Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by roxics, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. roxics macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2013
    I've had my macbook for three years now and just got a new mac mini a month ago. So now I have two macs. First time ever owning two macs at once. My girlfriend and I also each have an iPhone 4S and getting 5C and/or 5S models soon. She'll also be picking up an iPad soon and I'll be picking up an Apple TV for our living room. Once she gets a mac we'll be a completely Apple household.

    I also shoot a lot of photos and videos on my DSLR and iPhone. So does she. That said, I still think like a PC user. I owned a couple of macs in my 20's and never kept them more than a year because something would come up and I'd need the money and the resale value for macs were always there. So I'd end up back on some cheap PC tower I built myself. In some ways I still think like that. Like I need to keep my data organized and portable in a way that is compatible with Windows should I ever need to fall back to a PC. But the reality is that's kind of irrational to still think that way. It's been nearly four years now I've been full time on a mac and as I said I just picked up a new one while.

    My point is, I've never used iPhoto because it's Apple only and liked to auto organize your photos for you. I like the keep my photos organized by camera and then by dated event. So for example: 60D > 2013-09-12 Cider Mill or 60D > 2013-09-12 Street Festival, etc.

    Most of my photos are kept on an external 2TB hard drive and I plan to add another external drive soon. I should probably just dive in completely. Stop thinking like a PC user and let iPhoto be my full time photo viewer, importer and organizer. But I do have some concern with the fact that iphoto hasn't been upadted since late 2010. Minor updates, but now newer versions. Is Apple just phasing this software out? is it as good as it gets and there won't be any new version?

    I've used iTunes for longer than I used a mac and to be honest I love the software, but from experience I've never figured out how to successfully transfer it from one machine to another without having to redo all my playlists and import all my music again. With the exception being the tranfer from my macbook to mini which was just a total import of my whole drive. I've also lost a lot of music I know I used to have over the years. I don't know if iTunes deleted some of it or I lost some in transfer (even though it was all in the same folder) or what. I generally don't let itunes auto organize my stuff but it seems like it has reset that option multiple times because I always find albums in the itunes specific folder rather than the music folder.

    I'm more forgiving of music than photos. So if I lost photos I'd be really really upset. So that worries me a little bit about letting iphoto just do it's automatic thing, even if I set it to not import/duplicate considering my experience with iTunes. So what is your experience with iPhoto regarding this? Any lost photos over the years?

    Sorry for such a long post. But I'm at that point where I realized that "hey I'm an Apple user and going to continue to be an Apple user, so I should really just go all-in."
  2. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    iPhoto can be very powerful considering it's a free program that Apple gives you. There is more customization that you may realize with how it organizes and arranges your photos; you just may need to dig into it a little more to see how to get the most out of it. However, once you start talking about keeping your photos organized by camera, by date, by event, or by multiple ways simultaneously, you begin to push the capabilities of iPhoto.

    If you REALLY want to slice and dice and organize your images in lots of different ways, you should look at more sophisticated DAMs (Digital Asset Managers). Two of the more popular ones are Aperture (Apple only) and Adobe Lightroom (cross platform). Both are very similar in that they organize your images using a library approach, and you can keep them arranged in many different ways, and also re-arrange them based on your needs at that moment. Both allow you to store the images within the database itself (managed) OR keep your original images outside the database (referenced). Neither actually "touch" your original images; all edits are "virtual" and consist of an instruction set that is dynamically applied to your image as you view it. If you want to email or use your edited image in another application, it must be "exported" from your library. This may sound like a big deal, but it's not, particularly for Aperture, as its integration into the rest of the Mac environment is seamless and deep.

    Aperture also has the ability to import images from your PhotoStream automatically, which is a nice way of making sure all your shots on your iPhone are stored just in case you forget to do it.

    Read up on Aperture and Lightroom, as based on what you are saying, iPhoto may be a little limiting.
  3. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    To add onto Mike's excellent comments - iPhoto can be a good starting point. Find out how you like a DAM. See if it can do the job for you. If you need more capability, then it's an easy move to Aperture. That's what I did. iPhoto was doing an ok job of organizing for me but I wanted the additional editing tools of Aperture and didn't want to use an external editor. My iPhoto library was about 25gb when I made the switch.

    About the only time people have problems with iPhoto is when they try to manipulate the individual file in the library themselves. Just don't do it.
  4. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    You know you can take your Macs and external drive to an Apple store and they will show you how.

    The last time I got a mac I moved everything to my external drives and backed up to DVDs. when I got a new MBP I moved over the essential infomation and stuff. All my media is stored on the external drives. Anything that I want access to on regular bases I dragged and dropped to my newer MBP.

    Music you can use Home Sharing. You can share between Macs including music and playlist.

    In the past I've used iPhoto and it sucked when you transferred from iPhoto formatted discs. It's better but could be fine tuned.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    So you are worried about "loosing" a photo. Let's say you have all you images organized by date. You keep one folder for each week of each year it's own folder. You have been shooting for years and have many folders.

    Now you want that image on Mary and her dog you took in San Diego. Quick tell me what folder you need to look in. To find it you need to remember the exact dates of all the trips you took to San Diego and which trip was the one you took that image. So what if the trip was 10 years ago? Can you remember if the trip was in July or August and was it the 2003 or the 2004 trip? If you have 30,000 images you will NEVER find what you are looking for.

    With your system, if you continue with it you will "loose" almost every shot, unless your memory is perfect.

    In iPhoto, or Aperture or any other system like it you don't store the images in folders. Well at least not folders you see and deal with. But you have to add keywords and subject titles and location and place and other kinds of metadate to the images then you can either search or...

    You can place one image in MULTIPLE locations. The above image could be stored in the San Diego folder, the "Mary" folder and the one for here dog and the folder for the trip. iPhoto allows you have ONE copy of the image on the disk and keep a "pointer" to the image in all those folders or albums. You can have "smart folders" that collect images based on metadata.

    The point is that these kinds of programs is NOT to loose images.

    One other thing, It is not one way. iPhoto (and the others) allow you to export images, either to original or the edited version.
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR

    Very nicely written example of the benefits of using a DAM. Using Finder/Windows folders for storing pictures... is the equivalent of using a typewriter instead of using a word processor.


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