How to Automatically Sort Your Photos with Smart Albums on a Mac

Apple's photos may not be perfect, but it's a great place to organize your photos, especially if you live like the iCloud photo library. Smart albums are perfect for that, but do you use them to the fullest?

Smart Albums are an extremely underused aspect of Photos, which is a shame because they make it easier to control a growing library of photos than you thought. Want to have all the photos of a particular period in the same place? How about all photos taken with a specific camera, a specific day? All portrait images?

You had the idea.

Here, we'll show you how to create your own smart album and give you some ideas on how to use them along the way.

How to create a smart album

To start, open Photos and click on "File" and then on "New Smart Album".

Click File, and then click New Smart Album.

Then, name your new smart album and start selecting the criteria you want Photos to use when creating the album.

Enter a name for your smart folder

If you have more than one rule set up, it is important to choose whether you want the words "All" or "All" to be matched before being added to the album. If you select "All", the collection of images will be reduced, while "All" will need to respect only one or more of these rules in order to add an image to the album.

By selecting the drop-down menus, you can select the rules you want to add, including those based on the type of photo, its shooting date, the assigned keywords, and so on. There are many different rules to choose from, with multiple combinations available. Rather than reviewing each of them, we'll share some sample rule configurations to give you an idea of ​​the simplicity or complexity of these rules.

Search all images taken during a given period

It may be the simplest filter for smart albums, but it can also be one of the most useful. By default, Photos does not make it easy to see photos taken in a given month. Here's what a smart album might look like if you want to see all the pictures taken in February 2019.

In the screen capture below, we have selected "Captured Date" "is in the range" and we have provided a start and end date.

Smart album example

See all portrait photos taken during a period

Because Photos is so tightly integrated with iCloud Photo Library and iOS devices, it can detect photos taken with the help of the iPhone's Portrait feature. Here's how to view all your photos taken with this feature in one place. We also added criteria allowing us to see only the photos taken in 2019.

To do this, we select "Photo is Portrait" and "Date Captured" "is in the range" of a start date and an end date. When we tell smart albums that they meet all of the following conditions, they only select portraits in the format taken between those dates.

Smart album example

See all the selfies of a specific person taking during a period

If you want to see a collection of selfies that you have taken, you probably will not want to see your kids playing with your phone. This clever album will look for photos that are just selfies including your face, while filtering everything that was not taken in 2019.

In this example, we tell Photos that "everything" matches the following: "Photo" "is" "portrait", "Date Captured" "is in the range" of a start date, and "date". an end date "and" Person "" includes "a specific person.

Smart album example

You can also select any other person you have already trained, Photos to recognize.

Filter all videos

Photos are not just pictures – they can also handle the video. How about a simple clever album showing only videos taken with your DSLR?

To do this, select "Photo" "East" "Video". You can also select "Camera Model" "East" and a specific camera model to view photos or videos taken from a specific camera.

The possibilities are endless, so why not book an hour and play? We think you will find it more fun and more useful than expected.


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