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Moving from iPhoto to Lightroom

Moving from iPhoto to Lightroom

One of the nicest non photo-related aspects of Lightroom is its ability to library files without moving them to a new location. If you have an iPhone or especially an AppleTV then you will know how great it is to be able to sync photos directly from your iPhoto / Aperture library.

A number of photograph friends have cited this as a reason for using iPhoto or Aperture over Lightroom yet a solution is relatively simple.


It is possible to share the original photos (i.e. the ones straight from the camera imported into iPhoto) with Lightroom following this relatively simple process :

1. Access your Photos in iPhoto


Right click on your iPhoto library (users/photos/iphoto library) and select “show package contents” this will open a new finder window showing a series of folders.

The iPhoto icon is really a large folder containing your photos, meta information and revisions. You are not doing any damage to your photographs or even your iPhoto library by opening the package in this way.

2. Make Alias


Locate the ‘Contents’ folder, this should contain subfolders listing the various years for which you have photos. Right click on this folder and select “Make alias” you can call it whatever you want.

Now drag this alias file to your desktop or documents folder. We have to use the alias file as Lightroom is unable to open the iPhoto package.

As you will have to repeat the process if you add new photos to your iPhoto library it is worth keeping this alias file in your documents folder.

3. Import

Back in Lightroom click on the File Menu and import and then locate this alias file. Lightroom will take you through the next steps. I opted to keep the photos in their current location to avoid duplications wasting disk space.


This can take some time depending on the number of photos in your iPhoto library. Note that the two applications don’t work together i.e. adjustments you make in Lightroom will not appear in your iPhoto library.


Using Presets with Lightroom

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