There are two ways to quickly download photos from an iPad to an iMac or other Apple computer. Using iCloud, you can select the photos you want to transfer and then download them on the iMac using iPhoto. This method has the additional benefits of making photos available to other iCloud-connected devices, like your iPhone or other Mac computers. Alternatively, you can to connect the iPad to the computer using its USB cable and then import the photos you want to keep, just as you would from a digital camera.
Using iCloud - Launch the iPad's Settings app and select "iCloud." If your iCloud is not already activated, tap the "On/Off" button to enable iCloud and enter your Apple ID and password when prompted. Enable Shared Photo Stream by tapping its "On/Off" button. Turn on the "My Photo Stream" option only if you want future photos you take on the iPad to be added automatically to iCloud.
Launch the "Photos" app on the iPad. Tap the "Photos" button at the top of the screen and then tap the "Edit" button in the upper right corner. Tap the thumbnail of every photo you want to send to your iMac. A check mark appears beside each selected photo. Tap the "Share" button in the upper left corner and then select "Photo Stream."
Select "New Photo Stream" to create a new Photo Stream album. Tap the "Name" field and enter a name for the album. If you also want to share the photos with others who have an iCloud account, you can enter their email addresses in the "To" field. Turn on the "Public Website" option only if you want the photos to be available to anyone on iCloud.com. Once you create a folder, you can add new photos to it at any time.
Tap "Next" and then type a comment for the album if desired, such as where the photos were taken or who is in them. Tap "Post." The photos are uploaded to iCloud where you can access them from your iMac.
Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu on the iMac. Select iCloud and enter your Apple ID and password if prompted. Put a check mark in the "Photo Stream" box and then click "Options." Click "Shared Photo Streams." Click the Photo Stream" option only if you want iPhoto photos to be uploaded to Photo Stream.
Launch iPhoto. Click the Photo Stream option located in the left menu and then double-click the album you created on the iPad. These are available on the iMac whenever it has Internet access. To save the photos in iPhoto, select the photos and drag them into "Photos" in the Library section of the left menu. You can also drag the photos onto the desktop or into a folder in Finder if you don't want to save them in iPhoto.
Using USB - Connect the iPad to your iMac using its USB cable. Launch iPhoto if it doesn't open automatically. You can close iTunes if it opens, since iTunes isn't required for downloading photos.
Click the "iPhone" entry in the left menu once iPhoto detects it. Select the photos you want to save to the iMac, and then click the "Import" button in the bottom right corner. To import all of the photos, click the "Import All" button in the top right corner.
Wait for the photos to be imported to iPhoto. The status is displayed at the top of the screen. This may take several minutes if you have a lot of photos. When the transfer is complete, a dialog box opens asking if you want to delete the photos from the iPad or leave them there. Click "Delete" or "Cancel." The imported photos are immediately displayed as a new event in the iPhoto library.
Warnings - Information in this article applies to iPhoto '11 and iOS 6.1. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.