I am amazed at the lack of simplicity to import my Apple Photos Library into Lightroom Classic. Please help?
I should start by stating that I have no photos in the cloud, they are all on my hard drive.
I have tried the following various methods but none are working:
1. Clicking "import" but my Apple Photos library doesn't show up as a source.
2. Using "File>Plug in Extras" but only "iPhoto" is supported (that is the old Apple app replaced by Apple Photos). Oddly, Adobe hasn't updated this plug into to work with Apple Photos.
3. Navigating to the Pictures>Photos Libary> (Righ click) Show Package Contents. Then, my research says I should navigate to the "Masters" folder and basically import from there. Unfortunately, there is no "Masters" folder. There is an "Originals" folder and I am able to go to the "originals folder" but there are 20 sub folders. Surely, I shouldn't have to import all the different sub folders.
I cannot imagine that Adobe wouldn't make this a simple, but from my research, they haven't.
I would be very grateful if any could help me out?
Feature request, How to, Import and export, Make It
If you import a folder, then you can check the option to include all subfolders, so that should not be a problem. I would advise against importing from the Photos Library package, however. Lightroom normally does not have access to this package, so I don't think it's a good idea to try to do this anyway.
Start Apple Photos, select all images and choose Export - Unmodified Original. If you have used keywords in Apple Photos that you want to migrate to Lightroom, then select the option to save IPTC metadata in XMP (I'm typing this on my iPad, so I can't check the exact words). After you have exported the photos this way to a normal folder, you can import this folder into Lightroom.
Please let me start by saying that this is NOT Adobe's fault, it's Apples. Let me explain the two differences in how they work with images.
Lightroom doesn't care where images are located, they just link to wherever you point them and they are then logged into the LR's Catalog.
Photos takes any image you want in their system and imports them into INSIDE the Photos application.
What this means is that these photos are now contained in a place that other applications cannot see or access. The advantage, as Apple sees the situation, is that you (the user) cannot inadvertently throw away or lose an image. The disadvantage is that if your Photos catalog gets too big, it will not fit on your hard drive. The opposite of both these situations apply to LR-C as well. If you do not control where your images are located, it's easily possible to inadvertently move or throw away images so that LRC doesn't know where they are. However, I (for example) keep all of my images on an external drive (which is backed up to another external drive) so I cannot put any strain on my main hard drive's storage issues due to too many files.
That's a short summary of the storage differences, now to help you move your files over:
First, if you dont' care about the general structure of your Photos and/or wish to deal with this later, Go to Photos, select ALL of the images and export them to some location (do place them into a folder for easy access) you can find later to import into LRC.
When you do this you will have two options: one is to "export them with all of the adjustments you've already done" or the other "export them as they came out of the camera." Personally I'd do the latter because I know I can achieve better adjustments in LRC than Photos but that's me. I'd be willing to spend the extra time, YMMV.
If you DO CARE about the general structure, than go to one block of images (Sister Judy's wedding, New Years Party 1988, whatever) and export just those photos and place them into a separate folder. That way, when you import them into LRC, you can place them into their own folder of the same name and/or add Keywords when importing the images to also make it easier to find them later.
Either way you do this, it doesn't make a difference but the greater amount of organization (and Keywording) you put in now, the less issues you'll have later.
One last tip: When importing images into LRC, you can "Copy as DNG" which is only viable if the original images are raw images; "Copy" which is used for taking the images off of a camera card or out of the camera directly; "Move" which is used for moving the images from one location to another (e.g., from your desktop to an external drive); or "Add" which means to keep the images where they are but to add the images to the Catalog.
The one other piece of advice I'd give you right now is to create a folder where ALL of your images will go. Into that folder make as many sub-folders (and subsub-folders if you want) of where the images will be put for your needs. Do NOT have many locations where you place your images (Download folders, Desktop, External Drives, travel drives, because that becomes a mess and if you later want to move them into a large external drive, it can become a nightmare of where things are located. (This shows the one strength of Apple's approach.)
Sorry for writing so much but I wanted to give you the full background on the problem you were having. It's just two competing ways of "helping" you.