I am looking to start using Lightroom 4 as my primary photo editing/management software and I was hoping someone can give me a good idea on how to transfer all my images and import them in to Lightroom from iPhoto 2011 (I have about 8,000). My biggest concern is not duplicating my files. I do not have an external hard drive so these will remain on my internal. I have not really made any edits of my images with iPhoto, so I am not really concerned about losing those edits. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have searched all over the net and have not really found any good solutions or tips. Thanks!
If you are not concerned about loosing edits the transition to Lr is pretty straightforward.
In your OS organize your photos to your liking, and - that is my suggestion - all under one (1) parent folder. Or, if your photos are on different drives, then each drive should have one (1) parent folder for photos.
Then download and install Lr. It would be best, if you'd watch some of the tutorials on Adobe's website:
Then import your photos in Lr.
You probably know already that for Lr no photo exists unless it has been imported. Lr stores/saves everything in its catalog; so the catalog is THE all-important file.
Don't even think of having more than one catalog; if you do you will almost certainly end up in grief and trouble. More than one catalog is for the experienced Lr user only.
And if you have more questions, this forum is the place to ask.
I am using the trial and am hoping to make Lightroom my photo editing app, but when I try to import from iPhoto, the iPhoto folder is grayed out. I see other questions about this, but my question seems more basic and I'm not familiar with what other users are trying to do. I just want to continue to use iPhoto and import into LIghtroom to make some changes to photos.
I think I can import directly from my memory card to Lightroom, but then I would have to also import same photos to iPhoto, and that doesn't seem like a great option.
Am I stuck using Aperture or do I have to switch from iPhoto after years of accumulating photos there?
Thanks so much for any help!!
OS X Lion
This is what I have been struggling with for the past week and I finally got it figured out. Its a really messed up situation. The way iPhoto manages your files/photos is in packaged content type folder. If you go to your finder and click on your user name in the left side bar, then click on pictures, you will a link for iPhoto Library. If you right click, or control click on iPhoto Library, you can click on show package contents and it will open a new folder and show you how iPhoto is organizing your stuff. The problem with Lightroom 4 is that it can't see whats inside this packaged folder. To be able to use both iPhoto and Lightroom, you essentially need to get all your photos out of there and then set up a referenced library within iphoto and lightroom as well. Using a referenced library will not duplicate images in either program. I eventually got all my pictures inside my Pictures.
The BIG problem comes when you try to get those images out of that packaged contents. Essentially, the only decent option iphoto gives you is to click File>Export. The problem with this is that it will just export your photos all in to one folder. You will lose any organization you have such as events and it will not export any other data or edits that you have done over the years. Do you have any edits as well?
There are several ways to export out of iPhoto using different programs to maintain the orginization you have within iphoto with all the folders of events etc. It will take some time and work and I would be glad to let you know what the best options are out there. The first thing I would do, just to make sure you dont lose any work/photos, is to back up your library to an external hard drive if you can. That way, you can be safe and sure that you will never lose any thing in the process.
You aren't stuck using iPhoto or Aperture for life, but when you are using them, Apple is basically holding your photos hostage in these types of packaged folders. Thats typically Apple trying to keep you contained within their environment.
Thank you so very much for your response! You got exactly what I was
I may start fresh using LR with pix I take from now on, and importing them
visa memory card directly into LR.
Or I'll consider using aperture and starting within the confines of what
apple would like me to use. That is the one thing I dislike about mac/apple
... And why I have an android phone as opposed to an iphone
Thx again...your response is the most clear and helpful of any I found
If you want to start using LR, what I recommend you do is create a folder for each one of your shoots/events/projects in the photos folder and drag and drop your images from the SD card to the folders and leave them there. When you import from LR, select ADD instead of copy as your option in the import screen. That will create a referenced library in LR and will give you the flexibility later on to have those images in other programs as referenced images in case LR doesnt work out for you. Chosing copy will duplicate the images in to LR's library. This method is the best if you dont want your images stuck or trapped in a program. Any edits you make in LR will be there as long as YOU DONT move the pictures from where they are in the photos library. The edits and changes you make will be stored in the LR database. From what I can tell, every one recommends using a referenced Library.
I struggled with all this for a while, reading hours worth of posts and discussions on line before I figured the DO's and DONT's when wanting to move from our use iPhoto with LR. It's pretty tricky and you gotta make sure you take the right steps, otherwise you'll have duplicates and other issues.
I wouldn't be surprised to see a new version of Aperture come out in the coming months since LR 4 has been out for a while now, and Aperture hasnt been updated in quite some time. After reading so many discussions, I would hold off on purchasing Aperture from apple for the time being and just experiment with LR until the newest release of Aperture comes out.
Like I said before, just ask here if you want some instructions on how to get your pictures out of iPhoto.
First thing I would do is to back up your images. To do this, you will have to go to File>Export. There, the best option to do is chose the "Kind" to be "original." This allows everything you export to be in its original format. When you click Export, a new window will display to let you chose your destination. As I said before, this will let you pick a folder that iPhoto will dump all your images in to without maintaining your current orginzation as far as events etc. That is fine because this back up is just in case something seriously goes wrong. I prefer using a external HD. You could make a folder on the internal drive, but this will create a duplicate of your images.
Once your backup is complete. The second step is to actually get all the images out of the iPhoto Library while trying to keep everything in its current state. The easiest and most simple way to do this is to use Aperture 3. If you do not own it now, you can download the 30 day trial just to be able to do this. Its the safest method I have found and well worth using the trial just for this purpose. Even if you decide to purchase it later or even delete the trial version, the pictures will be where you move them and Aperture can always reference them. The first step to this Aperture technique is to import your iPhoto Library into Aperture. You have several options of how to do this as well. Thankfully, Aperture will mirror your iPhoto Library in its structure (events etc.) Whe Aperture is open, click on File>Import> and then select iPhoto Library. A dialogue box will open and the iPhoto Library will be highlighted. In this box, you have the option to select where you want to store the files. By default, "In their cuurent location" is selected. By leaving this selected, Aperture will leave them in iPhoto's Library and simply reference them. What you should select is "In the Aperture Library." This might take some time, but eventually all your iPhoto events will be transfered in to Aperture, and you will see them in the side bar appear under the Projects & Albums inside a folder called events, that is inside a folder called iPhoto Library. Each "event" from iPhoto will now become "Projects" in Aperture 3 and will have a yellow icon next to the name of each event/project. (At this point, I am not sure if the iPhoto library is deleted and moved, or if this makes a copy of it. If it makes a copy and iPhoto Library is still there, you can simply delete the iPhoto Library and it will delete your photos which would now be duplicates any way)
The next step is to relocate masters in Aperture. What this does is actually lets you move your events out of the Aperture packaged file, but keeping every event/project in its own folder so you do not have to reorganize thousands of images. In the inspector pane on the left, you will see that you can open the iPhoto Library folder and see the Events folder. Open the events Folder and you will see a list of all the events/projects. This process is a bit time consuming. Start off by selecting your first event, and click on File>Relocate Masters For Project. When the dialogue box opens up, you will be given the option of selecting where the folder will be moved. What you can do is select your user name under favorites, select Pictures, and put them in there (or make a new folder within pictures). After you select your destination, you want to chose the Subfolder Format and select Project Name. What this does is create a folder named after your Project/Event and put all the pictures in that Event in that new folder. You will see a File name example listed at the bottom for you. Once you have that all set up, you can select Relocate Masters. Aperture will move those pictures where you selected, keeping them in their Event/Folder and maintain a clean organization. You will notice as the move takes place, a little tag icon appears in each image as its moved in the bottom right, indicating that the images are now Referenced in Aperture and not a managed master any longer.
You have to keep doing this for each project/event, one at a time. Once you are done, you are done. The files will all be organized in their respective folders in the location that you chose. The beauty of it is that they are already referenced in Aperture, and if you wanted to keep using it, you dont have to do any thing else. You can leave them there and just keep adding to Aperture as you take more pics. Secondly, you can now import them into LR by selecting them where they are, and clicking ADD in the import menu of LR. That leaves them where they are and references them as well.
If you'd like to add the IPTC data to the images as well, go in to Aperture and at the top bar menu select Metadata > Write IPTC Metadata to Master. You can do this before or after you relocate the masters. But I would do it before you import to LR.
This is the method I have used and it was the most successful without losing any of my organization in iPhoto and not duplicating any of the images. It seems a little complicating, but considering Apple gives you no choice from within iPhoto, this is the safest method to free yourself from their crap. The important thing to remember when referencing these images in Aperture or iPhoto is to never move any file once its in a folder in your pictures location and already referenced by the program. Later on, if you wanted to use iPhoto again, you can simply import this stuff again, leaving it in their location and referencing them in Aperture. That has its limitations as well, but such is life in Apples world. You really have no other choice.
The other two options are to use these two programs: iPhoto2Disk (http://www.iphototodisk.com/index.html) or PhotoShare (http://code.google.com/p/phoshare/). The first, iPhoto2Disk does cost 12.99 and is supposed to be able to let you export everything from iPhoto in its current state. PhotoShare is free, but I personally have not used it. I felt more save going the Aperture route just because I knew Aperture communicated well with iPhoto and I can easily get Aperture to do what iPhoto should have been able to do in export.
I hope this all helps!
When I read in your helpful advice about how to proceed to relocate masters in Aperture, I was quite afraid to spend the whole night manually defining the location for each Event/Folder ("You have to keep doing this for each project/event, one at a time. Once you are done, you are done.")
Then I figured out a very simple way to extremely fasten that process:
You just need to mark every Event you wish to "relocate master" (Click + Shift + Click, as in normal Apple OSX file lists). Then, after File > Relocate Masters for Project, you define the Subfolder Format as "Folder Name", and Aperture creates for each marked Event its properly named Folder. No need to do this manually "one at a time"!
Logically, this (probably) does not work if you want to give folders a new name in this setting (you should do this by renaming the Event in the normal list in Aperture, before relocating masters.
I hope this info is helpful for everybody using your great advice!
I downloaded Lightroom 4 and the File menu has three Import options: Import Photos and Video, Import from Another Catalog, and Import from Application.
In all three cases, my iPhoto Library file is grayed out so I can not select it.
With Import from Application, I'm told to go to the export folder. Is that the same as the backup folder I made?
I haven't tried this myself yet, but I heard that Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 Organizer can import from an iPhoto library, and Lightroom can definitely import Elements catalogs. You could download Elements as a free trial. I can't stop to find more information right now, but if you google it, you should find loads of extra info.
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