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iPhone photos import issue

Selwin

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macOS 10.14 Mojave, iOS
Hello all,
After lots of LR updates on from LR6 to now Classic CC and numerous OSX -> MacOS and dot releases I still have the same issue, with three iPhone incarnations.
#1: There are no photos to import, when clearly there are and disconnecting / reconnecting iPhone lightning cable does help (sometimes restarting LR or Mac is necessary)
#2: The following files were not imported because they could not be read or the destination folder is not writable

Basically, using my phone as a camera is becoming such a nuisance when importing is due that I am looking for a shirt pocket P&S. But I have my phone with me always so I would really like to make this work.
Issues happen as from iPhone 5s, then 6splus now 8plus. iOS 9, 10, 11 and now 12.1.3 (fully updated), MacOS El Capitan through Mojave, now 10.14.2. Classic CC version 8.1. Oh I almost forgot: the issue appears on three different macs with different OS versions too.

I searched these forums as well as others and I found quite a lot of reports of similar issues, however none of them result in a fix. All I read is the usual "did you upgrade to the latest version" and such. After so many years of issues I kinda expected to find a thread (or some) containing detailed descriptions of the issues and the fixes. Now that I don't find that, I am almost starting to think it could be hardware related, even though as I said above the same issues appear on different pieces of hardware and software.

My workaround is this:
1. Try to import part of the photos and videos and delete all successfully imported ones from the iPhone. This is trial and error and very tedious as LR hangs whenever I stumble across photos or videos that refuse to import so I need to restart everything.
2. Isolate the troublesome photos and videos and copy them over directly from the MacOS photos app, by using the "show contents" command when right clicking the photo library in Finder.

To be complete I shoot photos and videos using the proprietary photos app in iOS, as well as a photo app called Halide, which is able to shoot RAW photos. Before anyone picks up from this piece of info: the troublesome photos and videos are always .JPG and .MOV, never the RAWs. In fact the halide RAWs are the ones I can start off with without issues.

So I apologise for the long post but I wanted the issue description and further info to be complete. I hope someone can point me to a lead of interest.

Thanks!
 
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Don't know nuances with Apple products, but here's what works well for me on my Android.

1) install the Lightroom CC mobile app for your OS

2) Either shoot with the LR app or set the LR app to auto import images shot with the default app

3) turn on Cloud Sync in LR Classic on your desktop

When I take a photo on my phone it auto imports into LR CC on my phone and auto syncs to the cloud. Then it auto downloads to my Desktop LR Classic all without human intervention. No manual import operations needed. On Android this words for still images but not video's (yet), however I understand that in the iPhone world video's work as well.

In my case, the default photos app for Android captures JPG's. But the LR Mobile app shoots in RAW. So, if I want the benefit of a RAW capture, I shoot with the Lightroom App, but when that is overkill for my purpose I can shoot with the Android supplied app.

The only drawback I have found so far using this method (other than not allowing video's in the Android version) is that sometimes I take photos on my phone that I don't really need to sync all the way back to LR Classic, but they do anyway.
 
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You might want to give PhotoSync a look. I personally gave up on trying to have Lightroom reliably import from my iPhone. Plus I have to manage photos from my wife's iPhone.

Basically I use PhotoSync to copy images from the iPhones to a set of folders on my Mac. From there you can initiate Import by simply dragging this folder to the Lightroom icon on the dock which starts Import. By using "Move" in Import Lightroom automatically cleans up the PhotoSync target folder. I use a couple of Import presets to manage metadata.

PhotoSync also keeps track of what has already been sent to my desktop so I don't have any problems with duplicates.

-louie
 

Selwin

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Thanks Dan and Louie for your time to respond. Highly appreciated. At least I seem not to be the only one still struggling with iPhone imports.
The cloud option is a good one but I also need an offline solution as I often find myself on the move, left without or slow and/or expensive internet access. I want to be able to securely import my photos even when in remote locations like say Francois peron NP Australia.
So the utility app may come in handy as well. I will try it!
Thank you both for your help and suggestions!
 

Selwin

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As a follow-up post, I'd like to say that the Photosync app suggestion made me try to use the Image capture app in Mojave. At first connect attempt the app did not show any photos. After unplugging the cable and reconnecting still no photos. After switching off and on iPhone I got the pictures. Capturing to hard drive was effortless and so was importing the folder with photos into Lightroom. I don't know what it is with direct import into Lightroom but it is cumbersome to say the least. I think I will continue to use image capture if it continues to work reliably as today.
 

Selwin

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Also, to be complete, this is the error message that I got from Lightroom when trying to import directly - and after having to wait for minutes and minutes and not a single photo showing up. I interrupted the import process by clicking the x at the right of the import progress bar, top left corner. I then got the following error message:

The following files were not imported because they could not be read or the destination folder is not writable. (3)
IMG_9479.MOV
IMG_9548.MOV
IMG_9788.JPG

I have numerous similar error messages saved in a dedicated folder. It's always more or less the same message. The first I have saved is from 2016 but there were many before that.

I examined the three files in the finder and nothing seems to be wrong with them.

So if anyone has trouble importing from iPhone directly into LR, here is what worked for me today:
  • insert iPhone and set Settings -> Screen -> Automatic lock to never
  • open Image Capture app in MacOS
  • if there are no pictures: release cable, switch iPhone off and back on, insert cable and try again
  • set Image Capture to copy your iPhone's photos and videos to a separate temporary folder on your computer
  • Import from this folder using normal import preset so files are copied (not moved) according to your preferences, or whatever you think is right for you
  • backup your catalog and photos/videos
  • delete photos and videos off your iPhone and delete the temp folder on your hard drive
 
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To be honest, I don't really know why any user with a Lightroom subscription should need to jump through those hoops to get their phone pictures into Lightroom. My workflow is fairly simple:

  1. Take picture/video.
  2. Wait a minute or two and picture/video appears in Lightroom (in the appropriate dated sub-folder and in my designated workflow collection).

Of course, it needs to be setup correctly, but that's just a matter of getting the settings correct on the phone and in Lightroom, and after that it's a totally seamless process which works consistently.
 

Selwin

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Hi Jim,
Thanks for your reply! I'm fairly sure you mean that your workflow involves using the internet to get your photos into Lightroom. What I want to do is copy them over by using a cable for occasions when I have no internet connection.
That said I am interested in your workflow setup. I haven't been around on this forum for a while so this may all be old stuff but nevertheless I'd be happy if you could share what you use or point to a good source.

Thanks,
Selwin
 

Martin Owen

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Just a thought. If you have no internet connection, but have your iPhone and a Mac (I’m assuming the issue is to get images out of Lightroom Mobile on the phone to Lightroom CC or Classic on the Mac) wouldn’t the iPhone and Mac set up a local Bluetooth connection to enable transfers locally?

Have I got the completely wrong end of the stick?
 

Selwin

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Hi Martin, thanks for your suggestion, but no i don't use LR mobile on the iPhone. I have my photos in the photos app on the iPhone and I wish to be able to copy them to the Mac while offline.
 

Martin Owen

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Ah, I understand. But...wouldn’t the iPhone and Mac (assuming they’re close) be able to set up a blue tooth connection to enable transfer? ..or even using AirDrop?
 

Selwin

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I guess they could, but I have a cable so in my experience that always beats bluetooth/airdrop. The issue isn't - or rather "wasn't" now that I have found the image capture solution - that there is no connection between the two devices, but that LR appears to take it very slow and refuses to import lots of images saying they can't be read or there is no space available.
Now that I use the two step copy workaround it takes a fraction of the time even though I have two steps. Copying 3GB worth of images and videos only took two minutes or so to copy and 10 seconds to import (excluding 1:1 previews)
 

Selwin

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...nevertheless I'd be happy if you could share what you use or point to a good source.
Hang on i believe Louie’s explanation above may be exactly what you mean. I will try that first.
 
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Hi Martin, thanks for your suggestion, but no i don't use LR mobile on the iPhone. I have my photos in the photos app on the iPhone and I wish to be able to copy them to the Mac while offline.
You can use PhotoSync for this. I believe that it needs to use WiFi you simply enable Personal Hotspot on your iPhone and then PhotoSync can communicate directly with your Mac. It will also work on any available WiFi network without needing the to go out on the internet for any external service.

-louie
 

Selwin

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Hi Louie, yes I'm sure PhotoSync will do fine. However Image Capture does all I need quick and soldi so far. But thanks for the suggestion. I try to keep my devices as clean as possible: only install 3rd party software if necessary.
I tried Califdan's explanation (sorry it wasn't Louie's, my bad) in post #2 in this thread and it works like a charm. So that will be my all day solution for now. And for those occasions where I don't have internet access Image Capture will be at hand.

Basically I'm all set now for iPhone import.

Thanks all for your contributions.
 
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I tried Califdan's explanation (sorry it wasn't Louie's, my bad) in post #2 in this thread and it works like a charm. So that will be my all day solution for now. And for those occasions where I don't have internet access Image Capture will be at hand.
Yep, that was the method I was referring to.
 

Selwin

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OK guys I'd like to take this method one step further. How about deleting images? My iPhone picture library needs maintenance, i.e. I need to delete photos off my phone at some point or my iPhone's memory will be full.

My approach prior to using this automated process (manual import from phone to LR Classic CC and earlier) has always been to completely remove all photos from my iPhones once I have them in Lightroom. YMMV, but whether you delete all or just a couple of photos, for this question it doesn't matter.

So what I have now:
  1. I have set LR mobile to automatically add photos and videos from the film roll
  2. In Lightroom Mobile Current I have a mirror of the photos and videos in my film roll - this auto import feature works
  3. I have created a folder on my hard drive in LR Classic CC called "LR CC cloud sync" and I set this folder in Preferences under "Specify location for Lightroom CC ecosystem's images" and I ticked "use subfolders formatted by capture date"
  4. In this folder, I actually get the photos that were populated in LR Mobile Current - this feature works too.

Now what?

  1. I tried to move the date stamped folders in Lightroom Classic CC out of the folder "LR CC cloud sync" to an appropriate location in my LR Classic CC library - so far nothing else happens
  2. Then I deleted the same photos from the LR Mobile folder
  3. Finally I deleted the same photos from my iPhone's picture library

Q1
Is this the correct workflow? All being automated and synced, I would actually expect that a delete (or move) action on one end (LR Classic CC) would also delete the same photos in LR Mobile. I tried to wait for a while for sync to happen but it doesn't.

Q2
I also tried to delete some photos from my iPhone picture library to see if they also automatically disappear in LR Mobile, but they don't. So step 2 above (auto import from iPhone photo lib to LR Mobile) appears to be an actual "copy" command so do I have two instances of every photo and video on my phone? In that case I need to delete the same pics from both apps to get them off my iPhone.

Thanks!
 
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The move won't affect the synced photos, because LR cloud knows nothing about folders on discs. If you actually delete the files from your Classic catalog (for example, the fuzzy ones), then they should also get deleted from LR's cloud but not from the iOS Photos app.

As you note, the import into LR mobile is a copy. It can't delete from the iOS Photos app. There is a way to delete photos from Photos app while importing into LR mobile, but it requires using the iOS Shortcuts app to "send" the photos to LR, rather than something Adobe's doing.
 
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Q2
I also tried to delete some photos from my iPhone picture library to see if they also automatically disappear in LR Mobile, but they don't. So step 2 above (auto import from iPhone photo lib to LR Mobile) appears to be an actual "copy" command so do I have two instances of every photo and video on my phone? In that case I need to delete the same pics from both apps to get them off my iPhone.
What Victoria said. But also note that you don't have to keep the copy of the iPhone photos permanently inside the LRCC app, you can use the LRCC settings to request that only Smart Previews are downloaded to the LRCC app. Once the originals have uploaded to the cloud you can clear them from the local cache, then whenever you want to access the image on the phone only a smart preview will be downloaded.
 

Selwin

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Thank you so much Victoria. If I understand that correctly all I need to do is
(1) move the folders from the sync master folder to their appropriate camera folders
(2) check that all images made it from iOS photos to LR Classic CC
(3) delete all photos from the iOS photos app
(4) delete the same photos from the LR CC iOS app
A lot of manual work still, with the only benefit to have the iOS photos app contents transferred to LR Classic CC automatically.
I can't help thinking now that a straightforward Image Capture copy action is less of a hassle in my situation.

So this got me thinking. The Adobe engineers have thought about this thoroughly so if I think it's impractical I'm probably missing the point, right? Just don't know which point I am not seeing.

In the scenario that all photos taken with the iPhone camera are to stay on the iPhone indefinitely I can see how this method pays off. But assuming there will always come a time when the user needs to remove them again, that user needs to check which photos are safe in LR desktop and delete them from two iPhone apps.
 

Selwin

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What Victoria said. But also note that you don't have to keep the copy of the iPhone photos permanently inside the LRCC app, you can use the LRCC settings to request that only Smart Previews are downloaded to the LRCC app. Once the originals have uploaded to the cloud you can clear them from the local cache, then whenever you want to access the image on the phone only a smart preview will be downloaded.
Thanks Jim, that could be interesting, but I'm not quite on the same page yet. Are you talking about iPhone camera roll photos only? And are you talking about settings in the LR CC iOS app or settings in the LR CC Classic desktop app? And what is the local cache? Is that the iOS photos app? Sorry I'm confused.
 
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So this got me thinking. The Adobe engineers have thought about this thoroughly so if I think it's impractical I'm probably missing the point, right? Just don't know which point I am not seeing.
The point you're missing is that one of the main benefits of the Adobe cloud is that all the images that you put in there are available to view on (and share from) any of your synced devices (and in the case of the LRCC Web app, practically anywhere in the world). It's not designed as a specific means of importing your phone images easily into LR Classic, with the intention of subsequently removing them from the cloud. Yes, you can restrict it to that narrow use-case, but it really is missing the main advantage of the LRCC ecosystem.

I have 15k images synced to the cloud, from all my cameras including my phone, and they are thus always with me on my phone, my iPads and any browser. Furthermore, all the images I share from the cloud are always the current edited versions, there is no need to export or otherwise publish them whenever I make changes. The view is always up to date.
 
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Thanks Jim, that could be interesting, but I'm not quite on the same page yet. Are you talking about iPhone camera roll photos only? And are you talking about settings in the LR CC iOS app or settings in the LR CC Classic desktop app? And what is the local cache? Is that the iOS photos app? Sorry I'm confused.
No, not the camera roll photos, as Victoria explained those you have to manage yourself after they've been imported into the LRCC iOS app.

The settings I refer to are the LRCC iOS settings, and the local cache is the space used by the LRCC iOS app for the storing of all its files (both originals and previews). You can use the "Clear Cache" option within the app, either globally or on a per album basis, to clear out any data no longer needed (such as imported originals if the current setting is for Smart Previews only).
 
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In the scenario that all photos taken with the iPhone camera are to stay on the iPhone indefinitely I can see how this method pays off. But assuming there will always come a time when the user needs to remove them again, that user needs to check which photos are safe in LR desktop and delete them from two iPhone apps.
I just delete everything from Photos app once it's in CC and uploaded to the cloud, so I don't have to track two copies.
 

LeeMiller

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I have a separate iPhone question I signed on to ask about, but noticed this thread. Does anyone else have trouble importing directly from the iphone? For me it is seamless; as easy as from an SD card. I use ImageCapture to select and delete all after the import. I'd also lobby for AirDrop if you really need to transfer first to the computer. These days it's fast and easy.

Here's my question, which I've been completely unsuccessful at finding anything useful to address online. Why on earth are some of my images given bizarre, non-standard names? Instead of the normal IMG_ prefix, I get random four-letter prefixes like KYHC or VAAK, with a number that's completely out of sequence. I can't find any common cause. Anyone else?
 
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