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?

.Mac Web Galleries

After all the hype I decided to try out the new Apple web galleries so I uploaded my first album. The upload speed seemed pretty sluggish as did the loading of the actual album on visiting the web page. Presentation on the website is superb though and it’s a great way of showing off your photo’s.

First .Mac Web Gallery

One of the nicest ways of viewing the album is using the carousel. This is like coverflow in iTunes and allows you to scroll through the pictures. Only annoyance is it takes a while for pictures later in the album to get the high res sharper version of the photo so you can spend a while looking at fairly fuzzy pictures. Another feature I like is that as you move the mouse over the album photo in the gallery page it flicks through the images in the album – very slick and mirrors the functionality seen in iPhoto.

While many have seen this as a Flickr competitor for me they are two different beasts. .Mac Web Galleries allow you to easily upload albums of photo’s (and also video’s) and let your friends view or download them. Flickr lets you do the same but with far more disk space and has a whole community supporting it with forums, groups and commenting. It also has far stronger tools for editing sets, albums and also supporting geo-tagging. One feature that .mac has got is photo uploading – letting people upload photo’s to your album which then sync back to iPhoto. I find that pretty odd as thats something I don’t think I would ever use. Due to space and speed alone I’ll be sticking with Flickr – be nice to see them up their game when it comes to presenting albums though.