iPhoto - Benefits for importing photos to iPhoto Library?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by smythg, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. smythg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    #1
    Are there any benefits to having iPhoto settings so that it imports photos in to an iPhoto library?

    I can see how it might help keep things simple/safe for some users, but if I want to use PhotoShop Elements for editing, edit PNG files etc, I'm not sure what benefits using the iPhoto library adds.

    Thanks.
     
  2. The Economist macrumors 6502

    The Economist

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    Mexico
    #2
    Using iPhoto does make a lot of things simple for normal users. You in particular could add keywords to your photos so, once they're organized, you can easily find photos or images you want to work on.
     
  3. smythg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. I am more thinking about whether to keep my photos as regular files outside the iPhoto "Library" (by not checking the Import setting in iPhoto preferences). I would still use iPhoto to organize them.

    Are there drawbacks or iPhoto features you cannot use if photos are kept as regular files?
     
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #4
    The big benefit is that it hides the photos from users. Seriously :). iPhoto places a lot of info about the image in a data-base. If the images are then moved or changed not through iPhoto the data-base starts to become corrupted. By using keywords, events, and albums you should be able to find your images easier than you can with an organized directory structure. At a minimum you can duplicate the directory structure with folders and albums - plus you can add keyword, and have the image appear in more than one album.

    iPhoto has some editing tools, and the editing it does is non-destructive. In other words you can always revert back to the original file. When you need a resized image, you "export" from iPhoto - note that there is no "save". Basically the application just creates the new re-sized image on an as-needed basis. There is no need to keep space hogging copies of each version of an image. It's best to use presets to ensure that you get the same results each time.

    You can also set iPhoto to invoke an editing program of your choice, instead of using the internal editor. I think the new edited image is then "imported" into iPhoto, and placed next to the original image... but I'm not sure. But you can check.

    The default behaviour is to import images, and my recommendation is to do this as well. Once you get the hang of what iPhoto is doing, you will probably see that this is the wisest course of action.

    Luck.
     
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #5
    Do yourself a favor and leave them outside unless you never intend to use anything but iPhoto. Many applications can access the iPhoto Library, but you occasionally run into some that don't. And while it's easy to get inside the Library, it's a real pain to find things. And once you've gone that route it's hard to go back.

    The only downside is that you end up with duplicates and it takes space. But depending on how you store things, that might actually be a positive. I treat all my outside pictures as archives and store them on an external, so I have it incorporated into a backup plan. If you do edit it outside iPhoto you just reimport the edited version.

    I also use tagging a lot, and I find it's easier to do outside iPhoto. I use Leap for that, and Punakea. And some batch processing is done easier outside iPhoto as well.

    Keeping them outside keeps options open; you loose little or nothing.
     
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #6
    Sorry - and with respect - I would disagree. The whole point of iPhoto is that you shouldn't have to "get inside" the library. If you need an image outside of iPhoto, you let iPhoto export it. I have a folder specifically labeled as a TEMP folder (for LR exports, but same theory as iPhoto). Exported images automatically go there, I use them, I delete them. Keeps the things clean and lean.
    That can be a big downside if you are trying to back up all of the images. Now one has to back up several locations. Plus is the final image the one in the iPhoto library or the one in the managed directory. The problem with duplicates is determining which one is the finished version.
    Are you not backing up the iPhoto library? iPhoto can be set up to use an external editor instead of it's own editing engine. This means one doesn't need to "reimport" - it's just seamless.
    Not familiar with these. Do they bring added functionality over albums/events/projects/keywording?
    Fair enough. In my case, the batch processing I do is for images that are being used - so I'm exporting anywhere. They go to my TEMP folder, where I have an alias to my usual batch processor. Once the processing it done I delete all the images (not the alias) in the TEMP folder and I'm good to go for the next operation. Unless I know for sure that this operation is a one-off, I save it as a pre-set so I don't have to do the work again.
    In my experience you would lose control of knowing which images have been used and where. Which images are the "final" version. Backups become more complicated.

    But - it's a free world.... I'm not trying to change how you do your work. If it works for you, then that's great. I'm just making sure that both options are presented for those who are still deciding what will work best for them.
     
  7. Kceb83 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    #7
    my 2 cents

    I have gone back and forth on this issue many times. I recommend you let keep everything in iPhoto. I tried having my own folders outside of iPhoto which worked fine until you want to import photos. Doing it this way you have to import the photos to the folder you want, and then drag them into iPhoto to point iPhoto to them. It causes a bit of a pain trying to keep the two in sync. You can simply drag an entire event to your picture folder and it will make a folder of that event and put copies of all those items in that folder. Thus if you ever want to switch from iPhoto, just drag the events you want to your desktop and then go back and delete them from iPhoto. Just my 2 cents.
     
  8. smythg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    #8
    Thanks for the additional comments guys. With the small bit of use so far, and your comments, I am leaning towards keeping the photos in an iPhoto library. Not what I originally thought I would go for.

    It might mean I lose some flexibility, but for the 95% of my photos it looks like it will make the workflow and usage simpler. For the 5% where I need the full power of PhotoShop I may end up keeping them outside iPhoto. I'll see how it goes after some real use over the coming days and weeks.

    One other factor I had not realised would happen when keeping the files outside the iPhoto library. The iPhoto face recognition creates many small cropped versions of the original images. So when searching in Finder etc for "wedding-photo1" it finds many extra "faceXX" files - "wedding-photo1_face12" etc.
     
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #9
    Welcome!
    In preferences you can set iPhoto to use PS when you invoke the editing command. I don't see way to only invoke PS for some editing tasks - the setting seems to be global. I believe that when you invoke PS to edit, when you "save" the image it gets put back into iPhoto library (but please confirm this - this is how Lightroom works, which I am more familiar with now), next to the starting image. This way when you look for the original image via keywords/etc you also find the PSed version.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. SiggSigg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids
    #10
    I'm kind of stuck on what to do when I import photos I was using PSE and now I am using a trial version of Aperture and nether software app will let you see the photos that were imported into iPhoto which is a pain when you want to edit and print. iPhoto does organize your photos very nicely but I can't figure a way to make PSE or Aperture see the photos to edit without manually digging for them which is a pain.
     
  11. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #11
    Sorry, but I don't understand.... Aperture and iPhoto are similar to one another, except that Aperture is meant to be the pro version of iPhoto - so you shouldn't be sending images from iPhoto to Aperture for editing.

    Aperture and iPhoto are designed so that you use them to look at your images. You organize things by event, category, date, or whatever you'd like. When you want to edit and print an image you will be looking at that image in iPhoto/Aperture. If you have set PSE as your editor of choice, you merely click the "edit" button in iPhoto/Aperture and voilá, you are in PSE editing away. No digging necessary.
     
  12. SiggSigg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids
    #12
    Honestly I haven't used PSE in about a year, I tried to install PSE 10 today but I had a lot of issues with it. Apparently this is nothing new according to the ppl at
    ww.elementsvillage.com I didn't read much into it but it sounded like Lion and PSE 10. As far as Aperture I just downloaded that yesterday so I only have a few hours using it, so I don't really know how well it organizes photos. I just remember using PSE 6 and it was a pain every time you wanted to print a photo and it was in iPhoto. I know you can export out of iPhoto to other apps but I didn't see a reason to jump back and forth between the two. I wanted to try PSE 10 have you heard anything about any issue's?
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #13
    I am using Lightroom now (it's been a few years since I worked in iPhoto) and I have no experience with PSE at all. Aperture should be able to take care of 90% of your editing needs. Once you get PSE working, just tell Aperture to use PSE as the external editor. When you need to edit an image in Aperture, you simply click the "edit" button and PSE will fire up with the image already loaded. You edit, you save - you are returned to Aperture. At least that how it works with LR and PS... couldn't be simpler. Really.
     
  14. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #14
    Hmm, it sounds like you were firing up PSE and then going hunting for the photos? That would be a pain, IMO!

    You might have better luck with snberk103's suggestion. in iPhoto/Aperture, change the preference to use PSE as the default editor. Then you just have to find the photo in iPhoto/Aperture and click the Edit button, which will open the photo in PSE. Make your changes, save the photo, and then you're back in iPhoto/Aperture. No manually looking for files on the drive.

    If you haven't seen it already, Apple has some Aperture tutorials:
    http://www.apple.com/aperture/how-to/

    When I was doing the Aperture tutorial, I had it import my entire iPhoto library, so I could get a sense for how it works organizing photos. At first, it felt entirely overwhelming, but I ended up buying Aperture and sticking with it. Two years later, I'm still far from being a "power-user", but I do think my photos are way more organized than if I had stuck with iPhoto.
     

Share This Page