iPhoto Export Options for Photo Quality?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rinibean, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. rinibean macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2011
    I am reviewing the document below with the hopes of exporting my photos correctly. I'm afraid it is beyond my skill level to understand. It is a cache document, I can't get the real document to load on my computer:


    Here is the original web address:

    Can someone help me understand which options to use for my needs? I am specifically referring to which options to choose for:
    1. "Kind"
    2. Image Quality I'm assuming would be "Maximum"
    3. Do I check the "Title and Keywords" and "Location" boxes?
    4. I'm Assuming "Size" should be marked "Full Size"

    I have two end goals:

    1. I want to back-up photo files to an external drive. I DO want the export to capture changes I've made in iPhoto (cropping, red eye removal, etc). I also want the image at full quality so I could restore my iPhoto Library should it ever disappear.

    2. I want to export files to my desktop in order to make a photo album from an online vendor.

    Any help is appreciated! Thank you!
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Are your photos backed up in some other way?

    iPhoto can store photos in its own library (managed library) or referenced photos outside the iPhoto library (referenced library)(depends on what you have checked in Preferences>Advanced under "Importing"). Time Machine can back up photos, or you can manually back up the library or photos. Neither would require you to export them.

    If you want the best insurance to save all your edits then back up the iPhoto library. Odds are iPhoto will be usable for quite a while.

    The other route is to essentially treat the originals (whether JPGs, RAWs, or whatever) sort of like negatives, and make positives from those negatives with all the changes, kinda like printing them. In that case, the adjustments to the original are immortalized in the exported photo itself, rather than in the iPhoto database.

    If you want to export the originals for archiving, without changes, then use the kind "original." It's just that. What you put in is what you get out. No changes.

    If you want to export your finished, edited, adjusted and beautified photo artwork, then you want a format that doesn't compress or remove any info. For that, with iPhoto, your best choice would probably be TIFF. I'm not sure what iPhoto means by "current," but I believe all the other choices (JPG and PNG?) are formats that compress. Also, check the boxes for keywords, location and whatever other metadata may be available.

    I'd suggest some sort of name change, like 1234-edited.tiff or whatever for the finished exports so that you can associate them by name with the originals if they are ever put back in the same folder together.

    And I don't believe iPhoto is gonna know about those TIFFs. You'd have to import them as TIFFs back into iPhoto. So many use some sort of "exported photos" type folder to keep track of that. That way your exported final "prints" or TIFFs would also be a part of your iPhoto library, which makes things easier to keep track of.

    One other tip: you can always select a photo and use the "reveal in Finder" command to find it. And it will give you two choices: either the modified or original file. If they are deep, deep within iPhoto's library you might have to do some Finder-fu to make them usable in another application, but the modified files are just sitting there.

    Good luck, and don't do anything without a backup!
  3. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    I would treat the two operations entirely separately.
    1. Use time machine or CCC or some other mechanism to simply backup the entire iPhoto library. It doesn't make sense to me to be picking and choosing especially since you wish to be able to constitute it after a problem anyway.
    2. For exporting specific photos to a location on your desktop for use in some other app such as making an online album, you want
    Kind JPEG*
    Quality max
    Size full size

    I wouldn't change the file names because then should you notice an issue in one of the final photos when you are manipulating it in the online album creation app, it's simple to go back to iPhoto and adjust the original as you don't have to work out that (say) img0001234.jpg in iPhoto is the same as export000352.jpg

    * in theory other formats might be less lossy, however unless you are importing and working with RAW images from your camera,odds are high you are using JPEG so just sticking with JPEG will not make any difference at all. No point converting to non lossy TIFF if you started with JPEG anyway, and losses would be in indiscernible.
  4. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I read the article you have linked and they are making too big of a deal out of this. I have to export all the time. It's the only way for me to archive photos from my main camera: my iPhone 5. They all come in via Photostream and if I don't want to deal with the cable and image capture, I need to find a way to get "original" photos to a folder in OSX. What I do is allow Photostream to autocreate an "event" for each month. Events are groups of photos. I then open an event and highlight all the photos. I then drag them out of iPhoto's window to a Finder window with whatever folder I want them copied to. They all show up as originals in full resolution with all metadata and file dates that correspond to the date the photos were taken, not the date they were exported from iPhoto.

    Hope this helps...
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Very easy. Just select the photos you want or command-a to select all then click File menu then export and setup the screen exactly like this. That will export the full resolution of the edited versions of your photos.

    I picked Event Name in the drop down. That will export them by subfolders by event name. If you don't want that and just want all the photos in one folder change that drop down to none.

  6. rinibean thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2011
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. To be honest, I didn't even know what Time Machine was. But just in a little searching it certainly seems like the easiest resolution for backing up my photos in case I ever lose data on my actual computer.

    I will also play with the export feature today to ensure I know what I'm doing for the photo albums.

    Appreciate the help! If I end up with more questions I'll post again.
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Yeah, oops. I am so used to dealing with RAWs I didn't consider you may be starting with JPEGs to begin with, which means "current" would work fine. Sorry 'bout that.
  8. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    If you just want to match the quality of the original photos, then just simply drag and drop from the iPhoto window straight into Finder. Nothing simpler.

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