1:1 aspect ratio lost between iOS 13 Photos and Photos in High Sierra

Here’s another photos related ARGH, i am presently in-between Tech Support callbacks from Apple (which is always disconcerting to uber-apple consultants like me!)
I bought a new iPhone SE2
I take pictures with iPhone SE2 in aspect ratio 1:1 (my default aspect ratio aesthetic preference)
Photos in iPhone maintain this aspect ratio. (not using Cloud Storage but using Photostream)
Photos that show up in Photos on my iMac (HS) show up in 16:9.
This is not how my old iPhone 6 moved images into my Photos - the 6 maintained 1:1.

I’ll report back after my upscaled support conversation, but way to bum me out (on discovery) fortunately I’ve only had the Phone for a few weeks, but this maybe a cloud issue(or a not using cloud issue) . (I think this is the issue - the previous tech asked directly asked if I was seeing this in my cloud library - which i do not use )

Some Additional info:
Imports to Catalina maintains aspect ratio of 1:1
but Photostream does not.
Import to High Sierra does not either.

I’m not clear what you mean. Is the rectangular image distorted? cropped? or extended (i.e., does the rectangular version include parts of the scene you don’t see in the square)?

I shoot pictures as square 1:1. They import to photo stream as 16:9.
The issue may be iPhonese uploading without crop data.
Direct import to Catalina is Square , bu my workstation is High Sierra and they don’t import as square either.
Apple had me blow away my Apple ID so now I’m in limbo land waiting for a photostream correction. Presently, it’s not working. TheFirst Apple advisor i talked with said(essentially) buy a new iMac. Second one has a clearer picture that it’s a kink in my workflow. They also seem to indicate that Photostream is on the way out - guess we’ll find out next week. (? WWDC) another call for longer software release cycles. This is clearly a ‘simply upgrade everything to work with your new phone ’ problem. I did not have this issue with iPhone 6. I hate being this bitchy.

Apple reps are usually quite clueless about these things, but this is a sound bet. I’m also afraid we’ll be losing this feature likely soon. Apple wants to monetize their integration and this is a great way to coerce people into subscribing to lots of over-expensive iCloud storage which is kind of ironic considering that Apple’s base configs (both iPhones and Macs) are usually quite stingy.

I’m in no way migrating from Photo Stream to iCloud photos. I have way too many photos so that would mean getting locked into paying big $$$ for extra iCloud storage until the end of time. Not going to happen. If need be, it’ll be USB transfer and/or AirDrop for individual pics.

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I came to this decision years ago. In iCloud, I just have some photos that I want to always be available on my iPhone and iPad when I’m out and about. I’ve got a lot of photos on my MacBook Pro, with even more stashed on hard drives we keep at home and in a safe deposit box. It’s worked out well for us.

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I love Photostream. By the way in IOS 13 you have to close the (Stays on!) camera app to use Photostream. It all used to just upload on the wifi fly.

Hehe. Reminds me of Catalina/iOS13 wifi sync.

In principle when the iPhone is plugged in and on the same wifi as your Mac it’s supposed to backup/sync automatically once a day. Used to just work. Now, I have to manually start sync. Every. Single. Day. The only thing that changed is Catalina. Catalina is awesome. :smiley:

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I just got off the phone with specialist 2. No joy to report. Photos not photo streaming, nor maintain 1:1 ratio in High Sierra. Escalated to ??? This is a workflow interruption in a big way for me -not just to spend all day with Apple support specialists telling me to buy new computers but the basic point of personal computers is to develop a system so you can work fast - this blows it up for me. Argh.

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This seems like an unusual use case and one that’s unlikely to be resolved given the maintenance status of High Sierra, but I wonder if you might be able to come up with a different workflow that would achieve your goals using Dropbox Camera Uploads. Or, conceivably, Google Drive or Lightroom.

I don’t think it’s inappropriate to ask why a photo from an iPhone doesn’t import properly to Photos on an iMac. My instinct, fairly unqualified but used to this sort of shenanigans, is that the changes Apple is making to the camera files isn’t backwards compatible with old OSes. High Sierra isn’t really that old, I’m not doing anything sophisticated. You would think the older Photos would see the 1:1 non hdr, non burst, non Live, basic image accurately in photostream. But it didn’t. And before we blew up my photostream (I willingly assisted) Even in Catalina photostream showed full frame so there’s that!. I moved my workflow to my phone. I really try not to use Cloudstuff (I also have my own web services) Upgrading my iMac to modern means shedding about 1000$ of Logic 32bit apps and mediating hardware. Photo Images are not floppy drives. I feel (imho) Apple needs to be more explicit about the way forward, so production workflows can be respected. My new iPhone introduced this issue and I don’t recall seeing IOS 13 ‘does not work with xx ‘operating systems - I connect to iTunes, and pass audio to Logic without a hitch. I get the feeling this bug is a being presented to me as a SOOL situation.

It’s not inappropriate—I just said that it was unusual. The more you mix old and new versions of operating systems, the more you’re going to hit edge case bugs. Even if Apple knew about it, it might have been prioritized as not worth fixing due to potential repercussions it could have on the majority of users.

I’m an old hand at getting stuff to work cross is/platform. This is not that situation. Maybe my concern is unique. I still think I shouldn’t have to upgrade all my devices to maintain my productivity workflow. I know I know. Apple always does this. I run Catalina but I’m not impressed. High Sierra is very stable for my work. Catalina is not.

I’m just spitballing here (as a combination iphone/windows user) is there a chance that your old phone was shooting jpeg and your new phone is set to hevc/heif? If you set your new phone to jpeg “most compatible” mode would that fix your problem?

Also, you could try a different camera app like Halide?

(Windows does NOT like heifs by default)

One more addition… an iphone 6 cannot capture in heif, so it must have been shooting jpeg. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207022

I suspect an heif bug in your high sierra photos app maybe could be causing the issue.

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Thanks, I am using compatible mode but now my photostream is dicey. Waiting for a call back before I upgrade (wipe out, change routines) everything to work with iCloud. (Grumble. Grumble.) ($$)!

A few comments:

I gave up on Photostream because it provides no capability to organize images within it. Also, I don’t like the idea of images disappearing beyond my control. Yes, it’s free, but I’m a controlling type. If I need to pay a reasonable rent for Cloud storage, I’ll do it.

Before subscribing to iCloud Photos, I always moved images manually by connecting my iPhone to the computer and using Image Capture to move the photos. I then used the free app EXIF Renamer to rename the files by the capture date and time before importing to my photo program of choice for further processing and organizing. There was never an issue of reformatting in the transfer process.

By the way, I don’t think you have made clear the way the 16:9 shots differ from the square photos. It should be in one of the three following ways:

  1. Are the tops and bottoms of the square photos missing (I.e. the transformation has cropped the square photo)? Have you checked in Apple Photo to see whether you are are viewing an edit of the original photo? If so, go into Edit Mode where should be able to revert to the original. If not, you really do have problem.

  2. Are you seeing extra portions of the images on the sides of the transformed photos? You could fix this by recropping the photos on the target machine. Apple Photos provides the usual aspect ratios as specific options in Edit mode.

  3. It the photo distorted so that the photo fills the screen and objects appear wider than in the original? If so, somewhere a display option to fill the screen or window been selected. So, in this case, the photo is fine, but you need to reverse that option.

Note that the way to get the most data into an image is to shoot in 4:3. Choosing a square aspect while not use data captured on the sides, while shooting in 16:9 will not use data at the top and bottom. If one of the other aspect ratios is required, you can alway crop the original. A good editor will provide an appropriate mask for these common ratios.

Great, I’ve been using Photostream successfully to keep a current cache of recent photos, in square format. Photostream presents them to all my other devices as the full frame. All I did was buy an iPhone SE and photos to older gear act weird. Let me ask - if you take a square photo Does it show up in photostream as square (Catalina will import as square but photostream broken ! l, High Sierra shows the ‘extra’ not square, imports not square) I don’t want to re-edit. Ok I’m fussy, I use High Sierra for a lot of production work. This drives my work to my phone not my workstation. Kind of a drag. Thanks for listening to my rant!

Are you referring to the gallery of thumbnail images or the individual pictures? My iPhone is an 11Pro, and my Mac is running Catalina, but when I display All Photos (not segmented by a time period) in the Photos Gallery on my iPhone, every image is cropped to a square; when I set up the same display on my Mac, I have a choice controlled by the small icon just to the right of the ‘traffic light’ controls. I can toggle it between showing the photos in their original aspect ratio with generous white space between them or cropped to squares with almost no white space. For individual albums, the thumbnails are always square on the iPhone and the original aspect ratio on my Mac. I don’t see any way to have all square thumbnails on the Mac unless the pictures were taken as square photos. I don’t have Photostream enabled, but if Photostream is treated as an album, does this explain what you are seeing?

By the way, you can set the display aspect ratio for photos taken in the Camera app by tapping the caret (arrow) that appears at on the side of the screen opposite the controls

One modification to my previous note: no matter how the aspect ratio is set in the Camera app, the 4:3 still image is always saved and considered the ‘original photo’ for editing purposes. If you use Apple Photo Edit mode, Square and 16:9 photos have a Revert button, which will make the main photo the 4:3 version.

You could try replacing Photostream with the Photosync App. It would be less immediate, but it can import photos directly into Photos (even into a an album.) It’s cross platform and can transfer photos from mobile to almost anything. It’s extremely flexible. I use it to transfer iThing photos into a directory hierarchy with renaming, which I can then import to Aperture or Capture One. I think it needs an in-app purchase which I don’t have, but it can also automatically start a transfer with a location, or when you plug the device in to charge. It uses a free desktop app to do some of the magic, but can also transfer to a variety of cloud services, a NAS, via sftp and more.



Square image my default preference. I’m trying not to use 3rd party apps. I had no problems with iPhone 6 images this way and I’m waiting for Apple to get back to me about photostream- thanks for all the suggestions. I’ll follow up after I talk to Apple again.