Capture Dates Missing In Lightroom

Google Photos release was monumental for photos. Unlimited storage and an easy interface to actually find your photos was revolutionary,¬†and most people don’t even realize this yet.

After the release of Google Photos, I exported all of my Lightroom photos and uploaded them to Google Photos. For the most part, this worked wonderfully. I can scroll through time and find photos like a champ. However, about 2,000 photos are listed in Google Photos with the upload date from over a year ago. Today I’ve dug into this issue and it seems that about 2,000 photos do not have a capture date in Lightroom.

In order to fix this, I have a system. First, I create a smart collection of photos with a capture date in the last 30 years. Then I have to drag those photos into a regular collection. Then I create a smart collection of all photos not in the regular collection of photos with a capture date. Why this hackiness? Lightroom won’t let me create a smart collection of photos without a capture date.

After finding what photos don’t have a capture date, then I have to go through each one and go “Metadata->Edit Capture Time…”. While this is quite a chore, hopefully I’ll never have to do it again, and luckily most of my photos are stored in folders with those name is the capture date.