Use iPhoto and Lightroom?
Lightroom, for me is the best program out there to navigate through and edit your photos. But, when I just want to browse, or I’m showing off my images to – anyone who’ll look, I like to use iPhoto. It’s got a great UI and is unbelievably simple to use.
I did debate about ditching iPhoto a while back but when I worked out this hack with a bit of help from Google it was a no-brainer. Plus, I’m intrigued to see what Apple will do to iPhoto when it’s re-released as Photos later this year.
So, follow this step by step guide to make your photos in iPhoto available for edit in LR.
1, Navigate to your iPhoto Library, right click and hit ‘Show Package Contents’.
2, Highlight ‘Masters’, go to ‘File’ > ‘Make Alias’. You’ll see it’s greyed out. It’s always greyed out for the Originals/Masters directories. So, drill 1 step down by double clicking the ‘Masters’ directory and highlight one of the folders. Then, go ‘File’ > ‘Make Alias’.
3, Highlight your new aliased folder and hit ⌘ + I. Click ‘Select New Original’. Go one step up the tree to ‘Masters’. Click ‘OK’. (If you don’t see your folder tree, change your view to Columns.)
4, Change the name to something like iPhoto > LR. Drag this to your pictures folder.
5, Open LR. Click ‘Import’.
6, Click ‘Add’ from the top bar (this will tell LR where your photos are but not actually import them and this will save your disk space). Personally I always have ‘Build Smart Previews’ and ‘Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates’ checked.
7, From the source file on the left click ‘Pictures’ then, finally, your newly aliased folder. If you hover over your pictures folder you’ll see the path is its true path, hover over your aliased folder inside and you’ll see it’s pointing to the masters folder inside your iPhoto Library (I have my iPhoto Library on a NAS).
Check the photos you want, hit ‘Import’ and let LR do its job. You’ll have all your photos from iPhoto in LR ready to edit in no time!
When you want to add photos, drag them to iPhoto as usual, then repeat steps 5, 6 & 7 above to get them into LR.
To edit, click your photo(s) and hit ‘Create Virtual Copy’ so the original is always left alone, that’s pretty standard anyway. Always work non-destructively!