Photo Editing

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by dtalksall, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #1
    Hello, new mac user here. I hope I'm posting in the right section. I have a 15" rMBP & it's my first time using a mac. I'm a blogger and need a simple photo editing app. All basic functions needed (basic editing, watermarking, resize, crop & potential to make collages)
    I know macs are supposed to be user friendly, but right now I think my system is very time consuming & requires a lot of steps. Please correct me with my "mistakes" & help me find a better system.

    Currently I take most of my images on my iPhone 4. I have my photo stream synced to my mac.
    I sort through my images, make the basic adjustments needed (some contrast, sharpening, cropping, resizing...) in iPhoto. I move the images to desktop folders (iPhone photos, iPad photos, Blog photos, website photos & sub folders within the folders) since images are only stored on the photo stream for x amount of time. Should I not have them on desktop folders? Is there another place I should keep them? When I go into iPhoto I can't access desktop folders, why not? I also can't seem to drag/drop the photos from iPhoto I have to manually "copy/paste" them. Reason being, I like to keep my photos organized in "main" folders & appropriate subfolders. Example: "Blog Photos" Will have subfolders for posts, particular items, type... That way when I'm looking to upload an image I know exactly where to go: "Blog Photos" -> "Subscription"-> "March". This was the way I did it windows & helped me stay organized. Is there a different way of doing this on a mac?

    After I edit them I then go to Diptic (collage app) if I want to make a collage. I save that to a desktop folder & then have to open the image in gimp in order to add a watermark. I can also do this through boarderfx in iPhoto (through export) but need to move the image from my desktop folder to an iPhoto folder, export it to boarderxf and then save it to appropriate desktop folder.
    One other thing, every time I seem to "name" a photo in boarderfx, the name never shows up in my desktop folders it's always "IMG_xxx" I miss the old windows way of right clicking on something & re-naming it. How do I re-name something without exporting it again.

    I'm not looking for an image editing site like picnik or photomonkey where I have to import images from my computer.
    Basically I want to simplify my system and/or find an app that does all of my requirements (basic editing, watermark, resize, collage) I'm also not looking to spend a lot of money on this either. Photoshop & Aperture are too expensive and too advanced for my needs. Gimp is also too advanced for my photo editing needs.
    Thank you in advance for any help & suggestions.
     
  2. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #2
    Get Pixelmator. I know you don't want an advanced editor, but at the same time you're sorta asking for too much. There isn't one good basic app that does all that very well without drawbacks. It's only $15 too.

    http://www.pixelmator.com

    It works with Automator (built-in OSX), so you can make watermarking/resizing easier for you by making a few one-click scripts/apps. If anything, I recommend you check out Automator, it rocks.

    Always keep your pictures in the picture folder. Don't litter your desktop with stuff, it'll keep your Mac running smoothly that way. :)
     
  3. James Craner, Mar 14, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013

    macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #3
    This is a common issue for people coming over from Windows. iPhoto and it's more powerful relation, Aperture are primarily Photo Management Apps, A photo database where you can store your photo's and enhance the photo's with straight forward tools. The Photo's are designed to be kept in the App database, it is possible to store the photo's outside the database, as referenced images. However I don't recommend it as it is easier for you or someone else to accidentally move the images and damage the integrity of the database. This is very much Apple's design mindset, in that it tends to design software that takes all the admin away from the user, so that can focus on enhancing and enjoying their photo's, rather than worrying about their taxonomy structure. It takes a while to get used to it.

    You should have a backup plan, which for most Mac Users should be local backup using Time Machine (Apple's solution) or using a 3rd Party solution like Carbon Copy Cloner. You also should have an offsite copy as well. Either using Vaults built into Aperture (with a external disk that you keep offsite) or a cloud based solution like Crashplan.

    I am not sure what you are doing but iPhoto does allow you to drag and drop images from iPhoto onto the desktop, or into another App.

    I know you don't want to spend much money, but I would take a look at Aperture, which is really iPhoto Pro. It has much stronger feature set, and allows more comprehensive tagging and organisation of photo's compared to iPhoto. Aperture also supports watermarking as well. I would not bother with Photoshop, you may well find that the extended photo editing tools in Aperture are enough, and if not take a look at Pixelmator first which gives you 90% of the power of Photoshop at less than 10% of the price. An alternative to Aperture would be Lightroom, but that is more expensive than Aperture, and may be more suitable for someone who plans to do most of their editing in Photoshop.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #4
    Is there a way to have subfolders in the picture folder?

    ----------

    Thanks. I didn't want to spend $8o on a photo editing program. I think I'll try pixelmator first
     
  5. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #5
    ... I'm talking about in your Finder. Under the Favorites section... There's your Pictures folder. It works like your typical My Computer > Documents > Photos/Pictures setup. Yes, you can just make a new folder whenever you need it. Just drag whatever you have on the desktop now and move it there. :)
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #6
    iPhoto stores all it's photos in the iPhoto Library by default. There is no need to have a separate copy of your photo's providing you have a backup solution.

    Yes you could ignore iPhoto altogether and just store your images in a series of folders, but that sounds like hard work to me. You can create folders in the Finder.

    Aperture is a Photo Management App, not a photo editing program, although it does have some photo editing capabilities. Pixelmator is just a photo editing program, and not a iPhoto / Aperture replacement.
     
  7. macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #7
    Sub $100+ you're pretty limited on what is available. Gimp isn't difficult to learn, although I don't know what it offers in terms of organization. Pixelmator is probably one of the best cheap editing apps.
     
  8. macrumors demi-god

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #8
    James and Jessica have offered you some great advice. Pixelmator is great for photo editing. Aperture or Adobe Lightroom 4 are great organizational tools but they will cost you $80. I understand that you do not want to spend the money. But from your post, you are asking for a lot and for cheap. Unfortunately those 2 things do not work together for what you require. But what has been suggested to you is probably the cheapest way to go for your requirements. Spend the money and in the end I am sure you will like the workflow and end results. Not being pushy here at all, just offering my two cents to the conversation.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #9
    If you choose to use iPhoto or Aperture, just forget about the notion of folders on your desktop, or in a Pictures folder on the hard drive. As others have said, you use the programs to do your importing and organizing.

    Yes, you can create folders in iPhoto/Aperture that seem just like the folders you created on your Desktop... only to access them you have to open iPhoto/Aperture, you can't just go to the Desktop or open Finder. Folders are created in the Albums section of iPhoto/Aperture. Those Folders can contain other Folders and/or Albums. Photos are contained in Albums.

    Essentially, iPhoto and Aperture are database programs, and all any database is is an organized system for storing, manipulating, and retrieving stuff. iPhoto/Aperture are database programs optimized for the needs of photographers, just as your email, contacts, and calendar programs are databases optimized for those purposes, and spreadsheets are databases that Excel at Numbers. A computer's file system is also a specialized database, great for storing and moving instructions and data around a computer, but with fairly rudimentary tools for organizing user-generated content.

    Your email program includes text editing features appropriate to email, and iPhoto and Aperture do the same for photos. In many cases, those editing features are enough for your needs, and Aperture includes tools for applying the same changes to groups of photos (all shots from a shoot may need the same amount of white balance correction). In other cases, you'll want to open Word or Photoshop, or whatever heavy-duty solution you happen to need.

    When you import photos into the iPhoto Library, that's usually the last you'll do to the original file. Editing is non-destructive - the original file is unchanged, a separate data file contains instructions for reproducing the changes you've made to the photo. Those changes are, of course, applied to the version you see on screen, and to copies you Export for upload, file attachments, printing, etc. A Delete is also non-destructive, unless you explicitly choose to Delete Original Image and All Versions.

    By using a specialized database, rather than your computer's folder structure, you can organize/categorize the same photo in many different ways. All the various ways the photos are categorized - Events, Photos, Faces, Places, Recent, Albums... are essentially pre-defined search results.

    From my perspective, storing and organizing photos in hard disk folders is pretty limiting - if you want the same photo in more than one folder, you have to either copy the file (waste of space) or create an alias. (Aliases are usually a better idea, but it's surprising how few people use them.) And if you do make copies? What happens when you edit one of those copies - do you remember to over-write whatever other copies exist? Bottom line is that a computer's file system is a specialized database, designed for the needs of computers and computer programmers.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    Very nice post. I gave it a +1.

    Using the computers file system is barbaric compared with with a good digital asset manager. I personally use Aperture... but Lightroom is also good.

    Finder is a reasonable way to "store" photos. Aperture or LR are great ways to "use" photos.

    Storing photos in the file system reminds me of the final scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

    /Jim
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #11
    Funny, because on my PC Picasa did all those things & was free. That's why I asked.
     
  12. macrumors demi-god

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #12
    Sorry you may have misinterpreted my suggestions. Not intended as you may have possibly perceived.
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #13
    You can use Picassa on your Mac too.

    /Jim
     
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #14
    I tried it out & like most reviewers, it just doesn't work. It's slow & buggy, images don't appear, and a lot of times it won't save properly.
    I downloaded a 30 day trial version of pixelmator. It's only $15 in the app store. I looked into aperture & they don't have a simple way to make a collage or watermark. So I don't see how the $80 is worth it for a "organizing" program. I know it can do more, but pixelmator can do all those things too.
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    I do not know your workflow... but "most" (in fact the vast majority) of really great amateur or pro photographers that I know use VERY LITTLE actually editing that would require a full blown photo editor. Most use either Aperture or Lightroom for the majority of their work... and a plug-in filter program (Nik Software seems to be the most popular) for almost all the rest. Then... Photoshop or Pixelmator for the final 1% or less.

    In my case.... if I shoot 1000 photos on a trip, my breakdown might be:

    Aperture - Import all 1000... discard 500.
    Aperture - Rate, stack, keyword the 500
    Aperture - Filter, adjust contrast, levels, white balance, crop, 100
    Nik Software - Noise reduce, Filter, enhance, and adjust top 20
    Photoshop - Edit fewer than 1

    If I was to estimate the time spent in each of the 3 programs:

    Aperture - 70%
    Nik Software - 29.x %
    Photoshop - less than 1%

    The above number are all total SWAGs... but probably "about right".

    /Jim
     
  16. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #16
    See, I wouldn't consider myself a "pro photographer". Yes, I like to take photos, but for the most part they are for my blog. So I get the filtering & sorting in aperture, but I can do this in iPhoto for free.
    What I require is BASIC editing (a little bit of white balance, sharpening... what iPhoto offers is fine) Most programs with basic buttons for this will do, I don't need the fancy, loop & layers... that photoshop, even pixelmator has (although the price for pixelmator is nice). I also require watermarking (text box is fine) and be able to make a collage if needed. I don't like batch watermarking, because each photo may have a watermark in a different location, opacity and size, depending on the image. Now with DMCA & all the social "reglogging"/sharing sites, watermarks are very important.
    I also don't want to be using multiple programs to edit one image.
    I don't know why apple hasn't released something similar to picasa yet, or have a "pro" version of iPhoto for purchase. The simplicity and ease of Picasa is something I really do miss from my PC. When my laptop died & I decided to switch to a mac, I was so excited thinking everything would be "easier" now it just seems more time consuming & stressful.
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #17
    Aperture is the "pro version" of iPhoto. The two can even open each other's database. Aperture also supports watermarks.

    I do not know about collage creation... I've never done it. It is possible that the "light table" feature of Aperture may do what you want... or else get a "collage program" and use it as an external editor for Aperture.

    I've tried Picassa (on a PC) and for me, it was a train wreck. When I switched to a Mac (2009) Aperture was one of my first purchases... I bought a few small (highly recommended) ebooks by Robert Boyer (photo.rwboyer.com) and quickly came to the conclusion that Aperture by itself, was enough reason to switch from a PC to a Mac.

    /Jim
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #18
    If iPhoto is enough, there's no need to upgrade to Aperture. I used iPhoto until fairly recently. In my case, I outgrew the adjustments offered by iPhoto. The library/organization tools in iPhoto were still more than enough for my needs.

    I'm a big fan of starting with a basic tool and using it until you outgrow it. That's when you know why you need the more advanced model, and how you'll use it to advance your craft.

    In my case, the biggest single reason for switching to Aperture is Effects > Black & White. My photos often have to be published in both color and b&w, and Aperture has a fast and dead simple way to get great-looking b&w from color originals. I could bore you about the art of b&w photography, and how the use of color filters is essential... let's just say it's why simply clicking the "b&w" checkbox can give such disappointing results.
     
  19. macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #19
    One thing not mentioned in this thread is that iPhoto (as well as Aperture and Lightroom) keep your original photos as well as your edited ones, so you can always go back to the originals. Aperture and Lightroom actually don't store your edited photos but instead keep the instructions on how the original was edited and are very space efficient because of that.

    One advantage of using iPhoto or Aperture over other programs is that the media import dialog of most applications will allow easily searching and importing these images.

    On the few occasions when I've wanted a collage I've used Pages. You can position, resize, rotate, overlap, and even do some image adjustments within that program. Keynote would work fine as well. While I've got the Microsoft Office suite I've abandoned it for iWork for almost everything I do.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #20
    One that doesn't have a watermark option. I have read countless reviews & everyone says that Aperture does not come with the option to watermark. You have to purchase a 3rd party extension.

    ----------

    Thanks! I didn't even think of pages!

    Now I have a question with organizing in iPhoto. Sure, it's great way to keep your photos organized in iPhoto, but how do I access them in other programs? Example: I want to upload an image on a forum, or website. How do I get the image? The "albums" don't appear under "pictures" in Finder. Am I missing something really basic here?
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #21
    Purely a matter of embracing the workflow. iPhoto is the source, not the hard drive. Export from iPhoto/Aperture, do not try to Import into a different program.

    Remember, iPhoto/Aperture use non-destructive editing - to have the editing reflected in your export, iPhoto/Aperture has to apply those edits to the files as they're going out the door.

    First step, select the photo(s) you wish to export. You then have two principal options:

    iPhoto: File menu > Export

    iPhoto: Share menu (share to Photo Stream, Messages, Email, Facebook, Flikr, Twitter)

    The Export feature has tabs for File Export, Web Page (builds a rudimentary web page from the selected images), and Slideshow (builds movie files in various formats and resolutions).

    File Export handles single image and bulk exporting. You choose from a variety of formatting options, and select the destination in a Finder window. So, for example, if you have Dropbox, you can export directly to Dropbox. I have a target folder on my desktop I use for all my uploading to FTP, web sites, etc.

    File Export allows you to determine the format of the files exported (original, "current," jpeg, tiff, png), JPEG quality, Include title and keywords, Include Location information, select file Size, keep or modify File Name (use title, use filename, sequential, album name with number), Prefix for sequential (eg. Party01, Party02, etc.) and Subfolder format.

    The Share features are, as you'd expect, specific interfaces with specific external programs/services.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    From Aperture's help menu:



    A watermark is a visible graphic overlay that is applied to a photo. Photographers often use watermarks to indicate that the photos are protected by a copyright and to discourage others from inappropriately using their photos.

    You can import a graphics file and add it to your photos as a watermark.

    Use the following guidelines to create high-quality watermarks for your photos:

    Save your watermark as a PSD (Photoshop) file with a transparent background.

    Create multiple sizes of your watermark so that you can select the one that is the best match for the output size of the exported photo.

    Note: If a watermark file is larger than the photo you want to export, Aperture automatically scales the watermark down to fit the photo. (Aperture does not scale watermarks up.)

    After you create a watermark, save it as part of an export preset so you can reuse it as often as you need.

    Hide
    To add a watermark image to your exported photos
    Select the photos you want to export.

    Choose File > Export > Versions (or press Command-Shift-E).

    In the dialog that appears, choose Edit from the Export Preset pop-up menu.

    In the Image Export dialog, select the export preset you want to use to export your photos.

    Select the Show Watermark checkbox.

    Click the Choose Image button.

    Select the image you want to use as a watermark, then click Choose.

    Specify where you want the watermark to appear on the photo using the Position pop-up menu.

    To adjust the opacity of the watermark, drag the Opacity slider to a new position.

    If you want the watermark to be scaled in proportion to the photo’s output size, select the “Scale watermark” checkbox.

    When you’re satisfied with how your watermark appears in the watermark preview area, click OK.

    Navigate to the location where you want the exported photos placed.

    Choose a name format for your exported files from the Name Format pop-up menu.

    Click Export Versions.

    Your files are exported with the watermark you created.​

    /Jim
     
  23. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #23
    Wow! Thanks! Everything I read said aperture didn't have a watermark feature. That's awesome. I might need to invest in it.
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #24
    Note that the watermark is applied as part of the export process. Typically, you would not want to apply the watermark to the actual photo in the database.

    If you do want a permanent set of photos also with the watermark applied... then you could always reimport... and keep separate masters (now called originals) as a second copy.

    Most photographers that I know would apply the watermark as an export option.

    Aperture is enough reason (all by itself) to switch to a Mac.

    /Jim
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #25
    One of the advantages of using iPhoto or Aperture is all the images are available in the media browser that is built into many OS X applications - all Apples iWork Applications support it, as well as Microsoft Office. Within the Application you can browse your library in the Application and even filter via a simple search field. Then just drag and drop to insert the image.

    However you would need to export the image in Aperture if you needed to add a watermark to it.

    Screenshot_17_03_2013_09_46.png
     

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