Photos organize older photos

mrgreeneyes

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 7, 2007
560
2
Gatineau,Canada
Hello,

I have lots of old family photos that were taken with old cameras then the photo was scanned.
In photos, they get organize by the date they were scanned and not the year of the photo was taken.
I’m trying to organize them I to smart folders by year they were taken.
But can seem to get it to work.

Any ideas?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,470
10,274
California
I went through the same thing with a bunch of family photos I scanned in and there is no easy way to do this automatically. You just have to manually select groups of photos in the Photos app then go to the Images menu and pick Adjust Date and Time... then set those images to the date you think the photo was originally taken.

After that I manually put them in albums by date range, or you could do a smart album like you mentioned.
 

jasnw

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2013
797
838
Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
I have used ExifTool (https://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/) running scripts in the Terminal to handle putting the dates I want in images after I've scanned them onto my computer. Do this prior to ingest into Photos. I scan a bunch of photos from a particular event, or week, or month, or whatever into a directory, and then build a script to attach the dates I want using ExifTool. Then I import them into iPhoto (I cannot stand Photos, but the idea is the same). I hear there's a GUI for ExifTool, but I've never used it so can't answer for it.
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,275
643
Oregon
I have used ExifTool (https://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/) running scripts in the Terminal to handle putting the dates I want in images after I've scanned them onto my computer. Do this prior to ingest into Photos. I scan a bunch of photos from a particular event, or week, or month, or whatever into a directory, and then build a script to attach the dates I want using ExifTool. Then I import them into iPhoto (I cannot stand Photos, but the idea is the same). I hear there's a GUI for ExifTool, but I've never used it so can't answer for it.
That ExifTool goes to a non secure sites that both Safari and Firefox make you jump through hoops to download the file. Are you sure it's safe? I am also in this predicament with scanned photos and negatives with improper dates that photos is horrible about dealing with. I'm tempted to just keep it in folders with dates like I have been on my PC. The glitchiness of Photos is disconcerting, to say the least. I've spent hours trying to coax the date adjustment and it is very flaky. Sometimes it takes the dates, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it picks a different date from one of the set that I'm re-dating (in batches). Very frustrating. I wonder if Apple programmers use their own products. Do they ever scan old images and need to re-date them? Because if they did, this would likely be fixed. Also, when readjusting the date, you HAVE to use the up and down arrow on the year because it was programmed for 3 digit years - this is in Mojave. What a simple bug but apparently has been around for a while? So you have to sit there clicking on the down arrow over 40 times to go from 2018 to 1960 for a photo negative scanned in from the 60s. Is there an alternative to Photos that is simple and works?
 
Last edited:

jasnw

macrumors 6502a
Nov 15, 2013
797
838
Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
I won't vouch for ANY site these days, but the times I've downloaded from there (admittedly only a few) I have not had any problem with stuff being loaded on my system I didn't want. As always, YMMV. (I did revisit the site and I see what you ran into. I've left a note on the ExifTool user forum about the problem.)

I hadn't been real happy with iPhoto (which I still use) but at least I found that most of the images and metadata were accessible to non-iPhoto processes (mostly my own hand-rolled ones). I see Photos as an unmitigated disaster, which seems to be typical of Apple non-kernel tools and apps these days, and I am constantly looking for a better photo manager. No luck so far, but my search is still in its early stages.
 

harriska2

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2011
1,275
643
Oregon
I won't vouch for ANY site these days, but the times I've downloaded from there (admittedly only a few) I have not had any problem with stuff being loaded on my system I didn't want. As always, YMMV. (I did revisit the site and I see what you ran into. I've left a note on the ExifTool user forum about the problem.)

I hadn't been real happy with iPhoto (which I still use) but at least I found that most of the images and metadata were accessible to non-iPhoto processes (mostly my own hand-rolled ones). I see Photos as an unmitigated disaster, which seems to be typical of Apple non-kernel tools and apps these days, and I am constantly looking for a better photo manager. No luck so far, but my search is still in its early stages.
Toying with buying an edu license of Lightroom.
 
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