Help me take the pain out of organizing my photos
February 6, 2010 5:18 AM   Subscribe

I have a zillion photos in iPhoto and half a zillion scattered around my hard disks. I'd like to organise them all into clean, portable folders, keeping my iPhoto ratings and killing dupes, and somehow automate this process.

As a follow-up to this question: I have tens of thousands of photos on my Mac. Since I posted my last question I've experimented with different apps and workflows, and the photos are now all over the place (in other words, across various folders and disks, in JPG and RAW, and some in various iPhoto libraries).

I'd like to get my photos out of iPhoto and organise them all into folders once and for all, i.e. by shooting date, so I can easily make selections of which are keepers and be free to use any photo editing workflow. I'm looking for ideas of workflows or software/scripts that could help me do this quickly and easily. All photos have accurate EXIF data which I could use for this, together with OS X smart folders. I'd also be keen to know what kind of folder hierarchies you guys have found work best for you.

Ideally, the system would also:
  • Somehow retain my ratings, for those that are rated in iPhoto (e.g. by putting higher rated photos in their own folders)
  • Identify possible duplicates and place them in a separate folder for me to go through them
posted by scrm to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
One suggestion (maybe not the best, but the first that came into my mind) is to import them all into Lightroom, allowing it to automatically organise them all by date in a Year/Month/Date hierarchy.

I don't know of any way of importing iPhoto rating data into Lightroom as star ratings directly, but you could use this ingenious method of turning them into keywords, then select all the images marked with "1 star" and rate them 1 star, etc. Also, as long as the Automatically Write Changes Into XMP thingy is ticked, you are exporting any changes you do in Lightroom. I know for a fact that they'll all open up with the RAW changes in Adobe Bridge.

The duplicates thing is not something I'm sure about. I think if the filenames are the same, then Lightroom might pick up on it, but there's probably a better method around.
posted by Magnakai at 6:25 AM on February 6, 2010

One step may be to pick one iPhoto library and import everything else into it. That will do all the sorting by date for you, and it will allow you to skip over any duplicates it finds too. I don't know how its dupe-matching works but it has identified a bunch for me. You may need to pull out the ones that have ratings in the other libraries manually.
posted by olecranon at 9:36 AM on February 6, 2010

« Older Meal Ideas for the Limited Pantry   |   Please help me find a specific wallpaper site. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.