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DavidQPR

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 25, 2017
220
108
Leighton Buzzard UK
Hi all. I have always viewed my 10,000 or so photos in a third party app. I have started experimenting with the Photos app but have come across a problem. It appears that every photo is copied to a photo library which then doubles the storage space required.

I found an apple page that says that you only need the photo library if using iCloud photo library which I don't. However without creating a photo library the photos app won't open. How do I get the app to open and then "read" my photos folders?

Many thanks for any help
 

Nigel Goodman

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2017
171
84
UK
I think you have to have a library to store the metadata, thumbnails, etc. But if you deselect the copy to library before importing pictures then the pictures will not be duplicated. You will see the library grow in size, but it does not contain any full-size pictures.
 
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DavidQPR

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 25, 2017
220
108
Leighton Buzzard UK
Thank you Nigel. All great now. The library finished growing at 4.87gb which is loads better than the 40gb it was before. Still don't understand why it can't give the option of not having a library and just "accessing or reading" the photos like the app I was using before Image One. Thanks again for your help
 

Dave Braine

macrumors 68040
Mar 19, 2008
3,992
355
Warrington, UK
the option of not having a library
If you should edit one of your photos in any way, then that edited photo is stored in the Library.

One thing to remember when not "copying to Library" is that if you move or delete a photo from it's original location, then it will no longer appear in Photos.

Any particular reason why you don't want to "Copy to the Library" and then delete the original?
 

DavidQPR

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 25, 2017
220
108
Leighton Buzzard UK
I thought deleting the original would also delete from the library. I‘ve obviously been looking at this wrong.
As I don’t use iCloud Photo Library I don’t really see the advantage of using the photo library
 

mj_

macrumors 68000
May 18, 2017
1,618
1,281
Austin, TX
Deleting the original will not have any effect whatsoever on your photo library other than that Photos won't be able to open the deleted photo any longer. You will still see a thumbnail preview, and Photos will still act as if everything was perfectly fine.

Honestly, I don't think Photos is really designed to do what you're after. You want to organize and store photos yourself. You want to be in charge of folders, subfolders, sorting, organization, etc. Yes, Photos can work around that but it's really designed to be a one stop shop for all your photo needs, and it works best if you relinquish control of your photo storage and allow it to organize and store your photos inside its own photo library. I fully understand if you are hesitant to do so but keep in mind that this is what Apple is going for, and that there will be certain limitations if you try to work your way around it.
 

DavidQPR

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 25, 2017
220
108
Leighton Buzzard UK
Yes, I have always used folders and organized them in a logical way(May 20, August 20 etc). I have them like that on iphone, ipad and external drive, just how i have done it for years. Haha when i had actual photos printed out they were in boxes with dividers for months and years!
 

mj_

macrumors 68000
May 18, 2017
1,618
1,281
Austin, TX
Exactly. And that's not how Photos works. That's not the premise of Photos. Photos was developed to take the organizational aspect of photo storage away from humans and let a computer take care of it. What it will then allow you to do is focus on what in lack of a better word I am going to refer to as "soft organization". Using tags, keywords, smart searches, and albums to organize those photos in a way that is more logical to the human brain. Liberate yourself from the file and folder and embrace logical and structural organization based on dynamic content.

By keeping your photos in separate folders and not allowing Photos to organize them you can sort of have your cake and eat it to, but it's a messy meal. Deletions will have to be performed twice, edits will still end up in the photo library, and Apple may or may not take this possibility away with a future update. As long as you keep that in mind you'll be fine.
 

stephenschimpf

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2018
175
250
San Pedro, CA
Yes, I have always used folders and organized them in a logical way(May 20, August 20 etc). I have them like that on iphone, ipad and external drive, just how i have done it for years. Haha when i had actual photos printed out they were in boxes with dividers for months and years!
I used to do that when I was a Windows user. I had something like 34,000 photos and videos taking up 177 GB of space organized by year and month. Everything went one way, though, copied from my iPhone to my computer, then deleted from my iPhone. Sounds crazy, but that's the way I did things. Back then I was more of a photo collector...whenever I wanted to actually look at certain photos, it wasn't a very good system.

When I switched to an iMac I decided to go "all in" with Photos and iCloud Photo Library. Imported everything into Photos, organized things, added locations to photos that didn't have any, etc. Now my photos are all available on my iPhone, iPad Pro, and iMac, everything is synced, I can edit something on one device and those edits are everywhere. Best of all, it's much, much, much easier to find things.

I was very hesitant to switch the way I did things, but after I got past that mental block, I started to see all the benefits and am very happy with my photo library now, going back to my first digital photos in 2000 or 2001.
 

DavidQPR

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 25, 2017
220
108
Leighton Buzzard UK
Having read carefully what you have all said I will probably stay as i am for now, my system works for me. When i get a spare day/weekend I will try it on my spare macbook and see how i get on. Sounds like it will take ages tagging all the photos. (Also there are around 2000 pictures that were actual printed photos that were scanned in a few years ago- they will need redating as well as they show the scanning date of course).
Thanks everyone for your help- you have been brilliant
 

jackadoodle

macrumors newbie
Jan 17, 2021
2
0
Hi Everyone, I joined the forum to deal with a similar issue - so I'm glad to have found this thread. My issue is slightly different: I'm all for the way Apple Photos organizes my 100,000+ photos. My issue is with finding a way for the 'library' system to work with my wider backup practice. I currently use a cloud file sharing and backup service (non-icloud) where I back up all my data (files, emails, photos, etc.). The issue is that like most cloud storage there is a file size limit for upload and of course the library file size is much bigger than that limit. Any thoughts on how I can find a way to work with Apple Photos while also having the photos in a folder structure I can keep in sync with my cloud?
 

mannyvel

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2019
1,401
2,553
Hillsboro, OR
Any thoughts on how I can find a way to work with Apple Photos while also having the photos in a folder structure I can keep in sync with my cloud?
I actually keep my photos in a date structure and keep them in the photo library. The photos themselves get backed up to amazon photos, and the Photo Library and the photos folder are backed up to a server mac in my house.

The Photo Library is a problem because if the photo library dies I lose all the metadata (ratings, edits, albums etc). I haven't found any way around this except via time machine backups, which is awkward when your library is really large; my library is around 5TB and growing.

Time Machine has saved my Photo Library from corruption at least 3 times in the last 5 years. But these days I just keep two copies of it that are a week and a month apart, so I lose maybe a month of metadata. It's less than ideal and that'll change once I move and can get a wired connection to my Mac again.
 

jackadoodle

macrumors newbie
Jan 17, 2021
2
0
I actually keep my photos in a date structure and keep them in the photo library. The photos themselves get backed up to amazon photos, and the Photo Library and the photos folder are backed up to a server mac in my house.

The Photo Library is a problem because if the photo library dies I lose all the metadata (ratings, edits, albums etc). I haven't found any way around this except via time machine backups, which is awkward when your library is really large; my library is around 5TB and growing.

Time Machine has saved my Photo Library from corruption at least 3 times in the last 5 years. But these days I just keep two copies of it that are a week and a month apart, so I lose maybe a month of metadata. It's less than ideal and that'll change once I move and can get a wired connection to my Mac again.
How so? Do you mean you have the photos duplicated? Once instance in the folder structure that is backed up to Amazon and another instance in a Photos Library file?
 

Big Stevie

macrumors 65816
Jun 20, 2012
1,262
703
UK
This post is about the old iPhoto app, but I trust the newer Photos app works the same?..

When I got my first ever MacBook in 2012 I was hesitant to use the iPhoto app, I had been so used to Windows laptops where I stored photos in folders named by year, then sub folders named by months etc. In a way this worked, but then when I wanted to find a particular photo it could become difficult if I didn't know the year/month it as taken, I would have to search through all the folders.

I finally gave into iPhoto and thought it was amazing, mostly because of the 'Keyword' feature. If I wanted to search for a photo I could find it instantly by just searching for an associated keyword. Say I wanted to fond a photo of my son on his first day of school, I just clicked on the two key words 'Jack' & 'School', and that just displayed those types of photos so I could find it easily.

But for this to work the trick was to always tag the relevant key words to photos at the point of importing them into iPhoto. If I could spend a few minutes doing this, then I knew I could find any photo at any time.

I haven't moved over to Photo yet, but I hope it works in the same way?
 
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