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What's wrong with iPhoto
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Author Topic: What's wrong with iPhoto  (Read 14390 times)
gusmahler
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« on: December 30, 2008, 11:01:40 PM »

I've searched here and it seems that people basically blow off iPhoto as a serious DAM program. I know it's not "serious" enough for a pro. And it's probably not good enough for someone with a large number of photos. But I'm wondering exactly what is wrong with the program such that it is not good enough for serious work?

Here's my situation: I'm currently a PC user. However, I'm thinking of moving to the Mac. I'm not a pro photographer, but I'm the unofficial keeper of my family's images. Thus, I have a lot of images. I haven't bothered tallying the total, because it's spread over two hard drives and I don't currently use DAM software. But I'd guess it's around 50-75 GB of images. Currently, I use Bridge and have transitioned to shooting mainly in RAW. Problem is, my wife HATES Bridge. We used to use Photoshop Elements 3 and that's what she's used to. She thinks Bridge is too complicated to actually find images (and she's right about that, at least until I keyword the images).

So I was wondering if she could use iPhoto as her way to find images to send to people and such, while I use Lightroom to do serious cataloging and image manipulation (in conjunction with CS3).

So please delineate the limitations of iPhoto for me. And comment on my proposed usage of iPhoto. (My only experience with iPhoto is playing around with it at the Apple store).

Gus
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2008, 07:37:01 AM »

Gus,
The biggest problems with iPhoto are really fundamental.  One is that the program constantly makes additional copies of files, rather than using references to the files.  This can fill yur drive fast, and be nearly impossible to sort out later. The other is a corresponding lack of control or transparency over what you are doing with the files.

I'd try to get her to use Lightroom.
Peter

Caveat - I have not played around with iPhoto for some time, and this behavior may have changed.
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CJRichardson
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 10:41:09 AM »

There's nothing wrong with iPhoto until you get lots of images or have large file sizes after that it takes ages to load, resolve pixellation and to do anything else and it will hit this ceiling no matter how fast your processor or memory. Even a busy family camera with lots of holidays and family events under its belt will soon log up a huge number of digital images especially if you are not deleting the out-of-focus, thumb-over-lens type. After that the only thing to do is export everything and start again. 

If you have it, use it because for complete novices (or new MAC users) it's a really lovely simple to use program for viewing images, and then you'll soon find what other functions you would like/need.

The answer is yes of course it's ideal for sending/posting images etc.

CJRichardson
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CJRichardson
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2009, 10:44:52 AM »

I forgot to add that everything Peter says is absolutely correct (of course!), and no it hasn't changed its behaviour Peter, but as I'm a new member I thought I'd do my bit even if it's limited, before I rush off and pick the brains of every poster on the forum.

CJRichardson
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frankgindc
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009, 03:38:39 PM »

Another thought:  I think you could also use iPhoto to point to existing folders of photos and -- in that way -- it could serve as a more "user friendly" interface for other family members. 

As for me, I am mostly using Lightroom but I use iPhoto for its excellent photo book capabilities.  I just export the images that I want to a temorary folder and then access them via iPhoto to assemble the book.    When I'm sure I won't need those derivatives again, I delete them and recreate them later if needed.   

 think something similar could work, say, if you had another user in the house who only wanted to view and email or print photos: you could point iPhoto to your DAM library (it's non destructive editing and shouldn't mess anything up) and as long as they didn't make edits there should be no big harddrive hit or other problems.   

Thoughts?

Frank
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CJRichardson
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2009, 06:19:16 AM »

Hi Frank,
good use of the software. why didn't i think of that?

CJRichardson



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gusmahler
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2009, 06:22:33 PM »

I was reading somewhere that iPhoto no longer copies photos you import into it. True? (I believe it said that you now have the option of having iPhoto merely point to the files) If so, does that make it a better DAM program?

Gus M
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NJHeart2Heart
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2009, 07:26:22 AM »

Interesting discussion.  I too am a transitional PC to Mac user (my mac arrives before August 4th- yippee!), and although I use and really like LR2 for my photo library, I'd certainly like to leverage any specific cababilities in iphoto (like the photo books another user mentioned) that I can.

How does Iphoto work with photos? Is it a browser that can see photos in any folder, or do you have to import files into it to work with them?  If you have to import, it seems it would make sense to export photos from LR2 directly into a "watched folder" in iphoto or something to that effect?  In other words, if I decide to use iphoto for some end-user features (photobooks, email, etc.) how can I customize to make that workflow as efficient as possible?  Or is this a discussion for an iphoto user group?

Dawn in NJ

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peterkrogh
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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2009, 02:43:57 PM »

Dawn,
iPhoto is a good program for what you outline.  I'd export adjusted images from LR (as full quality JPEGs) into the pictures folder, and then import into iPhoto.  You can keep them there, so you can revisit the project if necessary.
Peter
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DakotaWind
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2009, 08:19:11 PM »

New to your group and thought I'd add to this thread.

I've been on a Mac for several years and have used iPhoto for the books and calendars.  Nothing is really wrong with it, it is just a simple program.  You can choose to have it duplicate your photos on import or have them referenced.  It organizes your photos into what they call Events.  If you have a lot of photos in your Pictures folder that are not organized, iPhoto will do that for you.  You can make your own events as well after import.  Once imported you can make albums where you can add any photo from any event.  You can organize them as you see fit.  If you already have your photos organized in Finder by folder it will take the folders and call them Events.  Then make albums from there.  You do need to make an album when making books, calendars etc.  iPhoto also can do simple adjustments and you can elect to send the photos to an external editor as well.

If you have your photos in iPhoto or Aperture they will show up in the media box when using other Mac applications.

I don't use it regularly, but it can come in handy.  If you are looking for a simple editing and organizing program, and you're switching to a Mac, it comes already installed, so give it a try.

Sue

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rogerhoward
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2009, 03:03:06 PM »

FWIW - while I find iPhoto limiting, I do like it's integration into other applications in Mac OSX, and some of its features are quick and useful. It doesn't manage my library, but I do import - by *reference* - my library into iPhoto regularly so it's accessible via the iPhoto hooks elsewhere in Mac OSX, as well as the ability to use iPhoto Faces for people tagging (which I then synchronize back to the images as XMP subject keywords).

It's true iPhoto used to require a copy of each image in its Library, but it has had (for several versions, i believe) the ability to instead only import by reference - it will still generate cached thumbnails of your images in its Library, but the originals will not be copied and instead will be accessed from wherever they were imported from... the option is in the Advanced section of its preferences.

-Roger
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Roger Howard
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