It’s time to “fall back” an hour – again
For most US-based photographers, Sunday, November 1 marked the time to readjust camera clocks at the end of Daylight Saving Time. In most of Europe, the fateful date was last Sunday, October 25. And in most of Asia, countries don’t take part in the twice-yearly festival of clock-changing.
But whether your country does or doesn’t have Daylight Saving Time, it’s a good time to take a look at the date and time settings in all your cameras to make sure everything is on the up and up.
Camera clocks aren’t the greatest timekeepers. I was tempted to compare them unfavorably to Swiss chronometers, but hey, even chronometer-certified timepieces drift over half a year’s time.
My cameras were all a little fast this time, but only by a couple minutes or so. We’ve come a long way from the early digital era, when camera clocks could be super wildly off. But still.
Have I checked my IPTC Create Date lately?
Most of us – and I’m speaking for myself here – never so much as notice whether the times in our Exif metadata are tracking with reality or not. I set Photo Mechanic to set the IPTC Create Date time to the Exif capture time in my files and that’s that. Heck, I don’t even check to make sure the setting hasn’t been bumped in the last, well, since the last time I did one of these posts.
How fine a point you want to put on timekeeping varies with what you shoot, how your workflow is structured, and how you find images in your collection.
At one end of the spectrum, some time last Thursday is close enough. At the other, you might want frames shot on different cameras to sort in minute-by-minute chronological order. If you’re in the latter group, some camera manufacturers offer software that will let you perfectly synchronize cameras. (Sometimes for free and sometimes at fairly outrageous prices, I might add.) Or, if you use Photo Mechanic, you could use the method I describe in this post.
So there you have it. Check those camera clocks. Check the metadata on a picture to make sure the IPTC time and the Exif time are as you want them to be. Then there will be one little annoyance not to worry about for another half a year or so.
Hey. While you’re at it, check those batteries on your smoke detectors, computer UPSes and security gizmos around the house. It couldn’t hurt. Stay safe out there.