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Photo storage/workflow ideas

makismagoo99

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2006
229
0
So my photo library just crossed the 10,000 image mark, and I realized my iPhoto library is nearly 40GB. I recently replaced my aging MacBook's hard drive with a 128GB SSD. With such limited space, I'm looking for another way to store my photos. I'd like to keep some photos (recent ones and perhaps selected meaningful ones from previous years) on the computer, if possible. I'm wondering what you all do with your photos. Do you work entirely off of an external drive? Do you just manually copy photos to an external?

I am basically just a hobbyist; I don't need/want anything fancy (read: expensive). Any ideas?
 

clamss

macrumors newbie
Apr 12, 2007
13
2
I use picasa. It's free and much more user friendly than iPhoto. With iPhoto, i realise there will be duplicates in my hard drive.

With picasa, i dump everything into my external drive in properly named folders. Get picasa to scan the designated folder (say pictures) for new pictures and every time i update the folder, the new pictures will show up on picasa.

Being paranoid about hard drive failures, i have backups on multiple hard drives, including my NAS.
 
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-hh

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2001
2,528
324
NJ Highlands, Earth
Sounds like what you might be looking for is iPhoto Manager from Fat Cat Software.

What you should be able to do is to split your library into "active" (kept on the laptop) and "inactive" (kept on an external drive) sections.


FYI, something to be aware of is the iPhoto problem that I've run into.

Several years ago, I added a laptop to my Mac desktop and for convenience, I duplicated my iPhoto library, so that I could work on either machine on various projects (ie, making photo albums). That's been nice & convenient, but it has left me with a data management "clean-up" problem.

The problem is that while iPhoto Manager can reportedly re-combine splintered iPhoto libraries like mine, one of the things that it can't apparently do is to also recombine the Projects into a single library database "file".

I suspect that this flavor of "splintering" is just my unique situation, but it is worth noting as a trade-off.


-hh
 
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makismagoo99

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2006
229
0
I use picasa. It's free and much more user friendly than iPhoto.

I have played around with Picasa a little bit, but that was a couple years ago. Perhaps it's worth another look. Worst-case scenario, maybe I can use Picasa to manage my "inactive" library and iPhoto to handle the recent stuff.

Sounds like what you might be looking for is iPhoto Manager from Fat Cat Software.

What you should be able to do is to split your library into "active" (kept on the laptop) and "inactive" (kept on an external drive) sections.

Thanks for the link! I'll definitely look into it more closely. That's basically what I want to do, but I'm always wary of two different pieces of software competing for the same data.
 
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SOLLERBOY

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2008
715
68
UK
In is a similar situation. I have around 300GB of photos in aperture and that is eating into my iMac fast..
 
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monsieurpaul

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2009
230
0
@makismagoo

You should really look into Aperture:
- It's not that expensive (79 $ on the Mac App Store) and you can try it
- Interface is very similar with iPhoto
- Photos storage and management are WAY better than iPhoto.
 
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makismagoo99

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2006
229
0
@makismagoo

You should really look into Aperture:
...
- Photos storage and management are WAY better than iPhoto.

In what way, specifically? In other words, what can Aperture do to help my predicament? I have played with Aperture in the past (and therefore have already used my free trial), but at the time I wasn't concerned with file management as much. I'm certainly not opposed to buying Aperture, I'd just like to know where it excels before dropping $80.
 
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snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
I am not a big Aperture user (I'm Lightroom, myself) but the two work similar enough that I was able to find the Aperture equivalent.

I believe what you want to do is to split your library. In essence, you pick a bunch of photos and "export" them to an external drive. In this case you would simply filter out all the old images (perhaps use keywords or colour labels to keep some "oldie but golden" images as well, and then "split" those images off into a different library kept on an external drive.

You can tell Aperture at startup to use this second library when you need to. It's a bit pricey, but use a FW external drive.... you'll go nuts waiting for an USB drive to load the library.

Here is a link to the library split instructions.

Please please please have a verified backup before messing around with the library.

Hope this helps.
 
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makismagoo99

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2006
229
0
I believe what you want to do is to split your library. In essence, you pick a bunch of photos and "export" them to an external drive. In this case you would simply filter out all the old images (perhaps use keywords or colour labels to keep some "oldie but golden" images as well, and then "split" those images off into a different library kept on an external drive.

Yes! This is exactly what I want to do. Thanks for the link to the video, I think I can make that work for me. And as a bonus, I can step up into Aperture and take advantage of the post-processing tools.

It's a bit pricey, but use a FW external drive.... you'll go nuts waiting for an USB drive to load the library.

My macbook only has a FW400 port. Does that still give me an advantage over USB 2.0?
 
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snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
Yes! This is exactly what I want to do. Thanks for the link to the video,...

My macbook only has a FW400 port. Does that still give me an advantage over USB 2.0?

Glad this was what you were looking for. There's more info there, of course, but at least this gets you going in the right direction.

My understanding is that in actual through-put (as opposed to the tech specs), FW400 is still faster than USB .... but maybe not enough to justify the extra cost. Do some Googling, and pay attention to the actual through-put speeds.

However.... it may be worthwhile to go for a FW800 external drive....all you need is a different cable to connect it to a FW400 port. You will see no benefit now, but if you every upgrade your system to one that has a FW 800 port your external HDD will move with you. But this only makes sense if you think will be upgrading soon to a system with FW800.

Luck.
 
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monsieurpaul

macrumors regular
Oct 8, 2009
230
0
In what way, specifically? In other words, what can Aperture do to help my predicament? I have played with Aperture in the past (and therefore have already used my free trial), but at the time I wasn't concerned with file management as much. I'm certainly not opposed to buying Aperture, I'd just like to know where it excels before dropping $80.

What I really like about it for manageing photos:
- Folders to regroup event ( i have one big folder for each year)
- split libraries: for example I splitted my 2004, 2005, 2006 folders in a "Archive library" to lighten my Main library.
- Merge libraries: When I am in vacations I just need a small "travel" library on my macbook that I can merge with my Main library when I come home.
- Vault: for backing up all this
 
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