How to take creation date from iPhone JPG and place timestamp on a photo?

computerlarry used Ask the Experts™
The user has to submit photos that show a visible timestamp
They have an iPhone 6
They would prefer some sort of Mac App that could take the creation time from the metadata and then place it on the JPEG.
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Joe WinogradDeveloper
Fellow 2017
Most Valuable Expert 2018
Hi Larry,
Both GraphicsMagick and ImageMagick can do it. I use them only on Windows and I have zero knowledge of the Mac, but they are both cross-platform products that run on Linux, Mac, and Windows.

I prefer GM over IM, but both are excellent (GM is a fork of IM). I have written several articles here at EE on GM:
Reduce the file size of many JPG files in many folders via an automated, mass, batch compression method
Create a PDF file with Contact Sheets (montage of thumbnails) for all JPG files in a folder and each of its subfolders using an automated, batch method
Create an image (BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, TIF, etc.) from a multi-page PDF
Convert a multi-page PDF file into multiple image files

The first one is important for you because it explains the download and installation of GM and discusses its various versions (of course, you would download the Mac version, not the Windows one). The other articles I show just as reference material in case you are interested in seeing some of its features in action. However, none of the articles shows exactly what you want to do, so I'll explain that there.

Once the photos have been loaded from the iPhone onto the Mac, the following command does it for GM:

gm convert OriginalPhoto.jpg -font Arial -pointsize 36 -fill white -draw "text 10,100 '%[EXIF:DateTimeOriginal]'" PhotoWithTimeStamp.jpg

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And the following command does it for IM:

magick convert OriginalPhoto.jpg -font Arial -pointsize 36 -fill white -annotate +10+100 %[EXIF:DateTimeDigitized] PhotoWithTimeStamp.jpg

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A few comments about the parameters:

(1) Of course, you may make the font, point size, and fill color whatever you want.

(2) The "10" and "100" numbers in the two calls are the X and Y locations in pixels where the text will be placed. You may, of course, make them whatever you want.

(3) You may use whatever EXIF tag you want for the date/time. In the GM example above, I used DateTimeOriginal. In the IM example, I used DateTimeDigitized. All of the EXIF tags that may be used are documented at the GM and IM websites.

Here's the result from running the GM command shown above on a photo:

Regards, Joe
You have to install ImageMagic on the Mac first.  The easiest way to do that is to install Mac Ports or Homebrew.  Then you run port install imagemagick or brew install imagemagick

Example for Homebrew ( )
Run the following command in a terminal command prompt to install Homebrew.
/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
Now you can install imagemagick or any gnu/linux tool that has been packaged for the Mac.
brew install imagemagick
Joe WinogradDeveloper
Fellow 2017
Most Valuable Expert 2018
You have to install ImageMagic on the Mac first.
The ImageMagick Mac OS X Binary Release is here:
While you can install it by downloading the binary, it's so much easier with Macports or Homebrew.  Besides, you can install other useful tools and update packages quite easily as you similarly would with a debian based distro.  I started with Fink, the Macports, the Homebrew as each one came out.  I much prefer Homebrew.

port update
port upgrade

brew update
brew upgrade
If you don't want to get into the command line .. there are apps for OSX which will add time/date stamps to images - the watermark feature is my favourite .. also great for scaling and resizing images

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