If you’re like me, you take a lot of photos with your iPhone. You might want to keep some of them, but most of them likely lose their novelty on a second viewing. There are various ways to get your photos from your iPhone to your Mac, where it’s much easier to decide which is which.
Let’s go over how to import your iPhone photos to the two programs that come with the Mac, Image Capture and iPhoto. I’ll be covering using your iPhone with Aperture and Adobe Lightroom in a later post.
Determining what program, if any, opens when you connect your iPhone
Some people like having an application open when you connect your iPhone; others hate it. Regardless of which camp you fall into, it’s easy to set what program (if any) launches when you connect your iPhone.
- With your iPhone connected, open Image Capture (it should be pre-installed in your Applications folder by default).
- You will see your iPhone under devices. Click the iPhone icon.
- Down at the bottom, you will see “Connecting this iPhone opens…” with a pull-down menu under it.
- Select what application you want to open. Choosing “No Application” will naturally open no applications.
Image Capture is a hidden gem. For iPhone users, Image Capture lets you do two things very easily: mass-delete unwanted photos, or import them to a folder of your choosing. This eliminates the need to store them in a program like iPhoto.
Connect your iPhone to your Mac and open up Image Capture. You’ll see a screen similar to the one below:
From here, simply select the photos you want to do something with. If you want to delete them, select them and choose the delete icon; it’s the red circular icon on the bottom to the left of “Import To.” If you want to import them, select the pull-down to the right of “Import To” and choose a location. Also, if you want to both delete images and import them to a program like iPhoto or Aperture, you can do that here.
Image Capture is my preferred way of deciding which iPhoto images I get rid of. In the end, I keep very few. They could either be shots that totally failed, or a reference photo from a store, or a photo that was a one-time “wish you were here” photo. The ability to delete unwanted photos, and send ones you do like to iPhoto or Aperture is great. Unfortunately, if you use Lightroom it won’t show up in the import list.
Since iPhoto comes with every Mac sold by Apple, it’s a logical favorite for sorting and storing photos. Even though Lightroom is my post-processing tool of choice, I still use iPhoto to sync images to my iOS devices as well as store general images — all my desktop wallpapers, images used in presentations, and images grabbed off the web.
To import photos into iPhoto, connect your iPhone and open iPhoto. You will be greeted with a screen similar to this one:
Select the photos you want to import and click on Import, or Import All if you want to just take everything. Fair Warning about iPhoto: if you keep “Split Events” checked, it will auto-create Events based on the preference you set in iPhoto. If you have a lot of pictures spread over a long period of time, make sure you uncheck that, since it will split your photos into a huge number of separate events Naturally, if you do have an Event’s worth of photos (two weddings, for example), feel free to split the events. Based on my usage, I take one or two photos at a time and forget to import them, so it isn’t useful to have iPhoto automatically divide them based on dates.
Using your iPhone for geotagging
One nice benefit of taking photos with your iPhone is by default, it tags all photos with your location. My DSLR does not have a GPS, but I’ve gotten in the habit of taking one or two photos my iPhone during a shoot. After I import both the DSLR and iPhoto images and merge the Events, it’s a simple two-step process to copy the GPS tag to all of the photos.
- Select the photo with the GPS info, right-click and choose Copy.
- select all the photos you want the GPS tag applied to, go to the Edit menu and choose “Paste Location.”