Batch convert photos with Automator

Christopher Breen
26 August, 2010
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It seems readers are interested in bringing more automation to their lives; after seeing our Five awesome Automator tips article, one reader asks how Automator could help his photo processing workflow. He writes:

Every month I work on a project where I have to take a couple of dozen images from my iPhoto library, convert them to black and white, and save them in the TIFF format. Working on each image is really tedious. Is there an easier way to do it with Automator?

There is indeed. I’d do this.

In iPhoto gather all the images you want to convert into an album. Call it something like ‘To Convert’. Now, move to the Finder and create a folder called ‘Converted Photos’.

Launch Automator and, in the template chooser that appears, select Application and click the Choose button. Create a workflow that contains these actions: Get Specified iPhoto Items, Copy Finder Items, Apply ColorSync Profile to Images, and Change Type of Images.

In the Get Specified iPhoto Items action, click the Add button. In the media browser that appears, navigate to your To Convert iPhoto album and click Add. In the Copy Finder Items action choose the ‘Converted Photos’ folder that you created. In the Apply ColorSync Profile to Images action, click on the Profile pop-up menu, select Output, and then choose Black & White. Finally, in the Change Types of Images action, choose TIFF from the To Type pop-up menu.

If you now run the workflow from within Automator you’ll discover that the album’s images are copied to the Converted Photos album, converted to black and white, and then changed to TIFF images.

Now save the workflow. It will become an Automator application. Next time you need to do this job, just load the images you want to convert into your To Convert album and double-click on this application.

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