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I've recently started a process of scanning old photo albums. I had settled into a nice workflow scanning a few images at a time and using iPhoto to add descriptions and change the dates, thinking that checking the "modify original files" box as I did so would in fact modify the original files. Not so.

I uploaded my first album to Flickr (using the iPhoto share feature, too) and was disappointed that the hundreds of photos from the 90s all have a date of July 30, 2014. Checking the files, there's no EXIF information at all, and the date created/modified are of course still July 30, 2014.

So I have three questions and I suppose I'd be satisfied with an answer to any of them:

  • Is there any way to copy iPhoto date information down to the original file? I don't really want to put tens of hours of work into something not usable outside of iPhoto. I'd prefer this because I'm used to iPhoto now and use it for my modern pictures too
  • Is there a way to at least preserve the iPhoto date when sharing to flickr? I was surprised that the built-in share function didn't do so
  • Has anyone had any success doing a similar project with software other than iPhoto?

Thank you!

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3 Answers 3

If I read the iPhoto instructions correctly, you can select all photos, choose Export from the Archive menu, and make sure to tick the checkboxes for inclusion of metadata.

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Thanks! That's one step closer -- that tags the files with the descriptions I've typed in, but the date is still missing. –  Sean Jul 31 at 23:28

EXIFTool is perfect for this - the below is one of the copying examples

" exiftool -tagsfromfile %d%f.CR2 -r -ext JPG dir "

   This example will recursively rewrite all JPG images in dir with information 
   copied from the corresponding CR2 images in the same directories.

In your case it won't be a CR2 file as your source. Instead it will be a JPG file and it will be in a different directory.

Here is the link for that example, plus many other examples

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If it's not in the file, ExifTool too won't get it out. –  Jeroen Kransen Aug 1 at 5:27
@JeroenKransen - I see that I misread the question, I thought he meant iPhoto Albums that he was uploading to Flickr. I now realize he is starting with older physical photo albums. –  B Shaw Aug 1 at 12:14

To keep the correct date, select the photos and drag to the finder. After that if you want smaller photos, you can use a separate app. M.C

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