Author Topic: Digital Photo Asset Manager?  (Read 487 times)

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Offline John Stevens

  • Posts: 816
  • Ardmore, PA
Digital Photo Asset Manager?
« on: June 21, 2020, 02:35 AM »
Hi folks,

I’m looking to buy a photo asset manager for a new, 2020 Apple laptop running OS Catalina.  I’d prefer software that’s intuitively easy to use.  The editing I do is really basic (usually only cropping, rarely tinkering with anything else) so I don’t think I need very sophisticated software.  I also want software that’s made by a firm that’s likely to be around for a long time so I’ll be able to buy newer versions and keep my photos arranged pretty much the same way, without having to spend a lot of time learning new software and transferring the photos.

Just for comparison, I have iPhoto on an iMac bought in 2008, which is now running OS 10.8 (Snow Leopard).  The iPhoto tutorials were fair, but I didn’t find iPhoto intuitively easy to use, and I found it cumbersome to navigate through the photos and put them into albums. I’ve been using the current iOS versions of Photos on my iPhone for about five years. I can edit, save and share just fine, but as far as making folders or albums goes, I have no clue. Tonight when I was setting up the new Apple laptop, I played around a little with the Mac OS version of the Photos app...looks like organizing and finding photos on the laptop will be easier than on the phone, but having read a little about the differences between iPhoto and Photos, I’m getting the feeling that I’m not going to like Photos much more.  In addition, Photos apparently doesn’t preserve the “Events” created in iPhoto, so I would have a lot of hunting and pecking to do if I migrate from the old app to the new. (I combined a lot of events, and moved a lot of photos from one event to another.)

Luckily, I spent a lot of time exporting my iPhoto events into folders (probably a hundred) when I copied them onto a PC.  If I can find a digital photo asset manager that’s easy to use, I’m guessing it’ll be fairly easy to transfer the folders into it.  Not sure what challenges I’ll face transferring the ones in Photos on my iPhone.

Your suggestions please?

—John
What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart

Offline MikeGE

  • Posts: 78
Re: Digital Photo Asset Manager?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2020, 04:56 AM »
I asked a similar question a few years ago on a photography website, and the overwhelming answer was Adboe Lightroom.  I bought Lightroom 6 and installed it on my iMac and MacBook Pro, but never used it enough to take advantage of its full potential.

In addition to asset management, LR is also great for editing images.  I used Nikon, so I preferred Nikon Capture NX2 for editing the RAW images after I got over its huge learning curve.  However, after experimenting with LR for a few minutes, I didn't see any difference when importing the images directly into LR and editing them.  LR seemed to handle the proprietary Nikon format well.

I think the terms "digital asset manager" and "easy to use" will never occur together.  However, the online tutorial and YouTube videos are great and help flatten the learning curve.

Version 6.14 was the last standalone license available and Adobe has since gone to a Creative Cloud subscription service.  For those who upgrade to the latest version when available, the CC might be a good deal.

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 226
Re: Digital Photo Asset Manager?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2020, 08:21 AM »
Everyone I know uses Lightroom, including one friend who is a pro.

I have a PS subscription which includes Lightroom, but I haven’t worked with it much. Lately, I’ve been spending more time either doing woodworking projects or analog photography.

You can download Lightroom as a 30 day trial to see if you like it. The major alternative I can think of is to roll your own with something like FileMaker, but that would likely be a daunting project, to get something that works well both in using it and technically.



Online Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3964
Re: Digital Photo Asset Manager?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2020, 10:01 AM »
You might want to take a good look at darktable.  It's a worthy competitor to Lightroom, and has the advantage of being open source and FREE.  There is a steep learning curve, just as there is with Lightroom, so be sure to download the user manual and use it judiciously.  There are many videos on YouTube that you can use to train yourself.   [smile]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2825
Re: Digital Photo Asset Manager?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2020, 03:38 PM »
I have used Apple iPhoto and now Photos for maybe 10 plus years. My events from iPhoto moved over to Photos with no changes as I recall.  I looked at Lightroom and a few others but like the fact that Photos ships on and integrates across Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple TV with all my albums intact and accessible.  Plus it backs up to the cloud.

Google Photos is another good choice, also free, but I just never took the time to move over to it since my albums, faces, etc were all tagged through the years on Photos.

Have you tried using smart albums in Photos for moving your photos?  I use those plus manually drag photos to albums - first by year, and then by event or idea focused albums within each year.  I have simple smart selections that show ‘photos not in any album’ as an example and that gives me a chance to move photos into specific albums as I take them. 

For editing and simple cropping, I’ve found Photos to be sufficient.  And I have no doubt that Apple will be around for quite some time!


Offline John Stevens

  • Posts: 816
  • Ardmore, PA
Re: Digital Photo Asset Manager?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2020, 08:13 PM »
Thanks for your help guys.  Your replies give me a pretty comprehensive spectrum of choices. I appreciate each one of you taking his time to share his knowledge and experience. 
What this world needs is a good retreat.
--Captain Beefheart

Offline doug H

  • Posts: 24
Re: Digital Photo Asset Manager?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2020, 01:53 PM »
I would also recommend Adobe Lightroom. I formerly used iPhoto (and Aperture before Apple killed it off) on my Macs and the sorting and cataloging capabilities of Lightroom are far superior. Lightroom is also is fantastic for post processing of RAW files. Much of it can be done on import into Lightroom from your camera, SD card or hard drive. It also has great mapping and EXIF data features and all image modifications in your Lightroom Catalog are non-destructive and the original image is untouched. The photographer package of Lightroom and Photoshop is around $100 per year from Adobe. There are a lot of good tutorials on YouTube and you can watch some for free on Kelby One.