Find Photos with Incorrect Date Stamps in Aperture

Library Hierarchy By Year

Library Hierarchy By Year

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an update to my Aperture workflow. I'd said I'd share the Smart Albums I use to track photo versions as they make their way through the workflow. I'm working on it...I promise. But non-photographic duties have been occupying my time (pesky day job :).

Here's a teaser - but a good tip in and of itself.

One of the "cross-check" filters I use to keep my library tidy checks for incorrectly dated photos. Part of my library organization is folders for each year (example at right), which I exploit to make this cross-check work. I'm guessing organizing by year is a pretty common thing to this tip should work for many of you.

Quite a number of my photos I've taken were from before I owned a DSLR. Many of my overseas trips were all shot on 35mm film ( be young again :). Over the years, I've had some of the negatives scanned as JPGs, and summarily imported them into Aperture. However, the date stamp in the JPG is the date the negative was scanned, not the date I took the photo. Sometimes (err...a lot of times) I forget to adjust the date to the actual capture date during import.

Using the EXIF data and the fact my library hierarchy is organized by year, I have created a Smart Album to find photos with the incorrect date.


With a source of "Library", this album spans every photo in my main Aperture library. Deselect "Stack picks only" want to catch every photo. Also make sure "All" and "match" is selected. The key comparison is checking the EXIF "Capture Year is" agains the Aperture Metadata "Project Path is not empty and does not include" fields. Set the year of interest the same for both.

In the above example, this will find any versions with a capture year of 2007 that does not fall under a project path containing 2007. With a library hierarchy organized by year, the resulting set should be empty. Any version found has a problem.  It either has an incorrect date stamp, or is incorrectly filed in my library folders. In my experience, more often than not it's the date stamp that's incorrect.

Once the problematic versions are identified, use Metadata -> Batch Change to modify the date stamp. And don't forget to modify the Originals too!