I've almost had it with iPhoto! Considering moving to Lightroom

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dllavaneras, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #1
    iPhoto is great for organizing and managing jpgs, but sucks for RAW files. It creates a jpg file for every RAW upon import, and that eats up space very quickly.

    I've been looking for an easier way to manage my RAW workflow, and fiddling a bit with Lightroom, it appears to be what I want.

    Has any of you ever transferred all your RAW files from iPhoto to Lightroom? If so, how have you done it? What problems have you encountered?
     
  2. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #2
    Hmm, you tried Lightroom and it seems you like it, have you tried Aperture?
     
  3. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    Location:
    Houston, USA
    #3
    I tried Aperture for a little while myself after finding iPhoto too limiting and not to mention S-L-O-W but also found Aperture to suffer from the same slowness so tried out Lightroom and fell in love. Not only for the responsiveness but for the functionality, however that is of course personal taste.

    To import iPhoto files (both RAW and JPG) I just imported the "Originals" folder from my iPhoto library structure (Finder shows it as a package that you must show the contents of).

    However I believe both Aperture and Lightroom create JPG preview images as well by default, you may be able to set it to use the embedded preview in the RAW file though but haven't explored that just yet.
     
  4. zebbz macrumors member

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    Sep 11, 2008
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    London
    #4
    i personally find aperture too complicated
    and im usually good with things like that

    i like iphotos simplicity
    i do most editing in photoshop
     
  5. apearlman macrumors regular

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    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Red Hook, NY
    #5
    Exporting keywords with your iPhotos

    I migrated from iPhoto 6 to Lightroom 2 a few months ago, and the main problem I found was that my ratings and keywords didn't transfer with the photos, because iPhoto keeps this information in the library, rather than in the IPTC data.

    After some searching, I found this script:
    http://mac.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/iPhoto-IPTC-Keyword-ImportExport-Utilities.shtml
    which attaches all the keywords to the original files in the IPTC data. It doesn't do the ratings, though. But re-keywording would have been a HUGE time drain.

    I've loved LR ever since switching. It's so much more powerful than iPhoto that I hardly ever need Photoshop anymore.
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    I just bought two new hard drives. The cost works out to $100 per Terrabyte. You can store a LOT of .jpg files for $20. Don't worry about the space.

    When you move the RAW files you will loose all of your edits and all of the meta data you have entered. No way around this as iPhoto never modified a RAW file (hence the reason to create the JPGs) So when you move the RAW files it will bejust like re-importing them from your camera.

    Moving to Aperture on the other hand is painless a Apple provides a one click "import your iPhoto Library" button.
     
  7. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #7
    You should definitely try out both, Aperture and Lightroom, before making the switch. Both have a different philosophy when it comes to managing photos (Aperture can manage all files for you if you want it to, for example; if you don't you change a preference and it works with referenced files) and what a good user interface should be (free interface of Aperture vs. structured approach of Lightroom). They both do about the same things. Kind of like Canon and Nikon ;)
     
  8. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #8
    Lol, that was interesting. Aperture too complicated while you use Photoshop for editing?? Haha, usually its the other way round for most people :D
     
  9. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    Colorado
    #9
    The thing I hate about aperture is in order to do any edits on the RAW files it first makes an entirely separate copy of the same image. Even if your edits are simply dodge & burn within Aperture it still has to make the separate file for it before u can do anything.

    Lightroom 2 on the other hand can work on the RAW, then store all your edits & redo's in the catalog so you can step back at anytime. You can also make virtual copies of one image with different edits applied even different processing done to it with only a few hundred KB per "copy". Another plus I've found is with CS4 + CameraRAW 5.2 and LR2 you can send a .dng file to CS4 without having to make it into a PSD.. of course any edits you make to the file will go back as a PSD file but at least you're not stuck with a RAW + 2 PSD files.
     
  10. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #10
    Yeah, so that if you screwed up your Dodge and Burn or some other stuffs, your RAW will still be okay. Thats how Aperture is made, a non destructive basic editing and photo management software.
     
  11. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Aperture has the same feature since its inception, it's called versions. For plug-ins and external edits, you need to render, though. But unless you use the plugin again, all Aperture will create are versions.
     
  12. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 29, 2007
    #12
    Ah! An Aperture vs. Lightroom thread disguised as an iPhoto issues thread.

    To the OP: if iPhoto is not meeting your needs, move up to either LR or Ap. You can download and test both before you move. Enjoy and happy shooting.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    The problem is that the thing he dis-likes about iPhoto will also be an isue with ANY other program. He does not like having to store both a RAW and JPG version of a photo. Every reasonable work flow will do this in one way or another.

    With disk space now at $100 per terrabyte, store the photos 8 times, who cares when it's hundreds on pennies per copy
     
  14. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    #14
    Same way with Lightroom 2 since every edit made from dodge/burn to the fake ND tools for simulating graduated ND filters is non destructive. The edits are stored in the catalog file and can be redone/reversed at any time but My point is that Lightroom/Lightroom 2 have never had to make separate editable files for those basic tools to which I've found out are PSD files. If you choose to have Aperture 2 use the PSD format for export and working with (in the options), it will elect to use PSD files for working inside the program when using the non destructive dodge/burn tools.
     
  15. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    #15
    It definitely has versions but from the start Aperture 2 has created separate "renders" aka full resolution PSD/TIFF files (if you choose in the options to have Aperture 2 make PSD files for sending to Photoshop for example) along side the original RAW. Unless Apple has recently done away with that feature in some of the point update to Aperture it was a feature that really turned me off from Aperture 2. I really didn't want to have a 15Mb RAW & a 30+Mb PSD/Tiff file simply because I elected to use the dodge/burn tools that were inside the program.

    Only thing I liked about Aperture 2 was creating a book easily inside the program and a borders plugin that I could easily add borders and text info before exporting a Jpeg.
     
  16. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    #16

    I don't see why I should be forced to have a RAW file plus a Jpeg copy right next to it even if it takes merely 3-5Mb per Jpeg its still a waste after having 5,000+ photos in the program. The way that it should be done is having a RAW file there and if you make edits they are stored as either .XMP sidecar files or inside a DNG format integrating the RAW data + edits inside one another. The RAW + Jpeg work flow is neither reasonable nor desirable especially with a large number of photo's and edits.

    Well Aperture 2 when shipped (unless Apple's changed this with a recent point update) was having the same problem. You could tweak it to your hearts content white balance, exposure, saturation, etc. When it came time to use dodge/burn tools Aperture 2 had to make a new copy of the file not a version that was in a format you specified in the Aperture 2 options (PSD/TIFF).
    We know that it costs pennies per copy for storing a Jpeg next to a raw for example but I'd rather know the programs doing its job and not making 50+ copies (aka full resolution Jpeg/PSD/Tiff's) for each little edit that I do.
     
  17. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    #17
    To all the posters I replied to if Aperture 2 has a point release recently thats either created a 'version' of the file or stored edits in the library then disregard the recent posts. When I used Aperture 2 up till ~2.1 Aperture forced me to use either PSD or Tiff files when using dodge/burn tools (due to me electing to use PSD files instead of Tiff it elected to use the PSD format). I found out by attempting to search for a particular photo for a client one time, found out that magically I had a .CR2 & .PSD file of the same photo. One obviously RAW one PSD with the edits I made while using the dodge/burn tools.

    Nothing was ever done outside of Aperture 2, for example exporting that RAW file as a PSD to Photoshop since Aperture 2 offered dodge/burn tools in the program. I didn't feel the need to make a round trip to Photoshop hence why I was puzzled when I saw .CR2 files + PSD files of the same name.
     
  18. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 29, 2007
    #18
    This is an interesting thread. I like the fact that iPhoto keeps a 2nd jpg w/my adjustments, but I don't shoot in RAW. This allows me to always know that iPhoto has an easy-to-find jpg of the original and jpg w/the changes. If (heaven forbid) Apple ever dropped iPhoto, or stunk up their OS, or I just had to move my photos to a different app/platform -- it's easy to get the jpgs (w/ or w/out edits) out of the library folder.

    So, this never bothered me about Aperture. I have noticed that when I edit my jpgs in PSE6, the psd file is much more massive than my jpg file -- is that because it renders a tiff from my jpg? For this reason, I've always been wary of psd files. They seem huge to me.

    I am not quite understanding how LR works with RAW. Is it storing the edits in a database only, and applies them when you look/export the photo, or is it storing the edit data in with the RAW file somehow in a vendor-neutral format. If it's not a vendor-neutral format, what happens if you want to leave LR as a platform? Does LR work w/jpgs the same was as w/RAW?
     
  19. valdore macrumors 65816

    valdore

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    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    #19
    I'm surprised I put up with iPhoto for as long as I did.

    On the Aperture VS Lightroom recurring theme -- I grew to despise the first version of Aperture, and out of frustration tried Lightroom while it was still in the first version, which even then performed far better for me than Aperture ever did. So I've stuck with Lightroom as it's moved into LR 2.
     
  20. frogger2020 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    #20
    I too tried the first version of aperture and found it meh. Later I went to Lightroom and loved it and love LR2 even more. But I think it is more of a personal preference since they both do very similar things.
     
  21. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    #21

    Basically what LR does is it imports all of your pictures into a catalog file that keeps things like exposure info, when it was shot etc for fast searching. It also keeps a history of whats been done to the photo. Things like exif data and who shot the photos are I believe stored in the LR catalog file and parts of it exist inside the Jpeg/RAW files as well. As far as data goes for RAW files they're typically stored in a .xmp sidecar file that has the same name as the photo so that way if the catalog gets corrupted (rarely) then at least you have your data in with your RAW files. Now the second part with RAW files is if you elect to convert them to the .DNG format then you keep the data that would of been in the .xmp sidecar files but the data gets stored with the "RAW" data in one file. Basically think of DNG as a container to hold your RAW and .xmp data in.

    As far as being vendor neutral its a mixed bag since no camera maker provides a way to store additional information inside their RAW files. If you lets say adjust the exposure by 1 stop for a shot in RAW, quit LR and open up your camera makers raw conversion software and try to view the 1 stop you added then it wouldn't work since LR stores that "edit" in the .xmp sidecar file. Likewise if you adjust a RAW file in your cameras raw editor then it wouldn't make the changes viewable to LR either. The only way that I've found for it to be relatively vendor neutral is to convert your RAW files to DNG format that way if you adjust the "RAW" image by 1 stop, close LR and open up that "RAW" image in CS4 lets say then you'll see that 1 stop change because LR stores the data inside the DNG format. Adobe is working to try and bring even more companies under the DNG umbrella and a lot of RAW conversion software can read DNG but not make changes to it (presumably because Adobe requires a hefty sum for writing changes to DNG files)

    Lightroom works relatively the same way with JPEG images you can still do all the edits you would normally do with a RAW file but to less of an extent. For example since white balance is basically a part of the JPEG image LR can adjust it still but it wouldn't give you the same quality as lets say a RAW file would. All EXIF and shooting data I believe is stored as I mentioned earlier in the catalog file for quickly searching the catalog for a photo and I dont see why it wouldn't store some of it in the JPEG as well.

    When you make edits on a JPEG file inside LR it keeps those edits inside the catalog also unless you elect to export the photo as another JPEG or use the ability to send the image to Photoshop using the LR edits.. to which it makes a seperate PSD/TIFF file with those edits and displays them side by side with your JPEG.
     
  22. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    #22
    For those that wonder why I hate Apertures Dodge & Burn tools, its because when Aperture 2 "prepares <imagefilename> for editing" its making a NEW FILE of the photo on disk you're working and not storing the "edits" inside the library. To which would save space when you're working with hundreds if not thousands of images throughout the years. Also the edits are technically "destructive" meaning yes they dont change your original but if you've spent a good deal of time dodging and burning the "copy" then hitting ok on it only to realize that you've screwed something up and want to go re edit it, sorry go back to the original and start over or keep reapplying new dodge & burns over the old ones.

    So while I like Aperture 2 for its books and UI I hate it for not being able to do basic dodge/burn without creating a new file (not virtual copy) or doing it non destructively so that you can go back at any time and re-edit without creating a linear file that just keeps accumulating edits.

    Best bet is to send to Photoshop and save as a PSD format so that way you can at least use layers/filters and do all your edits (even giving u the option to do them non destructively with adjustment layers & masks).
     
  23. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #23
    Both, Aperture and Lightroom work in the same way in that respect: they have a database (SQlite in case of Aperture) that stores meta data about the image. They never, ever make changes to the original file (overwrite it), all changes are just `recorded' and reapplied every time you look at the image. Changes are just metadata, e. g. if you crop an image, the information of the crop is stored (which is a lot, lot smaller) and the original file is never altered. Here, it doesn't matter whether the original is a jpg or a RAW file. Hence, it's easy to create a `version' of your file: Aperture or Lightroom simply create another metadata file with the different settings applied to that particular image.

    Regarding RAWs, the only difference to the above is that both apps contain a RAW processor of their own (which is different from the one supplied by your camera's manufacturer). Adobe uses the same RAW engine it also uses in Photoshop. Be aware that in order to have compatibility, Photoshop needs to have the same version of the RAW processor (or newer perhaps). Apple also uses its own RAW engine. Since RAWs contain more information than jpgs (e. g. 12/14 bit vs. 8 bit), you have more headroom for edits.

    Regarding lossless roundtripping to Photoshop, you need to have compatible versions of the RAW engine in both apps, otherwise this will not work and a tiff/psd* file is created instead. If your initial file is a jpg, Lightroom will create a tiff/psd* file instead.

    * You can change the default in the prefs. This will also be used if RAW-based roundtripping isn't possible.
     
  24. MacNoobie macrumors 6502a

    MacNoobie

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    #24
    I believe Lightroom 2 employs SQLite for its catalog system.
     
  25. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #25
    Didn't know for sure, but thanks for the info.
     

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