backing up iphoto 08?

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
What techniques to people use for backing up/organsing photos on the Mac? I like using iphoto for general browsing/organising, and I downloaded photoshop elements for editing as iphoto is a bit limited there. (annoying adobe don't let you upgrade cross-platform as I already have it on PC...)

Lets take my son's birthday party yesterday as a specific example. Came home, imported the photos into iphoto. went through and deleted about two thirds of them as they were duplicate/no good (as usual). Then the rest I touched up slightly in photoshop elements. So I'm left with an event with just the photos I want to keep. Lovely. Easy to browse, easy to manage etc.

These latest photos aren't in a folder structure anymore (imported direct to iphoto), so I wanted to put them there (just my preference for backing up). I went into finder and selected the iphoto library and did 'show package contents'. This opens the library up so you can see 'original' and 'modified' folders with your photos in. But if I go into the birthday folder it has all the photos I imported. Even the modified folder which I would have expected to only have the ones I kept. Not a major problem - I can just 'select all' in an event and export to file. but it surprised me.

iPhoto seems to be keeping *two* copies of *every* photo I import. Even the ones I immediately dismiss and delete are still there in both original and modified folders. Considering I might keep at most 1/3 of them, thats very wasteful to me - its keeping 200 photos (100x2) where I only want to keep 30. All my current photos fit on a DVD (about 3GB). But iphoto is already over 5GB after a couple of imports and will only get bigger. So backing up to DVD will become tedious

Is there any way to get iphoto to permanently delete photos that I remove from the library?

Should I change how I organise things? eg import into a folder from the camera, and then import the keepers into iphoto. But iphoto is useful for browsing to see which ones I want to keep, so catch 22 there.

I think for backup purposes I'd just wait until I have a new event sorted how I like it, then just 'select all-export' and pop the edited photos into a folder on an external drive. Then do my usual backup to DVD from those folders, and not backup iphoto at all. Easy enough to reimport thanks to iphoto creating events from folder names.
 

CarlB

Well-known Member
After you have an event with the photos you want to keep, select all the photos then click 'File > Export'. Drop the files into a new folder on your desktop. This will only export the selected files, so any that have been deleted or hidden will not be included.

You could then delete the event from iPhoto to remove all the exisiting photos (remember to empty trash too **in iPhoto** not the main trash - originals are kept until you do this!), then import the folder that you just dropped onto the desktop. This will create an event with just the photos you need. It's a bit messy but iPhoto is designed for simplicity and to hide the complexity of photo libraries, and it inevitably breaks if you try to modify the library by hand.

I use 'Aperture'as my main photo program, as it has more sophisticated management tools and vastly improved editing capabilities, but I still export to iPhoto for the convenience of its books/cards etc.

Is there any way to get iphoto to permanently delete photos that I remove from the library?
See above, but just to reiterate: iPhoto keeps a copy of the photo in its own trash bin and your 'originals' folder until you choose 'iPhoto > Empty Trash' from within iPhoto.
 

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
cheers. I did that export for printing so I can use the same for my own backups.

So if (as I did) I deleted around 50-60 photos from the 'birthday' event, then I'll have a big trash folder in iphoto (not dock)? If I empty that, then the photos will be removed from my hard drive? If so then that'll keep sizes down ok.
 

CarlB

Well-known Member
cheers. I did that export for printing so I can use the same for my own backups.

So if (as I did) I deleted around 50-60 photos from the 'birthday' event, then I'll have a big trash folder in iphoto (not dock)? If I empty that, then the photos will be removed from my hard drive? If so then that'll keep sizes down ok.
Yes, it's the trash in the iPhoto bar on the left, not the system trash, that you need to empty. Once emptied it will remove items from your 'originals' folder as required.
 

SamRadford

Novice Member
I let Image Capture.app import images from my camera. The folder is set to view images at their largest size, which is generally good enough for browsing and trashing anything I don't want. I rename the images here and retouch in PhotoShop if necessary. Then I launch iPhoto and drag the images into a new album.

From this point, the original images in the folder are my backup copies which will not be touched again. They get copied onto my external Hard Drive automatically the next morning.

The image copies in iPhoto are my "working stock" from which I create web page galleries, email images to friends or whatever. The iPhoto library also gets backed up onto the Firewire drive. iPhoto library is split into several categories using "MorePhotoLibs" to keep each library below 4.3GB, making them easy to burn to DVD.

I'm not suggesting that my way of working will suit everyone but it's what I've evolved over several years to minimise frustration!
 

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