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If you are like most people today, you have a digital camera. And if you have a digital camera, you need to store and manage your ever-growing collection of photos on your Mac. Now, this could be as simple as copying the photos off your camera's memory card and keeping then in the Pictures folder, but that's probably not the best plan for organizing your photos, especially if you shoot a lot of pictures. Since you're using a Mac, the natural choice for photo management software would be iPhoto, part of the iLife Suite of Application from Apple. And all new Macs in recent years have come with iLife, so there's a good chance you have a copy of iPhoto on your computer. But just in case you don't have it, in this movie I'm going to show you how to import photos from your camera both through iPhoto and with Image Capture, an application that comes with all Macs.
Let's start by opening up Image Capture, which you can find in your Applications folder. And now I'm going to plug in the memory card from my camera into my Mac's USB port. Depending on your camera and memory card, you might plug in the camera itself, or you may use your Mac's built-in SD card reader, if it has one, or a separate SD card reader that plugs into your USB port. Whatever the case may be, after a moment, you should see your camera, or card, appear under Devices. So click your device, and you'll see thumbnail previews of the images on it appear to the right. And you can see we're given a lot of information here, as far as the name of the file, the date the shot was taken, file size, aperture, depth, color space, and so on.
First, determine where you want these images stored on your Mac by clicking the Import To menu at the bottom of the window. There are several choices here, like Pictures, Desktop, Documents, iPhoto, Preview, Mail. So you could actually use Image Capture to import photos into iPhoto, or even to attach them to a mail message. I'm going to keep Picture selected for this example. Now, if you want to import every single image on your device, all you have to do is click Import All. If you only want some of the images, you can click the first image you want, hold down the Shift key, and then click the last image in the batch you want.
If the photos you want are non- contiguous, hold down the Command key while clicking thumbnails instead. But once you have made your selection, click Import. I only had a few selected there. You see the little green check marks in the thumbnails now, indicating that I have imported those photos. So now if I go into my Home folder and look in my Pictures folder, there are the three pictures that I just imported. Let's go back to Image Capture. Now, once your photos have been imported, you could delete them from your memory card to free up some space. Just select the photos you want to get rid of, or press Command+A for Select All, if you want to get rid of them all, and then you can click the Delete button at the bottom of the window.
I'm not going to do that right now, but that is an option you have, although some people feel that if you're going to empty your entire card, you should choose the Format Card command on your camera to make sure your card is formatted by the camera for optimal performance. I'm not sure it really makes a difference myself, but the end result is still an empty memory card, so use whichever method you prefer. Now, before we leave Image Capture, I also want to point out that this is where you set your preference for what happens when you plug this particular device into your Mac. Let me expand this a bit so you can read the whole thing. At the bottom of the left column, here it says Connecting this camera opens, and then we have this menu where we can select iPhoto, Image Capture, Preview, AutoImporter, or other.
So, for example, if I wanted Image Capture to always open anytime I plugged in my card, I would just select Image Capture here. Or if you prefer no application to automatically open, choose No application. You'll still be able to import your photos with the application of your choice; this just makes this so no applications automatically open. And this is especially useful to know if you have an iPhone or another device that you often plug into your Mac that it thinks as a camera. Now, the iPhone is a camera, but most of the time when I plug mine into my Mac, it's not to import photos, yet iPhoto always opened, until I came into Image Capture, selected my iPhone from Devices, and then set the menu to No application.
So bear that in mind if you're tired of iPhoto opening every time you plug your iPhone into your Mac. Okay. So that's importing photos using Image Capture. Let's take a look at the process in iPhoto now. I'll quit Image Capture, and I'll open iPhoto from my Applications folder. Importing photos in iPhoto is pretty similar to using Image Capture. Once you plug in your device, it should show up under Devices, and when you select it, you'll see the thumbnails of your images. And just like in Image Capture, you can either click Import All, or you can Shift+Click to select pictures, or Command+Click to select non-contiguous pictures.
I'll just click Import All in this case. Now, once the importing is done, you have the option of deleting your imported photos from your card. I'm going to leave mine on my card by saying, Keep Photos. My thought is that it's a good idea to have a backup copy of the photos on your card, at least until you're running out of space on it, and by that time you've hopefully backed up your iPhoto Library. Now, there are many other photo management software applications out there, which you can use to import images from your digital camera. But again, the process is fairly similar in almost all cases. If you followed how to import with Image Capture and iPhoto, you should be able to figure out how to import photos with just about any other photo- management application.
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