Photo Management

Since moving to the Mac managing most data has been fairly easy. My doc’s are all straightened out, music is in iTunes capable hands and photo’s are thrown into iPhoto and it’s easy to sync and publish from the one app. Lightroom has changed all that.

I started using Lightroom at Christmas and I love the finer control I get on my photo’s. However all my photo’s prior to Christmas are managed in iPhoto. The only way to get the photo’s from Lightroom into iPhoto would be to export from Lightroom into iPhoto and keep two separate sets of the same photo. Grrr. I hate duplication and I hate over complicating processes.

iPhoto’s most annoying feature is that it moves photo’s into it’s own library. I would love to have it create a library of images from across my drives but leave them in their location just like Picasa does. I tried Picasa when it came out for the Mac but iPhoto was by far the better tool for me.

So that leaves me with two photo libraries at the moment and none of my new photo’s on the iPhone as I didn’t want to create duplicates. There’s a couple of options in iPhoto for changing the editor which is a bit clunky in practice and for copying items into library but all that does is change the import from a move to a copy. I just hope iPhoto 10 has the options to manage files out with the library. That would be an update worth paying for. I guess there’s nothing for it but to export and duplicate the files I want to view on the iPhone into iPhoto. At least then I can take advantage of the new face tagging features as well. Or is there another option that I’m missing?

6 Comments

  1. You have tried the iphoto -> preferences -> advanced and deselected the "Copy photos to library" option? Or am I missing something?

  2. Do you need to keep them in Lightroom? I import photos from my camera as RAW images into Aperture 2. I then weed out the rubbish, tweak any pictures that need it, then export them out as high quality jpegs and import them into iPhoto for permanent storage. I delete what's left in Aperture when I'm done. I'd follow the same process if I used Lightroom. iPhoto is my preference for general browsing of photos and works well as long as I remember to tag, but Lightroom and Aperture are much better for editing them. Of course, if you need the masters, and therefore like the non-invasive editing, then Aperture and Lightroom are the way to go.

    Henry, the problem with your suggested solution is that Lightroom, like Aperture, doesn't make any changes to the actual photo, instead changes are applied in realtime when an image is opened from stored meta data, and are only made permanent when an image is exported from Lightroom/Aperture. Therefore, his images would only show their adjustments whilst viewed in Lightroom, which is fine if that's his primary library. That's really the reason I export my images after tweaking them… then I can view them anywhere, with adjustments made. I guess that's the real barrier to being able to view images from a common Library if you use Lightroom and Aperture. Double Twist for example will pull in photos from locations all over the Mac, but anything from Lightroom and Aperture won't have their adjustments applied.

  3. Cheers for the comments guys. Zero nails the issue in that I need to export to see the image changes – non destructive image editing in Lightroom is very nice until you want to see the changes elsewhere. I'm going to go with exporting my fav's into iPhoto and live with the duplication. It's not like I take that many photo's anyway, or indeed have that many 'good' photo's. Just like everything quite clean and simple.

  4. Oh, I dunno. You have an eye Ian… I wouldn't be surprised to see you with an SLR in the next couple of years.

  5. It's the size and cost and the frequency of my photographs. Maybe one day but not at the moment.

  6. Yup. Not for everyone. One of those things though, once you spend a lot of time with an SLR, it's hard to go back. There's shots I took of dolphins leaping at Sea World that were impossible on a point and shoot. And similarly, shots I missed at the Waterworld ride that I could have got had I brought the SLR. Probably why I keep my kit small… no outboard flash, f1.8 50mm and 28-125IS, small bag, nothing else. Not into two backpacks of gear. 🙂

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