You are here

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
Enthusiasts initial experience with the Photos app. #1
Steve Jackson's picture
by Steve Jackson
April 13, 2015 - 3:22pm

Here’s my experience to date.


  • Moved to Lightroom (LR) Dec ‘12.
  • Ref. images live in organised folders (YYYY/ MM/ DD Event Name) on my iMacs internal 2TB drive.
  • Aperture (A3) and LR Libraries/ Catalogs organised the same way (Folders/ Projects/ Albums in A3; Folders/ Folders/ Folders in LR).
  • Was in the habit of splitting A3 Libraries into a library for each Year, since A3 got so sluggish with bigger Libraries (in my experience).
    Kelby does not seem to think that’s necessary with LR.
  • Imported my 2014 library (15k ref. photos - mostly RAW) into LR from Aperture before realising there was little value in doing so … I care less about ratings and keywords than I do about image edits … and as I understand it, no migration process from A3 to LR preserves those edits.
  • So moved into LR knowing that for the moment, the way to look at any older images/ edits was through A3.

PHOTOS APP - the big library

  • So as to have one only A3 library ready for the Photos app, I merged all A3 libraries into one big one through to Dec ‘14. This referenced 105k photos. The Library.aplibrary file was 121Gb. This took so long I had to leave it running overnight.
  • Then upgraded my 2010 27” 8Gb i7 iMac to 10.10.3.
  • Then launched Photos app against my whopper Library.aplibrary file. Again, this took so long I had to leave it running overnight … and it was still going when I got up.
  • When this finished, I could use Photos app. It takes 2min to launch against this big library. The library structure seems to have been preserved in a parent folder called “iPhoto Events”. There’s a zillion other objects available in the sidebar in the Photos app - which seem to be a combination of smart albums, saved Light Tables and Photobooks.
  • Seems the photobooks are lost …what’s converted is the set of photos used in the photobook, but not the photobook (layout, text) itself. Thus, if I wanted to order another copy of a previous book, I guess I’d have to go back to A3.
  • Have not explored any editing functions yet.
  • Not that I want to upload this massive library to iCloud, but I note that I cannot nominate this big Photos app library as my system one. It won’t let me.


  • I decided to create a brand new Photos app library for iCloud … the system version of my iPhone’s library. The big library above I can access with an option-click start of the Photos app.


  • So - new photos to go to LR; those that remain on my iPhone and thus in iCloud can be viewed in the Photos app.
  • I can continue to reference edited versions of old stuff via the Photos app, even if A3 ceases to be available.
  • Will have to give some thought to old Photobooks before A3 goes away … at least to ensure I have a good PDF export of each.


Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
April 23, 2015 - 5:35am

There’s probably more than one reason why your massive library can’t be set as the system library for iCloud.

   1. The photos are referenced. iCloud Library requires a managed library in Photos.

   2. Library is larger than the size of your iCloud storage.

Thanks for the write-up. Sounds to me like you have a good strategy going forward. I’ve been thinking of doing something similar although I haven’t made any commitment to learn LR yet. I’ve had it for over a year and tried it a few times. I’m still facing the learning wall and am lazy to climb it. Sooner or later I’ll need to take the plunge.


Steve Jackson's picture
by Steve Jackson
April 23, 2015 - 1:33pm

Thanks Thomas

Yes do give LR a go. Its just software; some things better than A3, somethings maybe not. For me, I’m enjoying it!



Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
April 24, 2015 - 7:00pm

I was hoping the new LR just released would wow me enough to get going with it. Maybe secretly wishing it would add some Aperture-like functionality. Well I suppose face recognition is Aperture-like. But otherwise I’m wondering why it is considered a major release. Kinda underwhelming.

Well I’m starting basic training on it anyway.


Jim Burgess's picture
by Jim Burgess
April 24, 2015 - 9:18pm

Hey Thomas,

What “Aperture-like functionality” are you wishing for?

(Maybe this should be taken to the Lightroom section.)

Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
April 24, 2015 - 9:48pm

Aperture 4 ;-)

I really need to dig in and learn Lr before I can answer that question coherently. Right now it’s just a feeling probably based on ignorance.

I like the Quick Fix button in Aperture. It normally dials my stuff in real close and is either good enough or only needs minor tweaks. I didn’t think Lr had that button. If it does, point me to the Lr forum. (I already know where it is)


Jim Burgess's picture
by Jim Burgess
April 24, 2015 - 10:17pm

I assume you are referring to Ap’s “Auto-Enhance” button? AFAIK, the closest to it in LR is the Auto-Tone feature. But my experience with it wasn’t good when I used LR extensively a few versions ago. And it got beat up pretty good on the forums, even by LR enthusiasts. Hopefully they have improved it in LR6. Haven’t had a chance to test it yet. 

And I’m with you on Aperture 4, or X, or whatever it was going to be called.

MikeA's picture
by MikeA
April 24, 2015 - 11:44pm

Did you have a chance to test Capture One Pro yet?

I was very surprised to find out that its auto adjustment is pretty good, given C1’s history as a tool for Pro’s.

Not only can you select which aspect of an image should be auto-adjusted (you can individually activate or deactivate white balance, exposure, high dynamic range, levels, rotation and keystone), but since the latest update to 8.2 C1 can also adjustment the levels for every R/G/B channel seperately.

This was actually something I always missed in Aperture, where its just a global adjustment based on the overall histogram. You always had to go into the levels tool afterwards and check if some of the three channels was off.

You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
Passwords are case-sensitive - Forgot your password?