Apple’s iPhoto rules!

Some of you may know that I use an Apple Macintosh computer system at home. Like most computer nerds I went through a fairly geeky phase when I would get into fanatical Mac vs PC arguments. (Actually in the early years I was a PC fan and hated Macs with a vengence for being wussy computers.)

I’ve since come to realise that life’s too short to worry about petty things. I use a Mac because, much of the time, it just makes my life easier. Amateur photography is one of those areas where the Mac particularly excels.

I’m currently still using a film camera (mainly). However, I now get all my photos processed on to PhotoCD and am progressively scanning old albums. Managing JPEG files on a computer hard disk using a file manager is do-able but has its limitations. You want to be able to browse a collection, quickly, and break it down by any number of factors (film roll, event, time, etc.). By far the best program I have come across is Apple’s iPhoto software. It used to be free by they now charge for it – and it is well worth the investment.

iPhoto works well in managing your photo collections and turning them into screensavers and wallpaper. One of its best features is being able to link in with .Mac to automatically publish photo albums on your web page. As an integrated package for a novice computer user it’s hard to beat.

I am not a novice computer user. I actually have a degree in the discipline and I want to host my own web pages. What’s more, .Mac hosting can become quite expensive when you want to host your entire photo collection (the per MB charges are relatively high compared to hosting your own server on a high speed internet connection). So what I ended up doing was exporting albums out of iPhoto and then using Adobe Photoshop to generate basic HTML pages with thumbnails. This would work but was not particularly elegant. I would have to manually hack each HTML file to include a custom header/footer – which I was not enthralled by (so eventually wrote a script to do it) and I lost all the rich information about each picture held in iPhoto.

Then I stumbled across Zachary Wily‘s excellent iPhotoToGallery software. Honestly, this software is a God-send! It’s a simple plug in to iPhoto that let’s you export directly to web sites using the open source Gallery image library software. I can now export any of photo albums from iPhoto to my online photo gallery with just a couple of clicks. Fantastic! It’ll take me some time but sooner or later I’ll have loaded all my Photo CDs and scanned quite a few recent albums and have them all online. Woohoo!

Thanks Zack!

2 Responses to “Apple’s iPhoto rules!”

  • digital photos
    The time and money you spend making the money to pay for the processing of your film images could surely be better spent doing other things.

  • Very true
    35mm film processing is largely a waste of time and money now (except for certain purposes). For a ‘set piece’ like a wedding or something I think I’d like to stick to film, for the sorts of reasons expressed by Ken Rockwell. For everything else I am now looking to build up a Nikon D-SLR system


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