MacMost Now 865: iPhoto Export Options

There are a variety of ways to export a photo from iPhoto. Using the File, Export function you can decide which file format to use and set the quality and size. Learn how to use the various options and see a comparison between image quality settings.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 865: iPhoto Export Options.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at exporting photos from iPhoto.

You have a few ways to get photos out of iPhoto. But in this video let's focus on using the standard File/Export function.

So first let's go into an event here and select a few photos. I'm going to select three photos, like that, and then do File/Export. We have a variety of options that appear then. The one we are going to focus on is the File Exportfor just getting the actual photo files out of iPhoto.

Normally they are stored in a package which is the iPhoto Library. So to get them out as files to say to put them on a USB device or email them to friends or do something else with them you would want to use this File Export function after selecting several photos.

Of course a simpler way to do it would be to drag and drop the photos out of iPhoto into the Finder. But this offers you more options about exactly how the export is going to work.

So you can see the main options. The first one is to select the Kind and typically when you want to export a photo you want to export it as a JPEG. But often you want to do Original.

When you do Original you are actually taking the original photo, this is how it came from your camera into iPhoto in the first place. It is the full size one so it may be several MB and may not be ideal for emailing somebody or giving somebody a large collection of photos. If you really want to give them the original highest quality version then you want to use Original here. Usually that is a JPEG because that is what most cameras now-a-days save.

But is you switch to JPEG you get more options. Like you can adjust the quality because you are no longer restricted to only giving you the original photo. So now you can set it to several different options. Here you can see the lowest is the smallest size. That is usually good for sharing something online or just giving a quick copy to a friend so they can see it.

But if they want to keep the photo and use it, then if you are not going to use Original, then perhaps use the Maximum which will basically recompress the photo a little bit, maybe saving a little space, but still trying to maintain almost all the quality. Then you've got two qualities in the middle there you can use for various things.

Now as an experiment I took a photo and exported it in six different ways. The first way here you can see is using the low setting. The low setting you can see I got it down to 1.1 MB which if I go to the original, I jump there so this is exporting with the original setting, you can see that it is a 4.6 MB photo. So I saved a lot of space by doing low. You can see the picture size is still the same 3264 x 2448 either way. It is just compressing it differently.

So if I look at it here in Quick Look you can see there is one version of it and if I go down to the original you can see that you really don't see much of a difference in screen resolution. If I zoomed in you would see a difference. It depends upon how much you care about that quality. Whether or not is matters to you. Because if I go from low to medium you can see I jump to 2.1 MB and then I go to high it goes to 3.8 just barely saving over the original and if I go to maximum it is actually recompressing it at a higher rate. You are not getting anything out of that. So there is no point in using maximum in this case. Although it may make sense for another photo perhaps a much larger one. But in this case maximum you are actually getting a larger file but no new quality because you can't get quality out of it.

So if I do the drag and then original and notice that it is the same thing. So exporting the original and dragging is basically doing the same thing.

You can see if you are using JPEG you can also decided whether or not to include some data in the photo, like the title and keywords or location information with the photo. This is useful especially if you are exporting to archive something somewhere or send somebody an original photo. You know, take a photo of them and oh send me a copy. You may want to include the GPS information in there so they have that when they import it into their iPhoto collection.

If you switch to something like original you don't get those options because that is automatically included.

Also when using JPEG export you get to choose the size. So I was using full size and you notice that all the different options were saving at the same dimensions. But I can actually shrink the photo down and I can use small, medium, large, or full size or custom and then set it to a maximum width or height or either one. So I can basically select the size of the photo. This is great especially for uploading to websites where you are not going to ever see the photo at full resolution anyway. So why have a huge file to upload. Or say if you an artist and you want to provide a sample of your work you can provide a smaller sample very easily. And for web development work as well. You don't want to necessarily have the full size image which will take a long time to download. So you have those options.

You also get to choose a file name whether you use the original file name which is usually a letter followed by some numbers that your camera gave it. Then you also get to set it to the title. So in this case you can see I've set a title for this photo here but these are just using the original file name. So it wouldn't make any difference.

You can just do a sequential one. I'm going to export a bunch of different ones and I just want it to be like A,B,C and then 1,2,3,4. So you can rename them that way. You can use the Album name for this, in this case Sample Photos, with the number sequentially after that.

You also get to pick a Subfolder Format. So if in this case you are selecting several events. So let's do that here. I'm going to select a couple of events here. I do export for both of those events. I can say create subfolders, one for each event, and use the event name for that. Otherwise don't use subfolders.

I find myself using the Export function mostly if I want to upload a bunch of photos to a web gallery of some sort or I want to share them with somebody like put them on a USB stick or transfer them over a network for someone and I want to set it with specifics. Like I maybe just give them medium quality because I know they are not going to save the photos, they are just going to look at them that one time and not add them to their collection. If I do want to give somebody some photos for them to keep permanently then I would give them the originals, perhaps using the drag and drop option or at least exporting using the original setting.

I hope you found this video useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 9 Responses to “MacMost Now 865: iPhoto Export Options”

    BF Fox
    6 years ago

    Thanks for clearing up lots of questions re iPhoto. Keep ’em coming!

    6 years ago

    thanks x you help

    Mary Rudat
    6 years ago

    Thank you, Gary, for this website and for all of the helpful information!

    Thim Fook, Law
    6 years ago

    Thanks for the tips on Export from iPhoto, Gary. I wonder if you could also explain about the “Export/Current” option.

    Thanks and regards.

      6 years ago

      Often, “Original” and “Current” mean the same thing. But if you edit the photo, then Original refers to the original photo in the original format. So, the exact file that was original imported into iPhoto. But Current would contain any edits such as color adjustments or cropping. It may also give you a different type of file if, say, you used RAW format in your camera, but after editing the “Current” version would be a JPEG.

        Thim Fook, Law
        6 years ago

        Much thanks for your quick reply, Gary. I noticed that if I’ve made several edits to the pic, when I export in “Current” file, I end up with several files, i.e., -1, -2, etc. I was a bit confused over this.

        Thanks again, and regards.

    Riaz Afzal
    6 years ago

    Excellent concise information – thanks

    6 years ago

    I find this video clearly explains the export functions. I have multiple iphoto Libraries from two computer that I wanted to combine. I called Apple and they said I would have to export the pictures from one library & important them into the Library I want to use as my main Library. I didn’t know which setting to use – now I do, “original”. THANK YOU. This is the second video from the week that is has just the info I’ve been seeking.

    6 years ago

    Many thanks

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