Update: Per winmaciek's comment, this is a case of user stupidity: There is a setting in Photos' preferences that controls whether location information is exported using all three methods. If you always want it, check that box. However, if you only want it some of the time (i.e. you don't want to accidentally include it in an online post), then use the following method to only export it when you want it.)
If you often take your photos out of Photos1Dear Apple, please stop naming products after their associated nouns!, you should be aware of a big "gotcha" just waiting to bite you: Unless you're careful with how you get your photos out of Photos, you'll lose those photos' location information—and for iPhone photos shot in HEIC, the photos will be converted to JPG.
There are three ways to get a photo out of Photos: Drag to your desktop, use File → Export → Export (n) Photos, or use File → Export → Export Unmodified Originals for (n) Photos. Only one of these methods will retain the photos' location information…
Use File → Export → Export Unmodified Originals for (n) Photos to retain location information
In particular, if you use either of the other two methods, these metadata values will be lost:
You can test this yourself very easily: Just use each of the three methods to export the same photo. Rename it each time (drag.jpg, export.jpg, unmodified.heic…or whatever). Then, in Terminal, type mdls, press the Space Bar, and drag and drop one of the photos, then press Return in Terminal. The output is everything macOS knows about the photos. Only the unmodified export will have location information (and still be in HEIC format, if that's what it was originally in).
The downside of this, of course, is that you cannot export an edited photo and save both the edits and the location information. Or if you can, I haven't discovered how.
The other day, I was working on some Smart Albums in Photos, adding a Smart Album for each of the lenses I use with my FUJIFILM X-E3 camera. This seemed like a simple task; each Smart Album just needed to check two conditions:
Camera Model is X-E3 [and] Lens is 16.0 mm f/2.8 (as one example)
But after creating my Smart Albums, I noticed that some photos were missing, so I did a bit of experimenting. What I found was that Photos showed different values for the Lens field—even when the same lens was used on the same camera. Here's an example:
The only difference between those two photos is that one was taken in RAW mode, the other in one of my camera's JPEG modes.
I mostly shoot photos on my iPhone, because that's what I'm usually carrying. But when I want to go out and really take photos, I take my Fuji X-E3. The Fuji can take photos five different ways: At two levels of JPEG quality (fine and normal), those same two JPEG quality levels with an attached RAW version, and RAW only.
Most of the time, I shoot in the highest-quality JPEG format, which is more than good enough for my needs. But there are times, such as when shooting landscapes or flowers, when I want to have the original RAW file to edit, so I shoot in the RAW plus highest-quality JPEG mode.
The problem is that RAW images are huge—the Fuji's RAW files are over 50MB each, versus anywhere from 7MB to 14MB for a JPEG. Because of this, I try not to import the RAW+JPEG files into Photos. Instead, I import to a folder, then edit the RAW photo in a photo editor, output a final JPEG, and import that to Photos. (In very rare cases, I'll keep the RAW version, for a photo I may want to edit more in the future.)
Unfortunately, I wasn't so smart in the past, and I imported many RAW and RAW+JPEG photos to Photos—and I don't need the RAW versions at all. Some are pure RAW, and these I can easily find and fix (export, convert to JPEG, re-import). Unfortunately, most are in the RAW+JPEG format, and that's a problem: Once such photos are in Photos, there's absolutely no way to find them—which means there's no easy way to remove them.
A friend asked if there was a way in Photos to see which albums a selected photo had been added to. This is one of those things that would be incredibly easy for Apple to provide: Select a photo, press Command-I, and in the info window, you could see a list of all albums containing the selected photo.
Unfortunately, Apple doesn't seem to think people might care about what albums a photo is in, so this feature exists only in my mind. Thankfully, Mac users Jacques Rious and léonie wrote an AppleScript to solve the problem. I used the first instance (version 4) of the script in that post and it worked fine in High Sierra. (In case Apple ever decides to remove its forums, I've recreated the script below.)
To use the script, paste it all into AppleScript Editor and save it as an application (or you can just run it in AppleScript Editor). In Photos, create a top-level album (I named mine Find Albums Photo Is In), and place the photo you want to know about into that album. Leave it selected, then run the AppleScript. You'll see one dialog stating what photo is being used, then after a bit, you should see a results dialog, like this:
As you can see, the album used for the search is included in the results; someone with better AppleScript skills than I could probably modify the script to exclude that album (any takers?). While I'd much prefer Apple include this feature directly in Photos, at least there's an alternative when you need this information.
Last fall, I finally made the move from iPhoto to Photos…months later, I still find myself frustrated by many things in the Photos' user interface.
Today's aggravation dealt with cleaning up a bunch of older photo albums—some I just wanted to delete, others I wanted to convert from Smart Albums into normal albums (because I wouldn't be adding any more photos that used the keywords in the Smart Album). That meant I wanted to delete a bunch of albums—well over 100.
Deleting an album in Photos can only be done from either the My Albums overview, where you can select more than one (though not across folders), or via the contextual menu in the sidebar.
The My Albums view wasn't going to work for me, as I needed to look at and work with many of the albums, across many folders. But after the sixth time of doing the "right click, select Delete Album, tab to Delete in the confirmation dialog, press Return" dance, I was sick of it. Time for another Keyboard Maestro macro.
This one is very simple—it just replicates the actions required to delete an album. With it in place, I click on the album I wish to delete, then press Control-D. It's still more mouse interaction than I'd prefer—why can't I select albums via the keyboard?—but it's oh so much faster than using the contextual menu.
This finally irked me enough that I went looking for an answer…and found one, on only the second entry in my search results.
As the linked answer explains, you can fix the problem by specifying that your Photos library is the System Photo Library, as seen here:
I hadn't specified that my Photos library was the actual System Photo Library, so that button was still active. Once I clicked it, the button grayed out, and on next launch, no more welcome screen!
I think you'll only run into this problem if you (1) migrated an iPhoto library, and (2) kept that iPhoto library on an external drive. In those cases, Photos doesn't set the library as the System Photo Library.
Update: With the passage of time—one calendar day, in this case—I can now say that this hint is wrong. Photos does not respect partial day values. Instead, any value less than one is rounded to zero, so all you can really do is create a Smart Album that finds imports you made during the current calendar day. That is, Date Added - is in the last - 0 - days. This is what I'm using now, as it's better than one day, which actually shows two days (today and yesterday), but it's not as nice as iPhoto's Last Import album.
I've left the hint up, because it's been linked to and tweeted a few times, but it's wrong. Sorry for the lack of testing before I posted it.
As noted in priorposts, I've recently moved to Photos from iPhoto. So far, it's been a mixed experience. There are some elements of Photos I like, but as of today, those things are outweighed by the things I don't like.
I've vented on a number of the things I dislike on Twitter, but wanted to expand on both the positives and the negatives in more detail. Hence, this "one week in" review (of sorts) of Photos, from the perspective of an experienced iPhoto user.
I've also included some tips for working with and migrating to Photos for those who haven't yet made the move from iPhoto. Finally, if you're still reading, I've listed the key features I'd really like to see come to Photos in a future update.
Note that I am not a great photographer, but I do take a lot of photos—I have over 40,000 photos and a couple thousand video clips in my database. To keep things organized, I use lots of keywords and Smart Albums, so much of my feedback on Photos is concerned with those areas of the program.
First off, my time with Photos hasn't all been bad; there are some things that I really like in Photos…
My migration from iPhoto to Photos continues, and today's snafu was my discovery that I couldn't rename files in Photos. This is something I've long done in iPhoto—not for every file, but for ones I'd like to group together using something other than Keywords.
For example, I have a collection of iOS wallpapers, for both the home and lock screens. I name each with either "H_" or "L_" as the start of the filename, which let me create this Smart Album to see them all together:
The inability to rename files isn't critical, in particular because the Title field can be used for the same functionality. But I had a problem: When I migrated, Photos created Titles for some, but not all, of my custom-named images. In particular, it missed all of the iOS wallpapers. I'm not sure if this is because these aren't photos in the traditional sense—they're edited photos I export as PNGs. But whatever the reason, I had hundreds of images that needed a Title that was equal to their Filename.
AppleScript to the rescue…this simple bit of code acts on the selection in Photos, and sets the Title equal to each image's filename.
error"Select photos before using script."
To use this bit of code, just select the photos you'd like to modify in Photos, then run the script. You can make it a bit easier by saving the script into your user's Library > Scripts > Applications > Photos folder (create as many of those as don't exist). It will then be available in the AppleScript menu in the menu bar, assuming you've enabled that in the AppleScript Editor's preferences.
This saved me literally hours of work, copying and pasting filenames to the Title field. (I was surprised this worked, but it did—you can't change the filename, but you can select and copy it.)
April 28 2019 Update:
In the comments, Daryle W. asked about using this script when there wasn't a modified filename—he'd like to use the filename, but drop the extension. I did a quick bit of searching, and came up with the following, which seemed to work in my limited testing. Please have a good backup before trying this, as it's not nearly as well-tested as my original version.
This should work for any filename extension; I tested with JPG and HEIC and it worked fine. (I originally tried this without using a new variable, but it didn't work—I wasn't able to use the filename in the set cutPosition... line, for example.)
As a recent somewhat-forced convert to Photos, I'm struggling with a number of things—more on that coming in a future post. But one of the tougher adjustments for me is that Photos uses a floating Info window, whereas iPhoto had an embedded info panel.
I keep the Info window open all the time, because I do a lot of work with keywords and location. (I also like to keep the Keywords window open, though this one was also floating in iPhoto.) I resize the iPhoto/Photos window quite often, depending on what I'm doing with other apps—sometimes I want my photos covering the screen, sometimes I don't.
In iPhoto, this isn't an issue (dark-background iPhoto GIF), as the info panel is attached to the main window. In Photos, though, resizing the main window leaves the Info window floating in space (light background Photos GIF).
I don't like the big gap, either visually or operationally, so I wind up moving the Info window next to the newly-resized main window.
There are a few solutions to this problem, the best of which only Apple could provide. They could make the Info window a panel below the photos, or they could make it magnetic so that it would stick to the edge of the Photos window, even as it resizes. I don't suspect we'll see either solution coming from Apple, though.
Instead of waiting for Apple, I used one of Many Tricks' own apps, Moom, which (among its other tricks) has the ability to save window layouts, either within an app or across many apps.