Accessing my photos help!!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Tigerstyles, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Tigerstyles macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2013
    This is probably a common question but I can't find a thread on it

    How the hell can I access my photos without going through Iphoto for the love of god!!

  2. Weaselboy, Feb 22, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014

    Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    They are in your iPhoto library in the users Pictures folder. That said, do not mess around in that library file. It is only meant to be accessed from iPhoto and you may corrupt the file by messing around in there.
  3. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    As Weaselboy states, they are in the iPhoto Library, and you shouldn't mess with them. They are hidden by design to minimize the risk of users corrupting the database. Keep in mind that iPhoto is DAM (digital asset manager) and like all DAMs it assumes that the user will not mess about with images except through the DAM's interface. Other DAM's include Lightroom and Capture One.

    If you do decide to mess about with the photos outside of iPhoto - don't panic when you 'lose' your photos. You have probably not actually deleted the photos - just corrupted the database. They can be recovered - though only after a fair amount of work in some cases. You do have current backups, eh?

  4. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Depends on how you want to access them. In any file dialogue using pictures, you can select Photos in the sidebar and it will access all your photos in iPhoto without having to run iPhoto.

    You can use finder to muck around in the iPhoto library but as the others have stated, expect to hose up the database. It's like using TextEdit to access data in a SQL database. Might work but the implications won't be pretty.
  5. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Export them from iPhoto, stop importing new ones into iPhoto, decide what else to use as a library manager....easy!
  6. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    If you define what you mean by "access"people can advise better. As said they are accessible through the file dialogue in the left hand sidebar, but it depends what you want to do.
    Essentially if you don't like iPhotos management you'll have to find an alternative, or stop using iPhoto for file management, untick the "copy photos to library" setting in advanced settings and ma mange photos in a set of folders yourself. Though before doing that you'll have to create a folder structure and copy your photos out of iPhoto into that. Alternatives include PSE, Picasa, Pixelmator.
  7. bobright macrumors 601

    Jun 29, 2010
    I'm wondering if I should stick with iPhoto or try one of these alternatives. I don't want things to be too complicated though. The thing I don't like with iPhoto is just what the OP said how I can't see my actual folders/image files easily. I feel like when importing photos some get lost and don't show in my actual library at times. Also it kind of does what it wants with the events and stuff.
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    By default all Digital Asset Managers (DAM) work in the same way - not just iPhoto. Note the "by default" since you can set things up differently. What they do is store your images grouped chronologically on the assumption that photos taken close together are probably related. Then a DAM creates a database record that includes the actual location of each image - plus all the other metadata.... which includes the keywords you add and the virtual groupings you add the photo to. In Lightroom these virtual groupings are called Collections, and in Aperture and iPhoto they are called Albums. The photo is not actually in this virtual collection or album... there is simply a pointer that tells the DAM where to find the photo.

    This means you can add a photo to as many albums/collections as you want without duplicating the photo. For example if you have a picture yourself, your best friend, and your dog - all taken while on holiday in the Grand Canyon at Christmas time... instead of deciding whether to file the photo by date (Christmas), geographically, with all the photos of yourself, all the photos of your friend, all the photos of your dog, or make duplicates and file in all of the above - - with a DAM you simply file it in each and every album/collection you have set up. Editing one copy edits the copy in each location (unless you virtually duplicate the photo - for instance you want a BW version and colour version) - this editing step still doesn't actually create another copy (well, it does technically in iPhoto - but that is another story) however the two versions are still accessible through each of the multiple albums/collections it appears in.

    Then there is the power of Smart Albums and Smart Collections - this takes the organization to another level.

    In iPhoto Events are the default organization sorted chronologically. It is useful primarily to help you find an image that you vaguely remember taking at about the same time as another photo. Perhaps you remember taking a photo of a mule at the Grand Canyon the same week as the example above.... so you locate the Event that holds the photo of you and your friend and your dog, and the scan backwards and forwards for the mule. For the most part Events are better left in their default state usually.

    It is more work sometimes during an import to use a DAM because you really should add your keywords and sort into Albums/Collections at that time. But if you do this then grouping your images, finding your images, working with your images becomes very very easy. But only once you have taken the time to understand how a DAM works and to use its tools to organize your images.

  9. mtngoatjoe macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2008
    My standard "Why use iPhoto?" reply

    Ok, I've posted this before, but in case you haven't seen it, here goes. Please excuse the length. You've been warned...

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Use iPhoto to ORGANIZE your photos. And the key to organizing your photos is Faces, Places, Keywords, and Ratings.

    But you like folder structures, you say. Well, what is a folder structure other than a graphical representation of a database that tracks your photos as bits on your hard drive. Using folders doesn't tell you where your bits are. On the Mac, the bits are converted to a graphical representation (folders and files) by an application called the Finder. The whole idea behind the Finder is to help you keep track of your files (or photos in this case). And the idea works pretty well if you don't have too many files. But after a while, it doesn't matter how organized you are, you still have to remember the paths to your files, or increasingly improve your organization over time as you add files and folders. Enter Aperture and iPhoto.

    With the advent of digital photography, the number of files (i.e. photos) on our computers has increased exponentially. I have over 25,000 photos on my Mac, and I'm not even an avid photographer! How could anyone manage that many photos in any useful manner using a folder structure? And by useful, I mean more than to store them on your computer and never look at them again. The simple answer is, you can't.

    If your only goal is to transfer you photos to your computer, file them by date, and then never use them again, then, yes, you can successfully use a folder structure. But, if your wife's birthday is coming up, for example, and you want to show every 4 and/or 5 star photo she is in, then a folder structure simply fails. Here’s another example: your anniversary is coming up, and you want to create a slideshow with every 5 star photo that contains the two of you. Will a folder structure help with that? Or, you’re hosting a dinner party and you want something to occupy that big-screen TV in your living room. Can a folder structure help you find every good photo that contains at least one of your guests? Nope.

    So, what can you do? The answer is easy: Events, Faces, Places, Keywords, and Ratings! It takes a bit of work, but if you want to do anything with your photos other than file them away, then the work is well worth the reward.

    Here is how I go about using these tools:
    1. Import photos.
    2. Delete junk.
    3. Split or combine events as needed. I tend to be an Event minimalist. For example, I don’t make the photos I took of my daughter at McDonald’s an event. Things like that get grouped into a “Winter 2014” event. Christmas photos often span a month or more, from cutting the tree to packing everything up, and they all get lumped into one of tree “Christmas” events based on the branch of the family they relate to..
    4. Set Keywords. I try to keep my keyword list to a minimum. For example, I have a keyword for “Vacation”, but I don’t use keywords for the location of the vacation (that’s taken care of with the Places feature). Another example: I have a keyword for “Birthday”, but I don’t have keywords for the person or the year (those are taken care of with the Faces feature, and the fact that all the photos are dated already).
    5. Rate the best as 4 or 5 stars, and if I need to keep a bad photo for some reason, I rate it as 1 star. I don’t bother rating photos as 2 or 3 stars, but you can if you want.
    6. Name the Faces. I only do this with the people I care about and delete the box around people that I don’t care about (this prevents them from showing up as suggestions when you’re viewing a person’s photos).
    7. Set the location. This is very important for travel photos, but is also handy for others as well. If you want a really good reason to set the travel photos, pick a trip, do the work of setting the location of each photo, and then start the Travel slide show. The Travel slide show is really cool!

    Now, with all this info set (called metadata in computer parlance), I can use Smart Albums to great effect.
    • I have a smart album the contains all photos of my daughter that I’ve rated as 5 starts. This album is automatically synched to my iPhone, my wife’s iPhone, my iPad, and our AppleTV. Every time I import a photo into iPhoto and mark my daughter’s face and rate the photo as five stars, the photo is automatically sent to all our devices when we synch. Super easy!
    • I have smart albums with Christmas photos for each branch of our family. So, when someone comes over for the holidays, I can easily show that part of the family’s Christmas photos on the TV. We don’t just sit around and watch the slide show all night, but the photos are there if people want to look and they add a nice touch to an otherwise empty sheet of dark glass. So, the Jones Christmas smart album has photos from 1972 to present, and only contain Jones family Christmas photos.

    That's just a few things to keep in mind. I've found that combining Events and Smart Albums with Faces, Places, Keywords, and Ratings, I rarely need to create traditional folders or albums. And finding photos to suite the moment is not nearly as difficult as a folder structure would be.

Share This Page