Trying to get organised.

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by kyteflyer, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Throughout the winter, I've been holed up in my loungeroom with the MBP, and downloading my photographs to that. Warmer weather came along and now I am holed up in the lougeroom with the a/c on, doing the same thing. In the meantime my hard drive has become overfull and I am wondering why on earth I am using the 13" MBP as my main computer when I have a perfectly good 20" iMac sitting in the study!

    One solution, I think, has to be Photostream. Clearly I cannot keep *all* my photographs on the laptop. Neither do I want to have an external drive hanging off it as I did for a while, only to realise later that symlinks are just that and once the drive goes away, so do the shots. But I dont have space for an entire iPhoto library. especially once editing begins.

    I'm wondering how others manage.

    I've considered (and for the last week or so) just used lightroom without importing. That seemed to go OK but then I decided that since I actually do most of my processing in PS5, I really didnt need to have LR on board as well... not on the lappie anyway. So I shifted back to iPhoto, reinstalled, and started importing (but using symlinks to the photographs I now had stored in my documents folder)... and dammit if iPhoto didnt manage to generate an extra 20G (and more, I didnt let the import finish) of information, just to be pointing at those photographs.

    I'm almost at my wits end. Here's what I am looking for...
    1) A basic program to manage and view photographs in a grid like manner, like iphoto. It does not need to have anything but the most basic editing.
    2) A program to which photographs can be exported for editing. I've decided that for me, its only going to be Photoshop, I'm leaving Lightroom out of the equation at this time.

    So... the answer to #2 is easy. but the answer to #1 is not. Lightroom and iPhoto both create dupes of everything you edit (unless you are silly enough to edit originals - Though iphoto wont let you), increasing the number of shots and reducing hard drive space. All I want is a way of viewing the shots I have taken, in the same kind of format as iphoto does, and I just cannot find a prog I am really comfortable with.

    I know I am ranting but I just crawled out of bed and am set for yet another day of frustration. What I have trialled so far for #1... obviously iPhoto and Lightroom... but also ACDSee Pro, which I just didnt take to so have not explored it properly. Picasa, which I havent taken to and havent explored properly but at least its free. JetPhoto Studio, also free... could not work it out so have dropped it....

    Just as an example... I used to use a program called Shotwell in Ubuntu. It was like a really old version of iPhoto. managed photos, but only very basic editing. If you wanted to do more, you edited in The Gimp.

    Is there something else available that I have missed? Help please:)
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I can't answer many of the specifics Sue, because I use Aperture as both a basic editor and as my cataloging/organizing software. But in terms of what I'd do if I had a laptop too.... I can pretty much guarantee I'd keep the desktop as the main photo-station with its large hard-drive and its large backup hard-drive and its automatic online backup, so that I'd be backed UP! And then I'd use the laptop to process new images if I felt like working on the couch instead of at the desk, and I might keep copies of SOME shots on the laptop, but after I'd worked through the shots from a particular project or shoot, I'd transfer everything onto the desktop machine and handle the big organizing from there. I don't have a laptop, but I have an ipad that sometimes get's the first shot at photos coming out of the camera, but as soon as I've taken a pass at them, whether processing or just culling the wheat from the chaff, they head up to the main computer.

    To the extent that helps, just a suggestion...

  3. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    I probably can't offer much help Sue. I use a MacBook Pro, I use Lightroom and I have an external hard drive which is where I keep my LR catalogue. I suppose if I wanted to I'd export my best finished pictures into iPhoto and use that as my easy to view collection but I hadn't thought of that until right now. Fortunately my photos aren't that many - yet, though I do need to go back and delete a lot more photos. One thing that LR does offer is "Collections" and I keep meaning to give that a go...but still haven't.:redface:

    Frankly, I think Ray's a book a year project is a great way to go about handling the keeping of one's best pictures in an easily viewable way.

    P.S. I've moved your thread into the Image Processing forum where we have some similar threads that may hold some good organizational keys.
  4. adanac

    adanac Veteran

    Sep 30, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    I like Lightroom; it has enough editing controls that I can get done what needs to be done efficiently and the original is always left untouched. I'm forever glad to not be popping out to PS all the time, but I am a regular user of Silver Efex Pro 2. The organization features in LR are good to excellent. Knowing the application seems to make a big difference in productivity, no surprise there, but you can be fairly productive right out of the gate.

    What I've found works for me is I keep revisiting my work of the past few weeks on a sliding time scale forward and I continuously cull. Usually by the time I've reviewed a day's worth of shooting several times I'm done culling. I'll readily admit that there are times when I get behind - I have spots where I need to revisit and cull more. It is work to add keywords and other identifiers but for a subset of the images I am forcing myself to do this. I think it'll pay off but at the same time I don't want to do too much for there are declining dividends in tagging / categorization unless maybe one is shooting for stock photo.

    What's "MBP"?
  5. @Ray. I've considered Aperture in the past, but because of its (now) similarity to iPhoto (or vice versa really) I've tended to reject it. I hear what you are saying about not using the lappie as the main processor... I fell into it because I dont have a/c or heating in the study and its one of the hottest rooms in the house. I should have got ducted instead of a bazillion new cameras, then it wouldnt be an issue. I *am* going to start using the iMac instead... or get a better screen (Thunderbolt 27" for example), sell the imac, and continue to use the laptop. That would give me more flexibility. In the meantime my search for an app with which I can simply view, and export from to Photoshop is continuing.

    Further investigation of Picasa reveals that it picks up the installs of NIK software stuff which is a nice touch, but I cant see a way to choose to edit in PS instead. I'm using it at the moment to get rid of dupes and quadrupes, and junk. I have regained about 30G so far.

    @BBW. Tried Collections for a while, its a good way of managing particular groups of photogtraphs, but TBH I really like smart albums which I assume Aperture has, as well. And no worries about the move. Sometimes I am just not sure.

    @both: Thanks for your input
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  6. Macbook Pro.

    Seriously, the editing is NOT the issue here. I like Lightroom and PS, and am happy with both. But for *managing*: ie viewing, moving, deleting etc I want something really simple. Picasa is almost there but theres no option to edit in LR or PS and of itself its woeful as an editor. I find LR and iPhoto (and Aperture from the one time I did try it - not the current version) just too top heavy for my needs in terms of *management*.
  7. stratokaster

    stratokaster Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    I know some photographers who swear by Media Pro — this is not a photo editor, just a cataloging/organizing software. It displays pictures in a grid pattern.

    Photo management software | Media Pro 1

    I use Lightroom to both organize and edit my photos. I keep only a small working set on my laptop and save everything else on my fail-proof network storage.
  8. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    I managed by installing a 750GB HDD in my 13" MBP, and I have a 1TB time machine drive.

    I use LR for editing, and copy over to iPhoto for storage and management. I have 5682 photos in LR (mostly RAW) and 7567 photos in iPhoto (jpg). There is some overlap, but not completely, as I started in iPhoto first in '07 and moved to using LR later on in '09.

    The reason I use iPhoto is because that's where the rest of the family accesses pictures. I don't think I'd need iPhoto if I was just on my own. I'd stick with LR.

    Not sure if any of that helps, but I'd say upgrade the HDD.

    p.s. I simply use keywording. I keyword in LR, and the keywords follow the export to iPhoto. In both, I sort by time (in LR it's folder of years with months, in iPhoto its seasonal in events: Spring2010, summer 2010, etc.) and then separate folders for targeted projects. But then I search on keywords when looking across folders.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. stratokaster

    stratokaster Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Yep, I also keep small subset of my favorite pictures in iPhoto. They sync to my iPad from there.
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  10. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    I have lightroom but I really use a little program called Photo Mechanic to look at, edit and load my photos to PS, works well for me Welcome to Camera Bits, Inc.
  11. Yes, NAS is high on my list of must haves. I dont think I would be having these issues if I had bought the Synology I was looking at last year. Now, I'm going to have to organise an adsl modem/router update and get a barking big drive to plug into it. Not the Synology though, finances wont permit it now.

    Thanks for the headsup about Media Pro, going to look now. [edit: expensive, and out of my price range :-/]
  12. Thanks, looking, downloading demo. [edit: apparently I have downloaded a demo before, but they are letting me have 10 days on this newer version. I dont even remember downloading it :-/]
  13. This indecision of mine has proven to be the best thing to happen to me. I had my photographs scattered over three drives. I have now compacted them, extracted the masters from iphoto of course, which I did a few days ago, I never imported them to Lightroom so they were all still in folders. Everything is now nicely organised by year, month, date.

    During the process, I discovered a number of things. Apple has changed the way iPhoto stores photographs... again. Instead of a neat little folder with year containing month, then days separately, there are now gazillions of folders with long dates and numeric IDs attached, and inside those you might find one, two or several dozen shots. I also discovered that iPhoto will make and store an exact copy of any file you are editing. So a 50Mb file when edited on two separate occasions, will now be 3 50Mb files instead, names appended with _2 and _3 etc. I preferred it when you did not get that and I cannot find a setting to change it. There were also multiple copies of folders, files and so forth. IN the process of reorganising I have gained... wait for it... OVER 100G of space!! Really. From "You're running out" (and only having 11G left) I now have 113G spare. I still need to reduce the clutter, but the rest of it isnt photographic. I probably dont need over 4000 ebooks in my calibre library.

    Another really weird thing which has nothing to do with iPhoto is that every single photograph from the GRD3, when shooting RAW, the jpg that gets stacked with it... well, every jpg was dated 25/8/2011 but the DNGs all had the correct date. So a DNG from, say, 12/3/2011 with have its jpg 25/8/2011. It made no difference whether the photographs were taken before or after, with one exception, and that was those from 26/8.. they had the right date. Go figure. I think that shooting jpg without RAW gets the right date.

    Anyway, I have now got my pix into some kind of proper order, and foldered in a way I deem appropriate. Now all I have to do is find something to work with me. I'm hunting an older iPhoto which doesnt create copies of everything you edit. I cant see my way clear to using mediapro or Photomatic, neither really suit my purposes but I thank you for the suggestions, guys.

    The mission continues! ONWARD!
  14. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    are you sure that you didn't lose photos you meant to keep. I can't even believe it's possible to gain 112GB (!) from a year end tidy up. Although if you haven't been too tidy throughout the year, I suppose it adds up. Just make sure that ones you're keeping, you're really keeping. I don't understand a lot of those programs and plan on undertaking this kind of thing soon, so I'm watching this thread and crossing my fingers.
  15. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    This is the way iPhoto has worked since at least '07. Not sure how far back it worked differently. This is also the reason I use iPhoto for storage and management (and things like book and calendar creation). I don't edit in iPhoto.
  16. Well, having failed to find anything remotely suitable, I bit the bullet and reinstalled my old iPhoto from iLife '09. It does not make duplicates (which I wasn't sure about before reinstalling), so not sure where you got the idea that its been working like that since 07. Or perhaps you were talking about the ridiculously untidy folders... yes. But not as bad in '09 as in the current version. Anyway, its all good now.
  17. Believe it, its possible, when you have switched from one program to another, and imported here and exported there, as well as just saved out every photograph that was stored as a master in iPhoto. Some photographs had 4 copies. I've briefly scanned through what I have now and I have everything I want (plus as bunch of crap I don't, which will also be dumped. I am no longer one of those people who believes you should never delete anything. Some stuff is irretrievable crap). I'm now on the way down again as I reimport to iPhoto, but I have all the photos stored on another drive already, even the crap. So... no losses. I learned my lesson three years ago when I lost over 5000 shots, through foolishness and lack of backup. On this laptop, I just want the good stuff (relatively speaking)
  18. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    Not sure what you mean by this. LR doesn't duplicate anything. It creates a tiny JPEG for display purposes which it saves in the previews folder (currently 5GB on mine) and saves a tiny sidecar file of processing changes and keeps this in the LR catalogue or catalogues (currently less than 1GB on mine).

    The only thing you have to keep and eye on is if you have LR set to backup the catalogue regularly - which you should. LR doesn't overwrite old backups with new backups so you can end up with multiple catalogue backups.

    Also, you can't edit the originals in LR - all editing is non-destructive in both RAW and JPEG files. Only exported files have changes actually applies directly.

    Good luck with your new system.
  19. Yes, I know. There are many reasons I prefer to use iPhoto for management... not for editing. LR for me, is for editing only. I used to "edit in" Lightroom. It varies now according to what I want to do. The new old iPhoto (v8.1.2) suits me perfectly for now.
  20. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean by "duplicates" or maybe we're talking raw vs. jpg.

    (you might already know this, but to just level-set and for others who don't)
    iPhoto has two options -- to manage photos from the folders you are pointing to, or to copy photos into the iPhoto packaged directory. If a file is copied into the iPhoto folder library, they are stored in the iPhoto library in the "originals" folder.

    When editing a jpg, iPhoto maintains the original photo, but creates a new jpg of the edited file. There are now two files -- the original (jpg or RAW) and the new output with edits. (Later, iPhoto "forgets" the adjustments (I don't know the rule as to why or when, but it does it after some amount of time), and the only way to redo them, is to revert back to original (it throws away the edited jpg version and reverts back to the original) and then start editing all over.)

    This can be verified by going into iPhoto and right-clicking on a photo not yet edited and then selecting "show file" -- the file is located under iphotolibrary/Originals/Year (whatever year)/etc. Then, edit the photo in some way through adjustments. Leave the photo and go back to the larger photo view, right click, and select "show file" -- now the file is located under iphotolibrary/Modified/Year (whatever year)/etc.

    Go back to edit, right click and "revert to original" -- and then right click to "show file" and it will point to the "original" folder again. When adjustments were made, a "modified" jpg was created, but the original was not lost. Therefore, the image was duplicated.

    However, this might only apply to jpgs imported to iPhoto. I believe it may treat RAW differently, or you might be meaning "duplicated" in a different manner, but this is how iphoto works with jpgs. Sorry if I wasn't clearer in my description before.

    These are a couple of reasons I left iPhoto for LR for editing.

    1) The duplicating of jpgs, and the "forgetting" of the edits. At least in jpg. I've not processed in RAW in iPhoto, because;

    2) The very slow rate of RAW updates released from Apple. They've gotten better, but they were terrible a couple of years ago when I first started shooting RAW. I've just done some RAW testing, and it seems to be treating the file more like LR (that is, applying database-based edits, rather than creating new jpgs) though I'm still leery of iPhoto's habit of "forgetting" adjustments, which LR never does.

    3) The editing tools in LR are great, and there is some evidence that iPhoto has odd behaviors. Or, at least it did back with older releases. One was it did not apply sharpening predictably to exported photos. There were a number of us who could replicate exported photos as having lost sharpening, and I think also noise reduction, upon output. Perhaps they've improved that as well (again, it was mainly edits to jpgs back then. Not sure about RAW and not sure about today).

    Would love to hear your ultimate solution!
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