Friday, October 30, 2015

Time to reset your camera's clock for the change to Standard Time in US

Clock in Musee d'Orsay in Paris, FranceOn Sunday, November 1, 2015, most of the US will have switched from “Daylight Time” to “Standard Time.” Note, I said “most of the US will have switched.” Arizona, except for the Navajo Nation, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, don't switch between “Daylight Time” in the spring, and “Standard Time” in the fall. They stick to “Standard Time” year round.

Moreover, the switch between “Daylight” and “Standard” time doesn't universally occur across the globe. More than 100 countries never change to “Daylight Time”, and more than a few countries switch between the two on different dates than other countries.

In Mexico the switch between “Standard” and “Daylight” time can get very confusing for travelers, as border cities close to the US in Mexico typically swap between the “times” on the same dates as the US, but the rest of Mexico changes in April and October, not March and November.

For most of those living or traveling in the US, they will set their clocks, watches, computers, cameras, and other devices with internal clocks, back one hour on Sunday.

Many ask if it matters that one's camera is set to the correct time of day. For me, it matters.
To me, there are several reasons having one's camera set to the correct time of day and date is important.

1. I “geotag,” embed the longitude and latitude in virtually all my photos. As a travel photographer, sometimes my notes aren't quite complete, and I'm not exactly sure where a particular image was made, and sometimes, I'm not quite sure what the scene is. To the rescue comes the embedded GPS data, in each of my images. That data will allow me to pinpoint on Google Earth and other mapping programs where I stood and in which direction I was pointing when making the image.

Recently I was shooting in Morocco. There were several times I was able to capture some wonderful images when we stopped in the middle of nowhere while traveling to our next destination. Via the GPS information embedding in my images I'm able to pinpoint where each image was made.

Having the precise time in my camera facilitates geotagging accuracy, especially if I have to use my GPS data file backup which requires date/time synchronization.

2. Speaking of notes, keeping a “written” record of your shoots can be very helpful later on, in part, as mentioned above. A friend I know uses written records and he “time stamps” each record. My notes are generally recordings. I dictate into my iPhone notes about the shoot as I go along. At times if I'm with a guide, I'll record the guide. Sometimes I also record written information which I type into my iPhone while shooting. All the notes are “time stamped.” By having my images correctly “time stamped” it becomes easy to associate the notes with the correct images.

3. I periodically use more than one camera during a shoot for a variety of reasons. One is to be able to quickly move from a wide angle lens, to a telephoto lens without taking the time to swap lenses, and miss the shot. Also, there are times when I'm in a difficult environment, such as in a desert with blowing sands, where swapping lenses isn't an option because you could too easily get sand blown into the camera during the lens swap.

When using more than one camera, it's extremely useful to know the order of the images made. You can't do that unless each camera has the right date/time, so you can refer to the date/time exif data in each image, and determine the order the images were made.

4. I periodically review my images. It's very helpful to have the time of day accurately saved in the images when reviewing them. You can better revisit your thought process during the review if the correct date/time are embedded in the images.

So, if keeping accurate time in your cameras is important to you. Don't forget to reset your camera's clock this coming Sunday, November 1 when you reset all your other time devices.


Bert - New York said...

I'm convinced. I'll be setting my camera clock from now on.

Jim said...

Thanks for the reminder.

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