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

Looking for the best way to manage photos...


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DJSantiago

 
Member Since: Nov 16, 2010
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Hello everyone,

I would like your help/advice on a couple of questions regarding my photos.

I've been thinking recently about what the best way would be to manage all of my photos.

- First of all, I would like to have some kind of system to be perfectly save with all of my photos (and other files as well) to make sure I'll have them at hand for the rest of my life, so I would like you hear your thoughts on what would be the best way to go when it comes to backing up my photos (and other files). Do I use (multiple) external hard drives kept in different locations, maybe a set of DVD's as well? Do I use online storage? How often should I renew these external hard drives or DVDs as they get get older and are more likely to become unreadable? I travel a lot and I take a lot of pictures so I get a little paranoid about the possibility to lose all those precious memories.

- Second, what would be the best software to use? I currently have about 50GBs of photos and they're all in one big Iphoto library file, but I ask myself if it would be wise to also keep multiple copies of my photos just as JPEG in regular folders to be able to use a different software in the future as well and not to be dependent only on Apple's Iphoto. What's a good software aside from Iphoto? I'm thinking of switching to an SLR camera in the future so I'm thinking by then I'd probably need a program that has more 'professional' features of managing and editing photos. Also, is there a way to export ALL of my photos from Iphoto into folders and sub folders without it becoming one huge mess of different unsorted filenames in one huge folder?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Kind regards,

Santiago
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJSantiago View Post
- First of all, I would like to have some kind of system to be perfectly save with all of my photos (and other files as well) to make sure I'll have them at hand for the rest of my life, so I would like you hear your thoughts on what would be the best way to go when it comes to backing up my photos (and other files).
For regular backup, I use two different methods: Time Machine to one drive and SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to another drive. Each method has its advantages and is automatic, and drives are so crazy cheap these days.

In addition to this, I think it is wise to separately back up photos to something off-site. This can be done with Flickr Pro, it can be done by burning DVDs, there are several options. With iPhoto it's easy to burn albums to disk in either a) a format only iPhoto can read back in or b) an independent format that just puts the photos in a folder for Mac or PC, no ratings or any of that other stuff.

A third option in regards to iPhoto backup is to use the free iPhoto to Disk program. It offers a clear export of photos into folders and sub-folders as you mention you want.


Quote:
- Second, what would be the best software to use? I currently have about 50GBs of photos and they're all in one big Iphoto library file, but I ask myself if it would be wise to also keep multiple copies of my photos just as JPEG in regular folders to be able to use a different software in the future as well and not to be dependent only on Apple's Iphoto. What's a good software aside from Iphoto?
iPhoto is perfectly fine for many people, since it does a lot of the managing of things by itself and as long as you *respect the concept that it will do the managing thank you*, it's a great little program. I like iPhoto, particularly now that iPhoto to Disk exists.

That said, and particularly since you mention SLRs which shoot in RAW, I honestly don't feel that iPhoto is the best choice for RAW files or someone who is taking a huge quantity of photos. Apple makes a more professional suite called Aperture, Adobe makes one called Lightroom. Both are very nice.

I use the Mac beta of ACDSee Pro (for obvious reasons, see my sig) for my RAW files and have yet to find anything faster or less "manage-y". It leaves my photos exactly where I put them and does not impose any organization other than what I decide to do. It's very very fast -- fastest thing I've seen when working with RAW files. I genuinely like it for a number of features and can't wait for it to get finished.

All three of the alternatives to iPhoto I mentioned have free trials, so you should look around on your own -- I'd suggest just testing these programs on an "independent of iPhoto" folder of images till you decide if one of them is a better option for you, which might end up being iPhoto after all. As I say, I like it.
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tm.fotos

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJSantiago View Post
Hello everyone,

I would like your help/advice on a couple of questions regarding my photos.

I've been thinking recently about what the best way would be to manage all of my photos.

- First of all, I would like to have some kind of system to be perfectly save with all of my photos (and other files as well) to make sure I'll have them at hand for the rest of my life, so I would like you hear your thoughts on what would be the best way to go when it comes to backing up my photos (and other files). Do I use (multiple) external hard drives kept in different locations, maybe a set of DVD's as well? Do I use online storage? How often should I renew these external hard drives or DVDs as they get get older and are more likely to become unreadable? I travel a lot and I take a lot of pictures so I get a little paranoid about the possibility to lose all those precious memories.

- Second, what would be the best software to use? I currently have about 50GBs of photos and they're all in one big Iphoto library file, but I ask myself if it would be wise to also keep multiple copies of my photos just as JPEG in regular folders to be able to use a different software in the future as well and not to be dependent only on Apple's Iphoto. What's a good software aside from Iphoto? I'm thinking of switching to an SLR camera in the future so I'm thinking by then I'd probably need a program that has more 'professional' features of managing and editing photos. Also, is there a way to export ALL of my photos from Iphoto into folders and sub folders without it becoming one huge mess of different unsorted filenames in one huge folder?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Kind regards,

Santiago
Being that this is my first initial post here at Mac-Forums, I couldn't help but notice the questions you ask Santiago. As with routine backups or just backing up your photos, chas_m offered easy and simple suggestions. I'd stick with those that were given and take it from there .

On the subject of software I have found that when it comes to organizing, editing even backing up all my photos, Lightroom from Adobe is the way to go. I have been using Lightroom since it's initial release and I haven't look back at using anything else. I have tried other software applications like ACDSee (for Windows.. I know don't hit me) and even though the application is fast and offers great organizational methods I wanted just a little bit more that only Lightroom offered. It can be a bit pricey at $299 retail but personally it's well worth it. Especially since you mention about purchasing a SLR camera, using Lightroom would help you tremendously when it comes to organizing and editing your photos. I would suggest that you do more research on other software applications including Lightroom (Photo Management Software | Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3) before you commit to going with one application over another. Some software packages are geared towards hobbyist, amateur and/or professional photographers so it really depends on what you want.

As for backing up my photos, in Lightroom I have it set up to create a copy of my original imports (I shoot using RAW format) to an external HD. From the external HD, I burn my photos (again in their original format) to dual layer DVDs.

Tony Miller Photography
www.tonymillerphotography.com
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GinoLicious

 
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I stopped using time machine as a back up. Just flawed. Used it for a year or two, and then it started deleting stuff. Yeah you can turn it off, but to overlap stuff I dont like. I just go into where my photos are saved, or go into iPhoto and back up to my external drive. Iphoto i like better then aperature, easier to use.

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CreativeGuy

 
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TimeMachine is not a backup, it's a temporary restore method (despite the way Apple markets it). Once the drive gets full, it deletes the oldest backup files. There's nothing wrong with that, it's doing what it was made to do.

The best method is still the (mostly) manual method, or using CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to backup files to external drive(s) AND CD/DVD - both of which should be stored separately off-site.

The Graphic Mac - Tips, tricks, tutorials and commentary on all things Mac and graphics software.
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schweb

 
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Originally Posted by CreativeGuy View Post
TimeMachine is not a backup,
I heartily disagree with your assessment.

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CreativeGuy

 
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You can disagree all you want, but it's a fact. Any method that AUTOMATICALLY OVERWRITES FILES IS NOT A BACKUP. Don't get me wrong, TimeMachine is a great short-term file recovery method. But if anyone depends on it for long-term backups, they're a fool.

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Sawday

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CreativeGuy View Post
You can disagree all you want, but it's a fact. Any method that AUTOMATICALLY OVERWRITES FILES IS NOT A BACKUP. Don't get me wrong, TimeMachine is a great short-term file recovery method. But if anyone depends on it for long-term backups, they're a fool.
And what do you do when your external backup disk gets full. Er...overwrite the oldest? Just like Time Machine then.

Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you get.
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McBie

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CreativeGuy View Post
You can disagree all you want, but it's a fact. Any method that AUTOMATICALLY OVERWRITES FILES IS NOT A BACKUP. Don't get me wrong, TimeMachine is a great short-term file recovery method. But if anyone depends on it for long-term backups, they're a fool.
Maybe the concept of backups means different things to different people.

Cheers ... A Fool.

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Sawday

 
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Originally Posted by McBie View Post
Maybe the concept of backups means different things to different people.

Cheers ... A Fool.
Agreed. I think people are confusing backup with archive. You wouldn't want archives overwritten automatically.

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CreativeGuy

 
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Ok, so my terminology wasn't clear. Perhaps "Archives" would have been a better word. My point is this: If you want LONG TERM PERMANENT copies of your files, TimeMachine isn't the best route to go. Your best bet for that is to clone your drive (or manually copy folders/files to an external, burn them to DVD - or preferrably both) and store them off site.

If however you're simply looking for copies of your files to be readily accessible for the short term, then TM is definitely the easiest solution. Of course, "short term" is relevant to how you use your Mac. If you don't create/edit a ton of files on a regular basis (say, someone who primarily uses their Mac for web surfing), then TM could theoretically go years before overwriting files on a 500GB hard drive.

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