Do you use iPhoto?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wineandcarbs, May 8, 2011.

  1. wineandcarbs macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    What is the benefit of it over saving your pictures in a Pictures folder? For just random pictures storage? (New Mac user here)
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    I can browse all my photos at once, sort by tags, keep them organized into smart albums and not worry about the actual files - I just see the pictures.
  3. jegbook macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2007
    If all you ever do is have your pictures available for basic browsing and an impromptu slideshow of a small subset of your pictures, there's no value to iPhoto for you.
    iPhoto can do photo storage but is not really meant for that alone. Again, if all you are looking for is a place to put your pictures, just keep them in folders in your user folder.

    Overall, I really like iPhoto. I find it a very handy photo management tool. iPhoto's storage is at one level a bit of a black box, which can be good and bad. That aside, iPhoto's strategy of grouping photos by Event works well. Then there are albums which you create from photos you choose. Smart albums are really handy, too. I have one for each camera type that have contributed to my library. I add keywords to many of my pictures: e.g.- friends, family, flowers, vacation, Christmas, etc. The I have Smart Albums to match most of my keywords. So, as I add pictures and assign them keywords, the Smart Albums immediately incorporate any new pictures that match the keyword.

    iPhoto has some decent basic editing abilities, too. Red eye reduction, exposure adjustment, lightening shadow areas, darkening highlight areas, white balance adjustment, color changing, cropping, and a bit more. And here is the kicker that I like: iPhoto never modifies your original picture. If you make and save any changes to a photo, iPhoto automatically copies the photo and makes and saves the changes to the copied photo and preserves the original photo untouched. You can go back to your original photo at any time.

    Anywho, if you don't want photo management, don't use iPhoto. But if you could appreciate some photo management, iPhoto is some of the best consumer software out there (Mac or PC) for photo management. I had done a little research for comparable Windows software and the only thing that really came up was Picasa.

    Enjoy your Mac. Cheers.
  4. redrory macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2006
    Plus it makes uploading to FlickR literally a one click process.
  5. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Meh, I don't use it. I tried using it a few weeks ago but I just couldn't get into it. I sort all of my pictures into specific categories based on vacations, people, events, etc. so it's really easy for me to find whatever file I'm looking for if I can get to the folder.

    I liked iPhoto as it gave me an overview of all of the pictures that I have somewhat like the iPad did, however I didn't like how it was "separate" from my library and didn't let me directly edit the pictures that I had there, it also didn't let me edit the folders or get down to the "nitty gritty" of organization, which i love to do.

    Great aesthetically but didn't deliver on the functionality portion, at least for what I wanted to do with it.
  6. jegbook macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2007
    Young Spade, did you read my first comment about iPhoto? Just curious.

    I understand what you mean about the layer of abstraction. As I mentioned, iPhoto can be a bit of a black box, and after iPhoto '09, it presents the library as a single file, which it's not actually, but maybe there were problems with people messing with things behind the scenes. You can view package contents of the Library and see all the magic that is in there.

    I empathize with your desire to organize everything, but I might suggest instead of trying to manually manage your photo files in Finder, maybe give iPhoto another try. You mention sorting all of your photos by self-defined categories. What do you do if a photo falls into multiple categories? Do you copy it and keep a copy in both places? 'Cus that could lead to lots of unnecessary storage.

    iPhoto's keywords is very handy for that. Many of my pictures of multiple keywords associated with them, e.g.- family, [girlfriend], vacation, Maine, [me], for a picture of me with my girlfriend and family on vacation in Maine. And with Smart Albums, that picture will automatically show up in each of the Smart Albums I have for each of those keywords.
    Management by Event is pretty good, too. We did a bathroom remodel and I wanted to keep all those pictures together. So, each time I imported pictures about that, I merged the new ones with the pre-existing Event. And again, with keywords, if I've tagged some of those pictures with other keywords, those pictures can still show up in other Albums or Smart Albums as it's all cross-referencing the same picture.

    The ability to mass export pictures into Flickr or Facebook is handy, too. Or just export to downsize to a lower resolution for use in a digital photo frame, for instance.

    Again, I empathize with your desire to organize photos in folders, but I found that if I could let go of the fact of always knowing exactly where the original picture file was, the power of iPhoto to accomplish the kind of cross-referencing organization that I really appreciate is worth struggling to find the exact picture file. But, really, there is no good reason why one would ever need the exact original file, not that I can think of, at least. Exporting from iPhoto at highest quality should give an exact duplicate to copy to an external drive of some sort. Then just delete the exported photo and never worry about putting the original file at risk.

    To each his own, for sure, but just thought I would provide a little more perspective.

  7. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    I was the same way, I always organized my photos manually, and I hated iPhoto at first, because it would not allow me to do that anymore. Once I let go of the need to deal with the JPG file, and just worry about the actual photo, the possibilities of iPhoto really seemed to take off.

  8. TenderBranson macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2003
    If you don't like iphoto, you might want to look into lightroom 3. It's my favorite cataloging software, not to mention an incredible photo suite.
  9. wineandcarbs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    Thank you for the responses everyone! As this is a new MBP maybe I just don't have enough photos on here to really make use of iPhoto yet, or maybe I'm just used to the folders system of Windows (LOL).

    Thanks everyone - it is most appreciated.
  10. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    I like iPhoto much more than folders. It's a much nicer to look at and use interface for pictures. I don't see who could give up Events and mousing over them to see the pictures inside.

    IT provides the same level of organization folders do. Just looks nicer. EAsier/quicker to use.

    The only drawback I can see is if someday you want to move out of iPHoto then you might run into some transfer pains.

    LIke trying to sync your originals folder and modified folder with each other back onto a Windows computer.
  11. getz76, May 9, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011

    getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    No. I have a workflow for my photography that has worked relatively flawlessly for years and iPhoto is not quite flexible enough for me. I shoot RAW and process in Photoshop.

    RAW files go into dated folders in a "RAW" folder. They are then tagged with Adobe Bridge. Then I go through grading them within Bridge.

    Processed photos go into dated folders in a "Darkroom" folder. They carry tags from Adobe Bridge.

    The dated folders is not necessary, but it makes life easier for archiving. Everything is archived to a pair of RAID NAS boxes.

    My wife uses a point-and-shoot and uses iPhoto for everything.
  12. stroked Suspended


    May 3, 2010
    I use Picasa on my imac instead of iPhoto. It's a fast app, and it will find all the pics, and video on your hard drive. I wish I could install it on my iBook, but it's Intel only.
  13. jegbook macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2007
    You are a good example of someone that iPhoto is not a good match for, which is totally fine. I think it is a really good example to show that iPhoto is a good consumer software, but for someone like you, who appears to use your camera at a professonal/professional type level, it's not quite enough.

    For one, I believe iPhoto either can't do RAW or is VERY slow with RAW.

    Anywho, glad you took the time to respond to provide some comparison about the strengths and drawbacks of iPhoto. Thanks!
  14. jegbook macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2007
    For comparison, I have digital pictures from about the last 8 years with close to 8,000 pictures. Impressively I think, iPhoto is still quick to open and doesn't lag when browsing and organizing. My iPhoto library is a little over 23 GB.
  15. buddy6713 macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2011
    iphoto poor export quality, help?

    I have to present a slideshow of recent work to a large audience. I used iphoto to create a slideshow but can only export it at a ridiculously low resolution output that looks TERRIBLE on even a computer monitor much less projecting it 30 feet onto a large audience viewing screen.

    Is there any way I can get this iphoto slideshow at least onto my laptop (from my desktop) so I don't have to lug the tower around with me when I try to show the slideshow directly from iphoto (rather than the extremely poor quality of even the largest quiktime move export setting?.

    Is there a workaround for this?

    Thank you all!

    QUOTE=beyondthesmile;12538126]What is the benefit of it over saving your pictures in a Pictures folder? For just random pictures storage? (New Mac user here)[/QUOTE]
  16. Betooo macrumors newbie


    Jun 1, 2010
    Bham, Alabama
    +1, iphoto was decent, but I guess being used to adobe programs(cs5) made me love lightroom
  17. ' r i S e n macrumors regular

    May 15, 2011
    It's just preference, really. Some (or a lot) of users prefer its organization and its neat editing bits, but personally I have never gotten away from simple folder organization and the idea of not needing to run another program.
  18. jegbook macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2007
    What version of iPhoto are you using?
    Do you know the resolution of the projector that will be used for the presentation (e.g.- 1024x768, 1280x800)?
    What application options do you have for running the slideshow? (will the computer be Mac or Windows?) Both OSes should be able run a simple slideshow from a folder of JPEGs without even using an application.

    I have iPhoto '09 (v. 8.1.2) and when I select a group of pictures, then go to Export (in the File menu) I have quite a variety of options. I can export the pictures as JPEGs and set the max resolution (limit to height of 768 pixels, for instance, which would make sense for a 1024x768 projector). I also exported 22 photos to a Quicktime movie at a resolution of 1280x1024. The .mov file took less than 30 seconds to create and is less than 5MB. The quality of the pictures in the movie looked fine on my MBP screen (which should mean they would look fine on a similar resolution projector as the resolution of a projector is likely to be much lower than the original resolution of the pictures.).

    If you can offer some more info that would be great.

    Good luck with the presentation.
  19. MetalheadGCN macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2011
    Salem, MA
    I'm not a photography pro or anything (or even a photographer, really), but I do occasionally like snapping pictures of stuff that appeals to me for whatever reason. Cars, nature, etc.

    I do actually like iPhoto strictly for organization. I like apps for organization, rather than just keeping them in folders. However, that is strictly out of preference.

    And also, like people have said, it can do some pretty spiffy light editing, which is cool.
  20. Tydog07 macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2011
    Ann Arbor, Mi
    Upgrade from iPhoto?

    I don't mean to hijack a thread but if I start to find that iPhoto isn't doing the trick anymore and I want to upgrade, would one recommend Aperture or Adobe Lightroom? I know Aperture is an Apple product, but I believe there will be some level headed views.
  21. Resist macrumors 68030

    Jan 15, 2008
    I'm not really enjoying iPhoto myself. Maybe I just don't understand how to use it correctly. All I know is it isn't as easy to use for me, as just using a photo folder with sub folder headings.
  22. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Have your looked into Aperture? Reason I mention it casue it was at a bargain price on the app store and is so much better then iPhoto, might be worth getting that instead of eventually upgrading to it in the future. Something to consider though
  23. Chazn macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2011
    I don't use iPhoto either cos i haven't had a good experience with managing photos on the iPhone. I just don't like the way Apple let's you use your photos. It's not as "flexible" as normal folders or Windows folders.
  24. jegbook macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2007
    Would you be able to elaborate on what you mean by "flexible"?

    I'm not familiar with Finder or Windows Explorer being able to tag and cross reference the same picture multiple times in different folders, but Finder and Windows Explorer have gotten pretty fancy these days, so I certainly may be missing something.

    There's no doubt that managing picture files with Folders on a hard drive allows for the absolute-most control and transparency. But beyond that control, it seems to me that a large gap of functionality is lost by not using a management application. But again, maybe file browsers can do more than I'm realizing.

    Cheers all. Diggin' this iPhoto debate. :)
  25. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    Adobe Bridge works best for me in combination with Finder folders.

    Generally, I rate the captures in Adobe Bridge then do my tags (if necessary) and then do the initial Camera RAW processing to prepare for Photoshop.

    I process in Photoshop and save the master in PSD format. Exported JPEGs can be a combination of different crops as well as different resolutions.

    It is nice to be able to go to a folder and see the PSD and then the various output folders and quickly do whatever I need with them (upload to flickr, FTP to a website, send directly to AdoramaPix, burn to disk, email, etc) without have to launch another program.

    iPhoto does enough for the vast majority of people taking snapshots... now, if I had to pick between iPhoto and Picasa, I would pick Picasa.

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