Preserving shooting date and time when exporting

I would like to have an option to save exported file with the same date and time as when the image was shot.
In my workflow I mostly don’t archive RAW files, just PL2 processed files. They are for me „originals“, which are then imported into DAM software. Therefore an option to maintain the date and time of shot would be very welcome.

Hello Laco,

metadata are preserved at export, they should all be in your exported file.



Hello Sigi,
I don’t mean metadata (data stored inside file), but file date and time - date and time seen in Windows Explorer or other file browser.

Understand - you can do that in Photo Supreme in case you are using it.


I’m not an advocate of this kind of feature. Features like this just complicate PhotoLab and add a significant maintenance burden for DxO developers, as it works against the built-in OS save functions in both Windows and Mac. Metadata is where time and date data should be stored.

On Mac, you can used Better Finder Rename and Better Finder Attributes to manipulate image names with EXIF data. It might suit you to renamed your photo files with the original created date. I experimented with doing so at one point (for more than a year) but I found it added an annoying burden to photo processing and made me want to process less.

As Sigi suggests there are some comprehensive image ingestion and management programs which can automate this functionality. Right now I create carefully named folders like this “20190506 Christening BB” in which I might create named subfolder by camera or lens where I put my originals. I then pull the Selects together into a single subfolder and the Exports go into a final subfolder. The point where I rename my files is either at Selects or at Export. I’d like it to be at Selects but I usually only end up naming the images after Export.

Part of the reason is that it’s a lot easier/faster to invent a clever title to an image after working with it and spending time titling or adding metadata to images which might be discarded (even after becoming a select) seems a colossal waste of time.

I.e. the original images just sit with their camera given names but in dated folders. Hopefully most of them are discarded (more and more) as I’m working at keeping only selects to cut down the amount of archive space and clutter on my drives as I shoot more.

Going back to renaming images: on large sets of sport images I do use Better Finder Rename to create image names like this date-time-event.jpg. Here’s an example: SC-Kittsee-at-Deutsch-Jarndorf-20190426-185855a.jpg

High ISO 6400 image processed in PhotoLab of course for rich colours and low noise. I only rename the images which are leaving the studio, i.e. finished images. I’ll occasionally include the camera name in the image name if I need it for a technical article (Better Finder Rename will let you use almost any EXIF attribute, the developer is clearly also a serious amateur photographer).

Thank you Sigi,
another date changing program is also an option.

If I may add another point of view.

Why would you archive processed files?

I never keep exported images after I’ve used them; they take up space on the disk and I can recreate them whenever I want. If I want several different versions/sizes/edits, then I simply add a new version in PhotoLab, edit it to my satisfaction and export it, use it, then delete it.

The important files to “archive” are the RAW file and its accompanying .dop file. When you have those, you can re-export at any time.

As Alec says, the file date/time is irrelevant; the EXIF data is what is important. As soon as the exported file is copied to another disk, it will have a different date/time anyway.

I organise my original files/dops by Images/Name of Location/Year/Month/Day but I keep the original camera file name. If I want to add “notes” to the original file, I use Exif Editor to add keywords and/or description; that way, the notes are embedded in the file and will be present in the exported copy.

That’s funny Joanna, I have decided on an opposite direction lately. I’m most interested in finishing images. Of course I want to hold onto the originals of images which I’ve chosen to process, just in case, but the most important file is the exported TIFF or very high quality jpeg master file. The reason my mindset has changed is that I’ve found that the files to which one returns are the ones which get finished close to the time of shooting. Everything else just takes up space on a hard drive. No one will ever go through them properly.

In our family my father has a legacy of many thousands of slides, quite well shot for the most part, but the only sets anyone wants to see are the curated ones. For the most part they are still in slide format as there’s no good automated process to deal with thousands of slides. Something similar will happen to our RAW files in the future.

On a side note, there’s so many graphics programs which can create different sizes and crops more efficiently than PhotoLab or manipulate EXIF data that I prefer to use those best of breed utilities for those two tasks.

I can see what you mean; I suppose it’s my background in large format film, where I equate the RAW file with the negative and the .dop file with a printing plan.

I used to scan 5"x4" negs and transparencies at 2400 ppi, then print them at 240 ppi, giving a finished print size of 50"x40" (or larger if I use Genuine Fractals). Because I now have a Nikon D810 with 36 Megapixels, I now photograph B&W negs on a light box, invert it to positive in PhotoLab, then export as a full resolution TIFF file. This is because, once you’ve used the curve to invert the neg, all the sliders then work in reverse; then I open the TIFF in PhotoLab and adjust it to my hearts content.

Unfortunately, because large film sheets attract plenty of dust spots, I end up doing a “multi-generational” dust removal because PhotoLab tends to go off in a bit of a huff after too many repairs. So export the corrected TIFF to the same name, then re-open it and continue with the dust removal.

The only thing I will bring up (again) is the lack of a clone stamp in PhotoLab, which forces me to finally transfer the TIFF to an ageing (non-subscription) version of Photoshop.

But, when it comes to digital origin files, I sincerely hope DxO will continue long enough that I will not have to archive TIFFs of everything :blush:

I can think of a number of reasons to save exported images.

The most obvious is that over time you may decide to switch PP software. Before you do, you may have to go back to review and re-export all the edited images you want to retain. This could be a very time consuming task.

Next reason is you’re doing some house keeping and inadvertently delete some .dop files. Months later you decide you need a jpeg of an image and try to export the edited version, and guess what, no .dop.

Next reason. You’ve got 300 hundred low light images in a folder and you exported them with PRIME NR. You package the jpegs up and send them to their final destination. Later on after you delete all the exported jpegs you realize you need another set. Now you have to export all of them again at around a minute per file. That’s five hours of unnecessary additional processing.

Next, lets say you have an image with ten slightly differently edited virtual copies that you want to keep, for whatever reason. You export your favorite, use it, and delete it. Three months later you want another copy of your favorite version and now have to revisit each of the 10 virtual copies to hopefully identify the preferred version.

While I can think of a few more reasons to retain exported files, this is the last one I’ll leave you with. Let’s say I previously captured an image which I now find is an appropriate example of some subject or technique to post online to a forum such as this. I do that a lot. Going back into Photolab and re-exporting it is an unnecessary waste of time. Taking up space on a muti-terabyte disk is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. Speed and convenience are most important to me.



Great post, Mark!

For this kind of work, exporting a colour corrected TIFF from PhotoLab and then doing the clone and healing work in Affinity Photo. Like you, I have a CS6 copy of Photoshop available to me but have mostly migrated to Affinity Photo. My company has a company wide ban on all Adobe software due to CC subscription and privacy violations by Adobe. We wasted thousands of dollars on CS5.5 and CS6 special offers just before Adobe closed shop. Never again.

Affinity Photo is all of $50 when on sale (happens fairly regularly). Affinity Designer is priced similarly for those who need an Illustrator equivalent (I have it but use it infrequently as with Illustrator). Fortunately Adobe’s subscription policies have created an active market for high quality competitors, such Affinity or DxO.

I too have Affinity Photo but must admit to having struggled to “get into it”. Possibly something to do with it being both familiar and yet different at the same time. I have a copy of Photoshop CS3, which I am very loathe to give up on since it has been the mainstay of my toolchain for processing scanned LF files, which can sometimes get up to a couple of Gigabytes in size. One day I’ll have to bite the bullet, grasp the nettle, etc and see how Affinity copes with large files as well as digital. I already moved from using Illustrator to Affinity Designer and liked it.


Affinity Photo does some basic things differently than Photoshop, including perspective correction. I remember being very frustrated until I started watching the tutorials when something didn’t work the way I expected. That’s a lot of ground to cover and we are blessed that Gary Fogg made a full set of notes for differences from Photoshop and has shared it in PDF format.

PS. If you’d like to acquire a legal Photoshop CS6 license to put off the pain, I could be persuaded to part with some of ours. PM me in that case.

DXO PhotoLab processed RAWs give me wider angle of view and are much better optically corrected than any other JPEGs. Therefore these PhotoLab outputs are for me so important, that I don’t need to archive RAWs anymore.
And when working with images in file browser I like to see their names and also date/time of shooting to be able to sort and search them by name or date/time, just like with any other files.

What is relevant/irrelevant, important/unimportant is very personal preference. So what Alec says about irrelevance is valid for him (and maybe for many other people) but in this case not for me. I have another preferences. But this problem was solved with Faststone Viewer, so I am quite happy now.