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iPhone Image Adjustments… Live in Aperture

PhotoJoseph's picture
October 18, 2011 - 10:10am

This is just wicked cool, and precisely the kind of reason that using Apple’s entire ecosystem works so well.

By now we all know that you can shoot a photo on your iPhone and, with iOS 5 and iCloud, have that photo show up in your Photo Stream in Aperture or iPhoto.

We know that you can edit your photos in the new (minimal) photo editing feature in the iPhone’s built-in Photos app.

But did you know that the edits you make aren’t only not-permanent, but are actually translated to Aperture (and presumably iPhoto) as actual Adjustments?? (obviously I didn’t either until just a few minutes ago, or I wouldn’t be so excited!)

Check this out…

Shoot a photo on the iPhone, and edit it. Your editing options are Auto-Enhance, Red-Eye Removal, and Crop. I tried Crop and Auto-Enhance.

Save the edit.

Take a look at the photo in Aperture’s Photo Stream once it shows up there. Why, what’s this little badge?

That box with the “slider” lines in it is the Adjustments badge. This means that the image has had adjustments applied to it. (If you need a refresher course on the badges, check out this post from last year; Badges. Or, “What Are All Those Funny Icons, Anyway?”).

So, you select the photo and choose the Adjustments tab, and you’ll see this:

So then, one click on Show in Library and guess what you now see…

iOS Edits, a whole new adjustment, courtesy of your iPhone. How friggin’ cool is that?!

And naturally, this means that your original iPhone photo is intact. Just remove or disable those Adjustments, or toggle the Master view on and off.

I wonder if Apple will open that part of the API to 3rd party developers (or if they already have)? Imagine if every image adjustment app on the iPhone became non-destructive.

Apple Aperture

OK this is definitely a holly c*** moment… this is the kind of detail apple does, says nothing about it, and makes you look at your screen dumb founded.

And here I was getting a kick out of my baby girl’s images showing up on my phone every time my wife took a picture of her with hers. :)


I wish I could get excited about this, but the whole import issue I encountered is putting a damper on my spirits. I have Photo Stream turned off in A3 for now.


I wonder if adjustments made in Aperture on a Mac will be applied to another Mac having the same Photostream account.

Joseph: I am getting a little bit different behavior on the iOS edits showing up in the adjustments tab.
1: I see at the top level that a “crop” was performed. (I chose a simple crop on the ios device.) I do not see the LABEL ios edits above the crop adjustment that shows up. I will do some more tests and monitor this. I am not sure I always see the badge indicating an edit. Do these edits showing up in Aperture, work in iphoto for iOS too? or just the camera app? Will test both sytematically.

2: I get intermittent response when clicking on show in library. Some times nothing happens. Often I have to right click on the image and I get the option to work on image in library. I don’t think it is my hardware. I get same response form lap top track pad, magic mouse, and external track pad.

Will monitor all of this and report back if I discover operator error.


Joseph: quicker update than I expected. Using just the camera app (not iphoto for iOS) I now see the badge and the ios label on the adjustment added on the ios device. Still have problem clicking to go to the library. Almost always requires a right click on the image to execute that option. CAN go back and forth between image and master/original image.
Note: once you choose revert to original, it’s over. You have gone back to the original.

Will see if I get same behavior from editing with iPhoto/ios.
I have no idea what caused the behavior in the original post.


This post pre-dates iPhoto and we know that iPhoto doesn’t communicate anything to anywhere. The only way to get photos out of iPhoto for iOS is to export, and that means rendering.

The “reveal” problem sounds like a database issue. Repair?


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Joseph: on point one thanks for pointing out the dates on the iOS iPhoto issue. On the 2nd point, coincidentally i had done a database repair to solve another issue.( Had 3 pix listed in MOST RECENT IMPORT collection, but the pix were not there Repair fixed the Number, I guess. (Now It shows no images in most récente import ).

But the repair had no effect on clicking the button in adjustments to take you from photo stream pix to the image in library. (Remember, right click always works. ). Does it feel like it needs a rebuild data base. I don’t see the connection but don’t mind trying if you think that may work.



Definitely odd. Are you seeing that behavior anywhere else, or is it only in Photo Stream? Maybe turn it off and back on… otherwise there are cache cleanups you can do; check the FAQ.

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