Adjust time using PhotoMechanic

If you shoot with multiple cameras on a wedding day, or if your second shooter brings their own gear, you are probably already aware that when you import your images for editing they might not show up chronologically in Lightroom. Time syncing your images will make editing quicker, and give a chronological story to your day.

Time syncing is changing the metadata of all your images from different cameras to the same date and time to match. This is especially import if you forget to time sync all your cameras on the day of a shoot. Or, you might just find this method easier. We’re going to give you methods for how to adjust time in PhotoMechanic or Lightroom, for whatever method you use to cull your images.

Time syncing CANNOT be reversed, so be careful to follow instructions closely so you don’t make any mistakes.

Step 1: Sort the Images

When time syncing, you first need to know how many different cameras you’re working with. As the photographer, you will already know how many cameras you used. However, as a post-production studio, we have to confirm. If for some reason you’re not quite sure, you can check and sort by serial numbers.

Adjust Time in PhotoMechanic:
1. Import your images into PhotoMechanic
2. Select all images
3. Right click to get to the drop down menu
4. Open Image Info
5. Count the number of serial numbers listed

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Adjust time in Lightroom:
1. Import your images into the Library module of Adobe Lightroom
2. Enable Filters (L), the filters will be shown at the top of the grid
3. Filter images by Metadata
4. Click on the header Camera, and change filter to Camera Serial Number
5. Count the number of serial numbers listed

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Step 2: Find a Big Moment

The next step is to find a big moment that would be captured on both cameras. For weddings, we usually say the first kiss in the ceremony, or a moment in portraits.

When choosing a big moment, choose one that is definitive and distinguishable. For time syncing, you need to find a moment to anchor the rest of the images. That’s why we choose images like the first kiss because chances are every camera is capturing that moment.

Lightroom:
If you’re time syncing in Lightroom, press P to flag the image you’re selecting

Step 3: Calculate the Time Difference

Once you’ve selected your anchor images from every camera/serial number, record the TIMES down to the second. Note which time belongs to which serial number. Then, choose one camera to be the main camera. The time on this camera will not shift.

PhotoMechanic:
You can figure out the date and time by hoovering over an image.

After you’ve selected your main camera, do some simple math (no math is ever simple – so use a calculator), and find the time difference between the main and secondary cameras. Example: the secondary camera could be 3 minutes and 54 seconds faster or slower.

Lightroom:
You won’t need to calculate the time difference for Lightroom, just keep note of the primary camera you’ll be using.

Step 4: Time Syncing

PhotoMechanic:
1. Select all the images of the secondary camera
2. Expand the Tools menu
3. Select Adjust Capture Dates and Times…

Note: This is where you will input the TIME DIFFERENCE that you calculated. If the time was slow, it will be a positive amount. If the time was fast, it will be a negative amount.

4. Adjust time by Years, Months, Days, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
5. Make sure you select Update file creation date/time
6. Click Adjust Photos

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Lightroom:
1. Filter cameras by Serial Number
2. Select all the images for the secondary camera
3. Locate your ‘Big Moment’ image and click it
4. On the right hand side, expand the Metadata Tab
5. Select Capture Date and Capture Time
6. Click Capture Time and input the time of the image you selected from your primary camera
7. Choose Change All
8. All images will adjust

There you go! Once you’ve completed these steps, your cameras will be synced.

Adjusting time in PhotoMechanic or Lightroom makes it so much easier to edit your images, and also gives a clear chronological story to your day! Like we said before, time syncing CANNOT be reversed, so please email us at hello@postpartner.com if you have any questions! You can also take a look at our services page to find out more about outsourcing time syncing.

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