Alternatives to iPhoto

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by alksion, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. alksion macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    #1
    I would like to hear the communities input on possible alternatives to iPhoto. I do not use iPhoto for editing, I leave that to Photoshop and Lightroom. I simply use iPhoto to organize the plethora of photos taken on my iPhone everyday.

    The more I use iPhoto as a photo album / database program, the less I like it. I found some great information on this thread. However, it focuses more on getting the most out of iPhoto and doesn't really mention alternatives.

    Let me know what you guys think.
     
  2. aicul macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    no cars, only boats
    #2
    I do agree that iPhoto is not a great tool to organise photos if you decide to fight against the basics of iPhoto. It will classify by location, face, time automatically and from there you group into specific albums. Anything else becomes nightmarish.

    I looked and eventually gave up because I noticed that my photo retrieval needs where :

    - pictures of someone => use face
    - pictures of someplace I went => location

    So my pre-iPhoto organisation concept was really overkill on myself. Now I just load the photos and thats about it. Great and simple.

    Try writing down your photo retrieval needs and seek out an application that suits your needs.
     
  3. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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  4. ricosuave macrumors 6502

    ricosuave

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    #4
    Does Revel store originals? Rename files like Flickr? Did you go for premium?
     
  5. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #5
    I essentially use events like folders that store various photos of time, people and places I went.

    I see what you're saying in that my approach to events may be off slightly. What are your suggestions?
     
  6. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #6

    I have actually never paid attention to that. :eek: I usually just upload, name, and then organize and don't edit. I like doing the editing elsewhere.

    I didn't go for premium. The limitation keeps me from just dumping everything on my camera s and keeping to my best stuff.
     
  7. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #7
    If you're using Lightroom then you've already got alternative. LR, Aperture, iPhoto are all Digital Asset Managers (DAMs) and as such they need to used as such to get the most benefit. There is lots written in the Digital Photography sub-forum about the benefits of a DAM over the old fashioned filing by date or project. It is highly not recommended to use two DAMs like iPhoto and LR together.

    Luck
     
  8. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #8
    I understand. However, Lightroom doesn't meet my needs as well for organization.
     
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #9
    What are your needs?
     
  10. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #10
    It's impossible to give recommendations for alternatives to iPhoto (or Aperture or Lightroom) without knowing your needs. It's like asking us to recommend the best motor vehicle.

    You did mention you use events like folders. An "event" folder is simply a folder of photos with the same date. You can do that manually, or with smart collections in Lightroom, or lots of other ways.

    You mentioned using events to organize people and places you went. Lightroom keeps track of the geolocation info, as does iPhoto. And you can use various types of metadata to store the names of people. There are captions, other exif or IPTC fields, and keywords. I especially like keywords because of the hierarchy structure. Again, you can do all this in Lightroom. Or Aperture. And with those you have many ways to organize the same stuff. Take events: rather than just days, you can use smart collections to show all stuff in a date range, or even in the PM, or both. And then combine that with location info so you can show all your at-work photos in one collection and after work photos on the same day in another collection. Almost endless combos.

    At some point it's not a matter of just buying some software. You have to spend some time thinking about why you use photos, where you need to access them, what metadata you wish to associate with those photos, etc etc. No app is gonna do that for you, and what works best depends on your uses and needs. Unless your needs run to multi-user environments or other very specialized needs its tough for us to imagine an organization you couldn't accomplish with Aperture, Lightroom or Photo Mechanic.
     
  11. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #11
    I'm getting the consensus here that I need to reevaluate my photo needs and wants. This actually seems to make perfect sense as to why I cannot find a software, which suits my needs.
     
  12. alksion, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014

    alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #12
    I realized I am not even using iPhoto in the way it was intended :eek:

    This is what I came up with..

    People
    - Family, Friends, Girlfriend

    Places / Events
    - Cities, States, Weddings, Birthdays

    Time / Date
    - Christmas, Summer

    Objects / Things
    - Computers, Cars, Clothes, Food

    What do you guys think?
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #13
    It's a good start. If you don't already know this… a photo can fit more than one category… and luckily for you, you can put it into more than one folder. So your girlfriend visiting you at Christmas and cooking you a fabulous meal could go into at least 3 folders. It's the same photo… it just is displayed in each of those folders.

    I like using Keywords and Smart Collections (Lightroom's equivalent to Smart Albums). For many of my categories I Keyword the photos on import (Girlfriend, Christmas, Food as an example that works for you). That's it. Presumably the Smart Collections (Smart Albums) have already been set up … so the photos with those Keywords will just automagically appear in correct spots. EasyPeasy.
     
  14. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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  15. TheralSadurns macrumors 6502

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    Jul 8, 2010
    #16
    Aperture seems like the obvious choice here. As powerful as Lightroom... plus you can just use your iPhoto Library.

    The sorting is also even better as it allows you to group Events by years etc....
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #17
    I'm partial to Aperture, it has more features and abilities then iPhoto. Its integrates nicely with the apple ecosystem and overall its a good product.

    I know for more power/flexibility many professionals and prosumers use LightRoom. I've used it myself and its a good product but Aperture better fit my needs.
     
  17. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #18
    if you want to "categorize" by these just start using Keywords!
    I used to import into iPhoto by "title" of an event: "2012 Easter Egg Hunt"

    Then I'd go through faces for 30-60 minutes.

    Eventually I switched ti Aperture (and LOVE it) and now add in keywords. I do a large keyword add on import then go through the set and remove or add more keywords as needed. I still set up albums/events by a title but that is to quickly be able to get to a collection and upload to shutter fly for my wife to use in a photo book.

    But keywords are great. I make yearly Slideshow movies for each child at their birthday. I go through and search for YEAR and CHILD name. Boom, I get photos they are in. I can also go to a specific "event" and pull more photos...sometimes I through in photos of their friends playing too or like our Disney trip, I might through in landmark shots too.

    iPhoto, Aperture and Lightroom are equivalent (probably Picasa too but haven't used that in many years) as DAMs. Aperture and Lightroom are more robust in features, editing abilities.

    Best of Luck.
    (DAMs are like iTunes. You can sort by various ways, or group into folders/Smart Folders [playlists] and the like.)
     
  18. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #19
    Keywords are amazingly powerful. And remember that unlike Finder folders in an image application like Aperture, iPhoto or LR you can have something in different albums/folders/collections WITHOUT making copies of it. So the "mom birthday photo" could be a collection of birthdays shots, family shots, etc.

    And keywords makes this even easier. Take some time to think it out, using what you've already got. Here's where LR (which you have) rocks over iPhoto: you can make different keyword sets, and directly edit the keywords. I had a bunch of keywords corresponding to family member names; with LR I could reorganize them into a heirarchy under people>family>Moe for example.

    The other key (heh) to keywords is that they then become searchable in the Finder. So if you need to find "mom" you type that keyword in Spotlight and voila, get all the images tagged with that. Although something like HoudahSpot makes that search much more efficient.

    Oh, and be careful about the categories. They need to be permanent, hence that "girlfriend" keyword might be deleted in favor of a name. Just saying.
     
  19. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    #20
    Hilarious, that really made me laugh! :D

    Okay, I guess where I'm stuck is with a bunch of events with different titles and meanings.

    With some of the given advice, I was trying to narrow down events to; people, places/travel, time/event and object/things. I was going to make albums for the subs like family, friends, cities, weddings, ect.

    I don't think this is right either and I am trying to understand the keywords concept mixed in with events. Care to elaborate? Thanks!
     
  20. wnorris macrumors member

    wnorris

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #21
    Google's Picasa

    Since Google is moving away from forcing Google+ integration you may want to look at giving Picasa a try.

    http://picasa.google.com/
     
  21. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #22
    I no longer use iPhoto... but I try to stay current with what's up with it.

    Short Answer: Albums/Smart Albums/Keywords are for grouping photos by similar concepts and content regardless of time. Events are for grouping photos by chronological order. Each as its uses.

    Long Answer: I never really used 'Events' much and pretty much left it alone. All of my organization happened with Folders/Albums/Smart Albums, and Keywords and Ratings. I found that Events did pretty good job of clumping photos that were taken at the same time together. And more importantly, keeping the photos in chronological order and in sequence. I would sometimes remember to go and name Events and usually I would split an Event or merge two Events to keep together photos of a single 'event'. After that I pretty well ignored it.

    The reason why is because despite the Keywords, the Albums, etc etc ... sometimes you need to find a photo that you remember taking at a certain place or happening but that you can't find in an Album/Smart Album. Maybe you missed it when you were Keywording. Maybe it isn't actually that good so you didn't spend any time with it. Whatever the reason... sometimes it happens. But you usually can remember (and find) a photo from the same day - or perhaps the same week.

    I would use the Album/Smart Album to find the photo I could remember and then have iPhoto show me the Event that photo came from. Then it's a just a case of scrolling up or down a little bit through that one Event or the adjacent Events to find the missing photo.

    But this only works if you leave the photos pretty much alone and in the original chronological order.
     
  22. matrix07, May 4, 2014
    Last edited: May 4, 2014

    matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #23

    Don't. You can do this but it's so wrong. Think of Event like film rolls. When you're on vacation on Maldives you shot 5 rolls of film. When you're back home you just kept these 5 rolls together. These rolls of films contained some photo you liked, and some you didn't like much but you might wanna see it from time to time. Events is just like that. When you're back from vacations (or an wedding event) you just lumped the pics together into an Event.
    Then you tagged Faces. Tagged Places. Tagged Keywords. Gave pics ratings. And if you want, make a smart album from said Event, but you're not always needed to.
    When you have lots of Events you may want to, says, see what is the best photos of Sarah in swimsuit. Created a smart album with Sarah (Faces), and her best photo (Ratings) when she wore swimsuit (Keywords). This is the basic of iPhoto. Don't do complicated organization with Events.
     
  23. alksion thread starter macrumors 68000

    alksion

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    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    #24
    I'd prefer to stay away from anything that had a forced google+ integration at one point.

    Okay. You have a very good point. What is your recommendation if I already have been doing it like this? Should I just select all events and auto split them? Thanks.
     
  24. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #25
    I agree. The problem is that one photo would make sense in a particular event, which is time based. But also location based. And may have people.

    But you may want just the people part. Or the place part. Or you may want to see several events at the same place. Or people at different events. You'll have difficulty coming up with folders/albums/collections etc for all those events, but fear not: that's what filtering and searching is for.

    The folder/album thing is limiting because of the metaphor of these as physical objects, containers that contain things. They really don't; ALL of the photos you see in LR, Aperture and iPhoto are actually physically not "in" anything, even if you don't use "referenced" photos (in that case, the software just makes a hidden filesystem folder structure for you). So you sit around wondering if "mom's birthday photo" should be in the "family" or "birthdays" or "1//1/14" folder or album or folder. But when you put that photo in each of those, you are sort of just tagging it with "family, birthdays, 1/1/14."

    So what's the difference then? It's that with tags/keywords the metadata of the keywords is attached to the photo. So if you're outside of LR, Aperture or whatever you can search for and find all the "family, birthdays, 1/1/14" photos. Or within say LR, you can set up a filter to find them, along with other attributes, like 5 stars. So rather than have a bunch of albums/folders/collections that are static, you can make them up on the fly.

    I don't really have to worry about where I put my photos, as long as I keyword them. I use collections as what they really are, saved searches. And they are often temporary. So I have one called "girlfriend" which contains the critera of keyword=ScarJo, and bingo, I've got all the photos of her. When that changes, I just change the criteria to keyword=JLo and it still works. I never know what I might need to search for, so I don't worry about creating albums or collections with any particular criteria, since I know I can always set one up once I am trying to find something.

    HTH,
    Rob
     

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