iPhoto Fears

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Pyrotechnic, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. Pyrotechnic macrumors 6502

    Pyrotechnic

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    I have an iMac coming sometime this week and its my first.

    I am looking forward to using it for my photos etc. However, I do have a few concerns about iPhoto, simply by what I read on here.

    Currently on my PC I have photos in a folder structure such as 2007 in which I have 12 further folders representing the months of the year. Every image in the folders are numbered from 0001 as in the first photo i took in January 2007 right up until the end of December which could have number 0999 in i for example.

    Can someone tell me how iPhoto will read this when I transfer them over and is there another way I should do things prior to setting iPhoto up.

    I also have concerns, bourne out of not knowing but I read that iPhoto makes duplicates etc. If someone could explain it would be appreciated.

    Like I say, I have never used an iMac in my life, this week will be the first and I want it to impress me.
     
  2. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #2
    iPhoto works this way:

    It ingests (that is, copies) your photos into it's library, and allows you to organize them into "events." Behind the scenes (in a database you don't normally see), events roughly correlate to system folders BUT events can't be nested. So, you can have an event called "Oct 2007" and an event called "trip to London 2007" But there is no way to have an event called "2007" that contains sub-events for Oct and Trip to London. (btw -- there is a way to open the iPhoto database and manually take photos out of there. So, by using events, you can roughly organize photos in iPhoto that can later be pulled out in folders. HOWEVER -- do not take anyones advice to "show package contents" on your iPhoto library unless you completely, absolutely know what you are doing -- many people have corrupted their iPhoto libraries by poking around inside it when they shouldn't have).

    You can also set up "albums" within iPhoto and Albums can be nested in iPhoto, BUT they do not correlate to actual folders in the operating system. So, the nesting is never reflected at the OS level.

    iPhoto works best this way: if you keep things in high-level events, and then add keywords to all your photos, and find or group things based on keywords and date.

    For instance, I have all my photos broken into spring/summer/fall/winter by year (spring/summer/fall/winter 2006 are 4 separate events), with a couple of other events for special items (like when I take pictures of things I sell on-line). Everything has keywords, then I create "smart albums" which automatically grab photos with certain keywords in certain date ranges, and organize my photos from across events into smart albums that I find relevant. If you use iTunes, smart playlists is the same concept as smart albums.

    Once iPhoto has your photos imported, if you make any kind of edit (crop, saturation, red eye removal, etc.) iPhoto makes another copy of your photo. It keeps the original photo intact as an "original" and then makes a new photo reflecting the changes. You WANT a program to NOT change your original file, so you can revert to it if you really screw up your edits. This is a benefit, not a problem.

    When you do make edits to iPhoto, there is a database that iPhoto uses to keep track of your edits. If you later make further changes, it applies the changes to the original, deletes the old edit copy, and creates a new edit copy. In this way, you can edit without destroying the original (a menu picked called "revert to original" is there, to go back to the original any time you want.)

    Now, there IS an option to NOT have iPhoto copy your pictures into its database when you import photos. JUST BEWARE: if you don't import then into iPhoto and allow iPhoto to manage them, then if you move the photo later outside of iPhoto, iPhoto CANNOT find the photo, and returns a file not found error. It makes perfect sense when you think about it, but many people get so upset over this.

    Still, there are far less errors if you allow iPhoto to copy your photos into its database. But, some folks (rightly) say: I like my folder structure, and I am also concerned if I ever stop using iPhoto, then I am stuck with flat events, with no folder hierarchy. If you fall in this camp, then you can try to use iPhoto without import, OR you can try other tools -- Picasa on Mac doesn't offer quite as nice editing tools as iPhoto (IMO), but allows you to organize photos the way you want to. More advanced tools like Aperture or Lightroom are also more flexible.

    If you are a friends/family/vacation photographer (i.e. not a pro) and you only take jpgs, then give iPhoto a try, but just keep your originals around in case you don't like it.

    If you are shooting in RAW, and need a lot more from your photo editing workflow, then I assume you wouldn't be asking this question, and would also suggest iPhoto might not meet your needs.

    Hope that helps (somehow)
     
  3. Pyrotechnic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Pyrotechnic

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. I must admit I am worried about what it will do.

    My main concern is that if I want to look at a picture of one of my children I took on January 2006, I simply browse to the folder of 2006 and open the folder in there called January, bingo, there is the shot. I fear this will not be as easy in iPhoto but appreciate it safeguards your snaps to some extent ?

    I guess I will have to give it a try to see what it does with them all. :confused:
     
  4. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, USA
    #4
    You would just do a search in iPhoto (Apple + F) and then search for that particular month, then using the meta data stored in the iPhoto database it will show you all photos taken in that month.

    iPhoto in effect versions your photos so if you manage everything from within iPhoto it is pretty hard to mess up an original photo so yes it does safeguard you in that respect.
     
  5. Pomeroy macrumors 6502

    Pomeroy

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #5
    I think the hardest part of using iPhoto is giving up the idea of Folders... I know it was for me.. In a few years you will forget what year it was that you took the photo you want to find, was it 2006 or 2007 ? The you have to start dig in folders and subfolders and scrolling around looking.. In iPhoto with just a few key strokes it will find any photo you want... I don't use Events that iPhoto put all you pictures in to start with, I use Smart Albums and Key Words for all photos, also not that iPhoto has Faces and Places I'm stating to use those too to find pictures i want.. When you import your photos into iPhoto for the first time don't worry about it messing up your folders the way you have them, they will not be touched so you can always go back to the way you are doing it now if you want, but I know i'll never go back to using folders... Lets say I have a photo of Uncle Bob that I took on vacation in 2003 at Blue Lake in Idaho, I would add the Key Words Blue Lake, Family and Idaho (we travel a lot so I have Smart folders for each State).
    I can now find that picture several ways and not have to remember what year it was. I can find him typing Uncle Bob or Family or Idaho or Blue Lake or Vacations. I could even sort my whole library by Date and scroll down to about the time I took the picture. That is just some of the ways to find a photo fast. Uncle Bob would could show up in several Albums but you would still only have two Pictures of him, the Original and a Modified, well there is a small thumbnail of each too. iPhoto doesn't mess with your Original photo so you can alway go back to it if you mess up making adjustments to it.
    After you get your photos into iPhoto you will want to use them to send to friends and family, so you are just one button click away from E-mail or uploading them to the web.. select the photo you want to send and click the e-mail button and it will open your email app and insert the photos for you and you can choose the size of the photo from there. You can do just about anything you need to from inside iPhoto, but if you need to do something outside of it just use export from the File menu or just drag it to the desktop. I add photo frames to mine sometimes to upload but don't want to keep a copy in iPhoto so I just click on the photo in iPhoto and drag it to the Dock and drop on ImageFramer and it opens up in ImageFramer, I do what I want with it then drop in the trash.
    I'm done now LOL I guess I could write a book on all the neat stuff that iPhoto can do... I still find new ways to do things that make it easier work with my pictures..
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    Yes iPhoto make duplicates. There is no other way to edit jpg files and at the same time offer a "restore original" function. iPhoto has the concept of "version" and tries not to over write the original file with an edited version. This is a Good Things and one reason to want to use iPhoto

    How to transfer over your photos?

    Step #0. Make a backup copy and put the backup copy away, far away, no where near either of the two computers. Do this now while you are waiting. Make two backups while you are at it. Put the second copy in a file cabnet at work.

    OK now you can start.

    If you can set up a network connection between you new mac and the old PC that would be great. Share the folder on the PC and mount it up on the Mac's desktop.

    If you can't setup a network (You need cables, a switch and so on.) then copy the files to an external hard disk and plug that disk into the mac.

    OK so now you have a disk icon on the Mac's destop either a real external drive or a shared network drive. It does not matter which.

    Now from inside iPhoto find the "import to library" funtion inthe pull down menu. A file browser will open. Drop the desktop icon into the file browser (or if you like navagate the browser to your external disk or shared folder) Then click OK.

    It may take some time but that should do it.

    In iPhoto's preferences ppannel you have the option to copy files into the iPhoto library or to leave then in place as "referenced" files. Choose "copy", (It is the default if you do nothing.) Only choose referenced if you know a lot about how iPhoto works and are confedent that you know what you are doing.

    iPhoto will organized your images by date automatically. It will also allow you to make any number of other parallel organizations. Pictures can go into 20 folders if you like but will still only be on the disk one time (except for edited versions)

    The images, even if copied to the library are in folders, just not Finder Folders. The difference is which software buildsthe index. Is it the File System or iPhoto?

    Even a word processing document is not realy inside a folder. Physically its bits are scattered all over the drive. Folders are just index files. Same here with iPhoto. only that iPhoto builds and maintains the index files. Iphoto makes those indeses look like folders or smart albums or slide shows or folders or events.
     
  7. Pyrotechnic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Pyrotechnic

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    Cheers guys, I am beginning to understand it a bit better. I am hoping it arrives on Tuesday.

    Sounds like I have the daunting task of adding keywords to the images, this sounds time consuming.

    Obvioulsy I am sat here having never used iPhoto, so please excuse the questions. I just dont want to make a hash of it all when it arrives.

    2 x Copies of all my photos now saved to discs ;)
     
  8. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #8
    Look at this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=556885
     
  9. Pomeroy macrumors 6502

    Pomeroy

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    Sep 27, 2008
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #9
    Adding Keywords is not all that bad.. You can do it in Batches.. If you sort by Date a lot of photos you want with the same Keyword will be together. Select the first photo you want, hold Shift and click on the last one you want, then click on the keyword to add to all of them at once... I did about 2,000 photos in less that 1 hour to start with.. I then later went back and added more Keywords to most.. Some have as many as 5 keywords per photo.. and if you don't like the way you did it to start with you can always make changes just as easy.
     
  10. tmroper macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    #10
    Control/Click - > "Show Package Contents"

    I've been wondering about how to look inside the iphoto database for awhile (knowing you can after it's backed up x/ Time Machine).

    Fooling around with another project (tweaking icons), I found that if you Control Click on your "iPhoto Library" and select "Show Package Contents" you get access to the originals as well as the modified versions of the photos.
     
  11. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502

    AxisOfBeagles

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Location:
    East of Shangrila
    #11
    Couple observations:
    * iPhoto allows for keywording which is the easiest and most powerful means to oganize your photos. For instance, if all your photos are acurately keyworded, you could quickly find photos of your daughter, in 2006, at your house, and so on.
    * as long as you back up your files, there is little to worry about.
    * iPhoto will import images from each of the folders you currently use, and label them accordingly. For instance, if you import January 2006, those photos will appear in an event labeled January 2006.
    * If that is how you want to organize your iPhoto events, go for it. But as long as your photos already have the date & time exif data, then that seems redundant.

    Personally, I find iPhoto an invaluable asset management tool. But I am fastidious about keywording and descriptions, so that I can find any image I want quickly.
     
  12. 103734 Guest

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #12
    since we are on the topic of photo management could someone tell me how to get aperture to reference photos in their current folder? I have all my photos organized just how I like them and I don't want aperture to make copies of them every time I want to edit them, I know I have done this before but I totally forgot how I did it.
     
  13. Pyrotechnic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Pyrotechnic

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    #13
    Having now received my iMac and having imported over 8000 images into iphoto, I must admit I am OK with it. I love the way it organizes them and fully understand its methods.

    All i need now is some software that I can use to enhance and modify them. I am afraid Photoshop is just to far off my budget. Thanks for all the replies.
     
  14. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #14
    I have photoshop elements which is pretty nice, and pretty cheap ($79, or included with a Wacomm tablet). There's also pixelmator (like $49?) and GIMP (free).
     
  15. Pyrotechnic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Pyrotechnic

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    #15
    Interestingly enough, both PixelMater and Elements have both been recommended. Not sure the tablet combo is available here in the UK ;)
     
  16. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502

    AxisOfBeagles

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    Apr 22, 2008
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    East of Shangrila
    #16
    Have you tried the iPhoto adjustments? Open the photo full screen, and the pop up menu bar at the bottom of the screen allows for some decent basic adjustments - easy and intuitive.
     
  17. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #17
    May I ask -- what do you do with your photos? Web posting? Printing individual photos? Printing blow-ups? Printing books? Slideshow creation?

    What kind of editing are you looking to do? Sharpness? Noise reduction? cropping? Color end levels? Add text? Photo merge?

    What you want to do would drive which tool would best meet your needs.
     
  18. Pyrotechnic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Pyrotechnic

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    Feb 28, 2009
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    United Kingdom
    #18
    I do a variety of things. Photos of the family often need to have the red eye reduced or little flaws taken out. In terms of work photos, sometimes I need to crop them and resize them for the web. I could also do with something which will simply allow me to put a (c) symbol very faintly over the work photos.

    Elements seems to be the favorite amongst the amateur photographers.

    I would also like to extend my knowledge of photography but do feel a long way form a fully loaded Photoshop package. I think its probably more than I need, I may be wrong?
     
  19. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 29, 2007
    #19
    iPhoto itself can do most of what you are talking about.
     
  20. Zmmin3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #20
    I am glad to have found this thread because I too have questions regarding the organizations of photos in Iphoto compared to how I have it in my XP folders.

    Right now I have my folders set up in this fashion:
    For example a certain day at a certain park:

    Folder: My Albums
    Subfolder: Parks
    Subfolder: (name of park)
    subfolder: Date
    with the photos labeled 1,2,3,4 and so on.

    Can I input them into Iphoto and organize them the same way?

    Also I also use Canon's DPP to process my raw images. If I alter the image when I process it, will Iphoto still be able to read it afterwards?
     
  21. Pomeroy macrumors 6502

    Pomeroy

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    Sep 27, 2008
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #21

    iPhoto will do almost the same, but better :D
    If you import your Subfolder "name of park" it will create an Event of just that folder with that name. Your photos can then be sorted by date or name. But you will find that if you Make a Smart album for each Park and give the photos a Keyword of the name of the Park as you import them that you will be able to locate the photo much easier and faster than just using folders like on Windows. You can add the Keyword in batches and not have to add them one at a time. You can add as many Keywords as you need to each photo to help find just the one you want. I have some with as many as 5 keywords in some and I can locate and photo or group of photo with just a few key strokes or by one click on the Smart Album I know it is in... iPhoto is a really powerful piece of software once you learn a little about how it works.. You will find that the windows way of digging down in Folders and Subfolder doesn't get the job done as good or fast as you add more and more photos. If you work with your photos inside iPhoto only and not try working with your photos in folders that you can do just about anything you need to them. Use the Email button from in iPhoto and and you can resize them down to Email sizes, use the Flicker or Facebook buttons to upload to the web. Also if iPhoto the editing power you need you can set up any photo editor to be the default editor. There is a lot more you can learn and do after you use it for awhile. I think it is one of the greatest Apps that comes on a Mac...
     
  22. Zmmin3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #22
    so when I import my Park folder, there will just be just one event in Iphoto with all the 1000's of photos instead of them being seperated like I had leaving me to go figure out which photo was from what park and what date? :eek:
     
  23. Pomeroy macrumors 6502

    Pomeroy

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    Sep 27, 2008
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #23
    No, don't import the Park folder, just import the subfolder's one at a time. Each time you import a Subfolder it will create an Event with the name of that folder. I think while that Evenr is handy I would "Select All" and add the Keyword for the name of that Park and also make a Smart Album for that Park.
     
  24. Zmmin3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #24
    ohhhhhhh I follow you now! :D

    Then with the Smart Album, I could sort by a specifc dates then?

    (man I feel like such noob starting all over again :eek: )
     
  25. Zmmin3 macrumors regular

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