 9:10
Thanks for the update! – jrista Nov 5 '11 at 17:52
Nice answer. I don't know why anyone voted for my awful mashup involving exiv2 and sed when this is so much cleaner. Thank you for showing me a better way. – drewbenn Nov 6 '11 at 4:18
Yeah, ImageMagick in itself is very powerful and provides comprehensive set of tools to power someone's final step of workflow. – Vikas Nov 6 '11 at 4:47

Please check out to batch insert shooting date/time/comment on a jpeg image in different formats and languages. A special feature is that the date stamp is lossless. It is supported on Linux and Mac also.

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Since some cameras allow you to do this directly in-camera, you should check the menus and/or your manual.

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I'm pretty sure none of my cameras (except a film P&S) has had this option, let alone for post processing (one might not want only the stamped version of images). Also, this could only work for JPEGs. – Imre Nov 4 '11 at 22:30
My Nikon D5000 has it, and what's more it has 3 different settings for it: Date and Time, Date, and Day Counter. My answer was meant as a supplement to the other more PP-specific answers. – ElendilTheTall Nov 5 '11 at 16:51
s/most/some/. I think Imre is right that most don't. – mattdm Dec 17 '11 at 3:37
You think or you know? – ElendilTheTall Dec 17 '11 at 12:53
I have the strong, justified belief. I have not done a survey. – mattdm Dec 21 '11 at 23:07

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