OK photogs - software (Mac) question...


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Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
Jan 29, 2013 - 11:01am PT
I don't know of any simple way to keep both iPhoto and Lightroom going without maintaining two copies of the photos. I'd dump iPhoto. I imported into both for a while, but have fully moved over to Lightroom. I pop out into full Photoshop occasionally (mainly for web work, rather than pure photography) but not all that often. If I was doing professional photography, I'd be popping out more to get the last couple of %.

To view hidden files and directories, go to Utilities, open Terminal, and copy and paste:
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

Finder will then show all files. That makes it easier to import the iPhoto directory into Lightroom.

Definitely worth thinking through how you are going to tag and track your photos. I haven't been as organized as I should have, and have ended up with my photography and stock photos I was using for a web project mixed together in a few places. Not good. Lightroom doesn't suffer the disorganized as well as iPhoto does.

There are good books on Lightroom and workflow. My house burned down two months ago, so I can't dig up the book I used and am not recognizing it on Amazon. I'd ask Jerry Dodrill. I think I chose it based on a recommendation from him. I'd highly recommend taking his summer class at Sierra Nevada College. A lot of time is spent on digital darkroom skills and he is a whiz. I'd also highly recommend offsite backups :-)

Getting the workflow right is pretty key. Lightroom has put the editing commands in the order it thinks you should use them, but worth think through what you want to do in raw before going into the lightroom editor. Also, using batch commands on a set of similar photos to quickly get close.

For people who just need a simple tool, http://ipiccy.com/ is pretty darn cool for a free, online photo editor.

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Jan 29, 2013 - 12:21pm PT
Jbaker has it right. It will bite you eventually (with confusing duplicates) to run both.

Iphoto 9 was the last OK version but it seems to be all about automation now.

Just wait till your car starts driving itself cuz it Thinks you're about to wreck, rendering your steering wheel and brakes useless. Think I'm joking?


Mountain climber
Jan 29, 2013 - 12:33pm PT
There are good books on Lightroom and workflow......Getting the workflow right is pretty key.

I found this guy's $25 ebook a bargain. Leading outdoor photographer with a professional workflow:


Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 29, 2013 - 12:42pm PT
jbaker, thanks for the input.

Personally I find iPhoto works just fine in terms organizing my photos. Thus far I'm finding the Lightroom interface clunky for that. But what can I expect after three days. I'm sure there are key aspects I'm missing. I have no intention of keeping duplicate files around.

Apple does what they do for reasons. I get that they are frustrating to some. Whatever. I just let myself adapt to what they offer rather than try and change it or let myself get my panties in a twist.

In the end chances are I won't want direct access to my iPhoto files - they are not organized in any way that would make it easier for me to import. I'll just have to take the time and work through years of my photos if I decide move them all into Lightbox. Which is fine since they need to be worked through and organized better anyway.

As far as off site backups go I've done that for years. Time machine and two external drives. One goes in the fire safe and the other goes out the door. Sometimes it's in my truck, sometimes at a friends. Doesn't matter. If my truck blows up and catches my house on fire then I'll just shoot myself (provided all the ammo doesn't go off in the fire safe).

Back to Lightroom - I've been focusing on getting the hang of organizing and managing files. I'm still looking for the setting to change the default import directory (from Pictures). Once I get the hang of that I'll move on to the Editing stuff. I see those are the tools I'm looking for that iPhoto can't come close to touching.

Big Mike

Trad climber
Jan 29, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
Nature. Simplify your life and dump all your images in a photos folder in the original camera folders. Then go from there.

Edit I guess I should say that I copy all my images to my computer directly from my cf card. I don't import them. I just find the last image in my computer photos folder and then goto the cf card folder and copy everything newer than that. It makes it a lot easier to keep them in the original camera folders and then they don't get mixed up.

Mountain climber
Somewhere Up There
Jan 29, 2013 - 01:00pm PT
I shoot Nikon Raw (NEF), ingest with Photo Mechanic, then import with Adobe LR4. For edits not possible in LR4 I go out to Photoshop or Nikon NX2 or Helicon or whatever, and then save back to LR4. LR4 is a great cataloging tool and it does most edits. All on a MacBook Pro 17.

Someone mentioned they use also use Nikon NX 2. Nikon NX2 is becoming archaic. Nikon is not updating it anymore and the company that developed the program for Nikon has been bought by Google.

Another thought, if you have use for more than just Lightroom, consider Adobe Creative Cloud. It's a subscription. For $50 a month you get access to every program they make, and all updates: Photoshop, Lightroom, Premier, Audition, Dreamweaver, Flash, Acrobat, etc. If you use some of those things or need to, it's a tremendous value.
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Jan 29, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
I always used Photoshop as a journalist (though I am not a graphic designer).

I have Adobe Suite with Photoshop included. But since upgrading to OS X Lion, it does not support My Adobe Suite. Bummer, but I cannot and will not put out like 1,000 plus for a product I already bought.

Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 30, 2013 - 01:47am PT
So I'd like to easily manage my photos between my various Apple devices. How to I go about getting my photos onto my iPhone or (especially) iPad if I ditch iPhoto?

(drag to album in iPhoto on Mac and sync is about as easy as it gets)

old-schoolers need not reply ;-)
The Alpine

Jan 30, 2013 - 10:40am PT
The first step is to stop using iPhoto!

What about a networked harddrive? Access to all from anywhere.
I second the sentiment above of just copying your cards into a organized photos directory folder on your computer.

Maybe, I missed it, but what are you using the photos for? Personal? Business?

Frozen In Somewhere
Jan 30, 2013 - 10:46am PT
Lightroom. Aperture is iPhoto glorified, and an absolute nightmare for file management. I tried to use Aperture for a year and just gave up, it does truly just suck in its file management. If you find iPhoto annoying then Aperture is professional-level annoying.

Within about an hour of using Lightroom my photo world made sense again. Both programs take some time to work out, but having really worked through Aperture I would never foist that program on anyone, I truly hate it. All those lost hours in Aperture trying to find files, organize drives, my god but it is horrendous. Didn't realize how bitter I was until I started writing this.

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Jan 30, 2013 - 11:23am PT
If you already have an older version of photoshop on your computer,
you can upgrade to the latest version for about 200 dollars.

Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 30, 2013 - 11:27am PT
The Alpine: For personal.

I have decided on Lightroom. Aperture doesn't have a trial version so forget that.

I've just upgraded my cameras - I bought a canon S100 with underwater housing and a canon 60D.

regarding iPhoto - I don't find it annoying at all. Maybe I'm just use to it. So far I've found the way Lightroom organizes to be slightly annoying but I probably need to get use to that.

If someone can point out how I can use Lightroom to manage my images and share them seamlessly and as easily with my other iOS devices I'll be more inclined to use that. Until then I guess I'll do my work in Lightroom and management in iPhoto.

Cosmic - I don't and I don't need Photoshop. I'm not planning on doing manipulations. The "Develop" area in Lightroom is really all I need (minus organizing).

Credit: nature

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:34pm PT

photo not found
Missing photo ID#287186

Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 30, 2013 - 01:44pm PT

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:48pm PT
I could have done better if I had a Wacom Pen Tablet
on my laptop, like I do my home computer.

Trying to select and erase with a mouse sucks.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:02pm PT
I use Aperture 3 and like it just fine. Run it on a newish Macbook Pro with 8G of ram. Anything less and the performance is too poor.

--Great for organizing a large library and very fast on keyword (including data in the image headers) searches even with 100,000+ images in the library

--good tools in Aperture for image tweaking and good ability to work in batch mode. If I want to put sharks behind divers, I fire up Photoshop Elements 9.


Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:37pm PT
I just upgraded from cs3 to cs5
and i'm lovin it!

Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 30, 2013 - 03:52pm PT
If you already have an older version of photoshop on your computer,
you can upgrade to the latest version for about 200 dollars.

Depends how old the older version is. Adobe used to allow upgrades from any previous version. They changed that policy a few years back. Now they only allow 2 versions back or newer to qualify for upgrade pricing.

Seattle, WA
Jan 30, 2013 - 04:32pm PT
Lightroom has a "copy photos into my library" or "import in place" setting. I think iphoto has the same which should let you import and index the same folders of images with both without having either keep a copy internally (they just keep a pointer to the location).

You may have to export everything from iphoto first.


Boulder, CO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 30, 2013 - 05:57pm PT
I gave that a try but if I export it from iPhoto it makes a copy. I can't switch iPhoto to view the export as one of its libraries.
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