Photo Management (iPhoto / Aperture / Lightroom)

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by davidcafor, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. davidcafor macrumors member

    davidcafor

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Location:
    Spain
    #1
    Good afternoon!

    I been a lot of time thinking about what is the best photo management program for Mac to manage all my family, traveling and personal photos (I'm not a professional but I like photography as a hobby).

    The proposals I shuffle are: iPhoto (the most basic) and then Aperture or Lightroom.
    So far I have always been a strong advocate of Adobe but I've been a year since I've left programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc ... with alternatives such as Sketch or Pixelmator.

    The strikes me is Aperture, by the issue of being and I guess Apple will go fine and is more professional than iPhoto which suits me to tinker RAW files.
    But I am unclear as mandated theme pictures and that's where comes in. Lightroom, basic application for any professional photographer.

    What do you think? Any user of Aperture or Lightroom can tell me pros and cons?

    Thanks!
     
  2. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    Apr 27, 2011
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    Virginia
    #2
    I started with iPhoto then upgraded to Aperture in order to gain more editing capabilities. The additional organization features were a bonus. The changeover was trivial since they both use the same file format. I personally prefer the Apple apps UI over Adobe. I used PS Elements sometime ago but never liked it.

    Before getting Aperture I went through a tutorial to be sure it would do what I needed. Once I switched there was no learning lag.

    If your needs are modest you could start off with iPhoto (since it comes with your Mac) with Aperture as a backup plan.
     
  3. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #3
    I'm a Lightroom user, which I moved to from iPhoto. That said… as glenthompson indicates… the easiest move is to start with iPhoto and get a hang of what a Digital Asset Manager does. If you need more the natural upgrade path is to Aperture because you don't need to migrate your images. You can simply start using Aperture with your existing Library. However, Lightroom does offer a free trial so you can see if you like it better. But there is a bit more work involved in migrating.

    There is a lot of passionate debate over which is better - Aperture or Lightroom. It often just comes down to personal tastes. Personally - I hated the Aperture interface. I tried to get to know it and found it difficult. That's just me - and until you try it out you won't know what works for you.

    Luck
     
  4. melchior macrumors 65816

    melchior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    #4
    basically Aperture is the best for management of a lot of photos. Lightroom is better for doing a lot of good editing quickly. The compromise is to use Aperture with Photoshop.

    This is why people are crying out for Aperture 4, but it I am not optimistic that it will be a leap ahead.
     
  5. davidcafor thread starter macrumors member

    davidcafor

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    #5
    What tutorial did you see? My biggest problem with aperture is about knowing how they organize the photos. I think that when I add some pics, Aperture make a copy to it's own library folder, like iPhoto, but if I edit some color or saturation, does it duplicate the photo? Can I come back to the first shot?

    I will keep a copy of my photos on folders like I'm doing now. And use Aperture to organize all my library and do some color corrections. I know that it supports RAW pics, isn't it?
     
  6. crb595 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    #6
    You might it find it useful to check out apertureexpert.com.
     
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    Aperture lets you store the original files, raw or jpg, by default inside its database package. This is called a managed library. Aperture also supports you putting the original files in Finder folders and subfolders as you like. These files are then referenced by Aperture; hence, approach is called a referenced library. Lightroom only does the referenced approach. In my case I have both Aperture and Lightroom referencing the same set of original/master raw files sitting in folders and subfolders. My file store is by year with a subfolder per day. You put in key works when you import files so that you can easily search for photos by topic or have a smart album (Aperture) or smart collection (Lightroom) that build a logical group of photos based on some criteria (date, location, keywords..etc.)

    IMHO, Aperture is much more flexible in how you can both store and present you images. I would suggest anyone move from iPhoto to Aperture. Later this fall look at Lightroom 6. And this fall Apple should talk about the new Aperture they should be releasing in early 2015. Then you can start to decide if you want LR6 or move to the new Aperture in 2015.


    You will likely find more discussion and threads on photo apps over in the digital photography forum.
     
  8. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    Virginia
    #8
    I have a subscription to Lynda.com and they have a lot of photo courses. The previously mentioned aperturexpert site is good also.

    Getting used to Aperture or iPhoto organization is difficult for some people. I started with the book "iPhoto - The Missing Manual" which did a good job of explaining how and why it works the way it does. That transferred over to Aperture easily. I prefer the managed storage of my photos. others prefer referenced. It's a matter of personal choice and which is better depends on a variety of factors.

    Aperture handles raw files fine. If you want you can import both the raw and jpeg from the camera and make one or the other the master.
     
  9. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #9
    Yes, it supports RAW.

    "Knowing how they organize the photos" is one of the key conceptual leaps, and many people confuse the organization of the original files (in conventional OS X folders) with the many ways they can locate and sort photos without affecting the location of the original files.

    So, you can "organize" your photos in many different ways simultaneously, yet the original files stay exactly where they were placed originally. It's like a search engine, with saved search results. Cross-referencing is another way to look at it.

    IF you allow iPhoto/Aperture to import new images into the Library (I do, other's don't), they are placed in hidden OS X folders very strictly, by date. If you needed to go "under the hood" for some reason, you'll find things are neat and orderly.

    So, how do iPhoto and Aperture "organize" images?

    An Event (iPhoto) or Project (Aperture) by default displays the contents of a particular photo import.

    An Album is simply a collection of links to specific photos. One photo can appear in hundreds of Albums, if you so desire.

    When you create a Folder, it is simply for the sake of organizing your Albums and Events/Projects - it has no affect on where the original file is stored.

    Photos, Faces & Places are simply ready-made search results, that allow you to scan through all your photos, locate people based on facial recognition, or locate images by place, if there GPS coordinates.

    iPhoto and Aperture are non-destructive editors. That means the original image file is NEVER changed. You can save hundreds of different edits ("Versions") of the same image, if you desire. You might, for example, make separate color and black and white versions, or different crops.

    The only time an edit becomes permanent is if you Export... that image. That creates a new file, in the desired resolution and format (TIFF, JPG, etc.).
     
  10. davidcafor thread starter macrumors member

    davidcafor

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Location:
    Spain
    #10
    Wow, ApfelKuchen! Thanks for the explanations.

    My main idea to organize my library is:

    2 Projects: iPhone Photos & Reflex Photos.

    Then some folders by year. And inside a folder by date and activity like "06.04.2014-NewYork". This can be an Album. It doesn't matter.

    But my problem at this stage is how to manage photos. Refered or managed? I suppose it's better to select managed and let Aperture do the job.
    I have a copy on my external HD of all the photos organized by year/month/activity (the same that I want to do in Aperture) so doing this I will have my backup organized by folders and the Aperture library that I suppose it will be an icon on images folder like the iPhoto library, isn't it?

    Another question is... can i place the Aperture library on an external HD?

    And the last one... If i have a photo on an project and I manage color, curves, etc... and save it. Aperture will show the original and the modified in the same place?¿ and if I export the modified to the desktop for printing will it change the original on the aperture library? or will save both of them?

    Thanks again!
     
  11. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #11
    ApfelKuchen gives good advice, eh?
    Unless you know what you're doing, and have a good reason to go the other way... Managed is the best choice.
    One of the hardest things for some people to get used to is how fundamental different working with a DAM is. First of all... you never 'Save' an image. As you work the application is recording in real-time all the edits you make. It is recording the actions, not the final results. In other words. If you increase the exposure, rotate it 90º, and then adjust the colour temperature to make warmer for an image, the DAM simply makes notes in it's database of what you've done.

    The image you see on the screen is a 'Preview" of the original file with the noted edits applied. If you simply close the DAM, then all that exists is the original and untouched image and a database entry with the noted edits. When you look at the image again in the DAM it takes the original image, applies the edits, and shows you a Preview. This is a Preview of what the image would look like should you Export it. When you Export the image it creates a new image from the original file with the recorded edits applied.

    For the most part, I consider Exported images as temporary. I will create a number of images to email. Once they're emailed, I delete these exported images. I can always recreate them again.. why clutter things up. If you are creating an image to be printed, then use the DAM to print it. There's point exporting a copy. I do make a Virtual Copy of photos I print though. One copy is noted as being the final printable version. The other Virtual Copy (or copies) I may continue to play with for different uses. For instance... if I have a photo show coming up, I will create version that I will use to print from.

    I will then create at least one Virtual Copy of that image and do some more edits. Perhaps I need a B&W version to send to the paper. I can create a better B&W image than the paper can. I may need a portion of the image to put into a brochure. I may need a version cropped differently to put on a business card. All of these Virtual Copies exist only in the database. After I have used (i.e. exported) each of these version I delete the exported image.

    This means that there is every only one 'actual' image - the original untouched photo that was initially imported into the DAM. Everything else is simply a notation in the database. The exception is when you use the DAM to send the image to an external editor like Photoshop. In this case the DAM creates an image, and sends that image to the editor. You play with the image. Unlike the DAM, in the editor nothing is Saved until you click Save. At this point the editor passes this new image back to the DAM, which then files it next to the original file.

    In this case you now have two actual images. One is the original and still untouched image file. The second one is the image with both the DAM's and the editor's changes incorporated.

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #12
    Sage advice. Most users are well served by managed. It's a database. I use databases to manage my data so I don't have to worry about the details.

    Your description of DAMs and Aperture is one of the most concise and well expressed comments I've seen. Better than most of the books out there.
     
  13. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #13
    I would strongly recommend that you buy two inexpensive ebooks from photo.rwboyer.com. Robert Boyer has done an incredible job of explaining "why" to use tools a certain way... rather than just a regurgitation of the functions of tools. Both books are fairly small... but concise. Reading them through (multiple times)... will ground you in the benefits of how to Aperture at the most fundamental levels. The two books are "Organization" and "File Management".

    Then... Aperture Expert is a great website... and there are a ton of hour long tutorial videos on every possible subject for just $2 each... and cheaper if you buy a package.

    I would recommend learning in the order above.

    /Jim
     
  14. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #14
    I have both; strongly prefer Lightroom, and that support is growing each day.

    One HUGE reason is that it offers a demo. So download and try it on a subset of your pictures. We can talk all day, but they ARE very similar and at least this way you get a taste.

    I'd recommend you reference photos. You've already got some in folders, probably in Pictures, so just get the demo and import some and give it a shot. LR is also preferable in that it has more recent RAW support, so even if your camera is new, as mine is, odds are it supports it.

    Do you have an iPad? or iPhone? There's now a version of LR Mobile for that. It isn't ideal (Photosmith is actually better IMHO) but it does allow you to do some work on those platforms that easily syncs with LR on your Mac. It requires a subscription to the Photographer version of Creative Cloud, but there's a free thirty day demo for that too.

    Once you take a look at the demo, you'll be in a better position to weigh the pros and cons we argue endless about. But version 5.5 of LR just came out this week...Aperture? Still waiting.... Even former users like myself are frustrated with the lack of a plan for the future of Aperture. So take that into account when making your purchase decision. (And BTW, once upon a time Apple offered an Aperture demo; no more.)
     
  15. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #15
    Need you start with just two Projects at the top level, with everything else inside them? No. You have space for dozens of Projects, Folders, and Albums in the Library pane. Use it! If you have only "iPhone" and "Reflex" at the top level of the library, you have to drill-down to get to everything else.

    Be careful of making a secondary (or even tertiary) criterion into a primary criterion. The subject of the photo is nearly always more important that which camera you used, or the date. Camera and Date are easily searched for - they're stored in the EXIF data that's part of every digital camera file (and the iPhoto/Aperture database record for that image).

    What if you used both your iPhone and Reflex cameras in New York on 06.04.2014? Would you create a 06.04.2014-NewYork Album in both the iPhone Project and Reflex Project? Wouldn't you rather find them all in a single Album? What if you've photographed New York on dozens of occasions? Would it make sense to put all those dated Albums into a single folder dedicated to New York? Or maybe you don't care about date, and want to see all New York images intermixed. Maybe New York deserves to be at the top level of the Library. Maybe it belongs one level down, in the top-level Travel folder. This all depends on your priorities.

    Pros may organize things differently - they may create a separate Library for each client. That keeps each client's work segregated from every other client (no accidentally mixing the Smith and Jones weddings). If they do many shoots for the same client, perhaps the Projects are labeled by job number. Or, they add the job number into the database record of all images as they're being Imported (very easily done), and create Albums dedicated to each of the client's products... and so on.

    The key word here is database - an organized collection of information. Where you put the actual information doesn't matter nearly as much as how you catalog the information, and how consistently. As long as the catalog knows where you've put the actual information and you can write a good search phrase/query, you're good.

    There's nothing to stop you from creating several catalogs containing the same images (Albums, Projects); if it was an old-fashioned card catalog in the public library, the librarian would make several cards for each book, and put one in the Title catalog, one or more cards in the Subject catalog (say, "War," "Naval History," "Pacific Islands"), one or more in the Author catalog (multiple authors, illustrators, etc.)... The more cards there are, the easier it is to find the book.

    Some of this can be done with Smart Albums. As long as you tag all the New York images as you import them, you'll automatically find them in the New York Smart Album regardless of where else you put them.

    A common practice is to create "Selects" albums that contain images from many different Projects and Albums, and put those at the top level of the Library. I create Albums for photos that have been used in a particular publication, Albums created for slide shows, etc. Since the same image can be in multiple albums (without making physical copies of the image), why not?

    To see the original and modified side-by-side, you would create a new Version of the image - one you edit, the other you leave alone. You can make many Versions of the same image (different crops, b&w, color balance, whatever). Aperture also has a feature called stacking, so that all versions of the same image can be "stacked" rather than spread out (until you need to spread them out).

    Since the original is never modified, you can Revert to Original at any time - even if you're doing that to a Version of a Version of a Version.
     
  16. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    As a datapoint... I have 1221 projects right now.

    Also... rather than using your 06.04.2014-NewYork format... I prefer reversing the date fields as: 2014-06-04 | New York. That way your projects sort the same way if you choose sorting by name or by date.

    That vertical line (between the date and the place) is a trick I learned on Aperture Expert. When you look at your projects in "list view"... you get a nice vertical line that adds an interesting touch.

    /Jim
     
  17. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #17
    This and everything else ApfelKuchen says is good advice. My comment is in addition to their comment.

    I have just two Top Level Folders: Clients and My Projects... which should be self explanatory.

    Within the Clients Folder I have a Collection Set (LR-ese for something like a Folder) for each client. Within each Client Collection Set I have Collections (Albums) for each date that I worked with that client. If I've created a Print Project or a Web Page for that client, it sits in their Collection Set. Because I don't use a client's photo for anything else, there isn't much to this system since the images are used once and then are kept for archival reasons mostly.

    Within the My Projects Top Folder sits everything else. I couldn't even begin to describe how it works because it has grown and morphed over the years. And because it uses a database and not nested folder system it has kept up with my organizing idiosyncrasies over the years.

    My early work tended to be collages that combined many different images into a single image. I would visually browse my entire collection of photos looking for a particular type of 'element'. A shape, or a colour. Or perhaps I would just be pulling from a particular location. Themed keywords were vital here, and I key worded at the time appropriately. Other times I would just visually scan everything, and flag those that had the 'element' I wanted for a project, and flag those that I wanted. Then I would add a keyword to everything I had flagged, clear the flag, and do it again for the next element. Everything I had flagged (and key worded) were then picked up by a Smart Collection (Smart Album) in the project Collection Set. Sometimes I created a Smart Collection that then further sorted by flag colour and rank. Sometimes I just turned those filters on/off within the overall Collection. Eventually all the candidate photos got exported to a Folder (a real folder outside of LR) because the real work happened in Photoshop. I'd then import the finished Collage back into LR so I had a record of it there. The Collection Set for that project was either a Date : Gallery Name or Date : Show Title.

    Now I create themed sets of photographs. There are not Photoshopped in any substantial way... but each 'Project' is made up of dozens (or a hundreds) of individual photos. The intention is to show a half dozen or more photos from one themed project. So now my Collection Sets are named by Project Name, with no date attached since I may be working on more than one Project at a time. Along with the other keywords the Project name gets added as a Keyword. Within each of these Project Collection Sets there are a multitude of sub-groups, including Smart Collection that just picks up all the photos with Project Name as a keyword.

    Some of these images will get 'previewed' at a gallery show where I can only show the or three pieces - so there is a Collection (Album) with the Date and Gallery Show name inside the Project Collection Set. I also add the Gallery Show name to the Caption field so I can pick that up in search. Some of those pieces may then get submitted to a juried show, and there is a Collection with that Date and Show title, plus that info is added (including the price and size, etc) in the caption field so I have record of it.

    And sometimes images from one Project end up sparking a whole new themed Project, so they appear in both Projects Collection Sets.

    There's no real 'structure' that is common to each Project because each one is different. There is different theme of course, but also the intended use of the images is different. Sometimes I just refine and improve how I file the images from one Project to the next. But the database system easily allows for this. The finished images that have been sent to Photoshop before being declared 'done' also reside in the Project Collection Set.

    The actual RAW files are simply sorted into Lightroom's default Year/Month/Day folder system. The time I need to go into these folders is in January, when I've forgotten to remind LR to start a new Year Folder; when I want to locate a photo I recall taking at about the same time as another image I'm working on (it's really easy to have LR show the images in the real folder that an image is stored in. Easier than trying to remember the keywords and forming search term... at least for me).

    Anyway.... this is way too long already... It is not meant as advice on how anyone else should organize their images. Simply as an example of how flexible and powerful a database system is. And I barely scratch the surface of what is possible. Wait until you figure out nested Keywords, and Synonyms, etc etc.
     
  18. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #18
    And don't get too hung up on a folder/project structure right away.

    The cool thing about DAMs is that you can also use albums/collections to do a lot of organization (wish we had those in the Finder...). So to continue the wedding example if you had organized into folders/projects by client, you could also select say the photos of the wedding cakes of each and put those in an album/collection called "cake examples."

    And keywording could also do this; add wedding>cake to those same photos and then you can search/filter by that keyword to get them. And the cool thing about keywords is that if you write them to metadata then Spotlight can find them even if your DAM isn't running. Just enter "keyword:cake kind:image" in Spotlight and you've got all the cake photos in one Finder window to drop into a Word document or whatever. Keywording is cool over albums/collections and such because it can be more freeform (although you have to give it some thought: is that "mavericks" a photo of a surf spot or documentation for your operating system? that's where hierarchies come in handy.
     
  19. andyp350 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    #19
    I would go with Aperture as it doesn't sound like you need the more advanced feature of Lightroom, that way you can easily switch between iPhoto and Aperture.
     
  20. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    Sunny, Southern California
    #20
    Awesome tip re: "|" I like this one alot!
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #21
    I've used both and I'm currently on Aperture, here's my $.02 on this debate as it stands in 2014.

    Overall LightRoom is a superior product imo, with more tools, features and abilities. Its also more highly maintained by Adobe and integrates tightly into their application suite.

    I use Aperture because I like the UI, and the ability to have a self contained library that's easily moved/backed up.

    The biggest issue I have is the fact we've not seen a major upgrade to Aperture for some time, and Apple does seem to be changing direction with regards to photos, i.e., seeing what is unveiled in iOS8/Yosemite. I can see Aperture being the odd man out in the line up. Many people will argue that data point and postulate that what they released strengthens the idea Apple will upgrade Aperture. Maybe/Maybe not but do you want to embrace a technology that its future is murky at best?

    The only downside I see with Lightroom is the fact Adobe has fallen in love with the subscription based software model and I'd hate to see LR go that route.
     
  22. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #22
    You mention the library is "easy to move/back up". Back when my iPhoto Library was a "mere" 65 GB, I tried copying it to an external HDD. "Something went wrong" and I didn't discover this until after I had deleted the original. This left me stuck with a 60+ GB file that iPhoto couldn't open. Sure I could "show package contents" and go rummaging around inside. But from that point on, I decided to switch off "import photos to iPhoto Library" and nowadays I even go in and export all my Photostream events then delete them and re-import them. I find that by dragging from iPhoto to Finder, I get original photos in Finder, then I can "import" them again and delete the bulky originals. My iPhoto Library is now standing at about 30 GB with metadata for about 500 GB of photos. I've fallen about 6 months behind exporting originals or it'd be closer to 15 GB.

    My question is how big is the iPhoto/Aperture library file that you've had no problem moving or copying? Having been burned once, I'm not eager to put my originals in iPhoto or Aperture. I also hesitate to purchase Aperture when it hasn't been updated in over 6 months. Using iPhoto merely for faces and places and relying on Gimp for any advanced edits is working out well for me but I'm willing to give Aperture a try if I can clear up some of my doubts about it. As for Lightroom? I don't want nuthin' from Adobe. Having been burned on the whole licensing/activation thing for an old copy of Dreamweaver on OSX and an old copy of Photoshop CS2 on Windows I'm done. with. Adobe. Once. And. For. All.
     
  23. carves, Jun 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014

    carves macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2014
    #23
    Wait...I'm confused here.

    I got my first mac in 2008 (new iMac on order). It was my first experience with a photo managing software...and I hated it. All my old photos are organized by year folder containing sub folders labeled "Year-month-day Description". It also contains a "Best photos" folder, which contains photoshopped copies of my best 5%. I figured iPhoto would just look in that existing photos folder and would be a convenient way to browse photos and edit metadata, but instead it copies over the entire 300GB library and puts them into one enormous folder. I was afraid it would make me completely dependent on iPhoto to find anything in the future, so I just hit cancel and never used it again. I also didn't like that it displays all my photos on a scroll all at once. I just have WAY too many for that to be useful, and sometimes I don't want people to see adjacent photos when I'm trying to show them something else. I also don't get the whole import/export thing. It seems like an unecessary step when it could just organize its actual file structure in a way that allowed you to actually FIND the photo you're looking from outside the program.

    Is there a way to keep my existing system going, but use a photo management system to view and edit the metadata on my pics? I'd ideally like it to automatically tag faces...or even places when possible. I don't want it to import a 2nd copy of my entire collection though- that'd be twice as much to manage and would quickly fill my hard drive. I want to be able to find my photos without exporting them, and I don't want to be locked into any one piece of photo management software. I'm going to have a lifetime of photos and I don't want to be locked into system that might be obsolete one day.
     
  24. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #24
    I move my Aperture Library to an external drive at the end of the year and then create a new library for the new year. When I do that its in the 50GB size range.

    I've also moved it to a secondary and tertiary external drives because I want to make sure I have multiple copies. I've on occasion used those libraries to pull images from and I've never (knocks on wood) had any problems.

    My external drives are all formatted to HFS+ and Aperture has had no problems, I just double click on the library and Aperture fires right up loading that library.
     
  25. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #25
    Yes. Do what I do. In iPhoto, turn off "import originals to iPhoto Library" when you import photos. I find it convenient to create an event for each of my folders. Of course this means I must not move the originals as I would expect iPhoto to become confused.

    I was using an external firewire drive. I always use HFS+ Journaled. I only use FAT32 for those rare occasions where I want to share files with somebody on WinDOS. I "jumped the gun" and deleted the original iPhoto Library from Macintosh HD before checking the integrity of the copy I had copied to the external FW drive. I did this because Macintosh HD was filling up and moving iPhoto seemed to be the shortest distance to recovering HDD space.

    I won't make that mistake again for three reasons: First, I have decided to not (yet) allow either iPhoto or possibly Aperture manage my originals. Second I always test copies before I delete original files these days. Third I never allow Macintosh HD to get so full my back is against the wall to free up space.
     

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