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Exif is the Exchangeable Image File Format, the most common format to embed image metadata into images. Most cameras (and other picture-taking devices) write it with basic information, like the timestamp, the device used to create the image, settings like focal length and aperture, …

Timezone Issues

Exif does not provide a standardized mechanism to include timezone data for dates in the photo. Cameras are expected to store the local time in the format "YYYY:MM:DD hh:mm:ss".

Some Canon DSLRs include two non-standard exif fields to store the timezone offset (e.g. "-07:00") and the timezone city name (e.g. "Los Angeles").

The iPhone includes GPS coordinates when available, so that could be used to reverse engineer the timezone of the photo by looking it up in a timezone database such as Atlas.

Discussion about solutions in chat on 2016-07-16 following this line: https://chat.indieweb.org/dev/2016-07-16/1468707131728000

Timezones workaround

  • Tantek Çelik: One "trick" I used to do is to use my camera to take a photo of my watch right after changing my watch's timezone to my destination’s local timezone (usually on the plane to that destination). That way I could check/verify the time-offset between the visual time on my watch and what time the EXIF claimed the photo was taken. The use-case for this is for long after the fact (long after the photos were taken), when I had a collection of photos to go through, I could check these "timestamp marker photos" at the start / end of trips as another method of double-checking the actual time-taken of photos. (Originally noted in chat: https://chat.indieweb.org/dev/2020-09-06#t1599419632683600)

see also

See Also

  • exiftool is the best tool for editing/extracting data programmatically