Apple Photos RAW workflow

rick987611

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 28, 2008
80
27
Just trying to find some clarification on RAW files in Photos between iOS and MacOS. I’ve been looking at the possibility of ditching my Lightroom sub. I currently edit my RAWS in there and then export JPEGs into Photos. Thing is, I don’t use it a ton, so if I can save the $10/mo that would be great. I love Lightroom mobile and how I can edit on any device and it syncs between them in such a simple way. Can import into iPad, then continue my work on the computer at home. It’s fantastic.


So I imported a RAW file into Photos on MacOS. Did a quick crop. When I get over to iOS I am unable to un crop it. From what I can tell it is because iOS is actually getting a JPEG generated from the RAW. I understand that makes viewing photos quicker, but I can’t find a way to get into the RAW.


The second, and larger issue, is that if you start work on a RAW file on iOS it syncs back to MacOS like expected at first glance. Then when you go to edit it some more on MacOS you see there is the RAW and a JPEG that iOS created. If you choose to edit the RAW file you are starting back from scratch. None of the edit that generated this JPEG on iOS carry over to the MacOS photos app.


Am I missing something? With the improved features coming to Photos it seemed like a good opportunity to move my entire workflow into a single app. Seems like it has some roadblocks if I want to do work on the RAW between several devices though.
 

nevheatley3

macrumors member
Nov 20, 2015
41
21
Manhattan, NY
Just trying to find some clarification on RAW files in Photos between iOS and MacOS. I’ve been looking at the possibility of ditching my Lightroom sub. I currently edit my RAWS in there and then export JPEGs into Photos. Thing is, I don’t use it a ton, so if I can save the $10/mo that would be great. I love Lightroom mobile and how I can edit on any device and it syncs between them in such a simple way. Can import into iPad, then continue my work on the computer at home. It’s fantastic.


So I imported a RAW file into Photos on MacOS. Did a quick crop. When I get over to iOS I am unable to un crop it. From what I can tell it is because iOS is actually getting a JPEG generated from the RAW. I understand that makes viewing photos quicker, but I can’t find a way to get into the RAW.


The second, and larger issue, is that if you start work on a RAW file on iOS it syncs back to MacOS like expected at first glance. Then when you go to edit it some more on MacOS you see there is the RAW and a JPEG that iOS created. If you choose to edit the RAW file you are starting back from scratch. None of the edit that generated this JPEG on iOS carry over to the MacOS photos app.


Am I missing something? With the improved features coming to Photos it seemed like a good opportunity to move my entire workflow into a single app. Seems like it has some roadblocks if I want to do work on the RAW between several devices though.
I have not noticed the behavior you mentioned, but give your situation, I would wait until the more stable betas of High Sierra come out and then try the switch. There is a large jump in capability on the editing side.

Also, I recall somewhere it being mentioned that if you have raw, you may want to make sure you're editing the RAW in OS X Photos. There may be something to check in the black heading to ensure that. Sorry I could not be more specific.
 

rick987611

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 28, 2008
80
27
I have not noticed the behavior you mentioned, but give your situation, I would wait until the more stable betas of High Sierra come out and then try the switch. There is a large jump in capability on the editing side.

Also, I recall somewhere it being mentioned that if you have raw, you may want to make sure you're editing the RAW in OS X Photos. There may be something to check in the black heading to ensure that. Sorry I could not be more specific.
I did find the switch to edit the RAW. It works, but it basically erases any edits I did on iOS. If I edit the JPEG iOS generated then my previous edits remain.
[doublepost=1497142708][/doublepost]Actually I'm sorry. Before I can edit the RAW that has been edited in iOS on the Mac I have to revert all edits. Otherwise it will not let me switch over to the RAW.
 
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nevheatley3

macrumors member
Nov 20, 2015
41
21
Manhattan, NY
I did find the switch to edit the RAW. It works, but it basically erases any edits I did on iOS. If I edit the JPEG iOS generated then my previous edits remain.
[doublepost=1497142708][/doublepost]Actually I'm sorry. Before I can edit the RAW that has been edited in iOS on the Mac I have to revert all edits. Otherwise it will not let me switch over to the RAW.
Apologies... I don't if there is anything more I can add. I hope someone who uses Photos more can chime in.
 

IPadNParadise

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2013
504
155
Just trying to find some clarification on RAW files in Photos between iOS and MacOS. I’ve been looking at the possibility of ditching my Lightroom sub. I currently edit my RAWS in there and then export JPEGs into Photos. Thing is, I don’t use it a ton, so if I can save the $10/mo that would be great. I love Lightroom mobile and how I can edit on any device and it syncs between them in such a simple way. Can import into iPad, then continue my work on the computer at home. It’s fantastic.


So I imported a RAW file into Photos on MacOS. Did a quick crop. When I get over to iOS I am unable to un crop it. From what I can tell it is because iOS is actually getting a JPEG generated from the RAW. I understand that makes viewing photos quicker, but I can’t find a way to get into the RAW.


The second, and larger issue, is that if you start work on a RAW file on iOS it syncs back to MacOS like expected at first glance. Then when you go to edit it some more on MacOS you see there is the RAW and a JPEG that iOS created. If you choose to edit the RAW file you are starting back from scratch. None of the edit that generated this JPEG on iOS carry over to the MacOS photos app.


Am I missing something? With the improved features coming to Photos it seemed like a good opportunity to move my entire workflow into a single app. Seems like it has some roadblocks if I want to do work on the RAW between several devices though.
To save the $10/month, I use Affinity Photo and the Mac Photos to edit my photos on my mbp. AFfinity Photo is a one time purchase of about $69, I think, but I highly recommend it. It does not have a DAM yet but they are working on it. It is a non destructive editing process. My workflow is: transfer photos from camera to mbp Photos, export files as Originals to mbp finder, open in Affinity, edit/develop raw files, export as jpeg back to finder, and/or share back to Photos for storage. With iCloud it is synced between devices. If it sounds complicated/too many steps, it works quickly for me but I take less than 100 photos at a time.
 
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nevheatley3

macrumors member
Nov 20, 2015
41
21
Manhattan, NY
To save the $10/month, I use Affinity Photo and the Mac Photos to edit my photos on my mbp. AFfinity Photo is a one time purchase of about $69, I think, but I highly recommend it. It does not have a DAM yet but they are working on it. It is a non destructive editing process. My workflow is: transfer photos from camera to mbp Photos, export files as Originals to mbp finder, open in Affinity, edit/develop raw files, export as jpeg back to finder, and/or share back to Photos for storage. With iCloud it is synced between devices. If it sounds complicated/too many steps, it works quickly for me but I take less than 100 photos at a time.
Ditto here but with Capture One (RAW > C1 > jpeg export > Photos)
 
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whiteonline

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2011
487
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California, USA
To save the $10/month, I use Affinity Photo and the Mac Photos to edit my photos on my mbp. AFfinity Photo is a one time purchase of about $69, I think, but I highly recommend it. It does not have a DAM yet but they are working on it. It is a non destructive editing process. My workflow is: transfer photos from camera to mbp Photos, export files as Originals to mbp finder, open in Affinity, edit/develop raw files, export as jpeg back to finder, and/or share back to Photos for storage. With iCloud it is synced between devices. If it sounds complicated/too many steps, it works quickly for me but I take less than 100 photos at a time.
I haven't tried yet, but hoping the new Photos in High Sierra will make the "export-original" step unnecessary.
 

MIDI_EVIL

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2006
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UK
To save the $10/month, I use Affinity Photo and the Mac Photos to edit my photos on my mbp. AFfinity Photo is a one time purchase of about $69, I think, but I highly recommend it. It does not have a DAM yet but they are working on it. It is a non destructive editing process. My workflow is: transfer photos from camera to mbp Photos, export files as Originals to mbp finder, open in Affinity, edit/develop raw files, export as jpeg back to finder, and/or share back to Photos for storage. With iCloud it is synced between devices. If it sounds complicated/too many steps, it works quickly for me but I take less than 100 photos at a time.
This is really useful, thanks for this! I've been using Aperture/Lightroom for many years and I recently purchased Affinity Photo. I'll try out your process. I'm fed up of 'subbing' Adobe!

Apple really needs a full blown photo editor with DAM.
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,527
410
Atlanta
This is really useful, thanks for this! I've been using Aperture/Lightroom for many years and I recently purchased Affinity Photo. I'll try out your process. I'm fed up of 'subbing' Adobe!

Apple really needs a full blown photo editor with DAM.

Apple had one. It is Aperture. They kicked it to the curb for Photos because IOS photographers were not going to use Aperture and store in the iCloud.
 
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ignatius345

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Aug 20, 2015
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I shoot RAW+JPEG, and rather than follow Photos default import, I find that I really only want the RAW file very occasionally. So I open the SD card in the Finder, copy all the JPEGs over to Photos, and then I save selected RAW files into a separate Finder folder. If I want to use one to make a new JPEG from a RAW file, I open it in Photoshop, save out a JPEG and import that to Photos.

It's all a little convoluted, but I really don't need RAW files for the vast majority of my shots, and definitely don't want them clogging up my drive and iCloud space. What I really wish for is the ability to selectively discard RAW files from Photos, but once you do that default import, it seems to keep both.
 
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MIDI_EVIL

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2006
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Apple had one. It is Aperture. They kicked it to the curb for Photos because IOS photographers were not going to use Aperture and store in the iCloud.
Ha, I even mentioned I'd used Aperture in the past and forgot it was even made by Apple!

This is more evidence it's much needed!
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
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But being wanted or needed does not override the corporate decision to kill it. Past time to move on.
 

MIDI_EVIL

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2006
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But being wanted or needed does not override the corporate decision to kill it. Past time to move on.
Bet you're fun at parties... I was merely stating my opinion, echo'd by many, that Apple SHOULD revise their pro photography offering.
 

MCAsan

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Jul 9, 2012
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A riot. ;)

Apple restarting Aperture is as likely as Google restarting the Nik Collection. Neither have a Pro level photography offering as they are both focused on the mass consumer market of smartphone users. .
 

martinX

macrumors 6502a
Aug 11, 2009
847
54
Australia
I haven't tried yet, but hoping the new Photos in High Sierra will make the "export-original" step unnecessary.
"Open a picture in a third-party photo editing app like Photoshop or Pixelmator directly from Photos, and your edits will automatically be saved in your Photos library. You can also download third‑party project extensions from the Mac App Store that let you order framed prints, create web pages and more, straight from the Photos app."

No mention if it is suitable for a raw photo workflow.
 

BJMRamage

macrumors 68020
Oct 2, 2007
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Curious amateur photographer here...

I am 'stuck' with Aperture here. I used iPhoto and then upgraded to Aperture and started shooting RAW. I love using Aperture's brushes, settings, and ability to copy paste metadata/effects. and the categorizations and slideshows.

I stayed with Aperture because of the above but realize this is a slippery slope where one day everything won't work nicely with Aperture and I will be at a sudden loss/crossroads with even more photos to figure how to proceed forward.

I've kept my RAW photos RAW. I know edit/process and then save to flattened and be done but...still new to RAW processing, I have gone back and made better edits to photos as I have learned more. Ideally, I'd like a DAM and editor in one, like Aperture.

When people use Photos with third-party editing, will it save those edits as non-destructive 'layers/edits' or will the third-party edits be sealed into a non-RAW file?

Thanks and sorry to hi-jack this thread if I did.
 

MCAsan

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Jul 9, 2012
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You should have two new choices by the end of the year. Macphun is developing a DAM for Luminar. Luminar acts as host for Aurora and the CK apps. Serif is making a DAM for Affinity Photo.

On1 has a browser in Photo RAW but no import handling into the file system. You wold need Photo Mechanic or other app to do the import, renaming...etc.
 
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robgendreau

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Jul 13, 2008
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I've kept my RAW photos RAW. I know edit/process and then save to flattened and be done but...still new to RAW processing, I have gone back and made better edits to photos as I have learned more. Ideally, I'd like a DAM and editor in one, like Aperture.

When people use Photos with third-party editing, will it save those edits as non-destructive 'layers/edits' or will the third-party edits be sealed into a non-RAW file?

Thanks and sorry to hi-jack this thread if I did.
I'm not sure what you mean by "save to flattened." In something like Photoshop you can flatten layers and save, but Aperture doesn't do layers. To preserve edits you must export in some format. Assuming you're not going to Photos, which can read your Aperture adjustments (I think Capture One can do some of that now too). I did a lot of exporting from Aperture in the past, but since I also have RAW frankly I found I was re-doing stuff in newer editors anyway, so I stopped going back to Aperture to export, except on occasion some JPEGs just for reference. YMMV.

I don't think Macphun is every gonna come out with a database type DAM, and probably not even a browser type one. They and Affinity and Photo Mechanic and others keep hinting about such vaporware, but zippo. The only serious contender I've seen developed in years and years is of course Photos, but also Mylio. Even Capture One is using stuff from older software.

Photos, as a parametric editor, like Aperture, doesn't save in layers. Neither does Aperture. It saves into a database. It cannot at this time do what Lightroom can do and save into smart objects or DNGs. So those edits are saved into the file as parameters.

Right now if you edit RAW in Photos you can always return to the original. Even if it was sent to an extension for editing. But it didn't have a separate "edit in..." command. We hope it will send the RAW to the external editor, but I dunno if that's true. Even Aperture had some issues with that workflow, as compared to say DxO and Lr, where either an Lr-edited image or the original RAW image can be sent to DxO (and get a linear DNG back, which allows some further RAW adjustments).

And right now what Photos gets back from an extension is an image with the adjustments, like an export. It can do further stuff, or go back to the original it has stored itself, but it can't redo the extension's edits, if that's what you mean.

If you used the new "edit in..." we hope it will work like that does in most programs: you edit in say Photoshop or Affinity, save it in there proprietary format (PSD or the one Affinity uses), and then that image just shows up back in Photos. It would be nondestructive if then you could open it again in the external application again and start where you left off.
 
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BJMRamage

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Oct 2, 2007
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I'm not sure what you mean by "save to flattened."

And right now what Photos gets back from an extension is an image with the adjustments, like an export. It can do further stuff, or go back to the original it has stored itself, but it can't redo the extension's edits, if that's what you mean.

If you used the new "edit in..." we hope it will work like that does in most programs: you edit in say Photoshop or Affinity, save it in there proprietary format (PSD or the one Affinity uses), and then that image just shows up back in Photos. It would be nondestructive if then you could open it again in the external application again and start where you left off.

This helps. I used to edit photos in Photoshop. back in iPhoto days but back then i was a JPG shooter and it didn't really matter.

With Aperture about everything is done IN Aperture. some exceptions with doing a mock-up or bigger composite image.

With Photos, I understand you need Extensions to do where it fails to meet the abilities of Aperture. But then I am curious if you edit a RAW in Affinity or another program, to get (say) a Brushable edit or something else, it sounds like the file is then saved not as a RAW with an adjustments baggage, but as either a native file of the third-party app OR a flattened version, then into Photos.

I liked the non-destructive nature of Aperture for RAW (or maybe JPGs too but I've shot RAW too long using Aperture to remember). and how you can go back and toggle off adjustments or remove all and start over from the RAW info.

***Maybe I am just a fool to keep the RAW files after post-processing. but I feel even if RAW adjustments change in the future, all the info is there and I can perhaps get it back to what I had whereas converting to JPG or TIFF would Seal the Deal on the adjustments.


thanks for the reply
 

Reality4711

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Aug 8, 2009
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Jpegs to 'Photo' and RAW to Photo Folder.

Browse and edit for sharing/web in Photos.

Browse Raw in FRV open in Affinity, export to original folder,Finished work folder or Photos depending on quality chosen (TIFF/jpeg/png etc.).

I then keep an external SSD via usb3 for my archive all backed up with TM..

So far this is working well with no glitches or mis-files etc..

Being outside all applications my photographs are always available to all the applications (Apple or 3rd party) and there are no barriers placed around them by generic file types e.g.. PS,Afps.. Moving and opening any file becomes straight forward and reliable this way.

I recognise the need for all that "keywordsearching" for pros but I don't need that anymore.

Regards. Sharkey
 

MCAsan

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Jul 9, 2012
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Atlanta
Suggestion....never throw away your raw files....or convert them to DNG. That gives you a way to start over with a new/different post processing app. When you move from Aperture to other app (i.e. Lr, CiP, Luminar with DAM, Affinity Photo with DAM,,,...etc), the new app should import or accept you raw files from their current location. But the new app will likely not import the non-desctuctive edits from Aperture database. There are no standards for the parameters and value ranges for non-destructive editing. Each company does their own design and own algorithms. They don't know how to read each other's editing history and make a parallel one for their own app.

So when you do migrate you can have Aperture make TIF versions of images you want to keep as edited images. You should be able to import the original raw images plus their edited TIF files into the new DAM app. The good news is that with a more modern app and a gracious plenty of plugins/extensions for the new app....reeditting old images could be faster and give even better results.
 

Crotonmark

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2011
178
17
Westchester County, NY
Jpegs to 'Photo' and RAW to Photo Folder.

Browse and edit for sharing/web in Photos.

Browse Raw in FRV open in Affinity, export to original folder,Finished work folder or Photos depending on quality chosen (TIFF/jpeg/png etc.).

I then keep an external SSD via usb3 for my archive all backed up with TM..

So far this is working well with no glitches or mis-files etc..

Being outside all applications my photographs are always available to all the applications (Apple or 3rd party) and there are no barriers placed around them by generic file types e.g.. PS,Afps.. Moving and opening any file becomes straight forward and reliable this way.

I recognise the need for all that "keywordsearching" for pros but I don't need that anymore.

Regards. Sharkey
Sharkey
How do you make all photos available to all applications?
Doesn't Photos create a Photos Library that "captures" all of the photos in an enclosing envelope structure?
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
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Sharkey
How do you make all photos available to all applications?
Doesn't Photos create a Photos Library that "captures" all of the photos in an enclosing envelope structure?
In Photos' prefs deselect the "copy into..." option. Then you can use Photos to reference images like Lightroom or some other applications. But note that then these images can't be used in iCloud Photo Library. But OTOH the images are just out there in regular Finder folders...as originals; none of the changes you made in Photos will show on them. For that you'd have to use "edit with..." or export or use an extension from within Photos.

Note that Sharkey is putting the jpegs in Photos, but NOT the raw. Key difference. With that system if you did process a raw further you could always export that from say Affinity and then import the result into Photos, and then delete the JPEG.
 
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