Incorrect Date on Photo, I can't make sense of it at all

So I took an image that I created in Canva (PNG) and imported it into Lightroom Classic. Lightroom placed it into the folder that corresponds with when it was created.

I didn’t want this. I wanted to edit the date. So, I cleared out all exifdata using exiftool and then manually added -DateTimeOriginal to the EXIF data.

That didn’t work. Lightroom wouldn’t put the photo into the correct folder until I imported it after manually updating the -FileModifyDate to the correct date I wanted.

After doing this, it imported correctly to Lightroom. From Lightroom, I usually use a publish to hard drive feature that puts the files in the /ps/library folder so PhotoStructure picks it up.

The problem now is that PS won’t put it in the right date. It’s reverting back to today.

How can I make this work?

hmmm… as far as I know PNG does not have exif metadata. If your tools has the ability to create a sidecar file with the metadata you want, then PS should happily pick that up.

Short of that, PS can infer the date based on the filename or the directory name. See this post.

This is my understanding as well. You can see what PhotoStructure’s metadata view of your file is by passing the file through ExifTool or PhotoStructure’s info tool), but I suspect the stat mtime is the only captured-at time it can pull from the file itself.

Because mtime is so unreliable, PhotoStructure then tries to extract a captured-at time from the pathname, as well as a bunch of other fuzzy heuristics (like looking at sibling files). The info tool will actually describe exactly where the captured-at field was extracted from.

So: either don’t use PNG (JPEG will be essentially lossless at any quality level 95+), or use a sidecar (XMP is the most common, but PhotoStructure knows how to talk MIE, EXV, EXIF, and Google Takeout JSONs), but know that many (most) applications won’t be looking for a sidecar associated to a PNG.

Okay, so what I’ve been doing then is using LR to publish the PNG files to another folder as JPG, then flagging them for deletion, then using exiftool to set the proper date, then re-importing them into LR. Then I publish them to the Photostructure library and it seems to be working.