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Quick Time Sync Idea for Multiple Cameras

As a wedding photographer, I have plenty of cameras to keep track of. Usually at least two are mine, at least two are my second shooter’s, and occasionally I have an intern along as well. That means there are a lot of opportunities for time variations with the internal clock of the camera. I would sync each camera to world clock, but invariably, the delay between hand eye coordination and/or multiple cameras at once (or flat out forgetting to sync cameras with my second shooter) always resulted in at least one of the cameras being a smidge off.

For many disciplines of photography, this isn’t an issue. However, for weddings, when stuff is happening, it’s HAPPENING, and fast. So a 1/2 second off, can totally throw off the order of photos in the Lightroom catalog when organized by time (which is how I organize). Sure I could adjust after the fact in Lightroom, but it was hard to tell exactly how far off the timing really was. There was no frame of reference for a single image being taken at exactly the same time as any other given image. My type A heart was exceedingly frustrated until one day a friend of mine taught me a tip that I’m going to pass along to you!

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When you’re setting up your gear for your shoot, take your smart phone and go to timeanddate.com. (Don’t use the app. It doesn’t show the seconds.) Once you’re there, throw a short lens on your camera and make your first frame a shot of your phone screen. It shows the time to the second.

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 8.06.25 PM

  1. Upon importing your session into Lightroom, filter your images by camera serial number (Library Module > Metadata > Select Camera Serial Number from one of the drop downs in the columns).
  2. Take a peek at what the first frame says the time is vs. what is recorded in your image from timeanddate.com.
  3. If it’s off, just select all the images for that camera and go to Metadata > Edit Capture Time > and type in the new time. It will automatically adjust the rest of the selected images accordingly.

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 8.06.55 PM

You can use this method to quickly go through all cameras on a shoot and when you’re done, you know your entire day’s events will be perfectly aligned according to time!

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