Please help me manage A LOT of photos.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by pinchvalve, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. pinchvalve macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    #1
    A little backstory, I am a prolific photographer, and I take way too many photos. Both for personal use and for work. So I find myself with, oh I don't know, a Terabyte of digital data. This spans the gamut from iPhone camera to RAW files from a Nikon DSLR.

    Currently, personal photos are on an external hard drive. (three actually, a master and two backups) and work photos are on a different external drive, (which is manually copied to the server as a backup). So none of the photos are taking up space on the Macbook Pro or being backed up up with Time Machine. In both cases, folders are grouped into years, and then sub-folders are named by event.

    This worked fine under the PC (I edit in Photoshop) but three years ago I moved to Mac and I know that there must be a better way. I have iPhoto, Aperture, Photoshop and Lightroom. I am thinking that I can manage all of my personal photos in iPhoto (including PhotoStream which is all personal) and use Aperture for work. (I could use one program for both, but I like having a distinct difference for clarity.)

    I hesitate to follow the advice of moving all of my photos into the Apple libraries. This is a lot of data to move, and it makes me nervous. Can I import but not move the old stuff, and then use iPhoto normally moving forward for new stuff?

    Outlook kept all of your mail in one big master file, and one small issue would erase access to years of saved data. I don't want the same issue with my iTunes Library file. Can I make one Library per year or something? Can I export new stuff from iPhoto into traditional folders for backup?

    I am looking for a "best practice" advice from photographers and hoping to move my last bastion of PC tendencies over to Mac.
     
  2. pinchvalve thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    #2
    And one more thing

    Can someone explain Events and Albums?
     
  3. Gogurt48 macrumors 6502a

    Gogurt48

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    #3
    Why not just run Windows on your Mac (I recommend a program called Parallels) and keep using the software you've always used?
     
  4. Escher2112, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2013

    Escher2112 macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    Hi and welcome...

    In general - to answer your question.. You can link to multiple iPhoto libraries. Hold down option when you start iphoto, which will then ask which library you want to choose..

    You can also move your existing library to an external disk by just dragging the library file (inside the pictures folder) to the new location, then option click iphoto when you open it and select the new location...
     
  5. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #5
    If you're going to use Aperture then just use it for everything and have different libraries.

    I have a 'Home' and 'Work' Aperture Library and when you switch between them you are only loading one. The other is completely closed.

    If things start getting out of hand you could also consider splitting libraries by decade too, but thus far I haven't had to do that and I have a similar amount of photos as you.

    (Aperture can also use Photo-stream and can sync back to iOS devices. For this reason I suggest it over Lightroom for your needs. It's why I chose it as well. For someone not interested in those things then Lightroom is more the industry standard. So I tell others to use Lightroom but for you and me I think it sounds like Aperture is the right choice.)

    Although Aperture uses its own filing system it's not a single file. You can poke around in it in Finder if you want. It's confusing, but it proves that a single corrupt JPEG won't kill the whole system. (But, of course, your method of backing-up is still absolutely necessary, just in case!)

    Also, set Photoshop as your editor in Aperture's preferences. You can do 90% of your editing in Aperture, but when you really need Photoshop you can right-click a photo and send it to the 'External Editor' which, in your case, would be Photoshop. Just save when you're done and it'll be a new file in the same Aperture project next to the original.


    In Aperture the "Projects" are what iPhoto calls "Events." Think of them as "Shoots" or "Trips." Or whatever you want. I do mine by month. I only have 12 Aperture Projects per year.

    Then, WITHIN a project you can have 'Albums.' So, for example, under the "May Project" there is a "Daughter Birthday" album and a "Disney World" album and a "Disney World Cut Down" album.

    They're like iTunes playlists. Photos can live in multiple albums and are always in the project, even if you erase them from the album.

    Within iTunes I then control which albums get synced back to my iPhone or iPad for viewing. They're down-rezzed at that point so I can carry far more with me than if I was keeping originals on my phone.
     
  6. HarryAinslie macrumors regular

    HarryAinslie

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    Doncaster, England, UK
    #6
    So do you use iPhoto at all?
     
  7. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #7
    My daughter has her own iPhoto library for photos she takes.

    But the way iPhoto and Aperture work now, they use the same library structure. So I could open her photo library in Aperture if I wanted to. Or I could open my work library in iPhoto.

    I've had no need to, but the point is that you don't have to decide which program to use forever. I have 3 photo libraries on my machine. Two are used in Aperture and one is used in iPhoto.
     
  8. HarryAinslie macrumors regular

    HarryAinslie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    Location:
    Doncaster, England, UK
    #8
    The reason i ask is both me and my mrs take photos on our devices and i was going to merge the libraries together so everything points to 1 library on the external hard drive.

    At the minute hers points to her macbook and mine points to the hard drive.
     
  9. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #9
    I switched from iPhoto to Aperture to gain additional editing capability and better management of multiple libraries. I do some motor sports photography. I end up with lots of pix that I keep in their own library. My wife and I are downsizing and selling a bunch of stuff on eBay. I keep all the eBay pix in their own library. Much easier to manage.

    I suggest picking a tool and learning it well. In your case, either Aperture or Lightroom would be the best choice for managing your pix. The choice depends on which has the features you need and how well it matches your work style.
     
  10. flynz4, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    Sharing a common Aperture library across two machines is a really bad idea. It is not meant for sharing. Also... giving two libraries access to the same "referenced files"... is also bad.

    Just don't do it.

    Using your current method of storing photos in windows/finder folders is just plain barbaric. It is the equivalent of using a hammer, chisel, and a large stone wall instead of a word processor. You need a Digital Asset Manger (DAM). I personally like Aperture over Adobe Lightroom... and feel Aperture is enough of a reason by itself to switch to a MAC.

    If you are going to use Aperture (which I recommend)... then just stop using iPhoto. Aperture excels at organization, and leaves iPhoto in the dust.

    /Jim
     
  11. pinchvalve thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    #11
    OK, iPhoto did what I was afraid of.

    So I spent a day importing everything into iPhoto at work. When I got home and tried to reopen iPhoto, the Library was corrupt. I had to do the rebuild, which took another 1-2 hours, then nothing was correct or in the same place. Exactly what I was afraid of: putting everything in one spot and then the spot gets broken. This NEVER happened under the folder structure system. Not once in over 10 years. Happened in less than 25 minutes in iPhoto.

    I will try again using Aperture and see what happens, but if it craps out, then I give up.
     
  12. pinchvalve, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013

    pinchvalve thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    #12
    Aperture not working either

    Aperture does not allow me to grab a folder, and include all subfolders within it. So I have to manually create and import hundreds of folders? That will take hours, no thanks. Unless someone knows a trick?

    EDIT: Found it. Import Folders as Projects. Seems like the ticket. Will let it go for 72,000+ photos and check in tomorrow.
     
  13. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #13
    This is very true.

    To be avoided like the plague - learned this the hard way on an Aperture library with 950k images...

    Pinchvalve - make sure you're exiting Aperture completely before opening the library somewhere else. I've had the library re-build on me but only when left in a bad state. BE VERY CAREFUL when opening the library in different places. It can be done - but it takes care.

    ----------

    Yes, it does let you grab a folder and everything below it - I've done it.

    Like any powerful software, there's a learning curve with Aperture, what I've found is that what I want to do is almost always implemented, but not necessarily in the way I would expect it to be. Take a deep breath or 5 and run through some of the tutorials Apple makes available...
     
  14. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #14
    Very good advice.

    I absolutely love Robert Boyer's ebooks on Aperture. They are inexpensive and a FANTASTIC learning tool. The two to buy are Aperture Organization and Aperture File Management. They are only a few dollars each and are invaluable. They can be found on: http://photo.rwboyer.com

    Once you've done that... go to http://www.apertureexpert.com and start buying the videos. They are about 45 minutes each (some longer) and are only $2 each. I've bought all 24 of them and it is amazing to watch Aperture in action by a pro. Once again... highly recommended.

    /Jim
     
  15. HarryAinslie macrumors regular

    HarryAinslie

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    Feb 2, 2011
    Location:
    Doncaster, England, UK
    #15
    I never thought of that, thanks for this.

    So you would recommend using aperture and having 3 libraries within:

    1. My iPhone
    2. Her iPhone
    3. Canon SLR
     
  16. pinchvalve thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    #16
    Argh

    Woke up this morning to "Aperture Quit Unexpectedly" Arrrrggghhh. But I am convinced that it is the way to go and I will make it work. The books and videos are exactly what I was looking for, thanks a million. I am headed there now!
     
  17. pinchvalve thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    #17
    Still not reliable enough

    I re-did my import into Aperture. Took all day, but I imported all of my photos and the file structure looked pretty good. It did not update the import that I started last night, it simple started all over again, so now I have a duplicate list to get rid of.

    I clicked on a few folders to look around, and suddenly the entire list of projects just disappears. I can't find any way to force Aperture to display my list of projects, so I shut down and restart the program.

    When it reopens, I get an error message saying the Aperture has detected inconsistencies in Library and my only option is to repair it. This of course takes forever. Even if it works, I am convinced that iPhoto and Aperture are very amateur programs that are not robust enough to handle a large photo library. How people use such error-prone and crash-worthy programs is beyond me.
     
  18. pinchvalve thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    #18
    Stuck....

    Got to 100% repaired, and now it is just sitting there stuck. Do I restart? Do I wait? For how long? Ugh.

    Meanwhile, I popped the SD card from my camera into my Mac, created a folder for the event on my external drive, copied everything over and I am done. Painless and simple.
     
  19. pinchvalve thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    #19
    Ha!

    Now it's just getting funny. After MUCH waiting around, I am back in Aperture and all of the folders are there, grouped by year, but there is NOTHING in any of the folders! Not one photo! And the Library is close to 100GB! This program is a POS. I wonder how long it will take and how many crashes to delete this clunker!
     
  20. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    10:1 there is some kind of user error. For example... if you have some text in the search box... it will filter out all pictures not matching that text. I can think of many other user errors that are possible.

    Also... if you force quit your application while (or soon after) the import... rather than letting it complete, then you possibly corrupted your library.

    /Jim

    ----------

    I do not use different libraries for each of my cameras. That sort of defeats the purpose of using a DAM to consolidate your pictures.

    My recommendation is to NOT put your aperture library on one central stored location... and let multiple users (or one user on multiple computers) access the same physical library.

    /Jim
     
  21. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    #21
    The program is sound. It does, as previously noted, take some time to learn and to understand what it is doing, and how you should use it.

    At this point, you're at the bottom of the learning curve.

    Should you choose to ride the curve, you'll be happy once you've put some effort in. If you choose to fight it and expect the software to read your mind and adapt to you, you will be unhappy.
     
  22. pinchvalve thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    #22
    Learning curve is fine, but the program is simply not stable enough to handle a very large library. If I could get it to work even once, I could back up the library. And if it has this many issues with smaller photos, no way I want to try with my RAW libraries.

    It's simply a consumer product, and not designed for serious use with large amounts of data. Not sure what us then, hmmmm. Putting that much data in one library is probably too much for any program.

    I think that I will create smaller libraries by year and see if it can handle smaller chunks of data.
     
  23. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    #23
    Is it better to read one before the other?
     
  24. Digitalclips macrumors 65816

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    Sarasota, Florida
    #24
    And those wise words apply to just about any software and even OS X itself. People always say 'It can't do this ...' or 'It doesn't work….'. In my 35 years working with Apple's gear the problem has almost always been with the user for the reasons you give.
     
  25. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #25
    I've read them back and forth so many times that I am not sure anymore. They are both good... and I suspect that you will read them a few times each... and then go back to them from time to time and learn more.

    I also recommend the Aperture Expert Videos... but for those, I would recommend after you've already read Boyer's eBooks. The nice the thing about the videos, is that they show Aperture in action. However, I think Boyer's eBooks set the whole scope of the programs better and more concisely.

    /Jim
     

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