Information Technology Reference
Macs). But iPhoto is a consumer-level application that wasn't designed
for professionals—or for amateurs who have tons of photos and take
their images seriously. When your photo management needs outgrow
iPhoto, you can move up to serious image-cataloging software.
For Mac OS X, you have three main choices (apart from high-end
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom ($149)
Apple Aperture ($79.99)
Phase One Media Pro 1 ($199.00)
All of these options offer flexible searching, contact sheet creation,
and much more. Crucially for our purposes, they maintain thumbnail
catalogs of all your images even if you move the original files to a
different volume (and even if that volume happens to be sitting at the
bottom of a pile of junk in your closet).
By using one of these applications to back up your photos (whether
or not you delete the originals), you gain the ability to search a visual
index for your images. When you find the one you want, the software
will tell you which DVD, CD, or hard drive it's stored on.
On the downside, these third-party tools are more expensive than
iPhoto, and not quite as easy to use. But these are minor complaints.
If you choose one of these tools, you could potentially exclude photos
from your regular versioned backups and use the cataloging software's
built-in backup tools for your photos instead—though extra backups,
especially of your photos, can never hurt. If you use cataloging
software to back up your photos (instead of, or in addition to, other
software), it will dramatically increase the ease with which you can find
and restore them. You can also, optionally, delete older photos from
your hard disk after you've backed them up—you'll save room on your
startup volume while still maintaining a handy catalog of thumbnails.