Better living through iPhoto sharing

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Reader H. Thomas Staton would like to move his travel photos to his home computer. He writes:

I have a laptop. I take it with me out of country, I store my pictures in iPhoto. When I return to the States, what is the best or easiest way to transfer my photos from my laptop iPhoto to my desktop iPhoto?

There are a number of ways to do this but I prefer the sharing method.

For this to work the two computers must be able to talk to one another over a Bonjour network.

Launch iPhoto on each computer and, on the laptop, turn on Share my Photos in iPhoto’s Sharing preference. On the desktop Mac, turn on the Look For Shared Photos option in this same preference. On the laptop, create a new Smart Album that contains a date condition that encompasses the period of time you loaded pictures on your laptop— Date is in the last 2 weeks , for example. This will gather together all your recent road pictures into a single album.

On the desktop Mac select the laptop’s shared photo library, click the triangle to reveal that library’s albums, choose the smart album you just created, and drag its icon to the Library icon in the desktop Mac’s copy of iPhoto. The photos will be copied from one Mac to the other.

Unlike with iTunes, iPhoto allows you to copy shared files.

As I hinted, there are other ways to accomplish your goal. You could burn your photos to a recordable CD or DVD using iPhoto’s Share > Burn command. You could sync a color iPod to your laptop, turn on photo synchronization in iTunes, enable the Include Full-Resolution Photos option, plug the iPod into your desktop computer, and copy those full resolution images from the iPod into your iPhoto library. Or, you could set up a traditional network, mount your desktop Mac’s hard drive, select the album you want to export on your laptop, choose File > Export, click the File Export tab in the Export Photos window, enable the Full-size Images option, click Export, and navigate to your desktop Mac’s networked drive as the destination for the exported photos.

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