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I'm using OS X Yosemite 10.10.5. I have connected my Canon PowerShot A3400 IS Camera via USB to my Mac and automatically a window launched that imported my photos. The Photos application (version 1.0.1 (215.65.0)) launched and I can see my photos within it. My question is, where on the file system are these photos? I want to import these into a Google photo album but don’t see any option in the Photos application to save them somewhere and I can’t seem to find them in the Finder app.

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If you're using the Photos application then your imported pictures can be found at:

~/Pictures/Photos Library

This is a special folder. If you double click on it in Finder it'll open the Photos application instead of showing you the contents of the folder. To see the contents, right click on the folder in Finder and select Show Package Contents from the menu.

Once you're inside the special folder the unaltered master photos are in the Masters sub-directory sorted in to year and then month then day sub-folders.

If you're trying to find the path to the location from a Terminal command line it's:

~/Pictures/Photos Library.photoslibrary
  • Althouhg I can see my camera photos in the Photos application in the "Import" tab, when I run "ls ~/Pictures/Photos\ Library.photoslibrary/Masters" in a termianl, it comes up empty. Would this be the right path? – Dave Dec 21 '15 at 18:07
  • @Dave what's the "import tab"? That's not anything in Photos I'm familiar with. – Ian C. Dec 21 '15 at 18:47
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As long as you don't click "import" in the Photos app, the files are still on your camera's flash drive and not actually imported to you hard disk.

The camera's filesystem should also be mounted in the Finder. On the command-line, all mount-points are accessible under /Volumes.

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They are stored within your Photos Library, but Apple don't really want you to play in there, so they make it awkward to get to.

If you want to play the game the way Apple intended, then the simplest way is to either Share them from in Photos, or to drag them from the photos app to your desktop, or any specific folder.

If you want to 'break the rules' then you can open the Library 'file' - which is really just a special folder with its contents hidden from the casual observer - by right clicking the Library & selecting 'Show Package Contents'
This will open it as a folder; your original pictures are located within the Masters folder.
Don't delete things from there, just copy things out of it, or you will confuse Photos.

To get to the Library file, if you're struggling to find it…

  • Open a new Finder window using Cmd ⌘ N
  • Go To… Cmd ⌘ Shift ⇧ G
  • Copy paste this - ~/Pictures/Photos Library including the tilde ~ & hit Enter ⌅
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I follow this method - click on the desktop icon "Mcintosh HD" (it looks like a hard drive and I have no idea how it came on my desktop. Guess it's been there forever) > Users > My name [in my case "Sudipto" next to the icon of a small hut (the other two are guest and shared)] > Pictures > All the folders are neatly stacked here by date, month and year. You can back up the entire pictures folder or the sub folders.

I hope this helps.

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