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Question: Adjust Date and Time issue

High Sierra 10.13.2, Photos 3.0 (3251.12.190)


I have some photos that when imported, did not get a time zone assigned. Does anyone know a way (via AppleScript or 3rd party plug-in) to see the time zone data on an image? This is causing a lot of my photos to display out of order when sorting by time. For example, a picture at 605pm may show after a picture at 610pm if the 610pm picture is lacking a time zone.


I know that the behavior of the app is supposed to assign the time zone of the computer at the time of import (if it can't figure out the time zone from the picture). In this case, I've used EXIFTool / GraphicConverter to see inside the data of the files - they all have the same information - they were all taken with an iPhone within a few minutes of each other - they all have GPS data in generally the same location.


For information...

1) I've tried changing the way the time zone display shows up (via System Preferences, Date & Time, Open Language & Region..., Advanced, Times, and then dragging the time zone indicator to the short and medium time formats). When I do that, the time on an image shows my home time zone regardless of the time zone shown in the Adjust Date & Time window.

2) Some pictures DO NOT have a time zone at all - meaning that no time zone shows in the Adjust Date & Time window, but there is a time stamp, just no time zone.


What I'm hoping to do is avoid a manual review of every photo in the library to see which ones are missing the time zone - it would be a nightmare to click on every photo, then click on the menu item, then adjust if needed, then save, etc. What a mess.


Ideally I would use a plug in that could update the Photos App with the correct time information and time zone information at the same time. Or, if I could use some type of AppleScript to find just the images with "null" time zone data, at least I could fix them manually, not easy to do, but better than current situation where photos are sorted out of sequence due to missing metadata.


Dane


PS - I do have an active case with Apple on the issue of what is happening, but that is likely to address the issue going forward. I am able to recreate the situation in the Sierra version of Photos, and the High Sierra version of Photos in new libraries, etc. I'm hoping someone on this forum can help me figure out how to find and ultimately fix the ones that are messed up without the massive manual effort that would be required.


Thanks everyone!

macOS High Sierra (10.13.2)

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Dec 14, 2017 1:58 AM in response to AppleDane In response to AppleDane

1) I've tried changing the way the time zone display shows up (via System Preferences, Date & Time, Open Language & Region..., Advanced, Times, and then dragging the time zone indicator to the short and medium time formats). When I do that, the time on an image shows my home time zone regardless of the time zone shown in the Adjust Date & Time window.

Yes, Photos does not show the timezone of the capture date, just the home time zone. That is ridiculous. It has been this way since Photos first came out on Yosemite. I sent a bug report to Apple, but nothing happened so far.

2) Some pictures DO NOT have a time zone at all - meaning that no time zone shows in the Adjust Date & Time window, but there is a time stamp, just no time zone.

At the bottom of "Adjust Date & Time" is the "Closest City shown". As far as I can tell, this is usually the correct timezone used to interpret the date and time of the capture date. are you saying, that this pop-up menu "Closest City" is sometimes missing? I have never seen this happen. What is the file format of the photos in question?


Fro experimenting I found, that Photos will ignore any timezone set in the camera, if I import the photos using a card reader, what I am doing most of the times.

  • If the photo has GPS assigned, Photos will use the timezone of the GPS location to set the capture date timezone.
  • If the photos does not have GPS, the timezone of the system time at import will be used.
  • When I am import from a camera and the camera has a travel time set, the results may differ, but I found no clear pattern. I avoid that and take the card out.


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Dec 14, 2017 1:58 AM

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Dec 14, 2017 2:07 AM in response to léonie In response to léonie

Do all your photos have GPS assigned, or only some? When I am importing photos, the photos that need adjusting the time are the ones without GPS. It is easy to find the photos without location data using a smart album.

User uploaded file


I select the photos in this album and shift the Time Zone in "Adjust Date & Time" to the timezone, where the photos have been taken.


Added: I will check, if there is a way to retrieve the timezone of the capture date in Photos with an Apple Script.

Dec 14, 2017 2:07 AM

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Dec 14, 2017 2:30 AM in response to léonie In response to léonie

Added 2: The class "date" in apple Script is storing the date objects absolutely in universal time (see the class "date" in this documentation: https://developer.apple.com/library/content/documentation/AppleScript/Conceptual /AppleScriptLangGuide/reference/ASLR_cla… ). It does not show, which timezone has been used to interpret the capture date on import. This information is not accessible. We could write a script, that will show the Time of the date in UTC, so we can compare the dates of photos.

Dec 14, 2017 2:30 AM

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Dec 14, 2017 8:22 PM in response to léonie In response to léonie

Leonie,


Thanks for the feedback. I'm seeing what you see - sort of. Pictures that were from a camera without a GPS system (My DSLR for example) show my home time zone when I look in the Adjust Date and Time window. Which in some ways is what I would expect.


I have a series of 5 iPhone 5s pictures (and I can also see this with 6s pictures) that all have GPS coordinates on them, but 4 of the 5 import without a Time Zone, but do show on the map with GPS coordinates. I get this window when I look at the image...User uploaded file

All 5 images were shot within a couple minutes of each other, so they all have relatively similar GPS coordinates. So - some images have no time zone on the image at all, even though it has GPS, was shot on an iPhone, etc. If I fix that screen to show the correct time zone, in this case Denver where the picture was taken, it "sticks" / "fixes" the image. But I have a LOT of these issues in the library. So something is really wrong in the way the import process works.


The pictures are JPGs by the way. I used Image Capture to move them to a permanent folder structure, then imported them into a new library on High Sierra. They are (for all intents and purposes) original files, unedited by other sources, etc.


I agree that usually the closest city shows the home time zone if there is no GPS on the photo.


I'm going to try the smart album you suggest to see if the images that "seem to have GPS" show up in that smart search.

Dec 14, 2017 8:22 PM

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Dec 14, 2017 8:30 PM in response to léonie In response to léonie

This does suck in a lot of ways... I was hoping there would be a way to filter, export, figure out the list of pictures that have "null time zone" data on them. It would be incredibly painful to go through every image, click Adjust Date & Time, etc.


This is where I really, really, miss Aperture - it handled the whole time zone thing so much more eloquently. Lightroom doesn't even address time zone, and from what I can tell from quickly testing others like On1, Photo Mechanic, GraphicConverter, HoudahGeo, Lyn, etc. none do a good job in this space. I was hoping that a GPS Tagging app like HoudahGeo (since it can write back to Photos) would do it, but it still leaves the time zone blank if it was blank to start with as in my case.


I do have a support ticket open, so maybe something will get fixed.

Dec 14, 2017 8:30 PM

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Question: Adjust Date and Time issue