automator for importing pictures

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by tedesco24, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. tedesco24 macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2010
    I'm looking for a method to use automator to streamline the way I currently import my pictures and sync my external drive Pictures folder with my MBP iPhoto.

    My current workflow when I take a picture with my iPhone/camera is
    1. Connect the device to my MBP with the usb
    2. Open image capture
    3. Import the pictures to a generic desktop folder to "hold" the pictures
    4. Manually move the pics to a specific folder (Christmas 2012) on my external drive

    As a result of my workflow, my external drive is my accurate collection of pictures, and iPhoto is sadly missing large chunks of my photo history.

    What I'd like to do is create/use an automator that will
    1. Complete steps 1-4 above
    2. After creating the specific folder (Christmas 2012) on my external drive, import the folder into my MBP iPhoto
    Should the import be an event or album? Does it make a difference?
    3. Label the individual pictures within the folder...01-12252012...02-12252012...03-12252012

    Is this feasible? Any other suggestions on how to automate my workflow and better sync my external drive and my iPhoto?

    Thank you.
  2. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    How about this...

    Instead of iPhoto, use Adobe's Lightroom. Lightroom gives you the ability to make a second copy of the image files, during import, in a different location.

    In this scenario you would use Lr to import your images to your MBP, while simultaneously copying those images to the external. Now those images are in two spots.

    Instead of using the old-fashioned way of creating folders and sub-folders, harness the power of the Digital Asset Manager - which is what iPhoto, Aperture, and Lightroom are. In this scenario you would create Albums within Lr that correspond to the folder system you have been using. Now you can find images by Album, Keyword, Date, etc etc. Plus, you can pop an image that has your friend visiting at Christmas into both the Friends Album and the Christmas Album. Any edits done on one is also shown the other. You can have an image in as many Albums as you want without taking up any more room.

    Plus - you can create a Virtual Copy (perhaps one is BW and the other is colour) - again without taking up any more space, and all the meta-data on the 1st image is inherited by the subsequent copies.

    With this scenario you have better access to your photos, and you have the original images copied to the external. All without futzing with an automator workflow.

    I suppose there may be specific reasons you need to nest the folders, I will admit... but you didn't mention those needs so I can't address them.

  3. tedesco24 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestion but I'm not sure I want to spend $150 to manage my photos. Although reading some of the features of LR do make it tempting.
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Aperture does essentially the same thing, however I don't believe it can made a 2nd copy on import. It's a personal preference whether you use Aperture or Lightroom. Though - most people make their choice based on the workflow and the GUI. When people state a preference because of the image quality it generally favours Lightroom, in my observation.

    That said, the difference is minuscule and Aperture is much cheaper.

    You could just set up a nightly cloned backup of the disk with the photos. It's what I do. I have an internal disk for Time Machine (for user errors) and an auto cloned back up to an external HDD for serious errors.

    If you are serious about your photos, and if you have a large library it is worth investing in something better than iPhoto. I am a professional, and Lr takes care of about 90% of the work I need to do. For me it's an investment - it saves me a tremendous amount of time, and allows me to put my finger on an image very very quickly.

    I like the presets because I can set up an export preset for each of my usual usages. One for web quality with watermark, one for web quality without watermark, one for high resolution, another for thumbnails. The first export takes some time to get right because you need to go through an extensive list of options, and get them all the way you want them. The 2nd export takes just a couple of seconds. It is just a matter of choosing the preset and the destination. Click Export and Walla! You are done. After an Export I generally toss the destination folder because I can recreate it on demand.

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