The holiday is over and the camera full of photos and with this there comes the question of where to store the images?

Existing Solutions

You’d say, in iCloud or Photos app and that’s indeed a good place. I personally do not like to place my private photos on servers out of my full control, and I was afraid of using Photos app due to the closed box library iPhotos used to create. The later seems to become less of a problem since it stores the original files in the Masters folder ordered by import date inside of its library.

So I’m using Photos app now for my memories again stored on local devices. But before that I used Image Capture.

Command Line Tool

Image Capture is a solid tool for syncing pictures to a local folder that comes with macOS. But files will keep their original file names. That’s why I created a little command line tool I’d like to share with you now:

The tool is rather simple. By passing a source and a destination folder it will copy or move images. It then has options to put the files in folder e.g. by year and add some additional information like picture dimensions. By creating hash values it will ignore already handled files. This is great to make sure you did not miss any picture in case you saved your images over multiple places over the years ;)

Backup from Photos Library

To get back to our Photos library, this would be an example call to copy all originals from your library to a separate folder on the desktop:

photofolder --smart-copy -p -o ~/Desktop/MyPhotosBackupByYear ~/Pictures/Photos\ Library.photoslibrary/Masters/

Published on August 24, 2018

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