iPhoto - Original Photos

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by stockcerts, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Where does IPhoto keep the original pictures? I acidentally deleted some pics, but I believe IPhoto keeps a copy if you made edits. I'd also like to be able to save copies on my external drive that aren't in an IPhoto library, I'm just not sure how to get to them. Thanks!!
  2. ivi7 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2007
    Go to your user account then pictures and you ll see a folder called iPhoto library in that will be a folder called originals.
  3. Gryfon19 macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2007
    ivi, as the Original folder keeps copies of the edited photos, does that then mean the photos are technically taking up twice as much space on the hard drive (an original version AND the edited version)? new to a mac, i'm still struggling to understand how iphoto and itunes work when they make copies or move songs around within the file structure (all of which is happening behind the scenes when you stick to using the applications and don't poke around the hard drive). thanks!
  4. OZGonzo macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2009
    Try this site it gives concise info on the file structures

    Hi Hope this helps,
    I was having a quick trawl through the sites for a similar question I had and came across this site


    Regards OZGonzo:)
  5. skybolt macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2005
    Nashville, TN, USA
    iPhoto keeps photos in its own structure, and users are not meant to do anything to/with them in the library in finder. Messing about in there will cause iPhoto to be non-functional (that is, not be able to locate your photos). Do anything and everything to/with your photos from within the app itself. Stay out of the finder.

    How did you delete the pictures? Did you put them in the trash in iPhoto (that is what you should have done)? Did you drag then to the trash on the dock? Did you empty the trash? Tell us exactly what you did, and maybe we can help. If you dragged them to the trash and then emptied it, you may well be out of luck -- or maybe not. Help us help you.
  6. tarajw3 macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2009
    Can't find the originals folder

    Hi --

    When I go to my user, then pictures, I seen the IPhoto Library option, but when I open it, it takes me to the IPhoto application, and I still can't find my original photos. Can someone help me? Thanks!
  7. rwilliams macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Right-click on the iPhoto Library file, and select "Show Package Contents". From there, you should be able to see the folders that contain the original photos.
  8. HappyDude20 macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    So, I just clicked show package contents.

    I got in and highlighted everything in there, showing that everything is worth 1.6GB's. I clicked on just the "originals" folder and saw it's contains 700MB's...

    I personally don't think I need to delete the originals folder but this does leave me wondering....

    ....what happens if i delete the originals folder? Do ALL my photos erase within iPhoto? Or do the modified ones remain? I'm also sure I haven't edited/modified all of my photos within iPhoto so would photos that haven't been edited be deleted inside of iPhoto if I delete the originals folder?

    I know the short/easy answer is to simply not mess with the folder but there are enough curious people that consider it and even more people that have already done it that it leaves me wondering what will happen...
  9. Ashka macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    Some do save originals some don't it depends on the selected preference settings.
    iPhoto > Preferences > Advanced. 'Copy items to the iPhoto Library'
    and probably 'Embed ColorSync profile'.
  10. Ashka macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    Some do save originals some don't, it depends on the selected preference settings.
    iPhoto > Preferences > Advanced. 'Copy items to the iPhoto Library'
    and probably 'Embed ColorSync profile'.
  11. skybolt macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2005
    Nashville, TN, USA
    If you delete your originals, then you delete all photos that are not "modified". When you try to access those photos in iPhoto, you will get the dreaded grey box with the exclamation point because iPhoto can't find what it is looking for. As stated earlier -- stay out of the library in finder! It is dangerous to do anything in there if you want to use iPhoto! Just because you CAN see your photos there, does not mean you SHOULD. iPhoto organizes in its own way, and if the user changes any of that, corruption will ensue. Advanced users, who know the structure, may be able to navigate in there and not have problems, but until you REALLY understand what is going on underneath, there is no reason to go into the library in finder.
  12. rpang macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2009
    So Cal...
    For myself, I find it easier to manage the photos myself by deselecting "Copy items to the iPhoto Library" This way, I know exactly what folders my photos are located. Also, this would also prevent duplicates of the originals since they wont be stored in my selected folders and the iPhoto library. Why double up on space right? Third, if any changes to the photos are made, the original in my own folders are untouched and only the edited version is stored in the iPhoto library.
  13. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    There are lots of issues that can arise from referencing your photos, depending on how you use them.

    1) You can always find your originals. If you need them, you can always copy them out of iPhoto with a click and drag.

    2) After importing into iPhoto (if copied to library), it is safe to delete the original outside of the library. There are no duplicates if you don't edit.

    3) If changes are made, iPhoto duplicates it then.

    Think of it this way - when imported to iPhoto (I normally do it straight from the camera), it is doing what you do anyway, except iPhoto looks after the file. There's no duplication until you edit. And there's generally no need to 'know' where your files are.
  14. Ghostlarke macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2009

    I am new to Mac and am also trying to figure this all out. I use iPhoto and really like it, I had previously used Picassa with Windows and they are very similar with one exception, the question of the originals. I also have photoshop and would prefer to edit photos in there instead. If I navigate to the iPhoto Library under users it does not allow me to view the files in order to select one to edit. Is there something I am not doing? I can't even select the iPhoto Library as it is grayed out...
    Thanks from the newbie!
  15. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Based on my understanding, you are partially correct as to how iPhoto manages photos using the above method. You are correct that iPhoto does not copy the originals into the iPhoto Library, however it's my understanding that everything else is still done the same within the iPhoto Library. Meaning that iPhoto still creates all the thumbnails, etc. and if you edit a photo iPhoto creates an edited version within the iPhoto Library. End result is that you still have just as many files and use up just as much disk space. The only difference is that you control the original's location, file structure, etc.
  16. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    You can use Photoshop from within iPhoto to edit your photos. I have iPhoto '08 (7.1.5), so this might be bit different with iPhoto '09 or an earlier version, but here's what you need to do:

    Launch iPhoto
    Go to the iPhoto menu
    Select Preferences...
    Go to the General tab
    In the pop-up next to Edit photo:
    choose In Application...
    In the window that appears navigate to your copy of Photoshop, select it, click the Open button
    Close the Preferences... window

    Now when you click the Edit icon in iPhoto, Photoshop will launch and you can edit it from there and everything stay neat and tidy within iPhoto.
  17. Kyli macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2013
    Iphoto problems

    A long time ago I deleted original files of photos on my mac, not realizing that I needed them, just trying to make space.

    I have the photos on Iphoto still, but I can not take them off Iphoto, or save them to anything else, or open them on anything else except Iphoto.

    I don't like Iphoto. It distorts my pictures and is really inconvenient.

    Anyways, any advice?
  18. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    To export photo's from iPhoto select the photo's you want to export first. For individual files click on the photo in the iphoto browsing windows, ⌘click to select multiple photos. To select all photos in a folder, select one photo in a folder and File>Select All...

    To export the selected photos, choose File>Export...

    Make sure the File Export Tab is selected and then change Kind to Original ( if you want the originals). Then click the export button. Select a destination then press OK.
  19. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Assuming that they are still in the iPhoto Library...
    When in iPhoto select the photo(s), then go to the File menu and select Export, under the File Export tab choose your preferences for the export and then click the Export button. Repeat as necessary.
  20. Spikeywan macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2012
    I can't decide whether to ask here, or start a new thread. I guess I'll find out soon. :D

    If you edit a photo in iPhoto, and no longer want or need the original, keeping it is just using up extremely valuable SSD space. How do you go about deleting the original and keep the edited version?
  21. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    I don't edit photos in iPhoto, but, I'm thinking that you need to Duplicate the photo and then delete the original. I think that when you Duplicate a photo it duplicates the current version (in your case the edited one) but not the original and when you delete a photo it deletes all versions of that photo.
  22. FoxFifth macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    I haven't tried the following (and I would highly recommend two good backups before trying it) but it might be helpful. I was under the impression that when you edit a photo, iPhoto keeps the original and information about changes to the original rather than a full modified copy. The following link doesn't seem to agree with my probably mistaken impression. http://james.wikidot.com/blog:69
  23. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    I believe that Apple's Aperture works like that, whereas iPhoto modifies a "copy" and keeps the original safe.
  24. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    You might want to move to Aperture if you think you will be doing this alot. Unlike iPhoto, Aperture (and Lightroom) don't keep full versions of the original and the edited versions. Instead Aperture simply records the edits you make in its database, so there is no extra space needed. At first the advantage of this may not be evident, but it is a good thing. The obvious one being that if in the future your editing abilities improve or the tools get better you can go back to the original image and get a better version than the edited version.

    As well, you may decide over time that you need a vivid colour version to send out as a postcard, a black & white version to use in a calendar, plus several different aspect ratios for web use and as a screen saver. In each case you can go back start editing from the original image, and keep each version without needing more storage space.

    Unfortunately iPhoto does keep a full sized "preview" version as well as the original. If you do delete the original, just realize that the edited version will not get the full benefit of any improved tools... or if you later do move to Aperture those more powerful tools will be working from a copy - not the original image.


    There is some good advice posted below your question. But please don't blame iPhoto because you made a mistake. It is very good program, but like any program it can't keep people from making a mistake. I have some sympathy for you if you lost some important photos, but it is not iPhoto's fault. I suppose it is too long ago to ask if you had any backups?
  25. lcseds macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2006
    NC, USA

    Here is fine. Thread is only 5 1/2 years old. Good of place as any I guess.

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