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

HELP - My Photo Files are Duplicated!


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jcsherman

 
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Please help...I have tried to figure this out on my own, but I'm a relatively new Mac user and I'd be devastated if I lost my files once I messed around with them...

About a year ago, I transferred all my photos from a PC to a MacBook Pro. I had around 25,000 photos on my PC, all arranged in master folders by year and sub folders by date and event. Since I am used to the Windows Explorer file heirarchy and was unfamilar with Mac, I simply created a folder on my Mac hard drive and placed all my neatly arranged photo folders inside. Then from there, I opened iPhoto and imported everything using this hard-drive-folder-system as my source.

Needless to say (and this took some time to figure out), the photos were duplicated into the iPhoto library file, and now I have about 70GB of space being eaten up by duplicate files. At the point that I realized this, however, I had already begun playing with the metadata (i.e. geotagging, re-organizing by event within iPhoto, editing images, etc.) and my hunch is that these edits were done on the iPhoto files. The most heartbreaking part is that I created a 70 page photo book that I would hate to lose under my "Keepsakes" tab in iPhoto.

This is a long intro to a short question: does it seem like I can safely delete my original, "folderized" photo files because they have all been safely copied into the iPhoto library file (thus also retaining all the edits I performed and the book I created)? I would hate to hit "delete" and then have half of my iPhoto disappear.

I've been looking for someone knowledgable about this stuff to ask, since it's a very specific question, but I've been unsuccessful. Any help ANYONE out there could provide would be very much appreciated. This is my first forum post, and I hope this works.

Thanks in advance.
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chas_m

 
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Yes, you can safely delete the original photo files.

Of course, you will be making a full backup of your hard drive BEFORE DOING THAT, so that you can test and restore back to where you were if by chance something goes wrong.

But yes, as you describe the situation, your iPhoto Library has all the pictures and your original folders can be trashed.
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jcsherman

 
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Thank you so much for replying back to me.

I'm sure you can understand my hesitation. What I'm not quite understanding, or what I'm having a hard time adjusting to, is the file hierarchy within iPhoto. When I look in my hard drive and locate my iPhoto library, I cannot find the actual photo files. Do you know where they're stored? If I wanted to email a photo file, I am used to finding it in my Windows Explorer and selecting to attach it to an email.

I do realize that I can "find" the location of the file from the actual photo within iPhoto, but even that is inconsistent. For example, the more recent photos, when I look to find where the file is located, retrieves the file in the "unnecessary" photo folder that I've created, with my forced hierarchy. Then on some others, when I do the same find, shows the file within the iPhoto Library.

I'm super confused. You have been very helpful...I'm hoping you can help with my new set of questions!
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcsherman View Post
I'm sure you can understand my hesitation. What I'm not quite understanding, or what I'm having a hard time adjusting to, is the file hierarchy within iPhoto. When I look in my hard drive and locate my iPhoto library, I cannot find the actual photo files. Do you know where they're stored?
Yes, but let me stop you there.

This is a good example of Windows Thinking. It is not the same as Mac Thinking, particularly in this specific case (ie iPhoto). You need to let go of that Windows Thinking.

All operations regarding photos in iPhoto -- repeat, ALL -- are to be done within iPhoto. And can easily be done within iPhoto.

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If I wanted to email a photo file, I am used to finding it in my Windows Explorer and selecting to attach it to an email.
If you want to email a photo (or photos) from iPhoto, you simply select the photos, then press the "Email" button. That's it.

MUCH simpler than the Windows method.

If for some reason you don't use Mail, simply adjust the preference in iPhoto for "email client" to the email client you DO use. If you use webmail (in gawd's name why?), then the procedure is slightly different: drag the selected photo(s) to the desktop (this creates a copy) and upload THOSE files. Once uploaded, move the desktop copies to the trash.

The "do it from within iPhoto" rule applies to anything you might want to do to a photo. It actually makes life a LOT simpler once you get used to it.

This applies double to the notion of "organizing" your photos. iPhoto provides you with lots of ways to sort/organize your photos: by date, by when you imported them, by name, by the people who are in them, and even by where you took them. There really isn't much need to organize them by hand, yourself.

Some people like to anyway, of course, and for those people iPhoto is probably not the program for them. There are others that don't do it that way (see my sig for an example), but for many iPhoto, once understood, does a great job.

I know it sounds kind of like a cross between a Zen master and "The Force," but the key to iPhoto (and iTunes, and iMovie ...) is to "let go" and manage things from WITHIN the program itself.
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jcsherman

 
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Thanks for getting back to me once again. I was just playing around in iPhoto based on your comments above and I've discovered something - only the photos that I have somehow modified from the original that exists in my "other" photo folder (i.e. flagging, editing, etc.) show up in the iPhoto Library folder. So naturally my next question is - what happens to the photos I have NOT modified? It seems like they only get copied over to the iPhoto Library folder once I have touched it in some way, so what about the ones I haven't touched? How do I get those to copy over as well?

Also, I looked at changing the email client in iPhoto as per your recommendation, and I cannot seem to change it from Mail. How do I link up my Gmail account to directly email from there?

Sorry for all the questions...but very anxiously awaiting your reply!

Thanks so much in advance.
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mrplow

 
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I'm not so sure the file/folder thing is 'Windows Thinking' - Picasa, ACDSee and Adobe Bridge don't package your files away like iPhoto and Aperture.

I, for one, dislike this hidden implementation. It makes backups hit and miss with it's multiple version model. Always leaves me wondering if my irreplaceable pictures are safe. It also makes using webmail (I much prefer gmails online interface to any client I've used) a real pain.

Personally for the same misgivings as jcsherman I use Picasa and have just started trying out ACDSee. They both offer far more than iPhoto and allow a simple file/folder structure to be used and backed up with ease.

I appreciate that it's horses for courses. I just find that iPhoto is more of a hinderance than a help and is IMO the weakest of the iLife apps.

Here's a guide for adding gmail to Mail if you need it:
Apple Mail 4.0 - Gmail Help

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcsherman View Post
So naturally my next question is - what happens to the photos I have NOT modified? It seems like they only get copied over to the iPhoto Library folder once I have touched it in some way, so what about the ones I haven't touched? How do I get those to copy over as well?
They're already copied over, they're just very well-hidden so that you don't mess with them.

To prove this, select (in iPhoto) a picture you have modified, then look in the "Photo" menu in the menubar. There will be an item there called "Revert to Original." This proves that the original untouched photo is still present. Apple keeps this well out of the way of tinkering users for very sound reasons!

Quote:
Also, I looked at changing the email client in iPhoto as per your recommendation, and I cannot seem to change it from Mail. How do I link up my Gmail account to directly email from there?
You can change it in iPhoto's preferences -> general, but you cannot change it directly to GMail.

What you do is first use Mail to add your GMail account (in Mail's preferences). Now iPhoto will continue to use Mail (the program), but your emails will get sent using GMail (the service provider).
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