huge iPhoto library, alternatives for software and attached storage?

canuckle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 18, 2011
137
0
Hi all,

Hoping to get some help from the Mac/Photog experts here.

My wife is an amateur shutterug, and has approx. 80 000 digital pics, all on our 2012 iMac. Pretty big number, and I'm pretty sure iPhoto is not meant for that kind of use. She likes to crop, enhance, email photos directly from the application, and be able to easily import and sort/file photos (preferably automatically) from her camera.

I have a 4TB Thunderbolt Mirrored RAID attached for Time Machine backups. iMac is 1TB, with 400GB remaining. I'd like to move the pictures off and onto an external device, back it up via Time Machine, and have the pictures (present and future) directed to the external. I thought I might take the existing 4TB (which is 2TB available because of mirroring) and use that for picture storage, and get a 6TB for backup.

Please share your knowledge and opinion regarding:

1. Best software for import, sort, light editing/email integration
2. Best option for moving pics off iMac and having them easily accessible
3. Best option for backup

All replies sincerely appreciated!

Thanks,

Mike
 

Mike in Kansas

macrumors 6502a
Sep 2, 2008
962
71
Metro Kansas City
There's nothing wrong with an iPhoto Library that big, and you can just move the iPhoto library to the external drive. The next time you start iPhoto, hold down the Option key when launching - it will ask you for the location of the library that you want to use, and just either select it (if it's already populated in the list) or navigate to it and select it. Once selecting the new location, iPhoto will always use that new location when you just launch iPhoto.

If she finds the use of iPhoto limiting, I'd suggest stepping up to Aperture, Apple's Pro level photo management/editing application. The good thing about Aperture is that it can open your iPhoto library "as is", with no additional converting or importing needed. All of her edits will remain. Apple has gone to a "unified library" approach, so that Aperture can open iPhoto libraries and vice versa.

It would be good to read up on Aperture here:

http://www.apple.com/support/aperture/

http://www.apple.com/aperture/
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,566
277
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
You might want to take a look at Aperture for photo management and editing. It will allow you to keep smaller sub-libraries of current photos on your local drive, and then manage them into a master vault which you keep on your external (possibly slower) drive. Aperture can either use your iPhoto library directly, or import your existing iPhoto library into Aperture so you can delete and discontinue using iPhoto altogether. It will do anything that you are currently doing in iPhoto ... and more.


-howard


edit: sorry Mike ... I got distracted mid-edit for a few hours and didn't see your post above with similar info
 

Razeus

macrumors 603
Jul 11, 2008
5,176
1,798
Aperture is a complete waste of time. I highly recommend you go with Lightroom 4 by Adobe. Better support, better community and constant updates. I've lost faith in Apple with regard to "prosumer" level software. They should be on Aperture 4 by now, but they live in iOS fantasy land.
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,566
277
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
Aperture is a complete waste of time. I highly recommend you go with Lightroom 4 by Adobe. Better support, better community and constant updates. I've lost faith in Apple with regard to "prosumer" level software. They should be on Aperture 4 by now, but they live in iOS fantasy land.
I wouldn't call it a "complete waste of time". :)

I have both, and I think for someone, such as the OPs wife, who is familiar and comfortable with iPhoto were to switch, Aperture would provide a much smoother upgrade path for her.
 

Mike in Kansas

macrumors 6502a
Sep 2, 2008
962
71
Metro Kansas City
Aperture is a complete waste of time. I highly recommend you go with Lightroom 4 by Adobe. Better support, better community and constant updates. I've lost faith in Apple with regard to "prosumer" level software. They should be on Aperture 4 by now, but they live in iOS fantasy land.
I've used Aperture and LR side by side for a couple of years now, and I recently settled on Aperture. I hardly feel that it's a "complete waste of time", and lots of shooters would agree with me. I like the flow much better in Aperture; LR is too compartmentalized for me.

And if the OP's wife already has an extensive iPhoto library, with all things being equal why wouldn't you consider going to Aperture if nothing more than for the ease of transition and ability to keep ALL non-destructive edits (which would be impossible if moving to LR).
 

canuckle

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 18, 2011
137
0
Thank you for your thoughtful replies! I believe Aperture could be a good solution for this, I'd been leaning that way from doing some reading through forums, but not being a shooter myself it's nice to have some reassurance.

As far as the other 2 points, anyone interested in sharing thoughts on them?

2. Best option for moving pics off iMac and having them easily accessible
3. Best option for backup

Again, thank you. This is what makes MacRumors such a valuable resource!

Mike