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Q: In Photos.app I have stored images with adjustments. How can I back them up non-destructively to the Finder?

The adjustments were applied exclusively with the built-in Photos.app in iOS 10 and iOS 11. They include image crop, image rotation and color adjustments.

Copying from iPhone to Mac works fine

Copying photos from an iOS device (iPhone, iPad) results in an .AAE sidecar file in addition to the unmodified photo. E.g. IMG_1234.jpg and IMG_1234.aae. The .AAE sidecar file contains all modifications applied by Photos.app to the image (crop, color adjustments, markups).

Importing the image with the corresponding .AAE file to Photos.app for macOS will apply all adjustments to the image in Photos.app.

Issue: Copying from macOS Photos.app to Finder

Selecting File > Export > Export Unmodified Original For 1 Photo in Photos.app results in the unmodified image. This is what I want, except for the missing adjustments.

The feature I am looking for was called "Relocate Originals..." in iPhoto/Aperture.

System specs

macOS 10.13 High Sierra, Photos.app photo library is linked to iCloud storage

  • If you do the editing with GraphicConverter, by default (can be turned off) the originals go into a subdirectory. Alternatively, in Photos, you could Export to a directory and then with the same settings, "export unmodified originals" to a parallel directory tree. Would that support your need somehow? – WGroleau Mar 23 '18 at 15:55
  • Thank you for your comment. I’m looking for a way to save the AAE file for the edited image. :) – oa- Mar 24 '18 at 5:31

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