I have to convert dozens of images in my iPhoto library to black and white, then save them in TIFF format. Would it be easier to do this with Automator?
George Morrison

Yes – here’s how to do it in Snow Leopard. In iPhoto, gather all the images you want to convert into an album. Name it To Convert. In Finder, create a folder called Converted Photos and place it in a convenient location – on the desktop, for example.

Launch Automator and, in the template chooser that appears, select Application and click Choose. 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 dialog that appears, navigate to your To Convert album and click Add. In the Copy Finder Items action, choose your Converted Photos folder.

In the Apply ColorSync Profile To Images action, click on the Profile pop-up menu, select Output, then choose Black & White. Finally, in the Change Type Of Images action, choose TIFF from the To Type pop-up menu.

If you now run the workflow from within Automator, the album’s images will be 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. The next time you need to convert photos, just load the desired images into your To Convert album and double-click on this application.

There’s more you could do, such as change the size of your images. The action you use for this is Scale Images. Drag it into your workflow, and you’ll see that you can configure the pop-up menu to allow you to scale the image to a specific pixel width or percentage.

Automator also includes a Pad Images action, which changes the dimensions of a canvas. You can also have the image scaled before padding it. The Crop Images action enables you to crop images. With the Pad Images action, you can elect to scale an image before cropping it.