iPhoto question

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by marc55, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. marc55 macrumors 6502a

    marc55

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #1
    I plan on getting a MBP soon, and am not sure how iPhoto files pictures.

    For example, on my Windows PC I have all our family pictures filed in a folder I named Photos; inside that folder I have sub-folders with names and dates, like Labor day 2013, XMAS 2013, Kids, may 2012, etc.

    Can I keep the same file set up in iPhoto?

    Thank you
     
  2. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #2
    Yes. iPhoto will import and without any input from you will display your photos in the day/date order that they were taken, according to the day/date setting on the camera.

    You can then create Albums of photos of your choice. However, you can't create an Album within another Album. To do that you would first create a Folder. You can then create further Folders or Albums within that first Folder.
     
  3. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #3
    iPhoto and Aperture are digital asset managers (DAM). Essentially a database for photos. It's best to learn how it works and take advantage of the features instead of trying to force an old file based system onto it. I recommend the book, iPhoto - The Missing Manual for a good reference.

    If you find you need more editing capabilities than iPhoto provides, Aperture is a good upgrade.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Sort of... when you do the initial import, just drag all the folders at once into iPhoto and it will import the photos making an iPhoto "event" for each folder. Give this article a look.

    As others mentioned, after that initial import you don't want to mess with the photos in Finder any more, you want to always use iPhoto as the photo management tool. If you monkey around manually in the iPhoto library, you can break it and mess up iPhoto.

    So after that first import, any additional imports of photos will go to their own events. There is a setting in iPhoto preferences where you can control how events are created with new photo imports. You have your choice of one event per day, week, or two or eight hours.
     
  5. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #5
    I had a glitch with iPhoto a few years ago. Over the years I've been keeping all my photos organized by folder. I have folders for years and inside those I have folders for months and sometimes for special events. I had an iPhoto Library become "unusable" after it grew to 65 GB so I abandoned it.

    What I do now is I turn off "copy files to iPhoto Library" when importing them. This means I take charge of organizing my photos in folders and while I allow iPhoto to maintain metadata about them, I never allow iPhoto to have my one and only copy of something inside iPhoto Library. Right now I have about 400 GB of photos and my iPhoto Library is only about 15 GB with nothing inside but modified copies and metadata for faces, places, events, etc.

    This forces me to keep photos in the same spot so iPhoto doesn't "lose" them since it's only pointing to them and not actually storing them inside iPhoto Library.

    iPhoto Library is actually a package. If you pick "show package contents" you can browse around inside and find individual files. Despite this fact, I'm more comfortable with maintaining my own photo library and simply allowing iPhoto to manage the metadata, faces and places etc.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Sorry for the thread jack... but sounds like you might be better served by Aperture? It really excels at managing "referenced" files like you are. And the library is very small because Aperture does not duplicate every photo that gets edited like iPhoto does.

    I switched and have been pretty happy with it.
     
  7. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #7
    I've been "threatening" to "get around to" getting Aperture "One of these days."

    Perhaps I will "find the time" this summer. Since it's in the app store, I assume I can buy it once and load it on all my Macs, right?
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Yep... sure can.
     
  9. marc55 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    marc55

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #9
    Please excuse if this is a silly question, but when you indicate you make your own folders, is simply making a master folder called Pictures, and then creating sub-folders for sorting by year/event?

    Secondly, once all the pictures are stored, how do you access them? Do you have to point iPhoto to the folders so you can view them?

    Thank you
     
  10. mtngoatjoe macrumors regular

    mtngoatjoe

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #10
    Forget about your folder structure. Just import your photos and use Events, Faces, Places, Keywords, Ratings, and Smart Albums to manage your photos.

    Using a folder structure can't help you find all the 5-star photos of your wife taken between 1999 and 2008, for example.
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #11
    Just uncheck this checkbox in iPhoto preferences before you import anything. Then you can keep your folder structure external to iPhoto like you want and still use iPhoto.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. r0k, Jun 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014

    r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #12
    I don't use iPhoto that often. It turns out when I import my photos, I import them as one event per folder. Here is an example of my photo structure:

    Pictures/2014/20140131
    Pictures/2014/20140228


    I know it's ugly looking but I'm used to it and I have digital photos going back 15 years and scanned photos going back to the 1940s using this folder structure. I found that iPhoto seemed to "buckle under the weight" of my 65+ gigabyte photo collection some years ago. Now that my photo collection approaches half a terabyte, I'm glad I decided to manage my own folders.

    There is nothing wrong with iPhoto's events nor is there anything wrong with the way iPhone arranges photos. But I started this just a few decades before there was such a thing as an iPhone so I'm just doing it this way because it still makes sense for me. Oh and a single point failure such as a corrupt iPhoto library or a rotating disk crash cannot separate me from pictures of my grandparents.

    You ask how they are stored? They are on a firewire disk on my MBP, and mirrored on two NAS drives. Lastly I upload them to a cloud photo storage location so they are stored off site just in case my house is hit by a tornado or asteroid. How do I access them? I can access them in iPhoto, Shared Photostreams, directly from my NAS drives from any computer in the house and from any of our smart TVs, and for those I've elected to share, I can get to them from an ordinary web browser through the cloud (Using a service similar to Google+, Flickr, etc).

    As Weaselboy shows in the post before mine, I unchecked "copy items to iPhoto Library." However I also must do one extra step. Now that my iPhone 5 is my main camera. Not my heavy DSLR or my waterproof shockproof point and shoot. The lowly iPhone 5 I have with me when something interesting happens is my main camera. I use Photostream to get photos off my camera and once or twice a quarter I hook up the cable and use Image Capture to grab movies and delete larger files to free up space. This means my iPhoto Library grows from time to time. I export photos by dragging them to Finder. I then delete them from iPhoto Library and import them (without copying originals into iPhoto Library). If I didn't do this, Photostream would have stuffed 50 Gig into my iPhoto Library by now.
     
  13. mtngoatjoe macrumors regular

    mtngoatjoe

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #13
    I get what you're saying, but how do you do the important things like: find all pictures of Aunt Jenny; find all pictures of Aunt Jenny and Mom; and find all Christmas photos from dad's side of the family? Or whatever. My point is that a folder structure doesn't get you any of that. You have to find them all manually, and then when you're done, you still have to do a bunch of work to answer other questions. If you're doing anything interesting with your photos (as opposed to just filing them away and never doing anything with them), then why not get a DAM and make managing your photos a million times easier?

    But you like your folder structure, huh. Ok, well try this thought experiment...

    Put a photo on an external drive. Put it anywhere that makes sense to you. Now, pick up the drive and point to your photo. You can't. You folder structure is simply a graphical representation of the bits and bytes on your drive. It doesn't tell you where your photos are, it just helps you access them. By the same token, a digital asset manager (DAM) does the same thing, only it allows you to quickly create ad-hock groups of photos to suit whatever situation you're in. For me, I use my photos mostly for calendars, holiday slide shows, and family event slides.

    If your system works for you, then great. More power to you. But I simply don't believe that a folder structure can help brows, categorize, and group photos in multiple ways. YMMV.
     
  14. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #14
    I use a folder structure AND iPhoto to manage my photos. I can send iPhoto looking for faces for a party presentation because I import everything into iPhoto (metadata only). I don't trust iPhoto's folder structure to hold my photos because OSX likes to treat iPhoto Library as one huge file when you try to copy or move it. Moving or copying a single 300 gigabyte file is not something I've had a lot of success with. Earlier in this thread I mentioned that my iPhoto Library "melted down" when it hit 64 Gig a few years ago. I tried copying it to an external drive and it was pretty sad to watch. It put up a copy dialog for one file called "iPhoto Library" and showed progress as if there was only one item of data. When it was done, I deleted the original. After all, I had a copy, right? No. I. did. not. have. a. copy. Every time I tried to open the thing I got a different error. I finally lost interest and decided to stick with my folders. Remember my folders are not my crude attempt to do what iPhoto does. My folders are simply shoeboxes and I send iPhoto into those shoeboxes to find what I need. Apple is not the first computer company I've engaged to manage my data and it might not be the last. The bottom line is I need my original photos more than I need Apple's or anybody else's metadata about my original photos.

    It's not enough to say that this "works for me." It's more accurate to say I can defend myself from data loss using skills that have served me well since before there was such a thing as a digital camera and Steve Jobs was still tinkering with a wooden box in his parents' garage.

    What if I had accepted Apple's implied statement that my photos were "safe" in iPhoto Library and deleted my originals once they were imported? I'd probably be posting on some Windows or Linux forum about how I was never going back to Apple. As it is, losing iPhoto Library was a non event for me and it validated my method which is protect originals at all cost, metadata can be generated again. And sure enough, when I created a new iPhoto Library from the (at the time) 64 gig of source photos, it only took a day and a half to get all the metadata back. If the originals were really gone, I'd be faced with combing through iPhoto Library using "show package contents" and copying photos out one by one or folder by folder. I've also heard there is an xml file I could "rebuild" to get that iPhoto Library working again. I tried this and it failed. Again I was doing this more for curiosity because I still had my originals sitting there ready to be re-imported, this time with "copy to iPhoto Library" turned firmly OFF.

    In God we trust. Everybody else bring backups. Time Machine or iPhoto alone do NOT constitute backups.
     

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