Rearrange photos

I’m scanning slides and negatives, to to imported into Photos. I’d like to be able to easily rearrange these into at least a rough chronological order. Most of what I’ve found online says this can’t be done (except in an album, which isn’t what I want), but of course it can, by adjusting the dates & times.

It’s obvious that this would be an impossible task using only what is available in Photos. I think I could write something in AppleScript that would work, but I’m wondering if there’s a ready-made solution.

You could manually set EXIF dates for groups of images for a given date, and they would all appear together. There are a few Mac apps that will do that in bulk via drag-and-drop. I use A Better Finder Attributes, which allows you to manipulate JPEG, CR2, NEF, ARF, RAF, SR2, CRW & CIFF EXIF timestamps at will by setting them to specific times or batch adjusting them by adding and removing time

If you sort them before scanning, they’d be in chronological order.

I dunno about you but I can’t “read” a negative.

Would I do this before importing?

I’d do it before: organize images temporarily in folders based on dates/time I want to apply to them, then drop the folders atop the the EXIF alteration app. Afterwards, plop the EXIF-edited images back into the Photos app.

But if you’ve already got shots in Photos you can select then export them out of Photos, then organize/EXIF-edit then re-import as described above.

I just hold them up to a light normally, but also sometimes people miss the simple solution and I had no way of knowing your negatives weren’t organised at all so I thought I’d try and be helpful.

I don’t use Photos so not sure how I’d do that in that app but in Lightroom what I’d do is import the photos into a temporary Lightroom catalog (remember LR does notimport the actual files so the original digital files are wherever they will live) edit the EXIF in groups to fix the dates, write the metadata to the files (checkbox in LR) and then re-import the files into my final catalog.

As for reading negatives before scanning, you can use a lightbox or an iPad as lightbox and lay the negatives on it then use your iPhone (or iPad if you are using a real lightbox) with colors reversed and then use the camera app to look at them in near normal colors.

This is really helpful to try to figure out what they are and when.

Negative Viewer

Yeah, they’re pretty much a mess. Supposedly they were collected by year but that has not turned out to be overly accurate.

Holding them up to a light I can usually see which way is “up” and that’s about it. I might try @OogieM’s suggestion.