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Import My Process: 2020 Apple Photos to Lightroom Classic Migration

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I am documenting this for posterity to hopefully help someone else one day who is also attempting to migrate Apple Photos to Lightroom Classic as of July 2020. After days of research, I found only old instructions and dated forum suggestions how to manually accomplish this task. IMO, most of the well-intended instructions and tips just don’t work today as software levels have evolved, or their older and perhaps simpler procedures cause more data to be lost and/or cause more manual work than I’ve found is necessary.

Hang with me. This is long as I’ve tried to be complete for techies with multiple observations how things appeared to work throughout the process. For those that don’t care about the detail, skip to the “My Migration Process” section and follow the big bullets. ;)

MY OBJECTIVE
  • Move all media and DAM from Apple Photos 5.0 (2020) to Lightroom Classic 9.3 (2020)
    • Retain existing file types (no conversions)
    • Retain as much curated metadata as possible
    • Retain all source media
    • Retain a select number of final edited versions
      • I accept I will loose access to proprietary non-destructive edits I made in Apple Photos (just as I lost them when I left Lightroom to migrate to Photos), including any from Plug-ins I occasionally used. The best I can hope for is to also retain a static version of the final combined edits.
  • Rename and structurally organize media into a consistent methodology; It’s OK if physical media files change filenames as part of the migration, as long as the metadata remains in-tact. (You don’t have to do that.)
ISSUESFrom My POV
  • Adobe has not done current Apple Photos users any favors providing a migration tool or at least an official documented process that I’m able to find for Lightroom Classic. Anyone embarking on this with a substantial Apple Photos library, especially if it’s been highly curated, will have a daunting task ahead. The legacy Lightroom Classic Extras Plug-In for Aperture/iPhotos has been outdated for years, and is useless for the vast majority of new customers that may want to move to Lightroom Classic. I appreciate migration is something that Apple-based customers hopefully only use once, but IMO, making on-boarding as easy as possible for any customer, establishes the best path for early adoption and long-term satisfaction — just sayin’. ;)
  • Most WWW articles and forum discussions on this subject don’t apply to TODAY’s software environment, or at a minimum make you question how valid several-year-old tips may be. I read dozens of web pages and forum threads before doing my own tests and finally taking the leap.
    • IOW and IMHO, if you perform one of the older variations of “point Lightroom directly at an alias of the Apple Photos Library source file, and import from there”, it may be simple, but you may loose an awful lot more in your move than you really need to
MY ENVIRONMENT
  • macOS 10.15.6 (Catalina); Apple Photos 5.0; Lightroom Classic 9.3
  • ~14K photos including .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff, .psd, .bmp, .crw, .cr2, HEIF/.heic — perhaps others; plus a few dozen .avi and .mov videos created long ago in my earlier PC and digital photography days
    • It’s now all managed by Apple Photos (for the past 3+ years)
      • Prior to Apple Photos, I used every release of Lightroom V6 back to the original V1, Aperture/iPhotos, Photoshop Elements back-in-the-day on PC/Windows, and numerous manual methods before that as digital photography was starting and automated DAM became a thing — each time, migrating my growing media assets the best I could (Remember the Kodak DC cameras? I had several in those early days, and still have their low res photos in my library.)
    • Most images and video have been tagged with metadata, including: Title, Description, Capture Date/Time, Structured Keywords, Location and People (Faces)
    • Physical filenames are historically all-over-the place — it’s never been a real problem for me. I used file folder structure to keep things in order, and in more recent years metadata has become the primary way to access and manage the library.
OBSERVATIONS
  • Apple Photos Source Location (for Techies — not needed for the migration process below)
    • Most likely maintained in ~/Pictures/Photos Library.photoslibrary
      • Access for knowledgeable users outside of Apple Photos is via Finder and the Show Package Contents option
      • Photo source files are located within the /originals subdirectory AND PERHAPS /Masters.legacy (I only have a few there for whatever reason)
    • Individual media filenames visible via Finder are NOT what they really are; Use “Get Info” within Apple Photos to see the actual individual filename as it will be upon export outside Apple’s protected Photos environment
  • IMPORTANTLY: I believe no matter what you do today in this migration to Lightroom, you of course will loose all non-destructive edit instructions, and what were Photos Albums, Projects, Slideshows and People/Face tagging as you migrate to Lightroom -- perhaps more. Be prepared to manually recreate what is important to you in the Lightroom world post-migration, and adapt your workflow to what Lightroom provides.
    • I suggest if you use Photos Albums, consider uniquely keyword tagging those photos and videos before beginning the migration process, so you can easily reconstruct similar Lightroom Collections later, then simply delete the temporary keywords that helped you during the transition when you no longer need them.
MY MIGRATION PROCESS

NOTE: My major trick is to use the Apple Photos Export functions to an intermediate location, prior to importing that into Lightroom, which preserves significantly more metadata than if you try to subvert Apple Photos and grab the data directly without its help to put all the pieces back together for you. Even as you export away, Apple Photos seems to try and help its users when you give it a chance. ;)

  • 1. Using Finder or your favorite backup utility, backup your legacy Apple Photos Library to at least 2 different external sources for posterity, just-in-case something goes wrong or you change your mind later on
  • 2. Install and setup Lightroom so it’s ready for media import (Victoria’s books are always helpful, as are some other video courses)
    • 2a. Using Finder, create a new permanent directory that will become your Lightroom master photo library. Be sure you have sufficient space to house not only what you have today, but what you may expand into.
    • 2b. Decide upon your new photo filename and directory naming structure, then test your Lightroom import settings with a handful of photos to be sure all works well.
    • 2c. When you are satisfied, delete (trash) your test photos and any subdirectories from inside Lightroom
  • 3. Create a temporary directory to house a copy of all your photo images from Apple Photos
    • Yes, to complete my migration process, the implication is you will need roughly triple the size of your existing Apple Photo library to complete the migration. Once the migration is complete to your satisfaction, and Lightroom has become the center of your universe, you can delete this temporary directory and then delete or downscale your original Photos Library.
      • If you are out of disk space, my suggestion is you can always use a temporary external drive to house the migration files.
  • 4. Open Apple Photos
    • Original Source Media
      • 4a. Select Photos / Library in the left menu (or you could use Albums or other selections to migrate only part of your source library — just be sure you ultimately migrate everything)
      • 4b. Click File / Export / Export Unmodified Original for n Photos
        • BE SURE to Tick ON “Export IPTC as XMP” to preserve metadata applied in Apple Photos
        • Leave File Name and Subfolder Format alone. (Apple Photos Export is smart enough if you have multiple photos with the same physical filename, it will add an incremental “(n)” to the end of additional newly exported filenames so you don’t have a duplicates conflict or loose anything.)
      • 4c. Click Export
        • Apple Photos will now copy original files with their real filenames AND most metadata to the temporary directory. XMP Sidecars will be generated with appropriate metadata for each photo.
        • NOTE: HEIF Live Photos within Apple Photos are split into a separate .heic photo and .mov movie file when you do the export. This is normal as you move outside Apple’s world. You can read all the technical reasons why in various WWW articles. IOW, if you are cross-checking yourself as I tend to, your file count of items being exported from Apple Photos may different than what you find in your exported temporary directory, for a number of reasons.
        • You’ll get an error panel at the end of the export if there are problems. It’s then your choice how to deal with whatever the problem may be. (FWIW, I had 6 export failures for my entire library, and after tracking down 3 of them being very old images that had somehow become corrupt over many years of transitioning between apps and versions, I just let them finally disappear into infinity.)
        • If this process hangs with the infamous bouncing-ball, at least in my case, I tracked it down to Photos Export not being able to handle a few old RAW+JPG photos from a specific camera I used years ago (other cameras since with RAW+JPG worked without an issue). Instead of reporting and waiting to possibly get a resolution from Apple if one would be created for a 6+ YO camera and only a handful of images (doubtful!), my workaround was to eliminate these photos, and manually generate maximum size and resolution JPG for each one that I migrated into Lightroom. Interestingly if you follow my procedure below for edited versions to extract these problem files, it works, and your metadata will flow for each of those photos properly into Lightroom.
    • Edited Versions
      • 4d. If you want to retain a static version of some or all of your edited photos, it will take additional work to first locate and select each photo manually inside Apple Photos (there is no Smart Album way to locate all edited photos that I’m aware of.) Then, similar —but not quite the same— as above, use:
        • 4d1. File / Export / Export x Photos
        • 4d2. Specify the Photo Kind, Quality and Size to meet your needs
        • 4d3. BE SURE to Tick ON both of the “Info Include items” in the dialog box to preserve any keyword and location data
        • 4d4. Click Export into a temporary subdirectory of your choice
  • 5. Import the files from your temporary directory into Lightroom using the Import Dialog. Doing it this way (vs. others ways), IMO saves time allowing Lightroom to copy and create your desired directory structure in your new media library. The choice is additionally yours:
    • It’s a good time to rename files for improved consistency as well as create a consistent subdirectory structure at the same time the initial media is migrated. I didn’t change filenames, but certainly let Lightroom do the heavy lifting creating dozens of subdirectories and placing media in the right place.
    • While I normally import with a Metadata Preset containing my © info and such, be careful doing it during this migration step as you will overwrite any existing data your photos may already have. I wanted EXIF/IPTC meta left the way it was, so I used no preset during Lightroom Import and just remembered to start using my preset again when I imported my first new photos.
  • 6. When the migration is complete, spot check to ensure all looks well within Lightroom — focus on your new file structure, numbers of photos in total and each subdirectory seem roughly correct, and metadata (keywords, GPS data if you use it) are there
    • You may have what at first appears like duplicates for some photos you edited in Apple Photos. That of course is because you decided to create and migrate them using step 4d above, or in your long ago past like me, perhaps used apps that actually created secondary physical images each time you edited them (and they existed in Apple Photos too — it’s not Apple’s issue.)
    • If you have any Burst photos in Apple Photo, this migration process will cause each of the individual photos to be exported and imported into Lightroom. Each should have correct metadata. You will need to then stack them yourself inside Lightroom, post migration, if you desire.
    • You may also find the number of non-XMP files in your temporary export directory is greater than what the Lightroom Import dialog displays. There are at least a few issues at play I found in my situation. There may be others.
      • You may have some ancient Windows .bmp files that Apple Photos still supports, but more recent versions of Lightroom do not. If these are important, you must manually export each one from Apple Photos and convert to a supported format before importing to Lightroom, then remember to re-tag each one as you’ll most likely have lost their metadata in the process.
      • You may have some very old versions of .mov or .avi files (not all!!!) in Apple Photos, that today’s Lightroom and even current levels of native macOS, no longer support. If so, it becomes your choice to try and track down what has gone missing, then perhaps export and convert the files to a supported format using tools outside of Lightroom. More info on the specifics of this can be found with some WWW searches on both Apple and Adobe FAQs. I’ll leave that for others to explore if it’s important to them. Be forewarned, resolving this will be labor intensive on your part.
        • There is no report or easy way that I could figure-out, to find what the Lightroom Import dialog decides to ignore after your selection. You’ll only notice something is off, if you see the total count when the count in the upper right of the center import dialog is less than what you may remember from the displayed count your Apple Photos export completion notification (less the matching XMPs of course.)
        • In my case, I have ~100 .mov/.avi movies that did not migrate. After spending way too much time finding just two examples, and track down internal file formats they had, both ended-up being low-res short movies from the late 1980s that have been moving with my library for years, but I never watched or care about today. I’ve decided to let them all disappear into infinity and move on. Your choice may be different. Just be aware this may happen with these file formats. Again, it would be so much easier if Lightroom had an Import Dialog exception log or notice of what it has decided to ignore after your selection.
    • FWIW, I also had multiple problems when I tried to import all of my temporary exported files in a single Lightroom Import -- in one case, it completed without any indication there was an error, but I was more than 3K files short that didn't import as they should. I also had Lightroom hang trying to bring in more than 4-5K items (roughly 10K files with XMPs) in a single import. I have 32GB of memory, with plenty of available workspace, so I don’t normally have memory constraints under my control, but I bet I hit a bug in Lightroom Classic or macOS. Anyway...
      • The workaround I found was to create multiple Smart Albums in Apple Photos, breaking up 100% of my media library into groups by capture year subsets, then exporting each Smart Album in-turn using the Originals process above into it’s own temporary directory, and importing each set individually into Lightroom. I became tired of fooling around with someone’s software bug, and ended-up not exceeding 3K media items (6K files) being imported at a time, and it worked. YMMV and no, I did not take the time to report the likely bug to Adobe as I don’t want to try and recreate all this one-time migration effort for them again. Time for me to move forward. ;)
    • 6a. When you are satisfied with what has made it’s way into Lightroom, you can delete your temporary working directory used for the migration. You still have your original Apple Photos library if all else fails at this point.
  • 7. Update your personal workflow with Lightroom becoming front-and-center. See Victoria’s great docs and other videos from other providers for help.
  • 8. Final Migration Steps
    • 8a. Consider what you want to do with photos you previously managed in Apple Photos, as your new source versions are now in Lightroom. Delete one or the other is one possibility, and there are all sort of variants you could do. I personally am in process of working my way through what’s best for me, going through the entire library via Lightroom, stacking related media together, while fixing a few tagging and naming anomalies I’m finding along the way. Someday, I may have to reconstruct non-destructive edits against one or more original photos I’ve lost, or I'll just use the final extracted version I may have — I’m electing to worry about that then, since I more importantly have retained all originals and metadata to help me find what I'm looking for. ;)
    • 8b. Construct any new Lightroom Collections for legacy Apple Photos Albums you may have been using, then delete any temporary keywords you may have applied to accomplish this work. It's best to keep things tidy in your new Lightroom Catalog.
    • 8c. Work through People/Faces tagging to update what may have been lost
    • 8d. Rebuild any Slideshows you have lost
  • 9. Lastly, do something with your legacy Apple Photos
    • Determine what you want to do with your now outdated media copies inside Apple Photos
    • Remember, you have the same photos and media in both Apple Photos and in Lightroom, which for me is a long-term nightmare. You may also have iCloud Photos syncing still happening across your Apple devices, so FIRST consider what will happen to everything else in your life if you simply delete photos from Photos on your Mac. I’ll leave it to other threads, books, and such for the possibilities. I won’t even try to describe what I may initially be doing myself once I have my initial Lightroom migration completed in several more days — it’s way beyond the subject of this thread.

Good Luck, and welcome to Lightroom! I would appreciate any corrections from folks that have recently done an Apple Photos migration themselves —no theories please — or found some clear problems with what I’ve tried to convey. In the future, it would be great if others post changes or alternatives they have found necessary because of evolving software levels so we can try to help the next generation of migrators with more current information. Thanks in advance!

Stay well all!
Bert
 
Last edited:
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I did not read your complete process (sorry). There is a much easier way to get an Apple Photos Library into Lightroom Classic. It involves the Photography plan that includes Lightroom v3.3 and enough Adobe Cloud storage to accommodate your Apple Photos Library.
Step one is to Migrate your Apple Photos Library to Lightroom (cloud Lr)
Step two is to sync your Lightroom (cloud Lr) back to Lighroom Classic (LrC)

Probably the Subscription Plan with only 20GB of Storage will be insufficient to hold all of your Apple Photos images, but the 1TB plan might.
 
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I did not read your complete process (sorry). There is a much easier way to get an Apple Photos Library into Lightroom Classic. It involves the Photography plan that includes Lightroom v3.3 and enough Adobe Cloud storage to accommodate your Apple Photos Library.
Step one is to Migrate your Apple Photos Library to Lightroom (cloud Lr)
Step two is to sync your Lightroom (cloud Lr) back to Lighroom Classic (LrC)

Probably the Subscription Plan with only 20GB of Storage will be insufficient to hold all of your Apple Photos images, but the 1TB plan might.
Thank your for your kind assist. I briefly explored use of "Cloudy" Lightroom, but beyond some functional differences from Classic that I could probably live with, two bigger things caused me to go with the 20GB Photography Plan (Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, access to mobile apps for more casual use):
  1. I have internet reliability concerns where I live, even though I'm in the burbs of the 8th largest city in the US. Most of the time I'm OK, but every few months I'm out for days, and in-between have occasional interruptions or brief slow-downs. I've tried both ISPs in my area, and am back to the first that has a 1TB/month data limit before costs go up substantially. On top of my normal internet traffic, I'm a cord-cutter using much of that data for TV. I just couldn't bring myself to try and perhaps fail the two-step Lightroom migration, uploading my existing 250GB library to Cloudy, then syncing back down to Classic, only to have also paid my ISP the extra bucks and perhaps find I had similar metadata transition to do.
  2. I've always been a careful shooter, limiting numbers of photos taken and purposely not getting into video (yet) -- likely because of the early cost of storage and challenges I went through slowly backing it up in the day. Redundant local storage is not an issue for me now, but I'm still stuck in some of my old shooting ways -- need to work on that! I have plans to move up to a 45MP camera this year that will by itself dramatically change my storage consumption going forward. Fortunately, I have two Drobo, each with dual disk redundancy, and perform physical offsite backups of everything on a regular basis. With no additional expense, I have TBs available to locally expand my photo library into at Thunderbolt 3 speeds, so there is little need for me to also pay Adobe for cloud storage, especially when I'll only casually use the mobile apps on more rare occasion -- at least for now.
Thx again. I've been a lurker on this forum for years, ever since I got turned-on to Victoria's books and this site came into being back IIRC around the V4 days -- always helpful and kind folks here with info I tend to trust more than some others.
 
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... I briefly explored use of "Cloudy" Lightroom, but beyond some functional differences from Classic that I could probably live with, two bigger things caused me to go with the 20GB Photography Plan
Perhaps you miss my intention the Lightroom for the cloud is simply a one time use of Lr to migrate your Apple Library to LrC. Once everything is in LrC, you don’t need the 1TB or the cloud again unless you can find a benefit for it after the migration.

For me coming from expensive 36 exp film cameras, it was hard to get use to the idea that the “one” shot might not be the best. The hard part now is to decide in LrC which of the “good” shots to keep.
I have a 48mp Nikon Z7 that I load to Lightroom mobile whils still in the fields and it usually is on my LrC computer by the time I get home.
I think the term “cord cutter” is a misnomer. Swapping out cable for an Ethernet over the same interface isn’t really “cord cutting”. So much as “content swapping”. My fiber cable/internet service is unlimited and the Cable part is there only because AT&T bundles it with their high speed internet.


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Perhaps you miss my intention the Lightroom for the cloud is simply a one time use of Lr to migrate your Apple Library to LrC. Once everything is in LrC, you don’t need the 1TB or the cloud again unless you can find a benefit for it after the migration.

For me coming from expensive 36 exp film cameras, it was hard to get use to the idea that the “one” shot might not be the best. The hard part now is to decide in LrC which of the “good” shots to keep.
I have a 48mp Nikon Z7 that I load to Lightroom mobile whils still in the fields and it usually is on my LrC computer by the time I get home.
I think the term “cord cutter” is a misnomer. Swapping out cable for an Ethernet over the same interface isn’t really “cord cutting”. So much as “content swapping”. My fiber cable/internet service is unlimited and the Cable part is there only because AT&T bundles it with their high speed internet.


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Thx again. No, I got your intent that I could use LR Cloudy as an intermediate step for just the migration. I tried to expand my explanation why I chose not to do that, for reasons similar to why Classic was my end-objective, no matter how I got there.

As a sidebar, it appears your internet situation is far better than I can get here with speed and unlimited data. I had satellite TV for years, so I did convert to using land-based TV transmission when I cut that cable to remove my dish. ;) Regardless, AT&T has talked about installing fiber here for years, but just last month when they were replacing my modem and changing things in their boxes a few blocks away for the umpteenth time, the tech said it will still be years before fiber replaces traditional wires around here. AT&T seems to be installing fiber in new developments and more rural areas that don't already have higher wired speeds above DSL as we have in my neighborhood. They don't want to go to the expense tearing up streets to pull new infrastructure replacing what works for most customers. Because of my long-term intermittent problems and data limit restrictions, I tried to change away from AT&T a couple years back to the CATV company, but for some #@(*% reason they could not get their own CATV, Internet or my VOIP line to work due to some problem they said was outside my home. After a week with no services except for my iPhone, I converted back to AT&T. So, for me, I've got the best I can buy AT&T High-Speed (non-fiber) Internet at home, and must live with the reliability and data plan restrictions that entails. It drives many of the decisions I make when it comes to cloud solutions. I'm envious internet service is so much better for you and others.

Anyway, I'm where I am in my migration to Lightroom, so moving forward from here. Perhaps the procedure I documented above is an outlier, but will help someone else that can't or does not want to do the Photos to Cloudy to Classic migration for whatever reason. If not, that's OK too.

I'll be working on taking an increasing number of shots to pick from, now that my storage has become essentially limitless again from what I've had the last few years. I enjoyed Lightroom V1-6 and the ability to compare and pick best shots before I jumped ship, and am ready to explore all that's new to me, once I complete my migration tidy-up in perhaps a week or so. Onward!

Happy shooting. Stay well.
 
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Bert,
Thanks for the detailed write up. I do not own any Apple products but many of my clients do so I will be saving your description for them.

  • There is no report or easy way that I could figure-out, to find what the Lightroom Import dialog decides to ignore after your selection. You’ll only notice something is off, if you see the total count when the count in the upper right of the center import dialog is less than what you may remember from the displayed count your Apple Photos export completion notification (less the matching XMPs of course.)
Again, I can't test any of this not having Aperture but it seems to me that if in your import step you use the "move" option in the import, then images that LrC ignored would be the only images left in the source folder once complete. All the successfully imported images will have been moved to some other folder per your import destination settings.
 
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...but it seems to me that if in your import step you use the "move" option in the import, then images that LrC ignored would be the only images left in the source folder once complete. All the successfully imported images will have been moved to some other folder per your import destination settings.
NP, and super improvement to what I did! Thx. I'll try that if I ever have to migrate again -- I HOPE NOT! :)

In my "tidy-up" work, presently working my way through 3K faces Lightroom has identified, most that Apple Photos had not. Ah, so much to do to get this cleaned up and sorted the way I want. Good stuff!
 
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Step one is to Migrate your Apple Photos Library to Lightroom (cloud Lr)
Step two is to sync your Lightroom (cloud Lr) back to Lighroom Classic (LrC)
Clee,
Not being a Mac user, I have not personal first hand experience with Apertrue or Photos so if you could elaborate on "Migrate your Apple Photos Library to LR/Cloudy. Is this thee a function in LR/Cloudy that imports from Apple Photos? Screen shots would also be quite useful for my records.

Also is the Sync with LrC initated from LrC or from LrCloudy?

Thanks --- Dan
 
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Here it is. Never used it though:

View attachment 14994
LrC contains a plugin for migrating the old Apple iPhoto library as well as one for Aperture.
Both are long gone. Adobe did not create a migration for the new Apple Photos library in LrC but they do have one for Lr(cloud). Since the Lr Library is in the cloud and will sync down full sized images and adjustments to LrC, it seems a natural solution to migrate your Apple Photos work into LrC.


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LrC contains a plugin for migrating the old Apple iPhoto library as well as one for Aperture.
Both are long gone. Adobe did not create a migration for the new Apple Photos library in LrC but they do have one for Lr(cloud). Since the Lr Library is in the cloud and will sync down full sized images and adjustments to LrC, it seems a natural solution to migrate your Apple Photos work into LrC.
The only problem being that you would need a lot of cloud space for this procedure. More than the standard 20 GB in a Photography subscription.
 
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The only problem being that you would need a lot of cloud space for this procedure. More than the standard 20 GB in a Photography subscription.
That was something that I mentioned in my first post. Problem or challenge?


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I think there are better ways, that do not require a (temporary) large cloud space. Apple Photos has the option to Export images as 'Unmodified Original' with IPTC metadata in XMP. Do that for every image, then import these images into Lightroom Classic.
 
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I think there are better ways, that do not require a (temporary) large cloud space. Apple Photos has the option to Export images as 'Unmodified Original' with IPTC metadata in XMP. Do that for every image, then import these images into Lightroom Classic.
Agreed, as that’s exactly what I ended-up doing in my process above. Even with my paltry 250GB photo library, I did some quick math showing with my highest available internet speed if I did nothing else on the net for the whole time and no other constraints (not likely), I’d be looking at more than a week to just upload and then download my photos themselves — assuming I didn’t have to redo some or all of it for some reason. It appears with some quick additional research I did yesterday that the Photos to Cloudy automated import still has a few limitations, and each process has a couple things the other does not in terms of data retention that may or may not be a consideration, but they both appear more similar than not with their end result.

Anyway, there are options for each of us to decide works best in our situation. I still wish Adobe would have taken the basic logic they created for the Photos to Cloudy transition and have just put it into Classic — but be we have the hand we’ve been dealt, and it is hopefully a one-time effort for anyone coming into the Lightroom family. ;) IMO, I saved at least $30 not going to the 1TB plan for even a month as a temporary step before coming back to the 20GB plan —and also not having to pay my ISP data overage fees I’d have in that single transition month. More importantly, I didn’t have to wait a week or more on internet transfers to complete, so could get going with Lightroom faster. For my situation without high quality fiber-speed internet and an unlimited data plan being available where I live, I suspect once I figured out and began an approach to take, then created a couple workarounds for unexpected hiccups along the way, I still got my initial migration done in 30-40% of the time the temporary cloud transition would have taken me — with nearly the same clean-up work I’m in-process with either way. Anyway, I love having options and folks suggesting them for (now X-) Photos users like myself to learn from and decide what will work best.

Stay well out there! Bert
 
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That's an excellent write-up and good to have as a reference.

In the spirit of providing more input for others, I followed a very similar pattern, but I really wanted to get my album organisation over too. My solution for this was to write an AppleScript script to add a keyword for each album to the image (format: "PhotosExport>Parent folder>Album name”. If you export RAW original with XMP or JPGs as standard export, you get all the keywords, so that the import to Lightroom CC will result in a nice keyword hierarchy under "PhotosExport". I then wrote a Lr Plugin to cover a set of keywords in a hierarchy into a hierarchy of folders and collections with all the photos in the right place.

I didn't go the migration to Cloudy and then sync to Classic as I wanted to important the edited JPGs in addition to original RAWs and the migration route loses all edits. Though if that route is your choice, the albums to keywords to collections would still work.

I documented my experience here: akrabat.com/migrating-to-lightroom-classic-from-apple-photos/

The AppleScript to create keywords for all albums is here: gist.github.com/akrabat/ebc66501744cb7fa0871cf8255de09b9
The Lightroom Classic plugin to make collections from keywords is here: github.com/akrabat/collection-creator-lrplugin

Anyway - this may provide an alternative take for someone doing the Apple Photos to Lightroom Classic migration. Good Luck!
 
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I mainly use a digital camera but always have my iPad along to grab images to be able to send out easily at the moment for selected people and some social media. Over the years or since 2013 that I have been doing this I probably have 50 or so images of a quality that I would like to get over to Lightroom. If I just email those images to myself and put them into a folder on the hard drive of my computer what data will come with them? Then I can just send that folder over to Lightroom and list it as my iPad folder in the Library. Any better ideas or better ways to accomplish this?
Dick Conway
 
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I mainly use a digital camera but always have my iPad along to grab images to be able to send out easily at the moment for selected people and some social media. Over the years or since 2013 that I have been doing this I probably have 50 or so images of a quality that I would like to get over to Lightroom. If I just email those images to myself and put them into a folder on the hard drive of my computer what data will come with them? Then I can just send that folder over to Lightroom and list it as my iPad folder in the Library. Any better ideas or better ways to accomplish this?
Dick Conway
I suggest you give it a try to see if it meets your expectations, but my cursory testing awhile back says I would never use an email option to get what I’d consider “original photos” over to my computer via Lightroom at highest res with as much metadata as I’d like.
— IIRC, the basic “send to” capability from the iPadOS Photos app does not have a way to specify the size of the file you send within the email it creates as you select one of more photos. It’s really designed as a simplified method to send snapshots to someone else, nothing more.
— OTOH if you go to iPadOS Email, create a new email message to yourself, then use “insert photo” in the text area, once you select the Photo(s) you want and see them in your email, you can then touch each one and specify resolution including full-size.
— As I remember trying this months ago, in both cases, metadata like keywords won’t get transferred, and I don’t think you you may get all your are expecting if you try to send more complex media like bursts or live view photos — everything gets dummied-down and simplified as I’d expect doing it via email — much more of a “snapshot” POV. There are many variables, so it’s likely best you give it a try — but if you really only have email as a way to get iPadOS photos to your computer, I’d use the 2nd option above starting with Email so you can at least send the highest res version to yourself — it may not be in the original format with all metadata, but you’d at least retain the highest resolution possible.

If you have a Mac with the free Apple Photos App and have the free syncing of your iPad photos enabled up to iCloud and back down to Photos on your Mac, it’s a piece of cake — just use the Photos Extract function as I described above on your Mac Photos App. Select the individual photos you want, extract them which allows you to retain their original type (JPG, RAW, HEIF, etc) and resolution with most metadata into a temp or permanent folder. Point Lightroom at the temp folder and import like any other photos on your computer, and you’re done.

If you only have a PC (I don’t have one any longer), I’ve not looked into how you may be able to sign into your iCloud account on the web to access photos you have in iCloud, or if that is even an option as it is with other productivity apps like Numbers and Pages, but it’s what I’d explore first if I were still a PC-person to try and preserve my iPadOS photos in best form, then go with the Email option above if all else fails.

Hopefully that at least gets you started from my POV. Good luck!
 
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I appreciate your thoughts and experience with this. I have the Lightroom on a PC so that's where I need to get them to. You have given me a lot to think about which is what I was looking for. Again, thanks.
 
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I appreciate your thoughts and experience with this. I have the Lightroom on a PC so that's where I need to get them to. You have given me a lot to think about which is what I was looking for. Again, thanks.
You-know as this has been churning in the back of my head the past few minutes, I’ve not tried this, but it may be another way for you to proceed. I’ll certainly defer to anyone with more practical experience using the Lightroom apps with the Cloud and iPadOS, but here goes...

My theory: Download and using the Lightroom app on iPadOS, you could import the photos you want into Adobe Cloud from Apple Photos all on your iPad, then once you have them in Adobe’s world, you have normal Lightroom options to get them back under control of Lightroom on your PC. What I don’t know is what iPadOS Lightroom does in terms of maintaining original format, resolution and metadata when it grabs them from Apple Photos, but I suspect since you don’t have a Mac, you may have a better chance getting best resolution of your cherished iPad photos to your PC that way in lieu of any email approach.

Last resort, again, use my suggested Email #2 option above where you have the ability to at least send yourself the highest-res version of the photo you have on your iPad.
 
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