iPhone HEIC files to Mac

Avatar Rick Churchill
I am transferring iPhone images to Lightroom (or other photo editors) that do not recognise HEIC files. I want to retain as much image information as possible so am at present converting to TIFF. Has anyone got a neat way of doing this? I have avoided iPhotos (or Photos as it is now) in the past, as I wasn’t sure where the files were and whether it was duplicating the Lightroom catalogue.

I was expecting, with the iPhone being a drive in the newly designed Finder, that programmes could reach inside the phone and extract the required files similar to Lightroom extracting JPEG files from the camera but unfortunately Preview will not do this directly and so I am using Image Capture. My long-winded method is as follows:

1) Use image capture to copy the files from phone to Mac. Unfortunately the phone or image capture doesn’t remember what it has already copied so any images left on the phone it will try to copy again unless deselected. (Unlike the finder, in list view a large thumbnail is included so you can easily click shift to include just the later files and then exclude any not required.) Import to a selected folder. Image Capture will remember the destination next time.

2) Start Preview and using File>Open… select and open all the files with an HEIC extension (suffix). In the side panel that shows, select all the files and use File>Export selected images… to open a dialogue box where you select the destination, format and compression of your choice.

3) In Lightroom Import into the catalogue in which I have set mine up to copy files into a dated folder. Images elsewhere can then be deleted.

(Strangely JPEG images made by Preview in this way are not recognised by Lightroom …. needs further research)

Re: iPhone HEIC files to Mac

Avatar Rick Churchill
Thanks to Doug Cheney who sent me an email via Mick Burrrell of this website:

and through a connected article:

which describes in better detail the process I outlined above in part 2) for using Preview.

I am still hoping for a quicker overall method of converting the iPhone files into a lossless format readable by my (outdated) Lightroom. Does your alternative LR product import, store and edit HEIC Tony?

Re: iPhone HEIC files to Mac

Avatar Tony Still
Rick, ON1 does support HEIC images.

I had to bully my phone into supplying one though, it was convinced that the Mac would want a JPEG so was doing auto-conversion on most routes.

As to your workflow, you might be able to use Automator to automate it. At a quick look, I can see actions to select items in Finder, import to Preview and change their type. Presumably there's a way to save them again.

If Automator can't do it, it may be possible to do in AppleScript but you'd probably need someone with some experience to guide you. I have tried, and failed, to find an expert in the club willing to present on the subject.

Re: iPhone HEIC files to Mac

Avatar Rick Churchill
I have refined the method of importing pictures from my iPhone. Having discovered in the file menu of Preview the item “Import from iPhone …” I opened Image Capture and set the computer to open Preview when the phone is connected. (There is a panel in the bottom left of the window for doing this)

The simplified method is now to connect the phone and Preview opens. Import the images to a folder and immediately export them to the same folder using the format of choice. For some reason the image icon is blank). I then open Lightroom and import all the files it can "see" into the folder of choice. (Usually this means making a new folder with the new date)

Lightroom will auto import from a watched file which would simplify the process even further but unfortunately it will only import to a fixed folder; it will not make new folders depending on date like it does when importing files directly from a camera.

Tony I haven't looked at Automator or Apple Script yet (but I have written all my Xmas cards and printed my calendar and had it bound!)