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Computers

How to Import Photographs From Your Camera to Your Mac

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:

Transferring photographs from a camera to a computer can be a rather confusing process, especially if you have recently transitioned from analogue to digital photography, have transitioned from using a PC to a Mac or are just new to the Mac.

In this tutorial, I will show you three different ways to import photographs, from your camera to your Mac, using a card reader or camera cable.


Equipment

Before you begin, you will need a card reader or camera cable in order to access your images via your Mac. If you own a Mac equipped with a Secure Digital (SD) card slot, such as a Unibody MacBook Pro, then you can insert an SD memory card directly into your computer, otherwise you will need to purchase a dedicated card reader or use the cable packaged with your camera.

Every single photograph that you take with your camera is stored on the memory card, with the number of images it can hold depending on the size of the card. There are a variety of card types available, most notably the aforementioned Secure Digital card and Compact Flash (CF), although the majority of digital cameras on the market today usually require an SD card.


Getting Started

If you are using a card reader, insert your memory card into the card reader and then plug the reader into your Mac via the Universal Serial Bus (USB) port.

If you are using a cable, attach the cable to your camera and then plug it into your Mac via the USB port.


Method 1: Finder

Finder is the file manager packaged with every copy of OS X that enables you to navigate your Mac's file system. With Finder, you can duplicate, move, rename, and delete files to keep your computer organised, as well as create new folders, and search your hard drive for a specific file or folder.

Step 1: Locate Your Device

Click the Finder icon.
Click the Finder icon.

Click the Finder icon in the Dock.

Locate your device under Devices.
Locate your device under Devices.

Locate your device under the Devices tab and then click to access.

Step 2: Highlight

Click Edit  and then press Select All.
Click Edit and then press Select All.

Click Edit on the toolbar running along the top of the screen and then press Select All to highlight every single photograph on the device. Select All is also achievable by pressing the and A key simultaneously on your keyboard.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to import all, you can individually highlight the images you would like to transfer by holding and clicking the filename.

Step 3: Copy and Paste

Click Edit and then Copy.
Click Edit and then Copy.

Click Edit once again and then Copy (or and C) to copy the highlighted images.

Navigate to the folder in which you would like to store your photographs.
Navigate to the folder in which you would like to store your photographs.

Navigate to the folder in which you would like to store your photographs, or create a new folder by right-clicking and pressing CTRL simultaneously, then select New Folder from the menu.

Click Edit and then Paste.
Click Edit and then Paste.

Click Edit and then Paste (or and V) to copy your chosen images from your device to the selected folder.

Images may take several minutes to transfer.
Images may take several minutes to transfer.

Images may take several minutes to transfer depending on the file size and the amount of photographs you are importing.

Step 4: Eject

Click Eject to safely remove your device.
Click Eject to safely remove your device.

Once your images have transferred, click the Eject icon situated alongside the name of your device and then unplug the device from your Mac.

Clicking Eject will ensure that your device has been safely disconnected to avoid data corruption, which can lead to files being deleted or overwritten. It is good practice to eject every device connected to your Mac immediately after use as failure to safely remove a device is one of the most common causes of corrupted data.


Method 2: Image Capture

Image Capture is a pre-installed application on your Mac which enables you to import images from your camera without the need to copy and paste files. It can be configured to launch as soon as you connect your camera, and you can also delete imported images within the app once they have been transferred.

Step 1: Launch Image Capture

Click to launch Image Capture.
Click to launch Image Capture.

Click the Finder icon in the Dock and then select Applications from the Favourites bar. Scroll down until you reach Image Capture and then click to launch.

Image Capture will automatically recognise your device.
Image Capture will automatically recognise your device.

Upon launch, your device will automatically be recognised and Image Capture will display every image in thumbnail form, along with the Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) data. EXIF data is important information pertaining to that photograph such as the shutter speed, aperture, and the date and time it was taken.

Step 2: Choose a Location

Click Import To to change location.
Click Import To to change location.

Click the Import To drop-down menu to change the location of the file in which you would like to import your images.

Step 3: Import

Click Import All.
Click Import All.

Click Import All to import your entire library, or highlight individual images by holding down the CMD key on your keyboard and clicking the filename. Press Import to upload.

To delete your images after they have been imported, check the Delete After Import box located in the bottom left-hand corner of the app before you begin the transfer. Image Capture will then automatically delete all files upon completion.

Your images will then be imported.
Your images will then be imported.

Once imported, a tick will appear alongside each thumbnail and the image will be deposited into the designated folder.

Step 4: Eject

Click Eject to safely remove your device.
Click Eject to safely remove your device.

Once your images have transferred, click the Eject icon situated alongside the name of your device and then unplug the device from your Mac.


Method 3: iPhoto

iPhoto is an Apple-developed image editing and management application that can organise your image collection by event, location or person using face recognition software. Imported images can be edited in-app and shared with friends and family via social media, slideshow, or even physical products such as a greetings cards and calendars.

Step 1: Launch iPhoto

Click the iPhoto icon.
Click the iPhoto icon.

Click the iPhoto icon in the Dock.

iPhoto will display every image in thumbnail form.
iPhoto will display every image in thumbnail form.

Upon launch, your device will automatically be recognised and iPhoto will display every image in thumbnail form.

Step 2: Name

Name your images.
Name your images.

Give your group of images a name by typing in the Add Event Name field.

Step 3: Import

Click Import Photos.
Click Import Photos.

Click Import Photos to import every single image on your memory card, or highlight individual images and press Import Selected to import a selected few.

Your images will then import.
Your images will then import.

Your images will then import, which may take several minutes depending on the volume of files.

Click Delete Items to erase or Keep Items to keep.
Click Delete Items to erase or Keep Items to keep.

Once your images have successfully been imported, you will be given the option to keep or delete the imported files. Click Delete Items to erase or Keep Items to keep.

Step 4: View

Click Events to view.
Click Events to view.

Your newly imported images can be found under Events on the sidebar, categorised by event.

Step 5: Eject

Click Eject to safely remove your device.
Click Eject to safely remove your device.

Click the Eject icon situated alongside the name of your device on the Finder and then unplug the device from your Mac.


And Relax!

In this tutorial, I have shown you three different ways to import photographs from your camera to your Mac and explained the importance of ejecting your device safely to avoid data corruption. If you have a question, feel free to ask it below.

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