iPhone to Photoshop

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Today’s Question: What is the best way to get any image from your iPhone into Photoshop? Right now I am simply copying the image and emailing to myself. Then I simply double-click and it comes up in Photoshop.

Tim’s Quick Answer: The “best” way to get images from your iPhone (or other smartphone) to Photoshop depends in large part on your preferences in terms of overall workflow. My personal preference, however, is to treat my iPhone as “just another” camera in the context of photos. Therefore, I prefer to download all of my photos from the iPhone, delete the source images from the iPhone, and then use the same workflow for those images as I would for any other photo, such as those from my digital SLR.

More Detail: To be sure, some photographers prefer to keep all of their photos on their iPhone “forever”. That approach doesn’t appeal to me for several reasons. Most importantly, having all photos captured with the iPhone reside on the iPhone can create a bit of a challenge when it comes to looking for a particular photo. In addition, this approach would prevent me from taking advantage of the variety of other benefits of my image-management workflow when it comes to iPhone captures.

It is possible to import photos directly from your iPhone into a Lightroom catalog. However, I prefer not to use this approach (even though I use Lightroom to manage my photos) because neither Lightroom nor the iPhone Photos app provide an easy way to delete all photos from the phone after they have been successfully downloaded.

It is possible to use the Photo Downloader feature in Adobe Bridge to download photos from your iPhone. You can create a backup copy of the photos during the download process, and also enable an option to delete all photos from the phone after a successful download. This was the method I had been using until a recent Macintosh operating system update caused Adobe Bridge to no longer be able to download photos from my iPhone.

Therefore, at the moment I use the Image Capture application included in the Macintosh operating system to download all of my photos, and then delete all of the photos from my iPhone once I have imported the photos into my Lightroom catalog (copying those photos to an additional hard drive for backup purposes in the process).

Regardless of which software you’re using to manage your photos on your computer, by downloading the images from your iPhone (and then deleting the source captures from the phone, just as you would reformat a media card in your “normal” camera) you can then use the same workflow you already employ to manage your iPhone captures, and open those images in Photoshop as desired.