National Park Service sign for Glacier National Park. White lettering, brown wood background, on a stone platoform. National Park Service symbol on right of stone platform.

Vaca Photos: Multiple Devices and Time Zone Adjustments

We used to have just one camera on our vacations; all images on one device, in the order taken. Not anymore. We used three devices on our trip in August. The two iPhones adjusted automatically from Eastern Daylight Time to Mountain Daylight Time. The camera required a manual adjustment, which I did not consider until a couple of days into the trip. Here’s what I learned about having pictures on multiple devices with timestamps that may not be accurate.

1. Be familiar with how to adjust any devices manually. Make it a point to do so upon arrival at your destination. I tend to take a couple of arrival/airport pictures, so I should have done this as soon as we landed in Montana.

2. If some devices don’t get adjusted before you begin taking pictures/videos, consider just leaving those devices as-is. If you change a device part of the way through your trip, you might not remember when you made the change, making things more confusing when you try to order photos and videos upon your return. Once I realized my mistake (a couple of days in), I just left the camera as-is, knowing everything would be two hours off compared to the iPhone photos and videos.

3. Upon our return home, I kept my Canon camera photos and videos separate when I loaded everything to our computer. I created folders by day, and within each day I had a Canon folder and an iPhone folder.

4. When I uploaded to Apple Photos, I imported the Canon items first. Apple Photos has an easy way to batch adjust the time of a group of photos from one time zone to another. I adjusted all of the Canon items immediately after importing them, before importing the iPhone photos.

Below are two screen shots of the adjustment process in Apple Photos. For the first screen, you can see the 44 photos are registered as Eastern Daylight Time (note that I selected all 44 photos before choosing the Image/Adjust Date and Time option). Photos clearly states that by adjusting one photo, all 44 will be adjusted. For the second screen shot, I dragged the time zone bar to the left until Mountain Daylight Time appears (I wasn’t particular about the associated city). Then, I just select “Adjust” and let Photos correct the time for all of the selected Canon camera photos.

5. I imported the iPhone photos as a second step. The Apple Photos sort option (to sort the Canon and the iPhone photos together) did not work as expected. Instead of using the timestamp to order them, Apple Photos left them in the order in which they were imported. I discovered that if I did just a few edits to the Canon photos (like adding a few titles) before importing the iPhone photos, then the sorting worked properly (i.e., used the timestamp). An Apple Photos quirk, I guess.

6. My final steps included reviewing all photos in the order taken (whether with the Canon camera or iPhones); this enabled me to select the best shots when there were several similar, taken at approximately the same time. I ensured all photos had titles, tagged faces, tagged a limited number as favorites, and made a Smart Album for the favorites.

I don’t regret using multiple devices for capturing memories of this vacation. The camera provided zoom power that the phones don’t have, and it is easier for me to carry in a pocket while hiking. I regret not adjusting the camera time upon arrival in Montana, but now I know there is a workaround if I ever need it in the future.

This is our first vacation where we shot video. I plan to use iMovie to edit and combine the clips into a 2-3 minute movie of our Glacier National Park trip. A future blog post will summarize that experience.


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