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  1. #1

    Demapples's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 28, 2011
    Switcher with photos -- some wiser words
    Switched in April, but the one thing I haven't figured out to my satisfaction yet is dealing with my photo collection.

    In Windows, I had the photos all organized in a folder system. I would import photos from my camera by dragging and dropping between two Windows Explorer screens. I'd make a subfolder for "processed" versions to preserve the masters. That manual workflow made everything clear. Backup was easy.

    I copied that photo folder system from my Windows PC to an external hard drive, then copied it from there to my iMac's hard drive. Then I thought I'd give this iPhoto thing and chance and imported it. After playing with iPhoto for a while I decided to skip using my PhotoShop/Bridge combo under Windows in Parallels and buy Aperture. So I imported my iPhoto library into Aperture, without reading the manual carefully.

    Now I'm regretting not planning this a whole lot more carefully. I haven't lost any images, but I think I'm going to have to start over again systematically. Fortunately I haven't done much photography since getting the iMac.

    So, a wiser word:

    1. Preserve your original Windows image folder system.
    2. Read the manuals and forums before importing anything to iPhoto or Aperture. Their automated libraries are marvellous for managing an image collection, but a lot goes on under the hood, and it makes more sense to plan the organization ahead of time. Even then, only import a couple of hundred images before bringing in the whole shebang.
    3. Think ahead to backing up too. iPhoto and Aperture keep their photos in humungous single databases, not branching folders. Changing one photo triggers a big backup next time Time Machine fires up. So then one can consider backing up Aperture's Vault feature instead.

    You get the idea...

    Bottom line, don't rush into switching your photos. There are some awesome references on the web. Wish I'd found them first. I'll be back with my tips, once I get it right.

  2. #2

    BrianLachoreVPI's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 24, 2011
    March 2011 15" MBP 2.3GHz i7 Quad Core 8GB Ram | Mid 2011 27" iMac 3.4 GHz i7 16 GB RAM 2 TB HDD
    Yes - I had a similar struggle when I switched - but thanks to some instruction from Doug B and some trial and error (mostly error) along the way I have a little better feel for it now. I don't use the default Aperture Library - rather - I created my own - and then when I import images from the camera - I define the path that I want for those images using the import options. Experiment with that a little and I think you'll find what you're looking for.

  3. #3

    Doug b's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 22, 2008
    Forest Hills, NYC
    15-inch Early 2008; Processor 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; Memory 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 10.7.5
    You can actually have Aperture preserve your folder structure and file tree hierarchy, and in fact use it as such. It does create its own little database, but that doesn't have to dictate how your folders and files are stored. iPhoto unfortunately doesn't offer this feature, or else it would be a great application, and one that I would maybe use if I wasn't already using Lightroom.

    I've once again uninstalled Aperture, but I'm sure that others here can help you figure out how to get it to do what I am suggesting. If not, I'll install it again and help you out. The one thing I don't like is that this information isn't as obvious or available as it should be. Documentation and tutorials for Aperture are kind of sparse and incomplete from what I've seen. Even from third party sources.


  4. #4

    Member Since
    Apr 23, 2009
    Sheffield, England
    Model Identifier: iMac9,1 Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
    Good advise! I too copied over my Windows folders and started to use iPhoto, but when I discovered what was happening, backed off and have never used it since. I don't need the gimmicky bits of the program, like face recognition, and I do like to keep control of my own database. Elements for the Mac lets me do that and provides a lot more functionality than iPhoto.

  5. #5
    You can actually have iPhoto preserve your photo-folder structure as well, though by default it is set to NOT do that.

    I've commented on iPhoto's strengths and weaknesses and the whole "I want to manage all my photos myself even though I have a computer to do that sort of thing" mentality before, so I won't repeat myself. Easily available here on search if one is interested.

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