Photo Stream is a fantastic service that synchronises photos taken on your iDevice with all of your other Apple devices. It does this automatically, over the internet and without you having to do anything. There is something quite magical about being able to snap a charming photo of your niece covered in cake and, by the time you have walked over to your Mac, the photo will be sitting there ready for you to edit, share or do whatever you want with it.
The only problem here is that you would have to pop into iPhoto if you wanted to see the image. I actually really enjoy iPhoto and think it is a great piece of software to manage my photos. Yet it is not the quickest app to launch, and many find that it simply takes too much effort to launch and locate the correct part of the app, just to see one photo. In this tutorial I will show you how you can get a folder showing your Photo Stream and avoid touching iPhoto at all, providing you have Mac OS X 10.7.2 or later.
Locating the Folder
Go to Finder
To locate the folder that contains all of your Photo Stream files you need to head into Finder first of all. From here locate Go in the menubar at the top of your Mac, from the drop down select Go to Folder, or alternatively just press Shift+CMD+G
Entering the location
This should bring you a popup where you can enter the address of the folder you wish to go to. In the space provided you should copy and paste the phrase below and select Go:
You will get presented with a folder called Sub and inside of it will be other folders; it is these folders that contain your photos.
Creating Your Smart Folder
Now that you have located your photos, you want to create an easy way to get at them. While the Sub folder is still selected, pressed CMD+F to bring up the search function. It is here that you define a Smart Folder to collect your Photo Stream images.
Firstly you must ensure that "Sub" is selected and not This Mac. Then you change the Kind to Image. Finally you can select the type of image you want. JPEG will show you the photos you took, while PNG will show only screenshots from your devices; if you want everything simply select All.
Saving the Folder
You have now created your Smart Folder and it is time to save it to a place you can access quickly. Clicking Save will give you the option of where you wish the folder to be saved, and importantly gives you the option to Add To Sidebar. I suggest keeping that selected as it is one of the quickest ways to access your images, and it is fairly unobtrusive.
If you want to go a step further you can add this folder to your dock. To do this you just right click on the folder, and selected Add to Dock.
Now you have a super easy way to quickly grab your images straight from your dock, and the folder in Finder is just one click away!
In this tutorial I have shown you how you can create a Smart Folder that will automatically keep up to date with your Photo Stream images. I take advantage of this by creating a folder to show only the screenshots; it makes writing reviews over at Appstorm much easier when you can snap a screenshot on your iPad and immediately add it to your article on your Mac. Hopefully you have enjoyed this Quick Tip, and if you have any questions leave them in comments below.