Managing photos

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by conamor, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #1
    Hi!

    I would like advices and tips on how I should manage my photos.

    When I was using a PC, I had folders with the name of the event and all the pictures inside - not renamed but with the IMG_number.


    Now that I have a beautiful iMac, how should I manage the photos? Should I put my 50 GB of pictures in iPhoto?

    Should I simply use the picture folders with events folder name and "rename" all my photos using the name of the event?

    Let me know what you do and some tips!

    Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Using file system folders is barbaric. It is an OK way to store photos... but it is a really crappy way to use photos.

    You need a digital asset manager (DAM).

    iPhoto is a fairly simple DAM... with limitations.

    The two most common DAMs are Aperture (Apple) and Lightroom (Adobe). I personally prefer Aperture.

    /Jim
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #3
    Thank you, didn't know it was called "DAM". I am used to Windows... and finally made the move to MacOS.

    How is it getting managed by the software? It might sound weird but not having "total" control of my photos, I am afraid I can lose them.
     
  4. flynz4, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013

    macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    You will not lose them. With most DAMs, the originals will never be touched or modified... even if you make changes. I'll discuss Aperture 3 (A3)... since I use it the most.

    You have two choices where to keep your originals... either in the library itself, or in any folder structure you choose. For a small library like yours, I would generally suggest "managed originals"... in the library. However... the library is really a "package" that you can go into... and your originals will always be sitting there... just like any other folders.

    The power of a DAM is incredible. I'll suggest that you read some very inexpensive ebooks by a Mac Forum regular named Robert Boyer... his site is photo.rwboyer.com and his ebooks are worth their weight in gold. Get A3 Organization and A3 File Management.

    To give an example of what you can do... I'll give an example.

    When you import your originals... they go into what is called a "project". Each original lives in one, and exactly one project. From there you have a lot of options on how you classify your images. Generally, I'll assign a location to each project, unless I am using a camera with a built in GPS (as an iPhone). Within seconds you and flip through your imports, accepting/rejecting photos... and rating them from 1-5 stars. You can assign keywords on anything that is important to you... and on and on.

    Although photos live in only one project... they can also live in as many albums as you choose. The wonderful thing is that they do not take up any space... photos in albums are not duplicates. You can populate the albums by using any criteria you choose.

    Then come smart albums. You can create these and they will auto populate with any criteria you specify... and as you add new photos... the smart albums self configure.

    So... you decide you want a slideshow of your best beach vacations. You create a smart album that contains all pictures taken on the Oregon coast or Hawaii, with at least one of your children, but not the dog, with ratings 3 stars or above. As quickly as you can open the album... it is populated by all photos that meet that requirement. Seconds later, just those pictures are playing in an slideshow on your computer, or on your Apple TV.

    Your daughter is getting married... you create a smart album of just her growing up rated 4 stars or above. You quickly go through those and print the top 50 for a photo collage to have at the reception.

    You get the point. A DAM opens this capability for you.

    Any good DAM will do these things. I personally think that iPhoto is too limiting, but it is already on your computer and it is free. It integrates wonderfully with your Mac... and your photos can easily be referenced from lots of other applications... or synced to your iPhone.

    Aperture is a "grown-up" version of iPhoto. I love Aperture, and think the program all by itself is reason enough to switch from a PC to a Mac (Aperture is Mac only).

    The other great DAM is Lightroom by Adobe. Like Aperture, it is quite powerful. You will get strong proponents of both A3 and LR4. Both are good. I love that Aperture integrates with a Mac so much better... and Aperture's workflow is arguably the best in existence.

    Enjoy...

    /Jim
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #5
    Jim:
    This is a really great post, Thank you very much.

    I will be looking into buying Aperture since there are no trial available anymore.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. macrumors demi-god

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #6
    When I used Windows, I did much like you did. After switching to the Mac I tried out iPhoto and have been very happy with it. I currently have about 5,000 images in iPhoto. It handles it well but I plan to upgrade to Aperture in the future in order to gain some additional editing and organizational capabilities. I went through an online training course for Aperture and it will do what I need and is an easier upgrade from iPhoto.

    Another example of smart albums is one I created in order to make a photo book. I wanted to do a year in review for 2012 so I created a smart album with all my photos taken in 2012.
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #7
    Since iPhoto comes for free with a new Mac, I'd definitely start with that. If you buy Aperture, you can import your iPhoto library, so you don't have to be afraid of »starting with the wrong piece of software«.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    I keep my 40,000+ raw files in Lightroom. Use it or Aperture and add on plugins for additional editing capabilities.
     
  9. ChrisA, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013

    macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    The way to think about photo organization with a DAM is like the public library. The books are on the shelf filed in some order and you need not care much about it. When you needed a book year ago you'd go to one of the card files and search by author or title or subject. Now days you query the catalog database using any combination of keywords.

    That is how the DAM works, you query a database.

    You old system on Windows had a series problem. Say you have a photo of Mary and Jim taken in San Fransico in Jan 1962. Now close to 50 years later you want that photo "someone" Jim used to know that you met in the early 1960's some place out in California.

    Did you place the photo in the folder called "1963", or San Fransico, or Mary or "California Road Trip"??? You will never find it if you have 45,000 images in 1,100 nested folders. Folder structures just can NEVER work because you can never know how you will so searching for it later.


    Yes. That is the best way. Let iPhoto organize as best it can. But then you might need to, over time add more meta data, create "smart folders" and rate your images with stars and so on.

    ----------

    Aperture and iPhoto can share the same library. Just import the iPhoto now and worry about Aperture later. iPhoto has a much faster learning curve. You can be up and running quickly. Aperture requires some study first.

    ----------

    With current version there is no "import" required. They use the same library.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    I agree with both OreoCookie and Chris that iPhoto is a good place to start. There is nothing wrong with starting there first.

    I do think that if you are pretty sure that you will want more... there is no harm in moving up to Aperture earlier... and in many ways... I think it is easier to use than iPhoto... as long as you learn a few things first. It is just a lot less clumsy to use.

    The references that I gave you to the two ebooks will give you those few fundamentals... and will probably help you determine if you want to just try iPhoto first... or go to Aperture.

    Either way... embrace using a DAM. You will be happier in the end.

    /Jim
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    BJMRamage

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #11
    I like to think of iPhoto/Aperture/Lightroom as iTunes for photos.

    You let the program import the media and file it as it wishes. then you tag the media so you can find it easily with a search, no matter if you search by name or date, etc. And you can have the media in various smart folders/playlists.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #12
    Thanks again for all the replies.

    Does iPhoto have a maximum of photos? Will it make it slower if there is 50000 images?

    How would I deal with my current pictures folder structure.

    I have a folder called Photos and inside they are all by dates-events.

    Do I simply import them into iPhoto? Will it create a copy all the photos to another location? Should I delete my old folder structure after importing in iPhoto?

    When you edit a photo in Aperture, I suppose there are some plugins for Black and White and more just like Lightroom?

    How does it work after if I want to send let's say 10 pictures from my iPhoto library to someone?

    Thank you so much for all the replies!
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #13
    Trying to answer your questions in order:

    No maximum number of photos... but 50,000 will be cumbersome in iPhoto. Neither LR or A3 will break a sweat.

    I know that when you import to Aperture... you can preserve the structure of your existing folders, with the same names and heirarchy organization. iPhoto keeps everything flat. Aperture makes it trivial to rearrange your library at will. It is easier to do than to explain. If you read the ebooks I pointed you to, then it will be obvious.

    When you import... yes... but by default your originals will be copied into iPhoto and/or Aperture. Rather than delete the pictures you have now... just keep them on an external. At least until you know everything has gone smoothly and you are at least double backed up to two destinations.

    Yes... lots of flexibility in A3 for all kinds of effects and high quality filtering. Eventually, consider buying pro level plug-ins, such as those by Nik-Software (now bought by Google and offered at under 1/3 the old price). You will be amazed at what your photos can look like with a bit of work. One of the plugins (SilverEfex Pro) will make you feel like Ansel Adams. ColorEfex Pro and Viveza will blow your socks off too.

    You can just share your pictures from within the application... or drag them to the desktop. Nothing ever ever changes the originals... ever.

    Seriously... with 50,000 pictures... just do yourself a favor and jump straight to A3 or LR. You will save yourself a lot of aggravation. In retrospect considering the size of your library... why bother with iPhoto?

    /Jim
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    Hi there,

    I'm also in a similar situation,
    PC gone to heaven, (may have went somewhere else the way it was behaving)
    New Mac soon,
    Doing research on DAM myself
    Have been looking at this YouTube clip from Joseph Linascke

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TyludYbh91w
    The subject covered is basically about Nik Software but Joseph gives a great intro on how to set up you DAM from the start and in great detail
    He also has training videos over on apertureexpert.com

    I'm still learning but thought I would show what I have found along the way
    Regards,
    Gary
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #15
    Not that I'm aware of. As long as you keep the number of photos per event/project manageable, you will not experience any slow downs.
    Software like Lightroom, Aperture and iPhoto go beyond the file/folder structure. E. g. if you add a photo to several albums, this is not reflected by a change in the file structure. All the organization goes on within that application. Once you get over your initial apprehension, this will be a tremendous boost to your productivity.
    Before you import your photos, you have to make a back up. With OS X, all you need is an external hard drive with enough storage, plug it in, go to the System Preferences > Time Machine, switch on Time Machine and do a backup.

    After the backup, just import everything into iPhoto. But if you do happen to have 50,000 photos, expect that process to take a while. If you want to take it slowly, start with, say, the photos from 2012-2013 or so.
    Aperture comes with a black & white converter, but you can use also plugins. Probably the best on the market is Silver Efx (which is available as an Aperture, Lightroom and Photoshop plugin). Aperture comes chock full of settings to manipulate a photo in many ways, including localized edits (e. g. dodging and burning, sharpening, desaturating/saturating).
    You select the photos and then go to the menu Share > E-mail and follow the procedure. You can also use Drag & Drop: select the photo and drag them into the e-mail message window.
    I forgot about that, thanks. :)
     
  16. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #16
    Thanks again everyone!

    In aperture; There is project at the top and then if your right-click on it you can make more projects.

    What is the difference between the top and all the other ones at the bottom?
    Is a project an event? "Hawaii 2012"?

    Thank you!

    edit; quick question, if there are some pictures which you would not like everyone to see, is there any privacy container in aperture? I would I manage these events?
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #17
    I don't understand, can you elaborate?
    I wouldn't equate the two necessarily. The way Aperture works is the following: when you import photos, you import them into a project. A project can contain albums, books and other things if you want. But the most important thing about projects is that every photo's original file (called master) is associated to exactly one project. A photo can be contained in as many albums, websites and books as you wish, but it is associated to exactly one project.

    Personally, I use projects like events for the most part, save for multi-day vacations. But essentially it's up to you how you use it.
    In that case, I would make an album with the photos you want everyone to see.
     
  18. ChrisA, Jun 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013

    macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #18
    How to stop others from seeing some pictures? They can't see any of them. Your Aperture library is inside your user account and should not be readable by someone signed into some other account. If they have a library you can't see theirs either. The login password prevents it.

    That said, it is easy to get around a login password by (1) booting off an external disk or CDROM install disk or (2) physically removing the disk drive from your computer. A login password cannot stop either of those. But you can use Apple's "File Vault" to encrypt everything in your home folder. This will absolutely keep people from seeing anything in there even if they use a screwdriver to remove your hard drive.

    You can use projects any why you like. I think of it as a "shoot". This is a bunch of related images that I took close together in time at about the same time. If you are doing this for clients I'd make a project a "work unit" that gets paid for. For example I just shoot a "bazillion" eBay items on white seamless background for someone so they all so into one project. Yes, like Events in iPhoto

    Other people have an on-going project and put say, all pics of their dog in the "fido" project. I'm might do that with that with native plants, all shots of So Cal native plants are going to go in that project. But maybe not, still undecided.

    Smart folders will pull all the pics tagged with "SoCalPlant" into the album. That might be best

    I like to keep my projects in folders too. All my under water projects are in a "dive" folder.

    The other thing you get to figure out is a tagging and keyword system and a consistent way to rate photos by stars.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #19
    Thanks!

    I am currently taking pictures JPEG + RAW, should I keep doing that or simply use the jpeg for edting, note that I do this for myself as a part time.

    Should I only take jpeg's?

    How does aperture keep both files?
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    I shoot JPEG (fine) + RAW. I import them into A3 as a JPEG+RAW pair... with the JPEG as master. I like the way my cameras process images out of the camera... better than RAW.

    Then... the JPEG by default is the master... but the RAW is attached to it. When I have a photo that I really want to enhance (vs just crop or whatever)... I'll switch the master for that photo to RAW... and spend the time to make it into a great photo. You can do more with a RAW master than a JPEG.

    It takes more space (like 6X as much)... but storage is "free".

    /Jim
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    #21
    Yeah, I totally get what you mean. It's hard to relinquish that control. But it really is safe, and actually safer than w/o DAM. It continues to be important for you to understand how it manages your data - that you still have total awareness of what happens to to your data. You're then just delegating some of the data management process but still under control of your data.

    The only photos I've ever lost we're before I started using a DAM and a proper backup merhodology that integrates with the DAM workflow.

    You're asking the right questions and headed in a very good direction!
     
  22. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #22
    Great! I do thanks everyone for all the advices.
    I got myself an iMac 27 i7 16GB 3TB recently like I said I think previously, I had a macbook pro 13in 2011 but I decided to make the move from my PC to Apple, mostly because of video editing which is really easy and user friendly for my wife. I just got a 3TB laCie Porche Design USB3.0 as backup today.

    After editing the raw, I suppose we have to resave it as jpeg?

    I have imported 10 photos only in aperture, as testing purpose :)

    I still can't figure the difference between Project and album.
    I have some ready to do I think!
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Fukuoka, Japan
    #23
    If you use Aperture or Lightroom, no!
    These apps save the RAW file (which is never touched!) and all edits are saved in small text files which contain only the »slider settings«. This means, you can create new »versions«/edits of an image essentially for free (it just takes up a few kB rather than tens of MB).

    A jpg or tiff is only created if you export a photo, e. g. to send it via e-mail to your parents. This is a huge advantage: you will never accidentally modify the original file.
     
  24. ChrisA, Jun 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013

    macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #24
    No need to "save" anything. In Aperture and iPhoto your edited images don't exist anyplace. All that exists is a recording of all the edits you made. Every time the image is displayed those edits are "played back" and the edited image is re-created. OK, the smaller preview is cached so it seems fast as you scroll but as soon as you look at the image it is re-built. This way very little space is used on the disk. You can make as many copies as you like and still very little space is used.


    The nly time a JPEG is created is when you "export" the image out of Aperture. Actually all "non-detructive" editors work this way. Especially video editors.

    A "Project" is the place where the actual image data is kept. The think you downloaded from the camera is kept in a "Project" as well as any edits you might have made.

    "Albums" only contain the NAME of the image, there is very little data in an album, just pointers back to the actual image file. In Aperture, "slide shows" and "light tables" are the same, they just have pointer in them. No JPEG files until you export them

    Aperture also allows you to make "folders" Those are containers that hold either project, albums or other folders. But they are just book keeping data inside Apetur's database, not real folders you see on the disk.

    In Aperture "Projects are the only self-contained units that can be moved off-line, or to another computer running Aperture.

    On more thing. Good that yu have a backup disk. Let Time Machine manage it. and make hourly backups. But you need MORE. Aperture has it's own backup system called "vaults" get two more disks for those and rotate them to an off site location. Or if not using Aperture, just copy whatever library. But the Vault system is fast as it copy copies changes, not the entire collection.

    Buy a one month subscription to Lynda.com and watch this intro class first
    http://www.lynda.com/Aperture-tutorials/Aperture-3-Essential-Training-2012/109683-2.html?srchtrk=index%3a3%0alinktypeid%3a2%0aq%3aaperture%0apage%3a1%0as%3arelevance%0asa%3atrue%0aproducttypeid%3a2
    Or if not using Aperture they have other videos, they run about 8 hours each and are worth the price of a subscription.


    Backup is hard to do well, make sure you have at least two different complementary backup systems in place and you MUST always have a full copy off-site. Buy a fire safe and keep it at the office, a buddy's house or whatever. then you ROTATE by taking the new backup there and bringing the old one home (in that order) so one is always offsite, even while the backup is in progress. (If a disk will fail, it will fail while doing a backup as that is what stresses it most. So you have to rate two (at least)

    THink about huge power surges that destroy ALL the dives that are plugged in. or a house fire or the most common cause of last data, theft of the equipment.
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    #25
    Is this true of iPhoto? I had thought that one of the advantages of Aperture was that iPhoto made a duplicate photo when you edit the original. Am I incorrect or is that something that changed with iPhoto 11?
     

Share This Page