Which photo management software?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Grasher, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Grasher macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    #1
    I'm helping a friend with a project where he needs to have 3,000+ photos (and rising) organised. He's currently using iPhoto, which is great for him for keywording, rating and producing slideshows with captions. The limitation is that he needs to have a greater hierarchical structure, which iPhoto doesn't seem to do. i.e. he needs to have folders within folders.

    I can't seem to find the best option for him. Aperture may be an option as he could use the projects as a heading under which he could then use albums. This only gives him two levels though, and the editing functions are probably way more than he needs. I'm also not sure if the slideshows in Aperture an display captions.

    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #2
    Aperture and Lightroom are available to try for 30 days. Why not give them both a go.
     
  3. Grasher thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 16, 2009
    #3
    I'm going to give Aperture a go (it's what I use but I'm not on v3 yet) but I just wanted to see what other software was out there.
     
  4. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

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    #4
    Yeah he should upgrade to Aperture, which as someone has already said is available on a free trial.
     
  5. Pomeroy macrumors 6502

    Pomeroy

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    #5
    There is no reason you can't have folders and subfolders in iPhoto. In iPhoto under the File menu select "New Folder" you can drag it into any other folder you want, you can also drag "Albums or Smart Albums" into Folders. What you can't do is put Folders inside of Albums or Smart Albums.
     
  6. polotska macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I've used Lightroom for some time, but I've been impressed by what I've seen of Aperture 3 so far.
     
  7. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #7
    Yes, but this only affects the visual organization within iPhoto's wonky file structure. iPhoto doesn't allow you to create reference files and keep your photos in your own file and folder structure. Ever drill down into the iPhoto Library structure? It's a mess.
     
  8. Pomeroy macrumors 6502

    Pomeroy

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    #8
    I don't have a clue what you mean by wonky file structure, You can make it look just like files and folders in Finder if you wanted too and never leave iPhoto. If you are talking about going into " Show Packages Contents" and messing around inside there, that is just about the worst possible way you could try to organize photos. Using Keywords and Smart Albums you can find any photo you want in just a few key strokes. I have a Folder in iPhoto called States" and inside that folder are about 25 Smart Albums with the name of different states I have taken photos in. I can click on the States folder and it will expand to show all the separate States Albums just as if I was in Finder or I can just start to type the name of a State and all the photos from that State will show in iPhoto. There are many ways to find photos in iPhoto with just a few key strokes and nearly all are faster and easier that trying to drill down in a Folder structure like in Finder.
     
  9. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #9
    Some people - not me, mind you - like to use their own file structure to organize their photos, and then have their photo organizer reference those photos without importing them into its own file structure. You can't do this in iPhoto. As you know, if you go into the iPhoto Library package, you see tons of folders and subfolders organized by month and day, with the thumbnails and photos separate, etc. That's what I meant by wonky. If you use iPhoto, you have to completely accept its way of doing things. Some people want to do things their own way. They're SOL in iPhoto.

    Also, if your iPhoto Library gets irrevocably corrupted, you're screwed. This wouldn't be a problem if it didn't lock your photos in its own database structure.

    One of the main things people complain about with programs such as Yojimbo, for example, is that it locks your info into a proprietary database. Yet when Apple does it, people just go with the flow and accept that Steve's way is the best way. Not necessarily so.

    And please don't tell me that the way around a corrupted library is a backup. Yes, we all know that backing up your data is important. But it's not an excuse for poor database design.
     
  10. dimme macrumors 65816

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    Feb 14, 2007
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    SF, CA
    #10
    I have a 5000+ photo library set up in a similar way to you friends. My requirements are Folder with in folders and folders. Everything has keywords. I also need to have 2 copies/backups on portable drives that I need to access. The portable drives must be able to be read on mac's and windows. My solution is a hybrid system using Lightroom and adobe bridge. Lightroom is the main imput program on the main computer where I create and organize the folder structure. I am very happy with the results.
     
  11. Grasher thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 16, 2009
    #11
    This could be the answer! I'll have a play with this tonight when I get home. He's already set up everything in iPhoto so this would also save a lot of work in migrating.
    Thanks!
     
  12. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #12
    Do any of the other pieces of software IE aperture or lightroom do this?

    Also, if you have the pictures in a folder and then import them, does it actually take the picture from the file and put it in the database or does it make a copy of the file? The reason I ask, is all my files are still sitting in a folder and in iPhoto.
     
  13. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #13
    IIRC doesn't Aperture store images in its own internal database as well?

    I haven't used iPhoto in a few years now but last I knew it did copy each image into its own internal database, thus you could remove those pictures in your own folders and the photos shoudl still be accessible from iPhoto. You could test this out pretty easy by "deleting" a few and seeing if you can still access them in iPhoto.
     
  14. fridgeymonster3 macrumors 6502

    fridgeymonster3

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    #14
    Yes, iPhoto & Aperture both make a copy of the files and you can't alter the file structure outside of their programs (in a way that I know of). Personally, that annoys me. I don't really have a work around for that; however, I have my own file structure under Pictures in Mac OS X for all of my Original RAW shots. I then go through them all, edit the ones I like, save them as TIFFs or PSD's, and upload those into Aperture. Then Aperture only has the shots I've gone through and it's organized in a way my wife can enjoy. That does end up taking a lot of space, because I end up having the RAW copies, the edited copies saved in a folder with the RAW, and then the Aperture copies of the PSD or TIFFs. Therefore for certain shots I have 3 copies. That's what 1-2TB drives are for I guess.
     
  15. Phil Lee macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Both iPhoto and Aperture can be set up to use referenced files, leaving the files in their folders on the hard disk and not importing them into the application database package. Using this system, you can create whatever folder structure you like in iPhoto and Aperture without affecting the location of the original file. On my system I store all my photos in folders by year, date and day they were taken. In Aperture I have all sorts of folder names.

    Something else I find useful are Smart Albums. I tend to use these to create whatever structure I want within Aperture and iPhoto.
     
  16. fridgeymonster3 macrumors 6502

    fridgeymonster3

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    #16
    Could you shed some light on how to do this, or direct me to a place? Thanks!
     
  17. Phil Lee macrumors 6502

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #17
    In iPhoto, go to Preferences > Advanced and deslect the option "Copy items to the iPhoto library". If you want to extract photos from the iPhoto library, drag them out of iPhoto into Finder in the folder you want them stored in. There's a good article here that gives advice on what to do.

    In Aperture, on the Import dialog, set the option "Store Files" to "In their current location" then import the files. You can also drag files stored in the Aperture database into Finder to extract them. There's a good tutorial on the import dialog here.

    I used a utility called Big Mean Folder Machine to organise my photos into folders based on the EXIF photo data then imported them into a new iPhoto library and a new Aperture library as well after reorganising my MacBook Pro.
     
  18. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #18
    It doesn't sound to me like you want "photo management software" at all - you want to do all your own organizing, manually. That pretty much defeats the purpose of software like Aperture or Lightroom, and I don't think either one is really going to do what you want. Either one will end up being a waste of money.

    Seriously, just use Finder if you want to set up your own structure. You can set up folders within folders, and set the image previews to be however large you want them to be. Then when you want to edit a photo, launch Photoshop / Photoshop Elements / whatever.

    The whole idea with Aperture and Lightroom is to help photographers not have to really think about organization anymore. If you can't let go of that, then you're paying extra money for software that only offers a subset of Photoshop Element's features.
     
  19. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #19
    This is also exactly what I do. This way one has an option to use different photo management programs, without them messing up our photo collection.
     
  20. billthesaint macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    #20
    If you want a cheaper option, ACDSee in the Mac app-store does all you need, using a database that files all your photos in a tree structure that goes as deep as you like. Its $12 as opposed to $80. If you want more editing features then go for Lightroom or Apeture, but ACDSee does the management just as well (if not better).
     

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