Here's a situation where I would like Lightroom to alter my master photos.
I have some photos that I took on October 30, 2011 with the capture time at around 15:00 hours. The date is correct but the capture time is not. I forgot to adjust the time setting in the camera in regard to the DST (daylight saving time). "Summer time" in all of EU for year 2011 was the period from March 27 to October 30. So on October 30, at 03:00 hours all clocks in Europe were changed back to 02:00. I forgot to change my camera clock in the morning. So as you can tell, the capture time of 15:00 was actually 14:00. This is when "winter time" began, as we like to call it (or standard time).
I know how to adjust this in Lightroom. I simply go to grid view, select the photos, go to Metadata menu, Edit Capture Time, Shift by set number of hours, pick -1 to subtract 1 hour from all photos, click on Change. That's it!
Now, I understand that Lightroom is based on what's called non-destructive-editing. Meaning it does not alter the original files, it rather saves changes and edits associated with a certain file or files in a database. But I would actually like to save these changes permanently. What option do I have? I mean besides exporting them obviously?... is there some setting for this?
In the Metadata panel, I can see that it says "Metadata status has been changed". If I click the Resolve Conflict button next to it I get the following prompt.
"The metadata for this photo has been changed in Lightroom. Save the changes to disk?"
If I click Save it will only create sidecar files (e.g. IMG_4708.xmp) in that same location where the master photos are stored. It will not write the changes to the files.
There are of course other types of metadata information that can be added or changed in Lightroom, not just the capture time. But is there really no way of writing these changes directly to the original files instead of writing to the database or the sidecar files?
I can appreciate the non-destructive principle of Lightroom for edits such as white balance and toning. But is it really necessary even for the metadata information? I wish there was an option that would allow me to decide for myself how I want my own photos to be treated or processed. I want to be able to "destruct" my photos. I don't care if they even explode on the hard drive! I have a backup. I want to do with my photos what I want.