March 15, 2022 admin
Home > Articles > Adding Timestamps to Photos in Windows

Adding date stamps, time stamps, GPS stamps, and other types of stamps to construction photos not only provides contextual information for the person viewing it but it can also serve as proof if a dispute occurs.

If you’re looking for a quick way to overlay text labels on your construction photos (using the photo’s metadata), look no further. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to do this using IrfanView. IrfanView is a popular image viewer, editor, and organizer for Windows. Before proceeding with the article, make sure you download and install the latest version from the link above.

Let’s start by looking at how to label one photo at a time and some of the configuration options. Then we will explore the batch process of labeling multiple images at a time to really speed up the task.

Labeling one photo at a time

Step-by-Step Process

1. Open IrfanView on your computer and browse to the photo that you want to tag.
2. On to the top menu click on Edit > Insert Text (or press Ctrl + T)

3. Press the Append EXIF date/time button. You should see the following added to the text field:

$E36867(%d/%m/%Y %H:%M)

This tells IrfanView to grab the date and time information from the metadata of the photo and print it in the following format:
day/month/year  hour:minute (eg. 15/03/2022 16:00)

You can modify the format to suit your needs or add other metadata information. For example, to add Lattitude and Logitude data enter the following into the text input field:

$E402 $E401
$E404 $E403

4. When you are happy with the text input, press the Preview button. This will allow you to visually see the text label on the photo.

5. Next, it’s just a matter of styling the text label. IrfanView provides lots of settings you can play with. Below are three example styles with the corresponding settings used for your reference.

6. To actually apply the text label to the photo you have to do 2 things. First, press the OK button at the bottom of the text label panel. Then press the Save icon at the top (or Ctrl + S).

Tip: You can save your timestamp configuration to use in the future. Simply type in a name in the profiles text field and press the Save button. Once you’ve done that, you just have to select the profile from the drop-down menu and press the Load button.

Batch processing lots of photos

The above method works nicely if you just need to timestamp a handful of photos. However, if you have a folder full of photos that need timestamping, applying text labels individually may be time consuming. Continue reading to learn how to use batch conversion to automate the process.

Step-by-Step Process

1. Open IrfanView and click on File > Batch Conversion/Rename.. (or press the B key)

2. Browse to the folder with your site photos. Select the photos you want to timestamp and press the Add button

3. Next, make sure the “Work as” mode is set to Batch conversion and Use advanced options (for bulk resize…) checkbox is ticked. Press the Advanced button.

4. In the advanced options screen, tick the Add overlay text checkbox. Then press the Settings button.

The settings here are the same as the ones for labeling one photo at a time. There’s a bug in IrfanView (version 4.59) where you have to change the Width value to something other than 100 for it to work. Also, unfortunately IrfanView doesn’t allow you to preview the settings in batch mode.

Below are some example styles with the corresponding settings for your reference.

5. Once you are happy with the format and design of the text label, press the OK button to return to the main interface.

6. Finally, specify the output folder for the timestamped photos and press the Start Batch button.

Tip: You can save your timestamp configuration to use in the future. Simply type in a name in the profiles text field and press the Save button. Once you’ve done that, you just have to select the profile from the drop-down menu and press the Load button.

A better way to store contextual information with a photo

Knowing how to use IrfanView to add text labels to existing site photos is very handy. However, it can be quite time-consuming to do and because the labels are ‘baked’ into the photo, it sometimes can get in the way of the actual image. When we spoke to construction workers, we learned that people often try to fit too much information onto their photos, but this makes it confusing to look at. For example, a timestamp, the GPS coordinates as well as “Level 21, Room 31, NW.”

We designed SeePilot Snap to solve this problem. Snap allows you to quickly capture and organize photos while you are on site. You can pin the precise location of a photo onto a plan or a map and also add tags/notes associated with the capture. The photo can then be shared via a URL and all the information will be available for the recipient.

When your teammates also use Snap it pools your site photos together for instant access. As an added bonus, this cloud access means your photos are available on any device, so no more plugging your phone in to transfer files!

You can try out Snap for free and see the benefits for yourself, it only takes a couple of minutes to set up. Signup using the form below.

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