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How I Use and Why I Love Apple Photos (Podcast 574)

I've been using Apple Photos for a couple of years now and although I don't use it to edit images, I've fallen in love with all of the ways in which it brings my photos and video clips together and the freedom that brings. Today I'm going to share how...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Wayne Ristau
    Posted at 08:38h, 23 May Reply

    You made me feel pretty good! I have enjoyed using Photos as an organizational tool and Lightroom for editing. I am still learning both programs especially Lightroom. Thanks for the tutoring program.. you have been very helpful!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:05h, 23 May Reply

      That’s great Wayne, I’m pleased you found this useful.

      Just to clarify, I actually organize all of my images in Capture One Pro, and I did it in Lightroom when I used Lightroom. But, to ensure that I have all of my images on all of my devices, I create a JPEG copy for Photos, and it’s the benefits of this that I’m really enjoying. I’m sure you figured that out though.

      Have fun!

  • jemostrom
    Posted at 16:40h, 23 May Reply

    I’ve tried to use Photos to keep an easy viewable archive of “relevant” photos but I failed miserable simply because I also use the iPhone as a camera and soon ended up with a mess of “finished” photos (usually from Lightroom) and “temporary” photos that I just have taken. After a few weeks with little time to organise/process photos my Photos archive is a horrible mess. Do you have this problem and if so, how do you handle this?

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 16:45h, 23 May Reply

      No, I haven’t had this problem, but I don’t keep photos from my phone that I don’t need. I generally cull these out relatively quickly, so my Photos stream remains pretty clean. I guess the trick is to ensure that you invest the time necessary to remove unwanted iPhone photos. You can also select to Hide images as well, if you want to keep them, but don’t want them in your timeline.

  • Michael Golan
    Posted at 22:49h, 23 May Reply

    Interesting post – I recently gave up on Photos because I could not figure it out, (Lightroom and Lightroom Mobile only to keep it simple for me) but I know I am missing out on the sharing aspects you talk about. Maybe I’ll try again. How much space are you using for photos? Do you have maximum memory on your iPhone and iPad? And how much iCloud storage are you using?

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 00:01h, 24 May Reply

      Hi Michael,

      Good point. Yes, I do have the largest storage models on my iPad Air 2 and iPhone 7 Plus. I also pay for 1TB of iCloud storage. My Photos Library is currently 147GB.


  • Rob OK
    Posted at 03:18h, 20 October Reply

    Did you look into Google Photos too? I like your setup here to have casual photos and finished photos.

    Do you also have a way of looking at JUST your finished photos, or I guess that is your Portfolio app?


    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 08:32h, 20 October Reply

      Hi Rob,

      I’ve used a Google photos app in the past, and found it annoying, although I don’t know how much of that is now ported through to Google Photos. I probably would stick with Apple Photos anyway, because of the tight integration with the OS and all of my devices.

      Yes, I can see only my finished photos, by going into each album that I create for each year. See the first screenshot above. I also often create trip albums so I can get back to photos just from say Greenland, or Iceland or any trip for each year.

      I hope that helps!


  • COlin
    Posted at 00:22h, 16 June Reply

    Thanks for this useful piece on tools and work flow, and the context and learning you got. very sane!

    I just tried Exif Studio but no sign of the share Exif snowflake link to view an image, all I can do is browse images from Exif Studio starting at the root of all Photos… (iPhone SE, iOS 12.2) Is there some in app purchase or other gateway? I’ve checked through most Settings that might be relevant!

    • Colin
      Posted at 00:37h, 16 June Reply

      my mistake, somehow, thought it was EXIF studio but I see your link is to exifviewer!

  • Christoph Romer
    Posted at 18:13h, 14 October Reply

    Hi Martin

    Nice Post! I’m currently doing considering (and partially practicing a similar system). I use Photoshop Lightroom CC on my Mac, iPad and iPhone work my “professional” work and Photos is used for all my family Snapshots done with my iPhone. However, I still have some problems with my workflow. The situation is as follows:

    – I want to keep a semi organized backup of my masters somewhere local (Synology)
    – I export all albums from Lightroom CC into a folder structure according to the albums I have there
    – I export lower-res images of my Lightroom images to Apple Photos (tagged with “lightroom”) so that I have them together with all my family photos (vacation photos are for example 70% from my “serious” camera and 30% from the iPhone and I like it when I can see everything in one place 🙂
    – In order for things not be too messy in Photos I create Albums for the vacations, trips, etc… and place all iPhone photos as well as Lightroom imports in those albums.

    Now comes the tricky part. How do I efficiently backup the iPhone photos and videos into my “Master” backup where I might already have album folders from Lightroom CC? I would have to create a smart filter for each Photos album and select only the images that don’t have the “lightroom” tag. This would be a solution but I think its a bit tedious. Can you give me a good advice how I can make a useful backup of both Lightroom and Photos so that in worst case all my album “collections” are not entirely lost in the dust?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 09:30h, 15 October Reply

      Hi Christoph,

      I’d love to be able to offer advice on this, but personally, I don’t have any experience in saving raw files in Photos, and if the backup doesn’t contain your original raw files, it cannot be a proper backup. What I do though, is ensure that I turn on iCloud backup in Apple Photos. That way, all of my videos and iPhone shots are automatically backed up to iCloud, and I pay for the extra storage, as I went past the starting storage limit a number of years ago. This backup, of course, also includes all of the JPEGs that I put into Photos, but they are just so that I have a copy of my main camera shots on all of my devices.

      For my main archive, I keep my raw files on a Drobo, that automatically backs up to Backblaze. I have around 17TB on Backblaze at this point. I also backup my Drobo locally to a second Drobo, for a local backup, but as the Drobo has fault tolerance for one drive failing, at this point I have not had to use my backup to recover my entire archive. I have drives fail periodically, but I’ve always been able to recover that by replacing a drive. When I do replace drives, I generally add larger drivers, which gradually increases the size of the volume too, which is a nice feature.

      Sorry I can’t offer any advice for your specific scenario, but hopefully, this helps at least a little bit.


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