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Managing Photos on iMac


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3 replies to this topic

#1 of 4 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted September 01 2013 - 11:11 AM

I have an iMac running OS X with a 2.7ghz Intel Core i5 and 24gb of memory.  I'm looking for a program to manage my photos which are mostly jpg but with a several hundred PSD's.

 

I've experimented with iPhoto.  It appears that to get any kind of organization I will have to use Albums.  So, import photos and they become an event.  Take photos in the event and organize them in albums.  If I create a new image, say a PSD, it won't be in iPhoto until I import it, then put it in an album.

 

I can access the PSD in iPhoto and open it in Photoshop via iPhoto.

 

Is that how iPhoto workflow works?  It concerns me that photos that are imported into iPhoto are then in the iPhoto library and can't be accessed other than by iPhoto (I don't want to keep the original photos I imported, that would double my storage space.)

 

I come from the PC world and am used to a folder based storage system, so I'm having trouble committing to iPhoto.  Are there better photo management programs?  I think I've read that Photoshop Elements is very good at that.


Johnny
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#2 of 4 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted September 01 2013 - 02:19 PM

iPhoto -> Preferences -> Advanced -> uncheck "Importing: Copy Items into iPhoto Library"

Now you can keep your hand-crafted folders and use iPhoto.

 

More practically: What do you mean by "organize"?

 

iPhoto freed me from the tyranny of wasting time on hierarchical organization of photos. My wife is not completely broken of the habit and is still compelled to create exactingly named and ordered Events. 

 

I say: Let iPhoto auto-create Events by date. You can drag and drop Events onto each other to merge them, if a multi-day vacation was split apart. Maybe spend some time labeling Faces. Get an Eye-Fi for your camera so you can get location data, if you don't have that yet. Use the Faces and Places features to view and explore by people and location.



#3 of 4 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted September 07 2013 - 07:07 AM

More practically: What do you mean by "organize"?

 

 

Well, I mean organize.  I want to be able to find photos by an event (birthday, Tahoe vacation, etc), type of photo (portraits, scenic, action, pet, etc), person, and maybe I'll think of other categories.

 

I think what I dislike about iPhoto is that photos imported into iPhoto, disappear into the iphoto library.  The only way they can be found and accessed is via iPhoto and that really requires me to change they way I've always thought of my photos: they are out there in folders that I can access with many programs.  I could even find them when I'm running windows.

 

The idea of changing preferences so that they are not copied into the iphoto library would work well, if I was already well organized and I'm not.  I've got my iphotos all over the place in folders.  Let's say I'm half-assed organized, with emphasis on the word following half.

 

So I want to really get things organized by using iPhoto.  I just wish that after I was done, the photos would be in folders based on the albums, that I could see outside of iPhoto.  Let's say I get all my photos imported and organized in iPhoto and down the line I return to a PC based system.  And also assume that after importing all the photos, I deleted all the photos from their original locations.  The photos now only exist in iPhoto.

 

How would I get the photos out of iPhoto?  Can I do a mass export?  Where would iPhoto put them and would they have any folder structure?

 

I don't want to commit to iphoto if it's a "river of no return."


Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#4 of 4 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted September 07 2013 - 04:51 PM

Folders don't let you do that either. You can't have folders simultaneously organized by Event, Date, Photo Type, Subject, and so on. (Not without manual shortcuts cross-linking photos to multiple other folders, and that would be a big kludge and/or tremendous work.)

 

If you change systems, getting your originals will be easy. Tell the new system to import from the iPhoto folder, and have it suck up all the photos. Windows has provided that kind of feature for a decade. You'll lose all your iPhoto-specific meta-data, most likely, which will suck. But that's a problem with any photo-organizer. 

 

The caveat to this, is that iPhoto keeps both original and edited photos. This is really great because you never lose a photo to ill-considered editing. The downside is that if you migrate, you could have lots of pseudo duplicates, getting both originals and the edited versions.

 

But I'll ask again, in all practicality:

What do you mean by organized? As you say, "I'm half-assed organized, with emphasis on the word following half" Are you really now going to change your long-term behavior, and create a super-organized system of all existing photos, and keep it up on all future photos? If you've never done this before? 

Or would you be happier to have a program hoover up your photos, do some basic organization for you, and let you easily do the big-deal sorting with a little effort? This is not sniping, this is my hard-learned practicality over the years of getting hyper-organized for a few months and then realizing that's me and falling back to old habits. Now, I try to pick solutions true to myself :) 

In five years, you might decide to change systems. But who knows what you'll have in five years. I can only say that I've been happy so far with iPhoto, and much happier that I no longer think about organization, beyond "these photos were taken in September" and "these photos were taken during the same weekend vacation".

 

If you do want long-term compatibility, look at cross-platform organizers, particularly: Lightroom and Picasa. That might give you better peace of mind for future options.






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