Attention Iphoto Nerds

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by cigahs, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. cigahs macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2008
    I can not seem to find the answer that I am looking for anywhere on the net. I uploaded all my photos into iphoto, and I want to know if I can delete all the originals. Has it made copies in Iphoto or is Iphoto just linking them to my Pictures folder on my hard drive (HD, PICTURES)??? I just don't want to be using double the space, and I want to gain an understanding of how it all really works. Can anyone tell me if I can go ahead and delete the originals?? Also, does Iphoto do any conversion when uploading, in turn, ruining the quality of the photo? thanks in advance

  2. junker macrumors 6502


    Jul 3, 2006
    An obtuse corner of the Triangle
    As I understand it, iphoto will import a version of your photo from the card/camera. Then, iphoto cataloges all the pictures into an iphoto library for safekeeping.

    These are typically hidden (to avoid users from messing it up) You can access by: control clicking (or right click) on the iphoto library in finder and selecting show package contents... then you navigate to you picture by date.

    Now as I understand your question, you're wanting to save space and delete copies... I think the only time you get a copy in photo is when you edit a picture in will make an edited copy and keep the original (this depends on your version of iphoto too...I'm commenting on '08) This process can be a bit enlarging on your HDD, but I would personally hesitate to mess around in the iphoto "hidden" catalogue.... and personally I love having a few copies of pictures here and there.

    Now, if you have a bunch of photos that you copied straight off the camera/card - say, onto your desktop. Then, you imported them into iphoto - you could delete the ones on the desktop.

    I use time machine on a seperete HD, burn back up disks, use Iphoto, aperture, iviewmedia pro. The last thing I want, is to lose photos of things, people, places I can never view or see again!!!

    On a side topic, I would also recommend printing a copy of every picture you never want to lose. Digital failure is VERY REAL! Many people don't realise that CD's and HDD's have life span anywhere from 5 years to 25 years.... depending on several factors: light exposure, humidity, quality of manufacture, magnetism, etc.

    And I'm not a nerd...geeky maybe.

  3. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    By default iPhoto will copy it to the iPhoto Library (located in your Pictures folder) so you can delete the originals.

    But I'd double check the preferences first:


    iPhoto should import the photo at lossless quality.
  4. skybolt macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2005
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Stay out of the finder! You will corrupt your library! iPhoto does, indeed import the photos to the "originals" folder. When you edit a photo in any way, a copy is saved to the "modified" folder. The original is kept so that you can always revert to the original. So the only duplication is if you have modified a photo. If you delete any "original" and there is not a corresponding "modified" photo, you will have lost the only copy.

    junker is right, only delete photos that you may have imported to a location other than iPhoto (desktop or such) (after you have imported into iPhoto, of course).

    But most importantly -- stay out of the finder!
  5. m1ss1ontomars macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2006
    That's not what the OP was talking about, I don't think. The OP asked that once everything was imported into iPhoto from another source (such as a flash card), would it be safe to delete them from that other source? The answer is yes, probably, unless you changed your settings in iPhoto.
  6. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    The OP said he wanted to gain an understanding of how it all worked, and I think that was a good explanation.
  7. TopRowGuyw/Feet macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2008
    Some Clarification

    Here's what I've noticed and have a question about:

    I have years worth of photos that I imported into iPhoto from my Mac's HD. I see that the iPhoto library is about a Gig over the size of the folder I imported. Notice I said "the folder from which I imported," and not the "original folder" so as to avoid confusion with the folder titled "original" within the iPhoto databse. From what everyone is saying above it is okay to delete the folder from which photos are imported, however, I noticed that iMovie creates thumbnail folders within said folder. Therefore, deleting the folder from which you imported would not be a good thing to do. Basically you have to keep the folder from which you imported the photos, otherwise iMovie won't have a location into which to create thumbnails, or you'll be deleting those thumbnails if they were already created. Ultimately, one will have twice the storage space being used up. Any way to avoid this?

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