Find images with No Exif Dates

Posted on 2014-08-01

My Dropbox folder is full of images claiming to be "missing dates." 1 Some of these photos were thumbnails or images from DayOne that didn't necessarily need dates, but others were real photos that for whatever reason didn't have dates that Dropbox recognized.

Carousel Missing Photos

I did some poking around, and found that there were a couple of different reasons why my photos in Dropbox weren't displaying dates:

  • The DateTimeOriginal exif tag was missing entirely
  • The DateTimeOriginal was set to 0000:00:00 00:00:00

With the magic of exiftool, I found a way to find all the photos in my Dropbox folder that were missing dates and output the results to a CSV.

exiftool -filename -r -if '(not $datetimeoriginal or ($datetimeoriginal eq "0000:00:00 00:00:00")) and ($filetype eq "JPEG")' -common -csv > ~/Dropbox/nodates.csv

This will give you a CSV with all of the common file information for the images.

CSV of Missing Photos

At this point, you'll need to decide how you'll want to fix these photos. From what I have seen so far, the best exif tag to go on is -filemodifydate, but you'll probably need to figure that out on your own. If you want to fix any photo that matches the above criteria, you can do something like this

exiftool `-datetimeoriginal<filemodifydate` -r -if '(not $datetimeoriginal or ($datetimeoriginal eq "0000:00:00 00:00:00")) and ($filetype eq "JPEG")' ~/Dropbox

  1. 2965 photos to be exact. 

Tags: bash scripting exiftool photos

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