F-spot and the date sort order of pre-digital photos

F-spot is very useful but it has a few quirks which can be very confusing. Especially if you are working with photos which do not come from a digital camera (e.g. scanned, taken from the web etc). The order in which they display, and the dates under which they are stored, can be quite confusing. And quite difficult to adjust.

First, some background. When a digital camera takes a photo a whole lot of information (metadata) is stored with the photo e.g. camera band, exposure time, date taken. The latter seems to influence the order a photo displays in F-spot, not the date of creation*, or the name of the photo.

Here is an example:

> Image Type: jpeg (The JPEG image format)
> Width: 2272 pixels
> Height: 1704 pixels
> Camera Brand: Canon
> Camera Model: Canon PowerShot G2
> Date Taken: 2004:04:16 12:12:22
> Exposure Time: 1/199 sec.
> Aperture Value: 4.00 EV (f/4.0)
> Flash Fired: Flash did not fire, auto mode.
> Metering Mode: Pattern
> Focal Length: 7.0 mm
> Software: f-spot version 0.4.3.1

Photos like this are stored and sorted by F-spot much like you would expect. But what do you do with images which didn’t come from a digital camera?

One option is to manually change the datetime of the image. To do this, select a photo, then from the main f-spot menu Edit > Adjust Time. If you change the time, you also change the sequence.

For further information on F-spot there is a great article here – http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9110.

* I wrote a little python script utilising the Python Imaging Library (PIL) which created new versions of the photos in the order I wanted and gave a creation date accordingly. Didn’t solve the F-spot ordering problem though.