Digital Photo workflow management in Mac

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 2010imac7, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. 2010imac7 macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2011
    Hi all,

    First of all hello from a new Mac user. I recently bought a new iMac7 and am still struggling with it :eek:

    I have been using various photo management software on Windows namely Photoshop CS, noise ninja, Canon DPP, Photomatix pro etc.

    What I want to achieve on my Mac
    - Ability to import photos from multiple camera/memory cards in to a single folder in the viewer (could be iPhoto, aperture etc. In windows it was picture viewer integrated with explorer). I usually use more then 1 camera on every trip. I may want to create subfolders within a folder
    - Ability to geotag the photos. My SLR's dont have GPS built in so I carry a separate GPS unit. On Mac I drag folders from iPhoto to GPSPhotolinker to geotag them with the help of GPS tarcks
    - Ability to view and trash unwanted photos, mark good photos
    - Need a powerful editor to process selected RAW and jpeg files, save as new or change the original files
    - Create slideshows, photobooks and order prints
    Plus I need some portability which I will explain below

    So far what I have done on Mac
    - Copy photos on Mac HDD
    - Then import the photos to iPhoto, use drag and drop to GPSPhotolinker for geotagging and some basic editing. I am not satisfied with photoediting capability of iPhoto'11

    So my list of questions are
    1) When I import a photo folder located on Mac HDD to iPhoto, does iPhoto work on original folder or creates its own data library ? I suspect the later is true which would mean
    - all processing, geotagging happens only on iPhoto library. If I use photo files in original folder I will have to start all over again.
    - I am dupliocating HDD usage
    Why I still keep original files in a separate folder ? I dont know if I can tap iPhoto library to extract processed RAW/JPEG files that i can use with other software/on windows PC etc

    2) I see both iPhoto'11 and Aperture3 have very simillar interface which is a bit confusing. Why would Apple do so ? which one is more powerful for management, editing etc ? Also can both use my iTunes account to place orders ?

    3) I see Aperture has 'Import iPhoto Librar' function. If I choose this will APerture create yet another library of its own and work on that or else it works directly on iPhoto library ?

    4) Is there any interface between Aperture/iPhoto and Adobe Photoshop CS4 ? Can I save the final processed RAW/JPEG out of prop libraries to further process them separately ?

    Apologies for so many questions to start with. I have got some 3000+ photos pending to process from the last trip :)

    Appreciate any help in advance !

    Blue Star
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to the Mac. That said, although you wrote a book of questions, I will not write of book to answer you.

    Having gone through your questions, I don't see anything that you want to do that can't be done in iPhoto. iPhoto will either download your photographs into its library, which is a MacOS X bundle, or it will allow you to import them into a management/folder structure of your own design. iPhoto imports and preserves all metadata. This includes geotags. If your camera does not add geotags, then you may use iPhoto to add them.
  3. 2010imac7, Jan 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011

    2010imac7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2011
    Yes I did wrote a book a questions but it was necessary to give the work picture I have in mind and questions with it.

    If you read carefully you will realize I have already pointed out what iPhoto is not doing for me at the moment, example
    - I am not satisfied with the photo editing capability
    - does iPhoto natively supports geotagging with the help of my GOPS trakcs ? (.gpx) if so please let me know how. Otherwise I dont know how I can preciously geotag my pics
    plus other question like tapping processed RAW and JPEG files out of iPhoto library...

    EDIT - OK i did found out the export Original files function from iPhoto which answers atleast one of my questions
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I find it very curious that you think Aperture and iPhoto have a similar interface, they don't really.

    If you're unsatisfied with the editing capabilities of iPhoto, then Aperture is the way to go. iPhoto is not really aimed at people shooting RAW, but at people who are satisfied with their compact digital camera doing everything for them automatically. (Which is perfectly fine, of course.)

    Aperture, like Lightroom, is a photo management solution that allows you to make most of the edits. Both integrate with Photoshop by a process called `roundtripping,' meaning that an image file is created, sent to Photoshop (or whatever other photo editor you use) and when you save it, it is updated in the photo library. Both apps discourage you from copying things by hand or moving files in the Finder. When you edit photos, for instance, they do not create copies, but only files that contain the relevant edits (e. g. increase exposure by 0.4, decrease saturation by 0.05, etc.). In this sense, you manage your files from within Aperture or Lightroom.

    The way you work in Aperture is the following:
    (1) You create a project. Each photo belongs to exactly one project. You can add it to arbitrarily many books, albums, websites, etc., though.
    (2) You import photos into a project. You can manage the files yourself (referenced) or let Aperture manage the files for you (managed). They sit in a special folder called `bundle.' (A bundle is just a folder that appears as a single file in the Finder. All applications are bundles, for instance, which ensures that you copy everything.) Since you can always extract the originals and the copies with all the changes, I recommend you to let Aperture manage your files.
    (3) Throw out the pictures you don't want. Use ratings (1-5 stars, rejected) to do that.
    (4) Edit at your own leisure. Add trips to automatically add GPS data to photos. I have used .gpx data from my geo logger to tag photos in Aperture. (The problem I have is battery life, usually one battery is not enough for a whole trip.)

    The Lightroom workflow is pretty much identical, although it does not offer the option of managing the image files for you. Lightroom, for instance, offers slightly better Photoshop integration if the same version of the RAW developer (Adobe Camera RAW) are used. Lightroom does not allow you to make books. You could still use iPhoto for that.

    In either case, there are some things you will/should no longer do in the future:
    - Move image files in the Finder. (That's why Apple puts them in a bundle when you let Aperture manage the photos for you.)
    - Save edits to a jpg file. This is done only if you export a version of your photo and saves tons of space and confusion.

    I recommend you download the trials of Aperture and Lightroom and give both a try for a week or so. They are highly complex pieces of software, so don't expect to get the hang of every nook and cranny right away. The biggest differentiator, in my opinion, is the way the user interface is structured. Aperture has a more free-flowing interface, you can do everything at any time, e. g. do edits while you're preparing a book or a webpage while seeing the book page, for instance. With Lightroom, you have to change modes (called modules): if you're in the Develop module, you do photo edits, but you cannot sort photos, etc. I personally feel caged in with Adobe's approach, but other people actually prefer it. So I suggest you to try both and decide for yourself! :)

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