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When was this Picture Taken?

If you haven’t already, you should set the date in your digital camera to the correct date.

 “How would I do this?”
“Why would I do this?”
“When would I do this?”

The “How?” depends on your specific camera so you’ll have to consult the manual, look it up online, or ask one of your kids.

The “Why?” is the reason to bother at all.

When you take a picture, your camera records more than the subject; it records raw data about the image: resolution, file size, focal length, aperture, shutter speed, and the date you took the picture.

Perhaps you won’t need any of this information. But, when you upload these pictures to your computer using iPhoto, Picasa, Windows Live Photo Gallery, or your camera’s software, your pictures will be sorted into folders labeled by the date taken. If the date in the camera is incorrect, all your summer vacation pictures, for example, might be filed with a December date. This can be confusing.

Even more confusing would be uploading pictures from a different camera and/or from your phone, which does have the correct date. These pictures will be out of sequence with the ones from your camera. If your family pictures from Thanksgiving 2012 are listed in your computer before the pictures from Thanksgiving 2010, you’ll know why.

Setting the correct date in the camera, however, is not the same as setting the camera to display the date stamp. A date stamp is the date imprinted on the corner of the image itself. This print is often larger and brighter than you might wish and could be a distraction from the image itself.

If you do choose the date stamp option, make extra sure that you set the correct date in the camera.

Fortunately, if you already have photos in your computer with the wrong date, you can correct them. And, if you already have photos with date stamps on them, you can “Photoshop” them off.

The “When” to set the correct date is before you take your next picture and every time you change the camera’s batteries.