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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

Outgrown iPhoto, Lightroom or Bridge or what?

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Leccy-Lee's Avatar
Member Since: Apr 29, 2008
Location: Wellington, NZ
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Mac Specs: Emac 700 (Sadly)

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I switched to a Mac just under two years ago now, On my old PC i only used photoshop Elements and just explorer to tidy my photos. When i got my first Mac i was blown away with Iphoto, it did all i used Elements for (cropping and basic edits) and arranged all my photos in a nice neat package that i could find and display my albums etc, i "did" love Iphoto.

However in the past year i really got more into my photos and take 100+ pics a week sometimes (still only using compact cameras mind you, no SLRs). And i finding Iphoto is getting messy with auto-created events etc all over the place and also i got 15gb of photos so far, and with all the "modified" folders etc the library now takes up over 20gb of space, and my entire HD is only 40gb so i need to slim down and get back to a tidy folder structure that i can manage, rather than the Iphoto mass-mess of library.

So i have an old CS2 version of Photoshop suite which includes Bridge which i thought of trying out, but really not sure its what i need, and i have never got along with the Photoshop (that was wasted money) as i found it far too complicated for me. So i just downloaded the trail version of Lightroom from Adobe and thought that might be my answer, but if i use Lightroom will i need to use Bridge too? Or will Lightroom do all i need from a image perspective? Its price seems reasonable and i can stretch to that just.

And before its suggested, i cannot try Aperture sadly as i am on an old Emac that cant run Aperture, in fact my old Emac will go-slow on many image applications but right now new hardware is not an option sadly.

All i want is a way of neatly arranging all my albums myself into a directory and folder structure, being able to tag photos, do basic edits such as: Cropping / Straightening / Minor Enhancements (light levels, colours etc) and the odd blemish removal etc. And have a neat way of browsing my albums. All without the mess of library that Iphoto uses and the amount of space that iphoto uses up.

So appreciate any advice here on which best option, Lightroom / Bridge / Photoshop or a combination.

And finally is it easy and possible to "take" all my photos from Iphoto (probably the originals only) and "put" them all into there own folder structure and add them to Lightroom or Bridge?

Thanks in advance


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Fiasco's Avatar
Member Since: Nov 19, 2007
Location: New York, NY, USA
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Lightroom might be a bit much for an old emac. I sometimes feel Lightroom straining to do certain things on my MacBook, but then I shoot a DSLR in RAW format most of the time and usually import and work on 400 - 800 images at a time.

I would suggest getting an external hard drive and just sticking with iphoto. There's no way you can get around getting more HD space seeing as you've already used up half your hard-drive and photos do add up quickly.

In my experience I've found that some people hate the way Lightroom organizes it's photo library, I happen to like it, but then again I am switching over to Aperture slowly but surely. Anyway I digress...

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Aperture is pretty good. It sounds like it might be a fit for what you need.

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Jaygray's Avatar
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There are rumors of Picasa for Mac being released later on this year. If it really happens, this may be the answer to many folks photo organization problems. Unfortunately, the current software that is available for Mac photo organization is overkill for the average user looking for an alternative method to organize and store large numbers of photos.
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Leukeh's Avatar
Member Since: Apr 21, 2007
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To be honest, it sounds like iPhoto isn't the issue here - the auto-created events can potentially be handy, but all you need to do is sort through them to put the photos in the appropriate events. I find iPhoto, and in fact the operating system only ever lacks organisation and is messy and annoying to use when I procrastinate about putting things where they should go. I only hate iPhoto when I can't be bothered doing things - and it will be the case with every program.

As far as the "modified" folders go, that is the thing I love most about iPhoto (yes, I'm aware other programs have this feature) - in terms of space, it might be worth investing in an external hard drive, they're cheap as chips these days. I bought a 500gb one for $170AUD a few months ago, which was a great price then and they've dropped since. I keep everything on it apart from the operating system and my applications, so my inbuilt HD is nice and light.

Personally, I think it might be worth buying an external hard drive (doesn't have to be a massive one) and at least giving it a go before purchasing a program that might not end up being worth it. At least this way, you'll have an external HD which is always useful, especially with a relatively small inbuilt hard drive.

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