2 Replies Latest reply: May 5, 2012 11:39 AM by Terence Devlin
cmhorg Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)



I didn't know where to post this question. When I import photos from my Canon T3i and my iPhone4, the creation date of the photo is the date imported, not the date I took the photo. While in Finder, if I look at the photo information, the creation date is the date the photo was imported (for both the Canon and iPhone photos). I'm trying to understand why this is happening.  When I import the photos into iPhoto9, the date I took the photo is there. While that seems like the solution, it isn't since I don't import all photos into iPhoto. If I look at the photos on the memory card, the date is correct. The only time the creation date is not correct is when I import on to my iMac or MacBook.


I'm using Snow Leopard and have no plans to upgrade to Lion.


Thanks for your help and I apologize if I posted this question in the wrong discussion group.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (70,590 points)

    Think of the difference between photos and files  --  liek the difference between a file and a letter - the date the letter was written may or may not be the same as the date it was saved


    On your memory card of course the date the file was created and the date the photo was taken are the same - they both happened on the same date


    But when you move the file to yhour computer a new files is created to hold the photo - that is created on the import date


    Files contain data - it may be a photo, a letter, an excel spread sheet or any thing else - the finder works with files and show the file metadata - creation date of the file (nothing at all to do with the contents of the file), last modified date of the file, size of the file, etc


    Photos on the other hand have different data about them - date taken, lens used, exposure setting, camera type, etc, etc  --  this is stored as part of the photo in the EXIF fields or the IPTC fields - this is the photo metadata


    Photo managers like iPhoto display the photo metadata  --  file managers like the finder display the file metadata  --  they often are totally different and there certainly is no reason to expect them to be the same


    So to view photos and photo metadata use a photo program not a file manager

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (134,895 points)

    Another go at explaining it:


    There are two kinds of metadata involved when you consider  jpeg or other image file.


    One is the file data. This is what the Finder shows. This tells you nothing about the contents of the file, just the File itself.


    The problem with File metadata is that it can easily change as the file is moved from place to place or exported, e-mailed, uploaded etc.


    Photographs have also got both Exif and IPTC metadata. The date and time that your camera snapped the Photograph is recorded in the Exif metadata. Regardless if what the file date says, this is the actual time recorded by the camera.


    Photo applications like iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom, Picasa, Photoshop etc get their date and time from the Exif metadata.


    When you export from iPhoto to the Finder new file is created containing your Photo (and its Exif). The File date is - quite accurately - reported as the date of Export. However, the Photo Date doesn't change.


    The problem is that the Finder doesn't work with Exif.


    So, your photo has the correct date, and so does the file, but they are different things. To sort on the Photo date you'll need to use a photo app.