Importing Photos into Photosmith from iPad Albums / Camera Roll

New in Photosmith 3 is something called “sandboxing” — this is the secure private storage space for photos in the Photosmith catalog on your iPad. When working with images imported from Photos.app iPad Albums, photos can be imported into Photosmith as a Copy from Photos.app, or as a Link.  Linked photos are only rendered JPG thumbnails, which references the original photo stored in Photos.app.

Below is a quick rundown of how to import photos into Photosmith from your iPad's Camera Roll - a more detailed explanation of all features and configuration options are below the video.

While in Catalog Mode and Grid or Loupe Views, you will see a button for Import:

Tapping on the Import button will bring you to the Photo Import popup window.

At the top center of the Photosmith Import window, you can select either Photos or Settings mode:

  • Photo - This is the default mode, and is where you select individual or groups of photos to import into Photosmith’s catalog.
  • Settings - Where you configure specific settings related to the import, including Target User Collections, import as Copy or Link, and camera raw decode options. If you start an import while in Settings mode, you will be automatically placed in Photos mode so you can see the import progress.


In the left-hand column, is a list of albums Photos.app, including your iPad’s Camera Roll, Last Imported, All Imported, as well as any user albums created.

Photo selection and deselection functions as it does in the standard Grid View, by tapping photo thumbnails, and Smart Groups headers, the All, Invert and None buttons to select and deselect photos.

Above the Smart Groups slider, is a row that shows the Target Collection where photos will be imported to in Photosmith, how photos will be imported (Copy or Link), the total amount of storage space used by the currently selected photos, and the amount of available on your iPad.  These options are selected in the Settings screen, which is described in the Settings section below.

The storage space requirements are only an estimation of the storage space requirements - it's a best guess.  We're continuously tweaking and adjusting the algorithm used.


The Settings mode in the Photosmith Import window is where you control certain critical properties of the photos.

Select Target User Collection - In the left-hand column, you may select one or more User Collections into which new imports are added.

Copy vs. Link - The default action when importing photos into Photosmith for iPad is to Copy the source image(s) from Photos.app into Photosmith’s catalog.  Copying doubles not only the photos, but the storage space required, but is a much “safer” option as the photos are now completely within the Photosmith ecosystem.  Photos Copied to Photosmith during import may be safely deleted from Photos.app.

However, if storage space on your iPad is limited, you may import photos into Photosmith as a Link.  When importing as a Link, the source photos are referenced to the master photo contained in the Photos.app Camera Roll.  This can mean some real space savings when working with camera raw files!

Importing photos as Link into Photosmith’s catalog is primarily designed to save storage space with camera raw files.  We must have a full-resolution preview available for display in Photosmith's catalog, which means that a linked JPG will use all of the original JPG storage space, plus the size of the additional fullscreen, histogram, and thumbnail previews.

Unfortunately, there's just no way around this: JPG recompression is surprisingly CPU intensive - It's even more difficult than camera raw rendering!  Saving only a lower quality full-resolution preview isn't really an acceptable option, either.

Importing JPG's as Copy does everything listed above (full-resolution preview, histogram and thumbnail previews), and makes another copy in Photosmith's catalog, thus doubling the storage space requirements.

The master/source photo in Photos.app for any image imported as a
Link must not be deleted!  This is very important!  Very Bad Things can happen in Photosmith if you delete a master/source photo in Photos.app while a Linked photo is in Photosmith’s catalog. 

Photos.app is unaware of what images have been imported into Photosmith, and you will not receive any kind of warning or notification prior to deleting images in Photos.app which are Linked in Photosmith.  For this reason, we strongly urge you to Copy photos during import into Photosmith, rather than import as Link.

In an iPad First Workflow (discussed in Section 1.8.2), all photos imported into Photosmith as Link will sync to Lightroom as the full-resolution master/source version from Photos.app.

Decode RAW - Camera raw images can be handled by Photosmith in a number of different ways, depending on your needs:
  • When Needed - This is the default option, and is the best compromise between speed of import by only rendering raw files that don’t contain a pre-rendered full-size JPG preview.  This option isn’t available on the original iPad (iPad1).
  • Always - Choose this if you want to always render camera raw images when importing into Photosmith.  This can greatly slow things down when importing, and should only by selected in specific circumstances. This option isn’t available on the original iPad (iPad1).
  • Never - Choose this option to never render camera raw images in Photosmith.  Note that this is the only option available for users with an iPad1, due to limited system resources and processing speed.


Once you have selected the photos you want to import into Photosmith, tap the Import button at the top right of the photo import window.  Photosmith will now import the selected photos into its catalog.  You can monitor import progress via the the status bar at the bottom left of the import window.

 Pressing the Stop button at the top right of the import window will halt the photo import.

The import window must remain in the foreground while photos are importing into Photosmith’s catalog — Import cannot occur in the background or behind the scenes.

Image Resolution and Photo Stream

Please be aware that images received via Apple’s iCloud to Photo Stream albums on your iPad are not full resolution!  While it’s true that full resolution photos are stored in iCloud, Apple only synchronizes a lower resolution “device optimized” version to iOS devices, including iPad.

Due to this, we consider Photo Stream sourced photos to be not archival, and thus, not a good point-of-entry into your digital photography workflow.

As Apple continues to build a case for iPad as not just a content consumption device, but as a content creation tool, it’s difficult to comprehend why Photo Stream images are not stored as full-resolution on iPads.  Until they are, we have disabled the ability to import Photo Steam images directly into Photosmith.

3. Using the Photosmith for iPad App

  1. 3. Using the Photosmith App
  2. 3.1 Interface Overview
  3. 3.1.1 Grid View
  4. 3.1.2 Loupe View
  5. 3.1.3 Fullscreen View
  6. 3.2 QuickTag Bar
  7. 3.2.1 Photo Rotation
  8. 3.2.2 Color Labels
  9. 3.2.3 Star Ratings
  10. 3.2.4 Flags (Pick/Reject)
  11. 3.2.5 Deleting Photos in Photosmith
  12. 3.2.6 Deleting Many Photos at Once in Photos.app in iOS 7
  13. 3.3 Catalog Mode
  14. 3.3.1 Importing Photos into Photosmith
  15. Importing Photos into Photosmith from iPad Albums / Camera Roll
  16. Importing & Exporting Photos Using iTunes
  17. 3.3.2 Sync with Lightroom
  18. 3.3.3 Collections
  19. Photosmith Collections
  20. User Collections *
  21. 3.3.4 Activity Center
  22. 3.3.5 Filters Bar
  23. Filters
  24. Sort
  25. Smart Groups
  26. All, Invert, None
  27. 3.4 (Metadata) Tagging Mode
  28. 3.4.1 Adding & Editing Metadata in Tagging Mode
  29. 3.4.2 Adding, Editing & Deleting Keywords *
  30. 3.4.3 Adding, Editing & Deleting Metadata Presets *
  31. 3.5 Export Mode
  32. 3.5.1 Export to Dropbox *
  33. 3.5.2 Export to Facebook *
  34. 3.5.3 Export to Flickr *
  35. 3.5.4 Export to Email *
  36. 3.5.5 Export to iPad Album *
  37. 3.5.6 Export via PhotoCopy *
  38. 3.5.7 XMP Export *
  39. 3.6 Dashboard Mode, Photosmith Version, IP Address & Sync Port
  40. 3.6.1 Eye-Fi (Import Configuration) *
  41. Eye-Fi Mobi
  42. Eye-Fi X2
  43. 3.6.2 FTP Server (Import Configuration) *
  44. 3.6.3 Lightroom (Sync Configuration) *
  45. 3.6.4 Convert Links (Tools)
  46. 3.6.5 Maintenance (Tools) *
  47. 3.6.6 Diagnostics (Tools) *
  48. 3.6.7 Welcome Wizard (Help)
  49. 3.6.8 Knowledge Base (Help)
  50. 3.6.9 Ideas & Suggestions (Feedback)
  51. 3.6.10 Contact Us (Feedback)
  52. 3.6.11 Love Photosmith? (Feedback)