Thursday, 3 September 2015

Various Date/Time Tags used in Elements Organizer.

Elements Organizer is very much rich in feature set. While organising your media, dates play a key role. Given this background, Elements Organizer provides numerous date/time fields. But it seems that some users are not clear about their exact definitions and role they play in organizing.

To cater above problem, I thought of writing this blog post so as to shed some light on various Date/Time fields shown in Organizer.

Before beginning with definitions lets see what all Date/Time Tags used in Organizer:

Hence as shown in above snapshot, following are the Date/Time feilds that we will be working on this post:

  • Date Created.
  • Date Modified.
  • Date Time Original
  • Date Time Digitized
  • Date Time (EXIF)

To give a wholesome perspective about when these Date/Time info is created, I have created following flowchart:

Now lets start with definitions:


  • Date Created: This is the date/time which OS assigns to a media when it is created for the first time on system HDD.
  • Date Modified: When you modify an image, then the new date/time are stored in ’Date modified’ field.
Please note that these properties are assigned by OS and Organizer only reads these from OS.


  • Date Time Original or Capture date: This is the date/time when you actually shot the image.
  • Date Time Digitized: This is the date/time when the image was digitized. Now for a real world scenario, current cameras are very fast. The time taken between various parameters stored by sensors and then creating an image out of it is very small. Hence almost in all cases ’Date/time original’ will be same as ’Date Time Digitized’.
  • Date Time (EXIF): This is the date/time when you modify the metadata of image (without actually modifying the pixels). For ex. when you do ’Save metadata to files’ the ’Date Time’ field will changed to ’current system date’.

Now after all these definitions, there will be various questions in your mind like:  

As stated earlier 'Date Time Original' will always be same as 'Date Time Digitized' then why have two separate fields? 
Well the answer is to cater the scanned images scenario. Say I have a pic of my school farewell party shot on 20 Apr 2006 but I scanned it today (July 7, 2015). Hence this digital image will read both Original and Digitized date as July 6, 2015. Now using ’Adjust date/time’ option user can change Date Original to 20 Apr while digitized date will remain to be July 6, which is the correct info. 

Since there are numerous Date/Time fields, which value is shown in grid? 
Since all image formats don’t have all fields (for ex bmp don’t have Date Original), so we follows an order to show the dates:
Date/Time Original->Date/Time Digitized->Date Time->Date/Time Created->Date/Time Modified.

When you change the Date/Time of image using ’Adjust date time’ feature in Elements Organizer, which Date/Time field does it changes? 

Answer would be ’the date which is shown in grid is changed’. The same date is also written to metadata when you do ’save metadata to files’.

Please let me know if there are any queries. Also please feel free to share your feedback on improving the blog contents :) :)


  1. Such a wonderful posting. Thank you so much!!!
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  2. Very good posting. Thank you! An additional hint: I have discovered that while working with stacked photos, I can add a tag(s) to the top photo and it is added to all the photos in the stack. However, adjusting the date on the top photo does NOT change the date for all the photos in the stack. You will need to expand the stack and adjust the date of each photo in the stack.

  3. Hi mbstr8k,
    Yes you are correct here. That is, if you want to apply any album/tag on any image of the stack then it gets applied to whole stack. Whereas if you change time for the top image, the change is restricted to top image only.

    It seems logical to me and here is why: When you tag an image you are tagging based on content/context of image. For example say has a birthday cake in it then you would like to tag it as 'Birthday'. Also if you have tagged this image with other images, the reason might be that all images will be of birthday or have cake in them.
    But going by same logic, it may happen that some images will be from your current birthday while some may be from your earlier birthdays or from your family's birthday. Hence it make sense to have different dates to all images in stack.
    Hope it helps.

    Please let me know if there are any queries.