Can you help me understand these Photos basics?

JuryDuty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 22, 2014
320
31
Texas
So it's 2016 and I figure it's probably time to start using Photos the way Apple intended so my photos are available across devices. The problem is, I come from a Windows world and am having a hard time wrapping my head around how this works. I've done a lot of searching, but I can't seem to find the answers to these few questions:
  1. When I start using Photos, it imports all my photos. Now that it's done that, should I delete all the photos and folders outside the app? Will it still keep them?

  2. Let's say I want to upload a photo to my Wordpress site. Once it's in Photos, where the heck is it???

  3. Is this really better suited solely for day-to-day family photos than it is web graphics, etc, that I use on a day-to-day basis?
Just trying to get the focus behind this program...pretty sure I'll love it as I do everything else on my Mac once I understand...
 

boast

macrumors 65816
Nov 12, 2007
1,386
776
Phoenix, USA
1. Photos should create a new copy when importing by default. You can verify under Preferences for Photos.

2. When the File Browser dialog box pops up to select the image, you will find Photos under Media on the left hand sidebar which will allow you to select from your Photos library.

3. I personally think it is better suited for personal photos than web graphics, although it certainly capable. If you will continuously edit these photos with another tool, going through Photos might be a bit more troublesome.
 

madgibbon

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2013
114
54
I personally set Photos not to create a copy in the Library, I prefer to keep the original photos in the Pictures folder. This way I can still use all the functionality within Photos, but still have access to the image files. You could keep the original images files after importing to Photos, however you'll be using twice as much disk space.

I also prefer to backup the actual images files rather than Photo's library, this way I can access my photo's from my Windows machine if anything should happen to the Mac.
 

Belgique

macrumors member
May 6, 2016
85
29
Ocala, Floridah
I can tell you that no matter how many times I delete photos on the mac....empty the trash ...they show up again over and over and over and over and over again.
 

JuryDuty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 22, 2014
320
31
Texas
I haven't used it much for edits. I really want it for its facial recognition and organization.

I think what I'm going to do is use it strictly for family photos. Any web graphics, stock art, etc, I'm going to either use another solution for or organize on my own. This way, family photos on my iPhone will be available across devices, available for creating albums, etc, but my work photos won't be caught in a weird ecosystem. :p
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,805
2,364
Between the coasts
It's great for organizing photos for any purpose, not just family images. Between Keywords and creating albums for specific purposes, projects, etc.... Although photography isn't my primary living, my images are widely published in books and on the web, in my company's publications. I have tens of thousands of images to keep track of, and a database management program (originally iPhoto, then Aperture, and now Photos) makes it very easy to do that.

Let's say you need to select images of Prague for a new web page. After locating images by Location and/or Keyword and/or from albums you previously created for your visits to the Czech Republic, you could create a new Album for "Prague web page" and drag in all candidates, without disturbing their original location(s). Photos makes it easy to share those picks with others who may be in on the decision, to winnow-out those that don't cut it... and you could create a second album (or add a Keyword) for those images that made the final cut, so that you have an additional record of what went into that page.

This is very space-efficient, as you don't have to make copies of the original images - the albums all link back to the same master and preview files. The same image can appear in many different albums (say, you might have made albums for Prague 2013, European Churches, Czech Street Scenes, Best Travel Shots...), you could have assigned dozens of Keywords to ease Searches... so many ways to organize and find your images.
 

orioncrystalice

macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2014
321
117
It's fantastic for organizing and syncing across devices. Say you have Photos, you then sign into your iCloud account on a PC at work or somewhere else because you want to access these, and if Photo Library is enabled, they're all there for you to access under the security umbrella of iCloud. Is this similar to Dropbox and other drag-and-drop services? Yes, but it's streamlined and "baked in" deeper. Apple has not gotten enough credit for tightening relations between iOS and OS X devices.

As for where they all "live" natively, it's in this thingy here. Mine is in Pictures and if you go there you'll probably notice Photo Booth has one too. So although, yes, they are floating around in the cloud, when you import into the app, they all get stuck in this box here and wrapped up. The app itself is kind of like a window wherein you can then access and interact with what's in the box.

And yeah, I wouldn't litter it up with stuff like clipart or other work things unless - say you really needed this certain border or something, you need to edit it and maybe the app to do that is on iPhone. You could use AirDrop, but if you don't want to bother immediately or if your Mac is older and doesn't support AirDrop to iOS devices, you can make a folder with that art in it, forget about it, and then later when you're ready you can find it in Photos on your iPhone. Edit, save, and when you open Photos back up on the Mac or from iCloud via a PC, as I already went over, your edited version is there ready.
 

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JuryDuty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 22, 2014
320
31
Texas
Very interesting. I appreciate the detailed responses. So I'm going to have to dig into the program again to see how to use it as an organizer without messing with the original images. I was under the impression the only way to use it was to have it pull the actual images in (thus duplicating them). If I can use it strictly as an organizer that leaves the originals untouched, that seems the best of both worlds.
 

orioncrystalice

macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2014
321
117
Yes. If you have a Finder window open and there's a folder with a lot of pictures, you can right click and send them all to Photos. Afterwards, editing or organizing in Photos is not going to affect the files in the Finder folder; sending them to the app merely copies them over.
 

JuryDuty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 22, 2014
320
31
Texas
Yes. If you have a Finder window open and there's a folder with a lot of pictures, you can right click and send them all to Photos. Afterwards, editing or organizing in Photos is not going to affect the files in the Finder folder; sending them to the app merely copies them over.
But then I will be using up twice as much space, correct?
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,366
276
Not necessarily. Go to Photos > Preferences > General: Importing - You can choose whether to copy to the library when Importing, or not.
That latter method is called having a referenced (as opposed to managed) library. Photos stores references to the image's location in the filesystem (sorta like storing a bunch of aliases), hence no duplication. But be aware there are some consequences to that, like use in iCloud Photo Library won't work IIRC with referenced images. And if you move them in the Finder, obviously Photos "loses" that reference and you'd have to manually connect 'em again. Also, the changes you might make to those referenced images are stored in Photos, not in the image itself, so you'd still need to export from Photos if you wanted to say export a cropped, BW version of that image.
 

Starfia

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2011
691
370
Also, even if you do copy photos into Photos' library and then edit them, Photos (as iPhoto did) transparently retains the unmodified versions in the library regardless – you can restore them using Image > Revert To Original.
 
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