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02-27-2017, 09:50 PM   #1
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Importing in chronological order

Hi all

Apologies for not coming onto the forum for a while, but photography's taken a back seat for me over the last few years. I've got a one year old daughter now though, so I've got an excuse to dig the K-x out again

I need some help please. I set up a cake smash for my daughter, mainly as an excuse to take some different photos of her, and I'm having trouble getting them onto my computer in chronological order. We used both mine and my wife's K-x (raw + jpg), a video camera, and my mobile phone to take photos. After I imported everything to the computer, I realised that the times on the cameras were wrong, so I used ExifTool to bulk correct the photos from each one. As it stands, the photos now have the correct times that they were taken, but the filenames are wrong e.g. Cake Smash 001 should be Cake Smash 279 etc.

It doesn't seem to matter what I do to get them onto the computer, I can't get the names to match the order that they were taken in. I've tried copying them back to the SD card and letting Bridge import them again, but it still sorts them incorrectly. I've tried Lightroom, and even the Windows photo tool. I've also tried bulk file renamers, but they can't deal with the .DNG files.

If anyone knows of a way to import or rename the files so that they're in date order in the Photos\Cake Smash (date)\Cake Smash 001.dng format, preferably without manually renaming over 500 files*, I'd be very grateful.

Thanks in advance, Tippon


*I haven't started sorting or editing yet, until I can get them into some sort of order.

02-27-2017, 10:40 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tippon Quote
As it stands, the photos now have the correct times that they were taken, but the filenames are wrong e.g. Cake Smash 001 should be Cake Smash 279 etc.
I use FastStone Image Viewer, Screen Capture, Photo Resizer ... for a lot of things. I just tested its rename function on 197 images from various dates. In the file viewer, select all images to rename. Go to Tools and select Batch Rename. Sort by date taken. Choose filename structure under the list of files, and in the "template" box, use "Cake Smash #####". The files were renamed as "Cake Smash 00001" to Cake Smash 00197". Worked fine as far as I can tell.

I use this
Flexible Renamer
for general renaming "img_" to "YYMMDD", etc.

I also tested it (it's a bit more complex to set up the parameters). I got the files to be "YYYYMMDDXXXXX" so it is just a long number. I assume the XXXXX is some form of time stamp. It did not use the shoot date but rather it used the file date, so it is not accurate in my case but should be OK for you if you are using the unmodified originals (save a copy elsewhere).

I prefer Faststone for this task.

Last edited by SpecialK; 02-27-2017 at 11:06 PM.
02-27-2017, 11:04 PM - 1 Like   #3
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If you're already using ExifTool, why not use it to rename the files as well?
02-28-2017, 07:18 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Transfer from SD card. Import to Lightroom without doing anything to the files prior to the import. Fix the dates and names in LR.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 * Change the photo capture time

02-28-2017, 08:33 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Do you have Lightroom? Lightroom allows you to set the time offset for a batch of photos based on time.
Most accurate method: take a photo of a clock (with second hand or seconds display) with each camera. Select all images from camera 2 (making sure the clock photo from camera 2 is "most-selected"), and modify the time for all selected images to that of the time displayed in the clock photo from camera 2 (same camera -- camera time may be off, but clock is always correct).
The clock images will match and everything else i that batch will adjust accordingly.
Repeat for any additional cameras that are out of sync.

Naming is another issue but is easily solved by batch renaming once the time sequencing is complete.
You can rename for each camera, of course, or for the entire event so the photos from various cameras are interleaved in actual time-order.
I do this all the time when using multiple cameras for events.

Last edited by amoringello; 02-28-2017 at 08:39 AM.
02-28-2017, 01:42 PM - 1 Like   #6
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The most surefire way to rename the files so they end up in the right order is to name them using a date and time stamp within the filename. For instance, you could use "YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.dng" as a file name (if you wanted to). Most photo software that supports renaming will be able to read the Exif Data and create such a naming pattern.

Using such a pattern saves the effort of having to sort photos first, but you do have to get down to the second to be certain you won't have duplicates or augment the file name somehow. The post by SpecialK earlier is similar but also gives other alternatives that will work.
03-01-2017, 08:27 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Thanks everyone, it's done

I could cry right now - something so simple has caused me so much of a headache, and I don't even know why!

It turned out after a lot of trial and error, that EXIFTool hadn't actually changed the metadata, it just made Windows display the altered date. I have no idea how, and didn't even know that was possible. Once I figured that out though, I loaded the files from my camera into Lightroom and using amoringello's tip, corrected the Capture Date. It took me a few goes though, as I didn't realise that I had to tell Lightroom to save the changes to the metadata. Once I'd figured that out, I did the same for the photos from my wife's camera. All good, ready to rename.

Except they were even further out than before. The photos from her camera were somehow out by over 12 minutes, a bigger discrepancy than both cameras put together, even though I had a photo of a clock showing the correct time to the second.

Finally everything was looking good. As I was about to apply the corrected time to her photos, Windows decided that a program using 2GB out of 16GB RAM was not good enough, and crashed, so I restarted the computer and started from scratch with her photos to avoid confusion. I tried to load Bridge, as I knew that copying the files to an SD card would let it put the relevant jpg and raw files together, and is what I'm used to, but now none of my other Adobe programs would launch, something had been corrupted.

I had to reinstall the lot, so I stopped for leftover pizza and caught up with Modern Family, then came back feeling a bit calmer. I copied the files to an SD card and launched Bridge. I changed to settings similar to what emalvick suggested, Cake Smash HHMMSSxxx.dng and let Bridge get them from the card. When it was all done, I opened the folder, and there they were. Except the end of the list wasn't where it should have been...

I'd managed to leave one of the failed efforts in the folder, so I had double the number of files. Luckily enough it was easy to fix though, because if it hadn't been, or I hadn't noticed, I think my computer would be lying in the street by now!

I'm going to bed now, and not touching anything related to photography for at least six hours

Thanks again for the help and suggestions

03-04-2017, 03:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
The most surefire way to rename the files so they end up in the right order is to name them using a date and time stamp within the filename. For instance, you could use "YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.dng" as a file name (if you wanted to). Most photo software that supports renaming will be able to read the Exif Data and create such a naming pattern.

Using such a pattern saves the effort of having to sort photos first, but you do have to get down to the second to be certain you won't have duplicates or augment the file name somehow. The post by SpecialK earlier is similar but also gives other alternatives that will work.
Actually there's a risk of collision with that pattern. The most obvious cause would be multiple shots within a single second. It could also happen when shooting with multiple cameras. (And that's without getting into more exotic situations such as moving between time zones.)
03-04-2017, 04:34 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
The most surefire way to rename the files so they end up in the right order is to name them using a date and time stamp within the filename. For instance, you could use "YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.dng" as a file name (if you wanted to).
I do this, but keep the original 4 digits at the end as well. After tons and tons of shots throughout some years, still no issue here.
03-04-2017, 08:52 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bar_foo Quote
Actually there's a risk of collision with that pattern. The most obvious cause would be multiple shots within a single second. It could also happen when shooting with multiple cameras. (And that's without getting into more exotic situations such as moving between time zones.)
Oh... I'm aware of that. I stated it that way fit illustration, but you're right. My real file naming is a bit more complicated:

Yyyymmdd-hhmm_cid_####.ext

Cid is a body/camera ID since I use multiple bodies, and #### is the number from the original filename. That gets me in chronological order about 99%. The other 1% is that multiple cameras rarely have the exact time synced . It's usually close enough.

But, I had used something like I originally posted and never really had problems until my k3 and using bracketing modes. I tend to shoot slow and deliberately. Time zone is not usually a factor either as I rarely shoot such that i would overlap. I guess because I rarely drive across time zones.
03-04-2017, 09:14 PM   #11
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Now explain what a "cake smash" is.
03-05-2017, 09:22 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by p38arover Quote
Now explain what a "cake smash" is.
Basically, you give a small child a cake, and let them just go for it (under safe supervision, obviously). Ideally you end up with something like this

Best Cake Smash EVER! - YouTube
03-05-2017, 03:33 PM   #13
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Then you take the kid outside and hose it down?
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