The only constant thing in Apple is change, and thankfully– one of the biggest changes to macOS includes an update to the Photos app! There’s a lot more for us to play with now, but the biggest changes include a more logical organization, more tools to use while editing, and the ability to jump back forth to Photoshop.


Organization - Photos High Sierra

The sidebar gets a great little makeover that makes a huge difference in terms of what you’re seeing at first glance! The first thing that drew my attention is the little folder, called Media Types, that now holds all the albums (filters in this case) that Apple had created for you automatically. These filters which allow you to see all of one type of image/video in the whole library, in my experience, ended up confusing and intimidating many novice users while providing experienced users the greater ability to filter and refine what they were looking for. If you delete from one of those Media Type filters, you delete from the whole Library (which tended to be a confusing topic for some).

The My Albums section is more pronounced. I think it adds a bit of clarity to the location of where your chosen, grouped pictures are stored.

At least now, those who are new to Photos won’t be scared of them, and experienced users can still find what they’re looking for!

 New Edit Screen

Live Photo Edit - High Sierra

By default, when you click the Edit button (or the Return key while on a blown-up selected picture), it’ll now take you to the Adjust panel automatically where we see the biggest change to Photos.

If you’re a Live Photos user, one who uses an iPhone with Apple’s capability to capture a Harry Potter-like moving image, you’ve probably found that the best image isn’t always the one that shows up, but actually is an image that is found when you play back the Live Photo.

Now, when you’re editing Live Photos in Photos, you’re now able to have the ability to select a Key Photo (the image that shows up as a thumbnail and represents the whole movie or in this case, Live Photo). Often times, that’ll save some of the pictures you’ve taken that were a tad bit slower than you meant to.

There’s also a little bit more fun for those who experienced Instagram’s Boomerang, as Apple has added a Bounce option as one of the options for Live Photos that are located in a drop-down menu underneath the photo. It makes the Live Photo play forward and backward repeatedly. Also added, is the option to continuously loop the Live Photo, with a nice little cross-dissolve transition mending the first and the last frames of the Live Photo.

Edit - Photos High Sierra

For all the other fun tools that were once hidden, they’ve come out to play in the open! Most of what we’re used to seeing are still available front and center. Other options, that once needed a couple further clicks, are conveniently listed underneath! If you’re looking for more info about what each of those tools does, check out Apple Photos: Hidden Power Tools (that are no longer hidden in High Sierra)

The long-awaited option to edit using Curves is now available, which is actually my favorite part of this screen. Red Eye is no longer a hidden feature, and a new selective color section has been added, which in my opinion isn’t really relevant and has missed the trend by about a decade. It’s still something that is nice for people to play around with for fun.

Filters on Photos for High Sierra

Other things like Filters and Cropping have been moved around to other sections found at the top of the screen.

Filters have been reworked! The same non-destructive and editable qualities of the filters remains the same, meaning you can still choose a filter and take it off if you don’t like it later on and revert back to the original. It seems to me that the stylization of these filters are current with what looks good in this decade. Thankfully. The new Silvertone filter is pretty sweet to me.

Cropping on Photos for High Sierra

The crop section still fundamentally works the same, allowing one to drag the corners to adjust what is viewable. The flip option and aspect ratio selections are still available and have now been moved to the right sidebar. It looks quite a bit cleaner compared to the old style.

External Editing!

Edit In Menu for Photos in High Sierra

Secondary clicking (a two-finger click, Control+Left click, or Right click), will bring up a menu with one very important thing of note. No longer are Extensions found. Now we have an Edit With menu! Using this menu allows you to whisk this photo away to be edited in another application, and once saved in that application, return the edited photo back into the Photos Library for safe keeping.  Other programs, like Adobe’s Photoshop, sadly don’t get listed to be used. I did verify that by choosing the Other… option, one can find and select the Photoshop application and work within it without any problems!

Photoshop via Photos for High Sierra


It’s all a nice addition! The added organization in the sidebar will help people understand how to filter through their Library using different the different kinds of content a little bit more efficiently and reduce some confusion. The Edit screen has been vamped up and I welcome all of those wonderful tools… except maybe the Selective Color tool… which I’ll use if I’m forced to. But none of those changes really weigh that heavily in my opinion compared to the ability to send a photo into Photoshop while keeping the organization of Apple’s Photos!

Wonderful changes!