Are you overwhelmed by iPhoto ? Do you have thousands of pictures and now it’s becoming apparent you need to manage your photos in way that you can actually find them when you need to ? That sorta happened to me. As I went looking through iPhoto and started deleting what i thought were copies of photos to free up some space, some things started happening and they weren’t good. So hopefully you can learn from my mistakes.
First, you need to decide if you want iPhoto to be used in a Managed Library mode or Reference Library mode. Managed library mode is highly recommended with iPhoto because Reference library get much more complicated for this basic app. Managed library mode is when iPhoto manages the files. When you import your photos they will be stored in the iPhoto Library package. Reference library mode is when you manage the files. You must set up the filing structure, import the photos into a folder you set up, then you can import them into iPhoto. It is a 2 step process. If you use the Managed library mode, iPhoto can automatically open up your photos in any application you use such as Photoshop.
Every time you import photos, iPhoto creates an event. Events can be merged by dragging one event over another to create one new event. You can keep repeating to consolidate your photo library.
I found this unique feature, to browse different photo libraries or see all your photo libraries, hold down the Option key while you are opening up iPhoto and a window will pop up showing all your libraries.
I also saw the iPhoto appeared to be making (what I thought) 4 copies of each photo ! Yikes ! So I started trying to delete photo copies. It turns out that they are not ‘copies’ in the sense we think of but just 4 versions of the same photo and messing around with deleting these can corrupt your library and lead to loss of data. So be careful how you delete photos.
I had several events of old material I wanted to delete and found the best way was to view photos as events and drag each event into the trash in iPhoto. Make sure and check the ‘don’t ask again’ box if you are deleting a lot of events as this can slow you down. Then go to the iPhoto menu at top left upper side of screen and if you have successfully trashed your photos, the empty trash option will be highlighted. Click on it and wolla ! You should have successfully deleted your photos.
If you want to back up iPhoto, the easiest way is to drag iPhoto library from the Picture folder to another disk and copy them onto that disk.
If you want to get more advanced with your editing, a good app that supports iPhoto is Aperture. iPhoto and Aperture share a common imaging system which makes Aperture compatible to share photos.
Personally I think iPhotos is great for simple edits and simple file management. Photos app are fun for the average recreational user but in the end, take a good photo to begin with and you will see the magic on screen. Happy Photo Management !
Now, get to work !
And thanks to Apple Support Online and Adam Rosen, Mac Expert at http://www.cultofmac.com/71987/how-to-consolidate, and Terence Devlin at https://discussions.apple.com for their Mac advice posts you can view online.