What’s an original, you may ask, when we’re dealing with
digital data? In Photos for macOS, it comes up when you’re
exporting an image or video. Macworld reader Maya has a
question related to this, because she knows how to use Photo to
adjust the date and time that a piece media was captured, but
when she exports an image, the creation date of the file is
always that of the export time.
Photos offers two kinds of exports (as did iPhoto). One
essentially creates a new file by translating the image or
video in the library into something new. The other copies the
original file from the master source media that was imported.
Look at the File > Export menu in Photos,
and you’ll see Export [Quantity] Photo (or Video) and Export
Unmodified Original for [Quantity] Photo (or Video).
With the first option, you choose quality, size, resolution,
and other options from menus, and Photos transforms your source
image, including any modifications you may have applied. With
the second, the raw original image is copied. For many images,
you may not have made any changes at all, so the second option
is effectively identical to the first, only without any
Metadata stored in the image, such as the original capture
date, effective “film” speed in digital terms, and so on, is
exported in both cases.
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