How to separate iPhone pictures in Photos for OS X

A reader wants to be able to keep lower-resolution iPhone images separate from her other photos.

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Jenni Kapanen asks:

Can I search for photos taken with iPhone in my Photos library? I’ve got over 13,000 photos that I’ve tried to keep organized and export them to an external drive so that I can vacate space on my hard drive, but want to keep the low-quality iPhone photos separate.

Yes, you’re in luck! I feel like the Smart Album feature in Photos (as in iPhoto) has a lot of overlooked power. Here’s a great case.

Start by choosing File > New Smart Album. Now you can select criteria. While there are some elements missing from iPhoto in Photos for OS X (notably related to whether any face has been set in a picture), you can still create complicated chained or independent queries.

mac911 smart folder iphone options

The Camera Model criterion lets you select among camera and smartphones or make broader matches.

For instance, for your purposes, you could create two smart albums: One would look for all photos taken by cameras that aren’t iPhones; the other could be only pictures taken by iPhones. This would let you separately browse through both categories. (Unfortunately, you can’t create a smart album and then create a separate one that’s its inverse selection.)

Let’s say I want an album that only contains photos (not videos) taken by any iPhone model. In the New Smart Album dialog, I’d choose All from the Match menu as I have two criteria. My first is Camera Model set to Starts With and then iPhone. (I could also select “is” and pick specific iPhone models in the list.)

Then I’d click the + to add another criterion, and choose Photo, set matching to Is Not, and choose Movie from the category pop-up menu. Click OK, and now I can see only images taken by any iPhone I’ve ever owned.

mac911 smart folder only iphone

Create a smart album that only includes iPhone images.

These criteria can be useful, too, if you’re trying to sort or find images taken with more particular photographic parameters. Like, you want only shots at ISO 100 taken at f/2.2, you can do that, too. Or, only pictures in a certain date range that were taken without a flash.

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