Insert SD, Auto Import (Photos), Auto Eject. Possible?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by nathanjbrown, May 15, 2018.

  1. nathanjbrown macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2008
    Boston, MA
    Hi All,

    I've been digging around in search of the answer to this question, but I can't track it down: Can a Mac be configured to automatically import (into Photos for macOS) RAW image files from an SD card upon detection of said SD card? Can the OS then eject the SD card following a complete import?

    I'm planning to setup a Mac Mini server that will run without an attached monitor (headless). I'd like that Mac Mini to be the repository into which all photos from our Nikon D750 are stored.

    Desired workflow:
    1. Arrive home.
    2. Remove SD card from DSLR.
    3. Insert SD Card into Mac Mini.
    4. Eat a sandwich.
    5. Remove SD Card from Mac Mini w/ confidence that all photos were imported.
    6. Wait for upload to iCloud Photo Library to complete.
    7. Review photos on iPad Pro.
    8. Make simple edits to Photos on iPad Pro (in either the Photos app for iOS or Affinity Photo).
    9. Make complex edits to Photos on MacBook Pro.
    What do you think? Possible?

    Alternatively, can Lightroom CC do what I've outlined above? I'm not opposed to making the switch (I've hesitated for years given my wife's comfort level with Apple's native apps, but I'm finding the user-centric organizational structure of the Photos app to be problematic when we each take pictures on our iPhones individually but also share photos from our DSLR). <- That was a long parenthetical.

  2. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    Why would you want to do that? Before uploading my images in LR, I create a folder, insert SD card, then add any tags to images (name of event, date, location, etc). When I first started shooting with a digital camera I just used iPhoto and the only tag I was year and month. Backing up, I labeled the DVDs with name and year. Going back to those images from the DVDs its hard to remember what is on them.

    Before you upload come up with a labeling system and then go from there. I think in iPhoto aka Photo you can do that. I haven't used it since moving to Lightroom.

    I do have the Nikon wifi app on my devices. You can incorporate that in your viewing and then download the ones you want to keep. There are so many ways you can do it. Apple use to have Adobe apps on their Macs in store. idk if they do any more, but if they do you can look around there and see if you like to use Lightroom on the Mac.
  3. mollyc macrumors 68000

    Aug 18, 2016
    Lightroom will auto detect a card if the program is open and auto eject a card, but you have to push a few buttons in LR before going to eat your sandwich.

    But if I have a lot of photos to download, I often start it then go do so else away from the computer. I have never used photos.
  4. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    If you've already got the MacMini and iPad, why not use screen sharing? You can keep the same workflow, except step 3b. would be to launch screen sharing and trigger the import manually and step 5 would be to manually verify the import and eject the disk.

    The biggest problem with doing it completely headless is that you assume that the import didn't have any issues, which and lead to corrupt images and missing data.
  5. nathanjbrown thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2008
    Boston, MA
    Many thanks for all of the responses thus far. A few additional bits of information:
    • Why do I want to do this to begin with? We live in a very small home with no formal office space. There is literally no space for a desktop computer with display (with one exception: the dining table). So we live on a 1TB MacBook Pro and iOS devices. The MacBook Pro is full (710GB photo library). Hence the desire to have a headless server stashed away with connected drives for media and backups. You're probably going to make a comment regarding the size of that Photos library. Yeah. I know. I keep a "foldered backup" of our major trips/photography sessions on an external drive. I'm always worried the library is going to completely meltdown, so I also keep multiple backups on multiple drives.
    • Why Apple's Photos app? I've made an effort to keep the process of importing, viewing, editing and printing photos as simple and familiar as possible for my wife. She has very little interest in learning something new (when it comes to this particular topic, I mean). It is what it is.
    • Why not screen share? That's my Plan B. Or perhaps it's Plan C. Yes. Definitely an option. I will say, however, that I've never had an import fail in the 10+ years I've been using Apple's photo apps. Aw, my next import is gonna fail. Shouldn't have opened my mouth.
    I'm now pondering the fact that Photos is tied to one user or another. It's annoying that she needs to use my account to work on Photos. Perhaps I should setup another user account: "Nikon." Give it an AppleID. Add it as a member of my family so that it can tap into iCloud storage. Etc. Etc. Then, following an import from the Nikon (as described in my original post...or thereabouts), my wife or I can simply login as "Nikon" to view/edit/etc.

    What application do you use for screen share from an iPad? I know there are many options, but I haven't explored the topic in quite some time.

    Thanks, again!
  6. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    I only have laptops, and the only headless computer I used was a windows PC. So I just used either Teamviewer or Microsoft's RDC app. There are quite a few big name apps out there, most of them are pretty highly rated. Sorry I can't give you a better review.
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I kinda got lost here. If you've got a laptop, and a headless server, why not just stick SD card into laptop and copy to a folder on the server? Sure, you won't immediately see what's going on directly on the server, but your laptop would barf up an error message if the copying went wrong, and you'd see whether the SD card mounted, and you could even open the folder on the server that was the destination of images and see if they're OK. The only difference is sorta where you stick in the SD card.

    And with some folder actions (see Hazel) you might even be able to automate the process further. Or use ChronoSync.
  8. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    We’re you responding to me? I’m not the OP.
  9. nathanjbrown thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2008
    Boston, MA
    I thought of this today, too. As I think this through, I have many options. Inserting the SD card into the headless Mac Mini really isn't a necessary step (as you highlighted above). Thanks for the response!

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