Just stumbled upon this discussion. Very interesting....lots of good points and information. While I personally prefer the Windows approach to photo management (eg, create and manage my own filing system...easier to get my head around), I appreciate Terence Devlin's comments. I learned good information from his responses. In fact, I am taking a closer look at iPhoto now. If I can't get my head around the program after 2-3 hours of concerted effort I will use something else.
But I did find Terence's input extremely valuable.
Follow up to my previous post - I spent time with iPhoto today. I'm impressed. I'm coming from a Windows environment where I've managed my own photo file hierarchy for the last 10+ years. I was really worried I would lose the flexibility to arrange my filing system the way I wanted. I was wrong.
1) Yes, you can nest folders and albums and consolidate events in ways that make sense. In my case, I like to nest folders as follows: Year-->Month-->Album.
2) I consolidated Events by months (eg, January 2012 or February 2012) to add some structure to the Events that were created when I imported my library. Merging Events is quite easy. But Events are not where the action is. The filing flexibility is in the Albums section (see next point).
3) I like how I can then nest folders within folders and albums within folders (can't nest an album in an album) to create a more detailed hierarchy that works for me. For example, in the Albums bar on the left I have 2012 (a Folder)-->Jan '12 (a Folder) --> Album #1 (an Album filled with photos) (I actually have several Albums per month).
4) I don't care that iPhoto's Folder/Album hierarchy is just a simple mirror and my actual files are stored in a place I shouldn't touch. I can still edit in Photoshop, email photos, upload photos, delete photos, etc. Will I miss knowing exactly where the file is stored and how to get it? I don't think so, but time will tell. I can even print via the iPhoto GUI right to my Canon MP530 printer. I do miss some of the more customizable features found in my Canon print software (eg, filmstrip layout), but for those occasions I can simply fire up the Canon software, export those photos to the desktop where my Canon interface can see them. Since I rarely do special printing this won't be a big hassle.
5) If this system bites and I end up not liking it, my original files are there and I can move them to a more traditional Finder filing system.
6) One more thing...I really like the Keyword system...neat for easy creation of custom Albums (eg, create Album for all pictures containing the keyword "ducks"). I won't tag every photo now uploaded...would be impossible. But adding keywords to select photos going forward is a piece of cake.
Long story short, Terence Devlin's comments earlier in this string made me take a second look at iPhoto and I like what I see. Sure I can make do without this program, but for integration with all the family iDevices over a central NAS I think this will work quite nicely.
Thanks for you kind comments but...
but for integration with all the family iDevices over a central NAS
About that NAS... iPhoto needs to have the Library sitting on disk formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Users with the Library sitting on disks otherwise formatted regularly report issues including, but not limited to, importing, saving edits and sharing the photos. Later versions won't allow running from a NAS and early ones have problems.
Terence - thanks for the heads up. Fortunately we're an all-Apple household and the drives will indeed be formatted for Mac OS Extended (Journaled). The NAS approach is new to me and I'm walking before I run. We have too many iDevices and media on too many different machines. I'm trying to consolidate our files with an always-on approach so all family members can access/sync to our shared iTunes account on the wireless network. If you have any pearls of wisdom here I'm all ears.
Wrt to your point 5 on 24 March, I found accessing the Master quite useful when wanting to do an on-line backup of the originals of all my photos.
(I do back-up my mac with Time Machine on an external hard drive, but that is not sufficient, for example if both are stollen or my house burns down).
When you do on-line back-ups, you want to limit the space used so to limit the impact on the bandwidth used. Therefore the absolute need is to only back-up the original photos. In Master, there were 10 times less files than in the whole iPhoto Library directory, and at least half the size.
What alternative would you advise for the above?
I do not think iCloud allows to backup photos?
Since you did not give an answer, which most of us in the google,yahoo,wikipedia search world try to find answers to what we want. It makes your answer extremely non informative and more politico.. If I wanted politics I'd of asked the question in my micormanaged office and gotten more than one answer still leaving said issue probably un-answered. Props to user:photosearcher for giving the youtube on PRECISELEY and DIRECTLY how to find with a specific answer to the question. As a Windows convert myself I am finding that the MAC life is more one of buying stuff new (heaven forbid I'm using a 5th Gen 30GB Ipod), staying within the lines of apple products (heaven forbid i am using a Blackberry and not an Iphone, yes Ical,Mail Notes & Contacts sync both ways!! I too found an answer on how to fix that) and secret innuendo like this illusive location of the Iphoto directory. Thanks Guys for the informative answer!! and the laugh on politics even here on apple.com..
Most easy way to see where you file is located on OS is to right click on photo in iPhoto and click on 'Show Original File'. It will open the folder where this file is and you can see other pictures in the same folder as well. This way you don't have to browse the automatically created folders by events (date created etc.) folders in 'Originals' or 'Masters' folder to see the exact photo you want to find on your computer.
Maybe you can help with this question. I have been slowly importing my photos into iPhoto 11. I made sure to import the files into the iPhoto library. However, I'm now randomly finding that the source file for many of my imported photos is missing when I click to open the image within iPhoto (error message says original item cannot be found). Many photos are there, but many are not. Thankfully I still have the source image/location intact. But I spent hours importing and creating events and albums. My favorable opinion of iPhoto is about to go out the window if I can't figure out why this is happening. The thumbnails are there...just not the file in the library. I have not changed folder names or changed the file path.
Any help appreciated.
Terence - that's the crux of the issue. It's not a referenced Library. I properly imported/copied the images into the iPhoto managed master library folder. I have photos from the same event, imported at the same time, that can be found and others that cannot. It makes no sense. A quick Google search has turned up this issue and I wondered if you knew what was going on.
I imported my first batch of photos incorrectly the first time around. The "import box" was unchecked, and I ended up with a referenced library. I caught that error early, deleted those references, and redid all my work with the box checked (meaning I imported an original file to the iPhoto managed library folder).
So I now have lots of photos working properly with the original file where it should be. But I also have lots of photos that I cannot "Reveal in Finder" because it can't find the source image on my local drive in the Library folder.