Flickr data request not retaining date taken/created
January 4, 2019 8:57 AM   Subscribe

I downloaded my Flickr data, and all of my photos seems to be missing the original date for the photos. I'm panicking!

I'm finally planning to move my 33,000+ photos off Flickr as I'm sick of screwing me with their account changes. I requested all my Flickr data via the Settings page.

I'm now seeing, upon receiving all the zip files, that the photos don't seem to have retained the "date created" or "date taken" information for each photo. It just says today's date for ALL of the "Date" columns (Added, Last Opened, Last Modified, and Created). The information exists, because it's organized correctly on Flickr. I have photos on Flickr from 2002 all the way from 2018 and it's VITAL (to both my sanity and my photo collection) to keep this information. I don't see this information in the EXIF info or the file name, either.

How do I make sure I can retain this information as I move my photos? Is it possible? Do I need to go through these 33k photos one by one? Ugh! Thank you for your help.
posted by ancient star to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Hi folks, I realized that the information is in the EXIF info but that it's not translating it into my local file system. I'm going to attempt to use a tool that will use EXIF to organize the file system.

If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!
posted by ancient star at 9:17 AM on January 4 [1 favorite]

I would strongly discourage you from trusting the filesystem metadata to remain intact even if you do set it from the exif data.

You can certainly use Exiftool to do what you want, but you shouldn't. Exif is the only correct place for this kind of metadata.
posted by dmd at 11:00 AM on January 4

To clarify, what I ended up doing was using the datetime from the EXIF data to rename the files. This way, I can at least look at the name to determine when it was taken.

I did not modify the EXIF data.
posted by ancient star at 3:43 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]

My Flickr archive was similar, only my file timestamps are bogus times in 2013/2014.

Like dmd says, the EXIF tag is the right place to reliably store the time the photo was taken. Most tools I've used (like Flickr itself and Google Photos, also Lightroom) ignore the file timestamp and use the EXIF tag.

It'd still be convenient if your file timestamps are correct. If you're a Unix-type command line user, here are some simple ways to set file timestamps from EXIF data. There must be civilian tools for doing this in MacOS and Windows too, I just don't know what they are.

Another option for Windows 10 at least is to open your folder of photos on your computer and then add the EXIF creation time as one of the columns in the folder view. Screenshot here. IIRC both Windows and MacOS have been able to do this for several years.
posted by Nelson at 1:03 AM on January 5

If you are on macOS, GraphicConverter can set Creation date from the EXIF date. Useful program, well worth the money ($40) and can do batch operations.
posted by conrad53 at 9:30 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]

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