Please help me practice good hygiene when it comes to iPhoto and iPhones
December 1, 2013 2:19 PM   Subscribe

I have an iPhone. I use iPhoto on a MacBook. What settings for iCloud, Photo Stream, iTunes, etc will stop the frustrating situation I find myself in?

I take a lot of photos with my phone. Some I delete from my phone, some I don't delete until I see them on my computer, some I keep forever.

When it comes to actually doing something with the photos (e.g. getting prints made) I work from iPhoto on my MacBook. I have photos in iPhoto that I take with another camera, as well. I consider the photos on my computer to be the real photo library, the one that should rule all the others.

What's happening now is I'll go through photos in iPhoto and delete the ones I don't like. Then, some other day, I'll import the photos on my phone into iPhoto and ta dah! There are the photos I already deleted. I have to go through and weed out the bad ones again.

I've tried various settings for iPhoto, for iTunes, for iCloud, and with Photo Stream. None of them seem right.

What I want is to be able to delete photos from my phone and have them gone, or to delete them from iPhoto and have them gone, and for them never to pop up again. If it's been deleted from one device I want them deleted from all devices.

To add to all this: I also have an iPad, which doesn't have a camera but does down- and upload them with Photo Stream. My kids make a lot of artwork on the iPad and I like that it gets uploaded to my computer, but the kids end up seeing all the photos on Photo Stream, which can be annoying if there's something I don't want them to see (e.g. if I take a photo of a book to remind myself to buy it as a present).

What's the combination of settings I want on my phone, my computer, the iPad?
posted by The corpse in the library to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I've never used iPhoto with iCloud so can't help with that, but explaining my setup might be of some use to you.

I have a couple of Windows workstations, an ipad and an iPhone and found myself in a similar predicament so I started using Picasaweb (now part of google +) to gather all of my photos. I recently turned iCloud off as it was causing duplicates.

I have the G+ app installed on my phone and tablet and this can be set to auto upload all photos to my G+ account (privacy is set to private automatically). I always give it a couple of days after taking photos before a quick check that my most recent photos have uploaded, but once I confirm they're online I go into my photos on the phone/tablet and delete the lot.

I rarely get any duplicates, and the G+ interface makes it pretty easy to organise it all.

You can select large groups of photos in G+ to download locally as a zip file... Maybe this could work for you.

Additionally, there is an official Google youtube app called Capture that allows you to record, edit, and refine video and instantly upload the results to your YouTube channel (again, private by default), allowing you to delete the local version once the upload is confirmed. I know this isn't related to your issue, but it's good for managing storage.

posted by curtj at 4:25 PM on December 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Switching to Google is not an option. I've tried it, I hated it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:04 PM on December 1, 2013

You can't get what you want. But the reason this is happening is that you're re-importing your photos from your iPhone when you've ready gotten those photos via photo stream. Why are you doing that?

If it's to import videos, then import only the videos.

But you'll have to manually delete the photos from your phone and iPhoto separately.

Or don't use photo stream, delete the photos you don't want on your phone, then import manually it iPhoto.
posted by reddot at 6:25 PM on December 1, 2013

Response by poster: Most recently, I imported them from my phone because I'd made changes to correct the color on some of the photos while they were still on my phone, and the versions that were floating onto photo stream didn't show those changes.

I don't quite understand Photo Stream. I feel like deleting photos off it doesn't work -- they're gone from Photo Stream, but don't they still show up on the phone that took it, and on iPhoto?

If you could explain the proper workflow for dealing with photos while using Photo Stream, I'd appreciate it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:37 PM on December 1, 2013

This Is a good primer on PhotoStream which may help clear up some of your confusion.
posted by inviolable at 11:11 PM on December 1, 2013

Switching to Google is not an option. I've tried it, I hated it.
Sounds like you have never used the automatic photo-syncing feature though, which could solve your problems. You don't have to touch the rest of the service to use this.
posted by curtj at 12:22 AM on December 2, 2013

I use an iPhone, a proper DSLR, and Aperture (though I'm pretty sure you can do this in iPhoto as well) and I just turn off all that iCloud photo streaming junk. I use my phone like my camera: after taking a bunch of pictures with it, I download them to Aperture and then delete them from my phone. I'll tweak the pics, tag the people in them using the facial recognition feature, then rate the keepers using stars. Then I'll sync them back to my phone using smart albums. For instance, I have one album that is every pic in the last month, then another album that is every pic tagged with my daughter that is rated at least one star, another album that is every pic rated one star from my last vacation, etc. I sync these albums both to my phone and my iPad. I use Time Machine and a couple of hard drives for backup.
posted by alidarbac at 2:55 AM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Consider Photo Stream a separate photo library, like the iPhoto library on your computer and the camera roll on your phone.

A change you make in any one of those will not result in a change to the other two.

It seems to me that using the Google photos upload feature would not solve the OP's problem.

Photo Stream is a great way to automatically back up the photos from your phone to your computer. Once a photo is in your Photo Steam, you can delete it from your phone, like you do when you import them manually.

The other option is when you're manually editing photos on your phone, just import the manually edited photos and not all of your photos.

I never sync my phone to a computer, so iCloud & Photo Stream are super convenient. If you regularly sync your phone with a computer, perhaps they are not convenient for you.

I also find the Shared Photo Streams a really easy way to share photos with my friends and family, as they don't have to really learn anything new.
posted by reddot at 3:47 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

« Older Nutcracker in Europe   |   How to avoid pregnancy questions on my wife's... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.