Time Machine and Photos App

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember when Time Machine first came out, it had a nice integration with iPhoto. If you had iPhoto open and entered time machine, you could go back in time and restore a photo you might have accidentally deleted. That was a real thing right? I’m not misremembering it?

So fast forward to yesterday. My father came to me with a problem, he noticed that some photos he took in 2011 where missing from his Photos library and he asked for my help in trying to find them. He was using time machine so I said, let’s go there.

Now it turns out that the elegant solution we had in iPhotos is gone and this absurd method to find photos in your time machine backup is what Apple recommends:

You have to quit photos, go to time machine and restore the entire library to another folder. Then you open this library and try to find what might be missing. My father’s photo library is 40 GB, so copying this giant file from Time Machine took a long time. Not only that, since the file was from a few years ago, Photos had to spend time “Upgrading the library”, which took another long amount of time. I see that my Photos library is even bigger, 120 GB, so doing this with my own photos would turn into an all day project.

Is there a better way to do this?