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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 02, 2009
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    importing Pictures into iphoto question
    I currently have my photos stored on an ext hd and I currently have them separated under two main folders by the two different cameras I use. I have one folder for my Canon point and shoot and one for my Canon DSLR.

    I was hoping someone could help me out with this as I haven't been able to figure it out and mod, please feel free to move this is yif ou feel it belongs in the switcher forum. When messing around with iphoto, it seems that when I import my pixs, I can only import the pixs into iphoto library as one large library and not as I want it to where I can break it up into separate libraries. If I'm missing something, can someone help me?

    For example, I'd like my library to have a folder for all of the pictures taken with my Canon point and shoot, another one with all of my pictures from my Canon DSLR, and another one for all of my scanned photos, and another one for random pictures, and another one for my cell phone pictures, etc. I would further like to have these photos organized by date and not by events or faces.

    When I open iphoto, I can't seem to figure out how in the upper left hand corner of the app where it shows Libraries, how I can add my own Libraries. I assume this is where I would create the folders but I can't seem to figure out how to do it. Please help. I'm sure it's easy once someones explains it to me but right now, I can't figure it out. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Pomeroy's Avatar
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    Everything you import into iPhoto will be listed under Library but this is not where you need to organize your photos. Events is not a good place to organize either, I find it is just a place to start organizing. To get you started, under iphotos Edit menu select "NEW" and then "Smart Album". Give the new Smart Album the Name of one of your camera's and give it the rule "Camera Model" - "is"-and select your camera name from the dropdown list and then click OK. You will now see a Smart Album pop up on the left sidebar of iPhoto will all the photos taken with that camera, Do this will all the cameras you have. For scanned photos make a Keyword "Scanned" by clicking "command + k" to bring up the Keyword editor. Then make a Smart Album for them called Scanned and give it the rule "Keyword" - "is" - "Scanned" and click OK. By using Smart Album and Keywords you can organize your photos so you can find any photo just by typing a few key strokes in the Search box on the bottom left of iPhoto. Use the iPhotos "View" menu to sort by Date, Keyword, Title or Rating. With a little forethought you can organize you photos so you can find any photo with just a few keystrokes.
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  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pomeroy View Post
    Everything you import into iPhoto will be listed under Library but this is not where you need to organize your photos. Events is not a good place to organize either, I find it is just a place to start organizing. To get you started, under iphotos Edit menu select "NEW" and then "Smart Album". Give the new Smart Album the Name of one of your camera's and give it the rule "Camera Model" - "is"-and select your camera name from the dropdown list and then click OK. You will now see a Smart Album pop up on the left sidebar of iPhoto will all the photos taken with that camera, Do this will all the cameras you have. For scanned photos make a Keyword "Scanned" by clicking "command + k" to bring up the Keyword editor. Then make a Smart Album for them called Scanned and give it the rule "Keyword" - "is" - "Scanned" and click OK. By using Smart Album and Keywords you can organize your photos so you can find any photo just by typing a few key strokes in the Search box on the bottom left of iPhoto. Use the iPhotos "View" menu to sort by Date, Keyword, Title or Rating. With a little forethought you can organize you photos so you can find any photo with just a few keystrokes.
    Awesome. Thanks for the tip.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jan 02, 2009
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    Now that I finally have a chance to mess around with iPhoto, I realize that what you're helping me do is "manage" the photos that are already imported into iPhoto. I def appreciate the help but I'm actually trying to figure out how to import the pictures into iPhoto without changing the way that I have them organized on my ext hdd. I figured out how I can use Smart Albums to sort by cameras but I'm really trying to figure out I can continue to use the filing system that I've been using for a number of years.

    I did quite a few test imports and it seems that iPhoto dumps them into Pictures/iPhoto Library(show package content)/Masters/2011/5/21/20110521-193722/img_6377.jpg. The /2011/5/21 I assume is the date of the import. It's the next part (/20110521-193722/) that weird. It seems that the first part is the date and the second part is the time of import but I can figure out why it's doing this. This is where I tried importing a file name School Pictures with 2 separate dates in sub-folders and then 4 pictures in each of the date sub-folders. When I looked in the folder on my iMac after it imported the file, instead of showing a path Pictures/iPhoto Library (show content)/Masters/2011/5/21/School Pictures/9.28.10/img.... it changed the part where I expected it to say School Pictures to 20110521-(whatever time I initiated the import).

    I assume I can go back and change the name of the file but that seems like it's a stupid thing that I need to do that. Not to mention that I'll have to change numerous files if I bring over the entire hdd.

    Can someone tell me if I'm missing something because I would think that there's got to be a better way to achieve what I'm trying to accomplish or I've got a setting that I need to adjust.

    BTW, I've also tried unchecking the Copy Files to Library when doing this and it seems to basically do the same thing.

    Can someone help me?

  5. #5

    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    I do not believe that you can do this in iPhoto. Although I agree with you, I prefer to have a file structure that makes sense to me. It's also why I use Lightroom, but that's not a lot of help I know.
    mike
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    Got # ? phear the command line!

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    a. iPhoto supports multiple libraries, so absolutely yes you can have them organized as you do on your external hard drive. Open iPhoto with the option key held down, and you will be prompted to select *or create* a library. You can create one for each camera if you like. To change libraries, just open iPhoto with the option key held down again.

    b. STOP messing around inside iPhoto's library package. You are CERTAIN to lose data if you continue to do this. It is *irrelevant* how iPhoto sorts the imported pictures internally, because they can be presented to you (literally) any way you want within the program. As it happens (as you've discovered) it sorts by EXIF time data, but again -- not important, and even if the EXIF time data is wrong (as it would be with a scanned picture), you have the ability to change it *within the program.*

    Bottom line: everything that needs to be done with iPhoto must be done *from within the program.* If you want to micro-manage your photos by hand, that's a lot of extra busy work for you but it's your choice -- and iPhone would thus not be the right program for someone who wants to do that.

  7. #7

    chscag's Avatar
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    I don't always agree with chas_m....

    But this time I have to agree with him regarding iPhoto. I wasn't a big fan of using it for quite a while and was actually using Picasa for photo work. However, I ran into problems with Picasa several times and actually lost quite a bit of work that I had done on retouching photos for prints.

    I decided then to give iPhoto another try. Surprisingly to me, I found iPhoto to much superior to Picasa in just about every way. I continue to use it and have yet to lose a single photo retouch since. Just my opinion.

  8. #8


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    a. iPhoto supports multiple libraries, so absolutely yes you can have them organized as you do on your external hard drive. Open iPhoto with the option key held down, and you will be prompted to select *or create* a library. You can create one for each camera if you like. To change libraries, just open iPhoto with the option key held down again.

    b. STOP messing around inside iPhoto's library package. You are CERTAIN to lose data if you continue to do this. It is *irrelevant* how iPhoto sorts the imported pictures internally, because they can be presented to you (literally) any way you want within the program. As it happens (as you've discovered) it sorts by EXIF time data, but again -- not important, and even if the EXIF time data is wrong (as it would be with a scanned picture), you have the ability to change it *within the program.*

    Bottom line: everything that needs to be done with iPhoto must be done *from within the program.* If you want to micro-manage your photos by hand, that's a lot of extra busy work for you but it's your choice -- and iPhone would thus not be the right program for someone who wants to do that.
    After many hours of trying to figure this out, I've come to the conclusion that iPhoto is great at "managing" the photos with the iPhoto application but sucks at "managing" the files as it stored on the system in that I can't customize it the way I want it to be stored and modifying the filing system isn't an option because iPhoto doesn't allow you to change the way it files your photos away. You can always change the name of the files but they still store them under Picture/iPhoto (show package content)/year of import/ month of import/day of import/date and time stamp of import/pictures.

    I find this to be silly as a photo program should allow the user to determine where the photos should be stored. The program that I settled on using allows me to customize the location of where I want my photos to be stored and how I want the filing system to manage the files. I can't believe iPhoto doesn't allow this.

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