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Import from Mac Photos App

Hardships

Apple makes it hard to get your photographs out of the Photos app.

Hardship #1 – Can't Access

The Mac Photos app stores your photographs in a folder called Photos Library located in Pictures.

You can't click on the folder to open it up.

There's an extra step.

Lightroom can't access your photographs located in the Photos Library folder—due to the extra step.

1) Go to Finder and navigate to Pictures.

If you don't see Pictures on the left side of the Finder window, close Finder.

At the top of your screen, go to Go > Home > Pictures.

2) Right click on Photos Library (or Ctrl + left click).

The Extra Step:

3) Select Show Package Contents.

In Apple's defense, access is restricted to prevent users and programs from messing up the folder's contents.

Do NOT make any changes inside the Photos Library folder.

Your originals are stored in the Masters folder.

Your edited versions are stored in the Previews folder.

Hardship #2 – iCloud Photo Library

When turned on, the iCloud Photo Library automatically stores your photographs in the cloud (on an Apple server) (iCloud , iCloud Photo Library, iCloud - Photos, 4/2018).

The full-sized, original photographs, are stored in the cloud.

Smaller-sized versions are stored on your computer.

Your original photos and videos are stored in iCloud and space-saving versions are kept on your device.

You must use method #4 below to access the full-sized photographs.

Hardship #3 – HEIF Files

iOS 11 and the iPhone 10 camera use the High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF)—not the JPEG file format.

Lightroom Classic CC doesn't support HEIF files as of the Adobe update on 4/3/2018.

(Lightroom CC—the 100% cloud version of Lightroom—has supported HEIF files for some time.)

Therefore, the first three methods below won't work with iOS 11 and the iPhone 10 camera.

You must use method #4 below

Here are some ways to get your photographs out of the Photos app.

Method #1:

Photos to Disk (iOS 10 Only)

You can use Photos to Disk (iOS 10 only, $12.95) to export batches of photographs from the Photos app.

The program can replicate the albums you have in the Photos app:

You can customize your folder structure to group your media files by year, month or day. For albums, Photos To Disk uses the folder structure defined in Photos.

Export your photographs from the Photos app to a folder in Pictures, such as From Photos App.

After exporting them from the Photos app, import them into Lightroom from the From Photos App folder.

Method #2:

Import All of Your Photographs into Lightroom

Both your originals and their edited versions are imported.

Organization

The photographs will go into date folders, such as:

2018/2018-01-01

Albums are not imported.

Therefore, after importing, you can add a title after the date, such as:

2018/2018-01-01 Aurora Borealis

Be sure to change the folder names in the Folders panel in Lightroom.

Don't go to the folder where your imported-into-Lightroom photographs are located—to change the folder names.

Set Up the Destination for the Photographs

If you've been using the tutorials here, when you import photographs, the files go to:

Pictures > Lightroom Photos

1) Navigate to that folder.

2) Create a sub-folder called From Photos App.

Pictures > Lightroom Photos > From Photos App

When you do the import below, you'll select the From Photos App folder as the destination for your files.

Import

3) Go to Finder and navigate to Pictures.

If you don't see Pictures on the left side of the Finder window, close Finder.

At the top of your screen, go to Go > Home > Pictures.

4) Right click on Photos Library (or Ctrl + left click), and select Make Alias.

5) Click on a white area in the window.

6) Close Finder.

7) Open Lightroom and press g to go to the Library module.

8) Click Import in the lower-left corner of your screen.

9) In the top-left corner on the Import window, open the Select a source menu, and select Pictures.

10) On the left side of your screen, select Photos Library alias.

11) At the top of your screen, in the middle, select Copy.

Your photographs will remain in the Photos Library folder.

You're going to make copies to use in Lightroom.

12) On the right side of your screen, open the Destination panel.

13) Open the Organize menu and select By Date.

14) Choose a format in the Date Format menu.

15) Scroll down and navigate to:

Pictures > Lightroom Photos > From Photos App

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16) Click on From Photos App, the destination for the copies of your photographs.

17) Click Import in the lower-right corner.

Method #3:

Import Only Your Original, Unedited, Photographs

Only your originals are imported.

The edited versions are not imported.

Organization

The photographs will go into date folders, such as:

2018/2018-01-01

Albums are not imported.

Therefore, after importing, you can add a title after the date, such as:

2018/2018-01-01 Aurora Borealis

Be sure to change the folder names in the Folders panel in Lightroom.

Don't go to the folder where your imported-into-Lightroom photographs are located—to change the folder names.

Set Up the Destination for the Photographs

If you've been using the tutorials here, when you import photographs, the files go to:

Pictures > Lightroom Photos

1) Navigate to that folder.

2) Create a sub-folder called From Photos App.

Pictures > Lightroom Photos > From Photos App

When you do the import below, you'll select the From Photos App folder as the destination for your files.

Import

3) Go to Finder and navigate to Pictures.

If you don't see Pictures on the left side of the Finder window, close Finder.

At the top of your screen, go to Go > Home > Pictures.

4) Right click on Photos Library (or Ctrl + left click), and select Make Alias.

5) Click on a white area in the window.

6) Close Finder.

7) Open Lightroom and press g to go to the Library module.

8) Click Import in the lower-left corner of your screen.

9) In the top-left corner on the Import window, open the Select a source menu, and select Pictures.

10) On the left side of your screen, select Photos Library alias.

11) Click the tiny triangle in the Photos Library alias tab to open it up.

12) Select Masters.

13) At the top of your screen, in the middle, select Copy.

Your photographs will remain in the Photos Library folder.

You're going to make copies to use in Lightroom.

14) On the right side of your screen, open the Destination panel.

15) Open the Organize menu and select By Date.

16) Choose a format in the Date Format menu.

17) Scroll down and navigate to:

Pictures > Lightroom Photos > From Photos App

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18) Click on From Photos App, the destination for the copies of your photographs.

19) Click Import in the lower-right corner.

Method #4:

Import Albums, Date Folders, or Certain Photographs

Orientation

You export the photographs from the Photos app to a folder Pictures called From Photos App.

Then, you import them into Lightroom from the From Photos App folder.

You make a collection using the name of the album or the date.

Set Up the Destination for the Photographs

If you've been using the tutorials here, when you import photographs, the files go to:

Pictures > Lightroom Photos

1) Navigate to that folder.

2) Create a sub-folder called From Photos App.

Pictures > Lightroom Photos > From Photos App

When you do the export and import below, you'll select the From Photos App folder as the folder to use.

Export from the Photos App

3) In the Photos app, select photographs in an album or in a date folder.

4) To export all of the photographs in an album or date folder, press Cmd + a.

All of the photographs are selected in the album or in the date folder.

Not Using iOS 11 & iPhone 10 Using iOS 11 & iPhone 10

5) Go to File > Export > File > Export Unmodified Originals.

6) You can usually ignore the next window.

5) Go to File > Export > File > Export [number] Photos.

6) Click the Photo Kind pop-up menu and choose the file type for the exported photos.

JPEG is the commonly used file format.

7) Click Export.

8) Navigate to Pictures > Lightroom Photos > From Photos App, the destination for the copies of your photographs.

9) Click Export.

Import into Lightroom

10) Open Lightroom and press g to go to the Library module.

11) Click Import in the lower-left corner of your screen.

12) In the top-left corner on the Import window, open the Select a source menu, and select Pictures.

13) On the left side of your screen, select Pictures > Lightroom Photos > From Photos App.

14) At the top of your screen, in the middle, select Add.

15) Click Import in the lower-right corner.

16) Create a collection using the name of the album in the Photos app.

Stop the Photos App from Importing

The Photos app automatically imports photographs.

When you import photographs into Lightroom from your SD memory card, you have two sets of the photographs on your computer.

There's one set in the Photos app and another set in Pictures > Lightroom Photos.

You may want to turn off the Photos app.

iCloud Photo Library

If you've turned on the iCloud Photo Library, your photographs:

• Are available on all devices.

• Are backed up to the cloud (an Apple server).

To continue the above automation, keep allowing the Photos app to import your photographs automatically.

You can use it to share and backup only iPhone and iPad photographs by using the turn-off method below.

Photographs from your camera's SD memory card won't be imported by the Photos app.

You can import them using Lightroom only.

But—your photographs won't be backed up to the cloud.

To back them up using iCloud:

• Go to Add your Desktop and Documents files to iCloud Drive.

• Use Lightroom to import your photographs to a folder on your Desktop or a folder in Documents.

Instead of importing here:

Pictures > Lightroom Photos

Import here:

Desktop or Documents > Lightroom Photos

Careful!

Let's say:

• You have used Lightroom to import photographs to Pictures > Lightroom Photos.

• You want to move the Lightroom Photos folder to your Desktop or to Documents.

Don't go to the folder in Pictures and move it.

If you do so, Lightroom won't know where the photographs have gone.

Instead, make the move in Lightroom using the Folders panel.

Let's say you want to move the Lightroom Photos folder to your Desktop.

Do the following.

1) Place a photograph on your Desktop.

2) Go to Lightroom and import the photograph.

3) In the Folders panel, there's now a tab called Desktop.

Your Lightroom Photos folder is also there in the Folders panel.

4) Click and hold on the Lightroom Photos folder, and drop it on the Desktop tab.

Turn Off the Photos App

Do the following.

1) Open the Photos app.

2) Click Import at the top of the Photos window.

3) Connect your camera or card reader to your computer.

Photos will display the photographs on your memory card.

4) At the top of the Photos window, deselect Open Photos for this device.

If you don't see the above, click the Action button.

Photos will no longer open and import photographs from that specific memory card.

If you:

• Format that memory card, you must repeat the steps above.

• Use a different memory card, you must repeat the steps above.

Image Capture

You can use Image Capture to do the above.

Go to Stop Apple Photos from Auto Launching in OS X with One Command, and scroll down to Per Card or Device or Customize Action.

Send Lightroom Exports to the Photos App

How to sync your Lightroom exports with Photos on Mac