Help me wrap my head around photo organization, storage for Apple
April 11, 2016 5:39 AM   Subscribe

I have a LOT of photos of travels, adventures, loved ones and my 14-year-old Boston terrier. I am trying to figure out the best way to organize and store those photos.

Primary cameras are an iPhone and a Nikon DSLR, as well as occasionally a GoPro. Before Apple introduced the new photos app, my workflow looked like this:

A) edit and cull photos in iPhoto
B) export edited photos into a file structure on an external hard drive that gets regularly duplicated. That exHD is also accessible via my husband's computer and our Apple TC for slideshows ans screensavers.

However, since the advent of the Photos app and iCloud, I am wondering if there is a way to make this less work for me. I currently have 6,000+ photos that HAVE NOT bee culled, edited or organized. I like the way iCloud organizes photos via date and geotag, and I like being able to access my photos from all devices. I like being able to share via iCloud or airdrop photos my husband has taken with his iPhone. I am annoyed at how photos get re-dated when you edit them with other apps (such as Snapseed). I also have concerns about Apple changing their mind again about photo storage and organizing, as they did with iPhoto.

Here are some of my questions:

• Is it possible to back up iCloud onto a physical device? If I wanted to add my photos to my exHD?
• Should I import my old file structure into iCloud? I'd like to have all photos in one place.
• Is there a way to "correct" for the edited dates when you edit a photo in an external app?
• Does having 6,000+ photos in iCloud have any effect on the storage capacity of my mobile devices? I am already paying $3 a month to increase my iCloud storage and I have no problem with that.
• How are videos handled by iCloud? Is it possible to store and edited movie to iCloud?
• Anything else to consider?

I am *not* interested in using another party's software, like smugmug, Flickr or whatever. The only thing I might consider is Google photos, and only if the integrations could be seamless — I deleted something from Apple Photos and it gets deleted from Google too.

Mainly I'm just super confused about the best way to optimize iCloud.
posted by Brittanie to Computers & Internet (1 answer total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know anything really about iCloud, but since you say you might consider Google Photos, I would strongly recommend you start by focusing on ways to integrate with that. The new automated categorisation and sorting is AMAZING, and it will solve your problem of 6000+ unsorted photos pretty nicely. (For example, I have never done any organisation of my photos at all, but Google managed to extract all my photos of my cat (and one of my friend's dog) and stick them into a "cat" category without me even asking. (It also created a category of "mountains", and one of "flowers", and one of each of the locations I travel to most often, which tells me something about what I most often take pictures of.)

And then searching for individual photos becomes amazingly simple too. I can put in something concrete like "blue shoes" and it will show me all pictures with blue shoes in them, or I can go abstract and search for "death", and it comes up with pictures I took of storms and caves and fires and graveyards and all sorts of cool ideas. I can also search for people by clicking on a photo of a person and then searching for all other photos with the same person in it, which works really well too.

I promise I'm not a Google shrill. I just think Photos is really amazing.
posted by lollusc at 5:45 AM on April 11, 2016 [5 favorites]

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