For reasons, I do not know or understand, our wedding photographers photos don't have the correct data in the EXIF data. I guess this could have been due to editing, I don't really know.

They used several cameras, and I have all the photos from them. I would like to combine these with the photos given to us by other guests. Some of these were taken on phones so I know the EXIF date/time is correct. I have confirmed this since they line up correctly with photos taken on my phone and my DSLR which I had confirmed the date was correct on beforehand.

I have tried several times to manually change this data based on similar photos (i.e. bride & groom with parents or bridesmaids etc.) but looking at later photos from the day, I find them not to be in the correct order.

What would be the best tool to do what I want? The sort of app I am imagining is one where I can move a slider to align the photos in 2 timelines before changing the data in the file and effectively merging the 2 into a single timeline. This would be repeated for each source of photos.

Or am I doing it the best way already?

OS can be Linux, Windows or macOS

  • \$\begingroup\$ Which date parameter are you looking at? I just threw a RAW file onto exiftool & there are ten different Date values [though some appear to be repeated in two places inside the file, idk why] \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 14, 2021 at 12:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Not exactly a duplicate but same topic, so it might be helpful: How to shift EXIF date/time created by time in days, hours, minutes? \$\endgroup\$
    – luator
    Nov 15, 2021 at 12:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tetsujin I was using the Date Taken values \$\endgroup\$ Nov 15, 2021 at 13:05

2 Answers 2

  1. You want to identify exactly what is the time shift of one of your source (you may ask directly to the owner of the culprit device or trace it with what you think should be the correct timeline for this device).
  2. Batch edit the metadata time of creation with one of those, for instance (on Windows 10/11) :
  • ImBatch
  • digiKam
  • Picture Metadata Workplace
  • Bulk Photo Edit
  • EXIF Date Changer
  • jhead (all platforms)

I'm not aware of such software that would do exactly what you're imagining: displaying several images form different sources, and using a slider to shift the time of creation and see immediately the reordered (by creation date) images. I'm writing creating similar software (for W10, with c#/UWP), it is not very complicated to write one that fit your needs.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ jhead (command line program) is another program that performs time shifts in the EXIF meta data. Use the -ta or -da options. It could be as simple as daylight savings time error setting on the camera (1 hour offset) or laziness of the photographer keeping the camera time correct (I suffer from both those maladies). \$\endgroup\$
    – qrk
    Nov 14, 2021 at 21:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Soleil unfortunately its a little too long since the event to ask #1, hence why I tried to work this out manually and basically do what you are suggesting in #2. Can't quite get it to line up which is why I was hoping there was a visual method to do it \$\endgroup\$ Nov 15, 2021 at 13:06

Personally I use Lightroom for this because of the UI and ease of use. Exiftool will get the job done but it has a much steeper learning curve and is less forgiving.

With Lightroom I start with the Library tab and usually will create a Metadata preset before importing which has all of the basic Metadata info I would like to change or apply. Once I import them with the preset I make sure I am still in the Library tab and will work my way down through the Keywords, Metadata, and Comments sections on the right and fill in the info I would like. Another great part about doing this with Lightroom is you can organize the shots in Collections (on the left) so you can bulk edit the Metadata on the Collections and keep everything organized to your liking. Also you can always come back and fix or change things before the final export. Bonus tip, using LR will allow you to export different sizes and compression settings for social media or print.


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