iPhoto and External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by imbty, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. imbty macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2010
    So I'm having a problem. I used to use Lightroom, and I still want to use it for post-processing. I plan to do just this for most of my photos (I have small SSD, so trying to save space):

    1) Import with Lightroom
    2) Process my RAW. Save low-res JPEG and hi-res TIFF (Both saved on Desktop)
    3) Upload hi-res to Zenfolio, import low-res to iPhoto

    I like the Faces feature of iPhoto. And organization seems better (not too sure yet). My concern is space. I know I can have another Library on External Drive and open it there, but my concern is transferring. I've looked inside the iPhoto contents, and there's no actual files that I could find.

    Before, I used to be able to do this with just Lightroom (which I used for processing/organization).

    1) Keep the files I WANT internally
    2) If I ever decide I don't want it, I transfer them to external (which isn't always connected)
    3) If I want to view it, or even work on the RAW again, I plug in the external drive and Lightroom would recognize the new 'library' (external drive files).

    So... I guess iPhoto can't do what I used to do? And with that, I mean be able to have an internal library, but if I don't want particular photos, just transfer it to an external drive and still be able to open those files when I connect my external drive.

    Thank you.

    edit: SOB. This is always my problem. Google it, can't find it. Post about it. But when I do that, I still Google and THEN find it. I didn't bother to check Apple support website initially, assumed they wouldn't have my answer...

  2. hollersoft macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2013
    iPhoto support for multiple libraries is not that great. You can only see one at a time. iPhoto is completely unaware of anything except what is in the "active" library. So if you import some photos into one library, then switch to a different one, if you put in the same SD card (or attach camera etc.) it will offer to import the same photos again and you end up with duplicates. Things like the Faces feature you like will only look within the active library, not across all your libraries.

    Apple's solution of export/import to move photos between libraries is not very good either as it loses the nondestructive nature of any edits, I believe.

    I think there are third party apps that may do a better job of moving photos (complete with nondestructive edits) between libraries. I'm not sure though - never tried any myself.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Unless you really like Lightroom, you me better off switching to Aperture and ignoring both LR and iPhoto. You can do it all in one program and not have to move files around.
  4. imbty, Jun 5, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013

    imbty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2010
    I will look into Aperture. I always just assumed Lightroom was superior (even in terms of post-processing)?

    So I can do all I want if I just switched to Aperture?

    1) Library internal, and external
    2) Face recognition

    I like the face recognition because let's say, I want to do a photo slide. I can just type someones name. Then again, I used to use keywords for these, and I'm sure.. those could be better (I can even use like "jumping" etc.)

    edit: Also, I have a folder 'jpeg' that's 8.54 GB (in one of my external drives) that contains only .jpg. When I imported to iPhoto, iPhoto Library is only 789 MB. Although within iPhoto itself, it does report 8.4 GB

    Is there something I should know? I can't help but feel like not all photos were transferred or maybe it just how the system works? If so, someone care to explain what's going on? Thanks!
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    "Superior" is a mater of opinion. I think what works best is to use Aperture and then from a preference option in Aperture you can specify a "default image editor". In there specify Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Then you double click the image and it comes up in PS.

    Aperture can directly import iPhoto libraries. It can also move progect between libraries and does multiple librarys and does faces just like iPhoto.
  6. imbty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nevermind. Honestly, it doesn't seem like it's too much work to just edit my RAW on Lightroom, import to internal iPhoto. Export and import to external to free space.

    Actually, might even just upload them to Zenfolio. I'm always on Wi-Fi when I'm on my laptop anyways.

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