Since iPhoto ’08 came out back in August, I’ve had mixed feelings on its new features. I’m not a huge fan of Events and there are lots of little things that just annoy me now. One of which is that the iPhoto library now exists as […]

Since iPhoto ’08 came out back in August, I’ve had mixed feelings on its new features.

I’m not a huge fan of Events and there are lots of little things that just annoy me now. One of which is that the iPhoto library now exists as a “package” instead of a readily accessible set of folders. Even after doing “Show Package Contents” on the library file it can get pretty hairy trying to actually get to the raw photographs.

Generally the only time I really have a desire to get to said files is when using a browser to upload photos. You can’t just navigate to your library files and grab the picture you want. There is a way to make it possible, though and it’s fairly straight forward.

1. Access the iPhoto Library Folder

iPhoto Library

Control-click (or right-click) on the iPhoto Library file and choose “Show Package Contents.”

iPhoto Library

2. Create Folder Aliases

After doing “Show Package Content” you should now see the folders and files contained in the package.
iPhoto Library

You’ll see two folders, “Modified” and “Originals,” which contain the actual photo files that iPhoto uses. These folders contain sub-folders which seem to be, for the most part, identical to the Events you might have set up. These are the folders we want access to when getting single files to upload in a browser.

What we have to do is create a folder alias to give us access directly to these folders outside of the iPhoto Library package.

Control-click on the “Modified” folder and choose “Make Alias” from the contextual menu. Leave it named “Modified alias” and then drag the new alias folder to the same directory that your iPhoto Library is in.

Repeat this for the “Originals” folder.

You can then rename the aliases to whatever you choose. You should end up with something like this:
iPhoto Library

3. Access the Files

Chances are the aliases still won’t give you access to the files when you are just in the Finder, but they will work when you are using a browser to open them.

Take a site like Flickr, for example. I’d like to upload a few of the original photo files to my account. I’m presented with the “Choose File” upload buttons and I can now access the files from within the browser:
iPhoto Library

And there we have it! It’s definitely a bit of a hack job for what should be a simple task, but until Apple changes this format we seem to be stuck with this solution.

  1. This is the solution you use to import your iPhoto library directly into Adobe LightRoom as well.

    Great hint.

  2. Awesome! I have a drive called Bernard too!

    Nice post, btw ;-)

  3. Awesome, thanks. It’s been a real pain trying to upload/export photos and movies out of iPhoto. This should help some.

  4. Actually, in Leopard there’s a much easier way to access photos in iPhoto in any application’s “Open” or “Place” dialog. Surprisingly, Apple seems to have been very quiet about it. I only found it by reading the entire list of 300 new features in Leopard (yes, obsessive).

    In the Source pane to the left of the Dialog, below “Places,” you ought to see a “Media” section, which includes pictures. This essentially brings the iLife Media Browser into any application; you can select any photo as you would in iWeb or any other iLife/iWork application and then select “Open.” I haven’t yet run into a program that this doesn’t work with. Nice trick for quickly placing a photo from iPhoto into InDesign.

  5. Exactly what the other Ben said above. You should amend the article to include that information, because this tip is only really applicable to Tiger users now, not Leopard users.

  6. This article is EXACTLY what I needed. I was emailing the photo to myself, dragging it out of the email onto the desktop and then uploading it to the webpage. Ack!

  7. Both Bens – I don’t understand what you are saying. Can you make it a bit more broken down for a clueless switcher?

  8. Dee, if you’re using Leopard 10.5 then you will see the media browser in the Open dialog of Safari when you upload to the website.

    If you’re using Tiger you need to follow the directions in the article above. Oh, and rather than emailing yourself the photo you could have been simply dragging the photo thumbnail from iPhoto onto the desktop.

    There is also this software: http://www.karelia.com/imedia/ but I think it is not as convenient.

  9. OH I see why I didn’t understand – I never use Safari, but use Firefox and there isn’t such an option. That software actually seemed like it might be a right “fit” for me, but there wasn’t a price listed on the purchase page oddly enough. (and yes I am using Leopard)

  10. Doh! I can be such a dork. It doesn’t say a price because it is free. The best kind of price.


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