A month ago we talked about how to work with Adobe Bridge and iPhoto. As promised, today we will see how to transfer all your pictures from iPhoto to Aperture or Adobe Lightroom. This is not as easy as it could seem and the process can take a while, especially if you have been storing your pictures in iPhoto for a while. I believe the transition is worth it though if you are getting more serious about photography. Both Apple’s Aperture and Adobe’s Lightroom have more options for working with RAW files, and have much more advanced editing tools than iPhoto could ever serve up. The two applications can also handle much larger photo libraries.
Aperture, just like iPhoto, is an Apple product, so transfering photos from one app to the other is a cinch. In Aperture simply choose File>Import>iPhoto Library. All the pictures will be stored in an iPhoto Library folder in your Projects. Aperture saves rolls as different projects, however it will not recognize smart albums.
Transferring images from iPhoto to Adobe Lightroom is a little more tricky. If you try importing directly from the Apple software you risk ending up with a mess of original images, modified images and thumbnails. What’s more you will probably lose tags entered in iPhoto. What you need to do is get hold of a program called PictureSync. First open iPhoto, then PictureSync. Then select the pictures to import from iPhoto. In PictureSync press open, then File>Save Annotations. Drag your selection from iPhoto to Lightroom. Only the pictures you selected and their metadata will be taken into account.
So there you have it. Obviously importing pictures from iPhoto to Aperture is easier, but it isn’t too much of a hassle sending them to Lightroom either, except that you’ll need to use an extra application. I would recommend not switching to often between programs though, as you always risk losing some of your data. If you’ve found an application that you like working with, try to stick with it.