CaptureTime to Exif is my latest Lightroom 3 plug-in. Essentially it’s an in-Lightroom interface for Exiftool:

  1. Initially it was for Lightroom users whose catalogue contains scanned images and who wanted to make the scans’ Date Time Original EXIF field correspond to when the pictures were originally taken rather than when they were scanned. But people said they wanted to add the camera model, or the aperture details from their tatty old notebooks….
  2. So the plug-in also lets you write other EXIF and IPTC information. One idea was to add extra boxes for specific fields, but I could never please everyone – not without a lot of work. I’m also hesitant to make writing EXIF so easy that it’ll attract people who should be kept away from it for their own good, and I reckon those who know about such stuff would appreciate a “bare back” style. So I’ve chosen to add a simple box for you to enter your own Exiftool arguments, whatever you want, at your own risk.
  3. You can save complicated command line arguments as presets.
  4. There’s a preview of the command line which can be copied to a batch file and tested in Shell/Terminal. Add the -k option and the Exiftool window will remain open, letting you track down any errors in the command line.
  5. The plug-in will write directly to TIF, PSD, JPEG, and DNG file formats, but I have disabled the ability to write to proprietary raw formats.
  6. If you really want to write to proprietary raw formats, the plug-in uses Lightroom’s log feature to generate a batch file which you can quickly edit and run in Shell/Terminal.
  7. One little touch is the “incremental time stamp” which adds a second to each image in the batch – so later you can sort images by capture time even if the file names don’t help.

Capture Time to Exif will soon be on Photographers Toolbox, but for now you can try it here. It’s important to begin by using Ctrl/CmdS to save any Lightroom metadata back to the files, and after running the plug-in Library > Read Metadata will update the catalogue.

Of course, if it all sounds like mumbo jumbo, then the plug-in won’t be for you and you can happily leave command lines well alone!