Sunday, November 6, 2016

Did you change your camera's clock when you changed your home clocks to "Standard" time?

Clock in Musee d'Orsay in Paris, FranceThis morning, Sunday, November 6, 2015, most of the U.S. switched from “Daylight Time” to “Standard Time.” Arizona, except for the lands of the Navajo Nation, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands never switch between “Daylight” and “Standard” time. They're always on “Standard Time,” so right now the entire U.S. including its territories are on “Standard Time.”

The switch between “Daylight” and “Standard” time doesn't universally occur across the globe. More than 100 countries never change to “Daylight Time” and many countries have chosen different dates to make the change than other countries.
Mexico's switch between “Standard” and “Daylight” time can be confusing for travelers. Mexican cities bordering the U.S. typically swap between “Daylight” and “Standard” times with the US, but the rest of Mexico changes in April and October.

For most of those living or traveling in the U.S., we've set our clocks, watches, computers, cameras, and other devices with internal clocks, back one hour this morning. If you haven't done so yet, it's time to make the change according to where you are in the U.S.
Many ask if it matters that one's camera is set to the correct time of day. For me, it matters.
There are several important reasons to set one's camera set to the correct time and date.
  • Like many photographers in the 21st century, I “geotag,” embed the longitude and latitude in virtually all my photos. As a travel photographer, at times, my notes aren't quite complete and I'm not exactly sure where a particular image was made. Sometimes I'm not quite sure what the scene displays. The embedded GPS data, in each of my images can rescue me. The data, for example, permits me to pinpoint the image's location on Google Earth and/or other mapping programs. On my last shoot 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 embedded in my images I was able to locate 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.
  • Keeping a “written” record of your shoots can be very helpful later on. A friend I know uses written records and he “time stamps” each record. My notes are typically recordings on my iPhone which accompany images made of the subject for reference. I dictate notes into my iPhone about the shoot and specific images as I go along. If I'm with a guide, I may record the guide speaking about what we're seeing. At times I may also record written information which I type into my iPhone during the shoot. All my iPhone notes are “time stamped.” By having my images correctly “time stamped” it becomes easy to associate my notes with the correct images.
  • I periodically use more than one camera during a shoot for a variety of reasons.

    For example, it permits me to be able to quickly move from a wide angle lens, on one body, to a telephoto lens, on another, without taking time to swap lenses. That way it's highly unlikely I'll miss any shots while photographing a quickly changing scene.

    There are times when I shoot in difficult environments, such as in a desert with blowing sands, where swapping lenses isn't an option. It such conditions I 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 and time. With the correct date and time listed in the EXIF data of each image it's easy to determine the order in which the images were made.
  • Like many, I periodically review my images. It's very helpful to have the time of day accurately saved in the images when reviewing them. One can better revisit one's thought process, during the review, if the correct date and 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 morning, Sunday, November 6 when you reset all your other time devices.


Sean-Ames, Iowa said...

Thanks for the reminder Ned, and a great explanation why to keep the clock updated and how to use it.

Fred-San Jose said...

I have a better understanding of the importance of the clock and date in my DSLR now Ned. Thanks.

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