Simplification vs. Organizational Power

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dconrad3, May 9, 2014.

  1. dconrad3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    #1
    I've been poking around the forum and looking elsewhere on the web trying to research my question but I've decided that, when it comes to digital photography software, everyone's criteria is very specific. While I can get bits and pieces of info from each post I read, I wanted to lay out all of my requirements and let the experts help me decide what to do.

    Some background: Almost all of my pictures are taken with my iPhone (currently a 5S) with some small number of them coming from a small Canon point and shoot camera (Canon PowerShot SD780). I'm not using a DSLR and have no plans to get one anytime soon (but you never know). I've amassed a bunch of digital photographs over the last 10-15 years. I also have a HUGE box full of old hard copy photos from my family that I want to scan, add metadata to, and do some minor cleanup if I can figure out how to do it.

    I'm computer savvy but know next to nothing about digital photography. I recently got a new 27" iMac with the 3Tb fusion drive, 32 GB RAM and the high end CPU, so computing power or disk space isn't an issue. I have the latest iPhoto but I'm considering Lightroom and possibly Aperture as well. I've messed around with iPhoto on my old MBP and it seemed ok but here's the kicker - I really REALLY don't like my photos being sucked into an iPhoto black hole. I like having them organized and stored in the filesystem and just using the tool to simplify the organization, adding metadata, filtering them by criteria, face recognition, and to provide some newbie editing tools.

    So on one hand, since I've not done much with my photos, the simplification that iPhoto provides seems like it would be the way to go until I "graduate" to one of the higher end tools (e.g. Lightroom, Aperture).

    On the other hand, I feel like I don't have as much control over the organization and storage of my photos with iPhoto and from what I've read, this is where Lightroom would be better for me. I realize that, at least initially, I wouldn't be using most of the features that Lightroom would provide but if iPhoto copying my photos into it's own library is going to bother me, this may be my only option.

    And I'm also concerned that, as I learn the software, it has the tools I need to scan the older photos and make it as easy as possible to do the corrections (since I'm a novice at that) and add metadata like location, dates, etc.

    If I try iPhoto first (since I have it) and can't get past the photos not being available in the filesystem, I'd then be stuck with having to figure out how to export them and then import them in to Lightroom and then I'd have the duplicates with my originals (which I'll keep on the filesystem even if I import them into iPhoto).

    I'm probably overthinknig this but some expert guidance would be appreciated.
     
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    Use a referenced, not managed, library with iPhoto for now. At WWDC on June 2 we should see if Apple really has a future for Aperture. If yes, piece of cake to have Aperture use the library started by iPhoto. If no, LR can import the referenced originals from the file system folders.

    In the mean time, consider which file format you will use for photos. Jpg files are 8 bit compressed lossful. Raw files are 12-14 bit (varies by camera) non-compressed lossless. Which file with best capture the original scene and give you the most data to use in post processing? ;)

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2293895


    A view you don't often hear...http://blog.william-porter.net/2013/08/why-i-switched-from-lightroom-to.html
     
  3. dconrad3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    #3
    What about if you've edited the photos in iPhoto and want the edited versions imported to Lightroom?
     
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #4
    In either direction....if you want the edited versions that did not previously create a TIF or PSD file, the you need to export the file using Aperture or LR so the other program can see the edited version via TIF or PSD file.
     
  5. rx7dude macrumors regular

    rx7dude

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #5
    Forget Raw files. You're shooting with an iPhone and Canon PowerShot SD780. Raw is not an option.

    I'm no expert but was in a similar situation to you. Here's my $0.02.
    I started taking digital photos in '04. At the time I only has Windows and kept my files in YYYY/YYYY-MM-DD directory structure.
    At the time it worked well is probably similar to what you have.
    Anyhow, in '10 I got a Mac and starting using iPhoto. I didn't trust iPhoto structure either. I import some old photos into iPhoto and kept my originals in the old place. New imports went into iPhoto and I saved copies in my orginal directory structure. This means I have duplicates since '10. Not the most efficent but it came in handy a couple of years ago when my iPhoto catalog was corrupted. I was able to find the orginals and re-import then.

    I'm at the point now where I'm comfortable with Aperture (I upgraded last year) that I'm considering abaoning the old directories. I have a decent backup system and since most of my photos are edited it's quicker to restore them instead of re-import. Old habits die hard I guess.

    Anyhow, the question you have to ask is how much editing of photos do you plan on doing. If you just intend to sort them, use iPhoto. Over time you'll get used to it and will love the smart folders, faces, locations etc...
     

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