Apple Photos - how do I break free?

Saledolce

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I'm trying to export my whole photo library from Apple photos. It seems to be working but it screws the file dates, setting them to the moment when the export is done (=right now). Any tip?
 

sgt08

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It is supposed to embed the metadata in the exported files, but at least according to this discussion thread over at Apple Support there may be a bug with exif info exporting in MacOS Catalina, if you're on that version.

You might want to try doing File > Export > Export Unmodified Original instead of exporting the edited versions and see if that makes a difference, although if you have done extensive edits in Photos that probably will not be a good solution.

EDIT to say - you say it messes up the file dates (which could actually be expected behavior), I guess the real question is if you import the file into a different photo program does it also have the original capture date as part of the metadata?
 

Hendrik

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The time of original capture is retained and shown on the line headed Content Created (4th line down in Finder in Mojave). I know for certain that Lightroom ignores the Created and Modified lines and accurately records the original as Date Time Original, Digitized, etc. It should work.
 

Replytoken

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Hi, EXIFTool can be used to reset file date/time attributes, e.g. it can use the EXIF values to set the filesystem attributes, or vice versa, or other possibilities...
If you do need to use EXIFTool, there is the companion EXIF GUI for those that do not like command line programs.

--Ken
 

Replytoken

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@Replytoken - do you know of a similar program like EXIF GUI that will work on Mac? I have loads of old digital content that has been mis-EXIF'd somewhere along the way that I would love to correct....
For computers, I am a Windows guy (for tablets and phones Apple and Android respectively) so I do not know of any similar programs. But it seems like the two posts above have.

Good luck,

--Ken
 

Saledolce

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you say it messes up the file dates (which could actually be expected behavior), I guess the real question is if you import the file into a different photo program does it also have the original capture date as part of the metadata?
I think this is the test to do. I will export (unmodified originals) and import and see if the dates in the metadata are correctly used. I tried moving the library (keeping it as apple photos) to my nas, and icloud is definitely part of the problem. The library storage is "optimized" so part of my stuff is not on the file system but uploaded to the icloud.

Looks like I may need to change my break free strategy in two steps, as I need to break free from icloud first. The library is too big for my mac disk, so I cant just "unoptimize" it, and photos refuses to sync with cloud if I move it to the nas.
 

sgt08

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I don't use the iCloud Photo Library feature, but I would really hope that you could still export the individual photos (to an empty folder on the NAS, for example) even if some of the photos happen to be only stored in the cloud at the moment. Although I suppose the process of exporting a photo that is only in the cloud could cause it to be moved back to your Mac disk, so maybe space there is also an issue…hmm.

Moving a Photos Library to the NAS could cause trouble (Apple recommends against it in this support document). Best to use a USB drive that you can format as APFS or MacOS Extended.

But it all depends on what your final goal is…if you are planning to end up with your photos in another program (Lightroom, Capture One, etc) maybe there is a migration tool to get everything out of Photos so you don't have to struggle with this kind of manual export-and-reimport?
 

Saledolce

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I exported a set of photos (unmodified originals + xmp file) and reimported in a new Photos library on NAS. Metadata are intact. First step for me is to have the current main Library go down to a size allowing me to unselect the "optimize option" and have all the unmodified originals stored on this mac. I'm thinking about exporting to a NAS folder, and then use either Synology Photo Station of Synology Moments.

What is not clear to me is: is the XMP file also transferring the edits that were done in Photos or that just about keywords and locations?
 
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bassman

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If you are exporting the image from Photos and not the “original“ your getting a jpg with your edits applied. No xmp.

When you export originals from Photos you get three files: .xmp, .mov, .heic. The xmp appears to contain only some exif data, such as GPS info. The .mov is the “Live” image from an iPhone camera, and the .heic is the static equivalent of the original unedited image. You don’t seem to get any edit info.

<x:xmpmeta xmlns:x="adobe:ns:meta/" x:xmptk="XMP Core 5.4.0">
<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#">
<rdf:Description rdf:about=""
xmlns:exif="http://ns.adobe.com/exif/1.0/"
xmlns:photoshop="http://ns.adobe.com/photoshop/1.0/">
<exif:GPSSpeedRef>K</exif:GPSSpeedRef>
<exif:GPSSpeed>1.6527549034286571</exif:GPSSpeed>
<exif:GPSTimeStamp>2020-01-14T15:01:25Z</exif:GPSTimeStamp>
<exif:GPSImgDirection>316.93734744</exif:GPSImgDirection>
<exif:GPSLongitudeRef>W</exif:GPSLongitudeRef>
<exif:GPSAltitudeRef>0</exif:GPSAltitudeRef>
<exif:GPSLongitude>74.081719500000005</exif:GPSLongitude>
<exif:GPSLatitude>41.015033329999987</exif:GPSLatitude>
<exif:GPSLatitudeRef>N</exif:GPSLatitudeRef>
<exif:GPSImgDirectionRef>T</exif:GPSImgDirectionRef>
<exif:GPSAltitude>90.200000000000003</exif:GPSAltitude>
<exif:GPSHPositioningError>54.228559704554783</
exif:GPSHPositioningError>
<photoshop:DateCreated>2020-01-14T10:01:24-05:00</
photoshop:DateCreated>
</rdf:Description>
</rdf:RDF>
</x:xmpmeta>

This non-original jpeg, at the largest and highest quality, is 300kb. The .heic is 1.9mb. The .mov is 4mb.
 

bassman

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I would say export the jpg and the heic - that would be equivalent to shooting in raw+jpg in a camera. The jpgs will be fully baked, but then you can adjust the heic using your fav post processor to taste. You only need the .mov files to retain the “Live” images from an iPhone - they’re 4 second video clips.
 

Saledolce

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The iphoto library mostly contains pics shot with m43 cameras. Large majority of that is RAWs+JPEGs.

There is something I shot on iphone, but thats a minority and certainly the are not the most "valuable" pics in there.

I exported the library once as export "unmodified" (that is giving me back all the RAW files, and the jpeg that came out from my RAW development software), now I'm going thru the procedure again as just "export" to get the modified jpegs.

Edit: Photos has an "Edited" filter that is making my life a lot easier.
 
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