Media file workflow

Take out the memory card (if it's that kind of camera) and place it in the slot on the left edge of your MacBook Pro. For most of you, iPhoto will pop up automatically and ask if you'd like to import. This is one option...that I despise. I'd rather you try something else.

Image Capture


Spotlight search or look in your Applications folder for Image Capture. This is a doorway through which your images on a camera can enter your computer. This is a great way to import media from your iPhone! You can designate Image Capture as the default app for importing your media files, and you can also designate where your images go upon importing.

If you have your files organized well, you know exactly where to send your media from Image Capture. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just indicate the "Pictures" folder as the destination for your media. 


Another option is to click on the card in the sidebar of Finder:


Find your photo/video files and drag them into a folder on your desktop or hard drive. I prefer this method.

Organizing and editing your media

imageOnce you have your media files off your camera and onto your computer (or hard drive, if you store them there), now you want to look through what you have. At TGS, we've provided you with Adobe Design Creative Suite CS6, which provides programs such as Bridge, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and so on. I like to use Bridge to view my images, because it allows me to rate the ones I like the most for future editing and see them full screen on a dark background. Bridge is integrated with Photoshop, so if you find an image in Bridge you'd like to manipulate, a double-click sends it to Photoshop where you can alter the image.

Unpacking iPhoto and Photo Booth

When you import photos or videos into your iPhoto Library, it creates copies of your files in different folders (masters, previews, data), and it does some extra thinking to identify familiar faces in photos and apply tags to people.

If you're concerned with storage on your computer or hard drive, use the Finder or Image Capture options for importing images from now on. If you like to use iPhoto to store and edit your images (like a crazy person!), take a look at these iPhoto hidden folders in order to understand the method to their madness (continue reading for a how-to). Masters are the raw files unchanged from your camera. Previews are smaller copies or edited versions of the raw photo files. Data stores additional information, like face recognition.

If you'd like to rid your computer of the unnecessary copies, take these steps to unpack your iPhoto app. This also works for Photo Booth. Open Finder and your Pictures folder to find "iPhoto Library" and right click for the following dropdown menu:


Once you have shown the package contents of your iPhoto Library and found the Masters folder, copy and paste this folder onto your hard drive as a back-up to organize later. After this necessary step, go into the Previews and Data folders and get rid of unwanted file copies.

Here's where it gets tricky. If you've editing any images in iPhoto, they will probably live in the Previews folder. You have to make sure you're also copying those edited versions you want to save into your back-up. Then I suggest deleting the folders within Previews and Data, not the actual folders themselves. Empty your trash and wait for the subsequent sigh of relief by your computer.


Backing up your iPhoto files

Once you have imported your media files to the computer and edited them (deleted bad ones and/or clean up the images), don't forget to back up these files onto your hard drive.

If you're still crazy and use iPhoto to store your photographs and need to back them up, follow these steps:

  1. Highlight the photos (not videos, see below) to be backed up
  2. Select "export" from the File menu
  3. Kind: JPEG; Quality: Maximum; Include: Title and keywords/Location information; Size: Full size
  4. Export to your hard drive

If you're using iPhoto to export videos:

  1. Highlight the videos to be backed up
  2. Select "export" from the File menu
  3. Kind: Original
  4. Export to your hard drive