Join Derrick Story for an in-depth discussion in this video Create a reference library, part of Photos for OS X Essential Training.
- We are going to journey into the world of the referenced library. What does that mean? Well that means that instead of the images that we import being stored inside the Photos for OS X library, inside your pictures folder, they will be stored in a folder on an external hard drive right here, just like this, that is connected to your Mac. so that Photos can read these images and display them in the application, but they are not taking up space on your Mac itself.
This is very important if you have a small-ish hard drive in your Mac or if your hard drive is almost full. So the concept is wonderful. Lightroom uses it. Aperture gave you that option, and Photos for OS X gives you that option too, although it's not very intuitive. I'm going to show you how it works right now. Now the first thing that you want to do is create a new Photos library. I've already done that. This library is a referenced library.
In other words, I don't want to use my system library for this. Let me show you how I do that. I'll quit Photos. I'm going to hold down the Option key and go to Photos, and you'll see that I created a new referenced library. And the way that I did that is by holding down Option and launching, I use the Create New, and I put it in my Pictures folder. I don't want to confuse the referenced images in this library with my main library, my system photo library, so I create a new one instead.
Up the road you can decide how you want to manage it. In the beginning, I recommend you go this route. We'll start with the new library here. Now, I cannot insert a memory card into my computer and use the regular Import dialog, the reason being is that Photos for OS X will ignore my preference that I set here, for not storing them, and will go ahead and put the images inside my library anyway, and I don't want that.
So we have to go a different route. When the card goes into your computer, if you're bringing them in from a memory card, which you will be a lot of the time, instead of saying Import All New Photos, ignore that. (laughter) Copy them to your external drive. The way that I did that is I just literally opened up the memory card, I took the folder and I dragged it into the external hard drive, and then I re-named it, right here.
So all the images are in there, I just had to manually copy them onto the external drive first and not go through the Import dialog here. Just ignore this. I'm actually going to get rid of this card right now so we don't confuse things. We'll eject it. There we go. Now here's the way you bring them in so that they stay referenced, so that Photos honors your command.
Instead, we go to File, Import. You navigate to your external drive right here. There are the images that are on my external drive. Then I go ahead and click Review for Import. I want to bring them all in. Right up here we can see the progress, Photos doing its thing.
Now you'll notice a new icon here. This is-let me make these a little bit bigger so you can see it- this is the referenced file icon. I turn that on up here at View, Metadata, Show Referenced File: right there. There it is. Now these images are in here, so I can do all the normal things that I'd like to do. For instance, if I wanted to export it to my Mac, on the desktop, I can do that.
Choose Export, go to Desktop, Export Originals. There they are. Remember we have JPEG plus RAW pairs here. We talked about that in an earlier movie. And there they are. I can do all that sort of stuff right now. I'll go ahead and just move these to the trash. If I want to see where these files are located, I'll go ahead and pull up a picture there, and then I can ask Photos to Show Referenced File in Finder, and it will take me right here to my cat portraits folder on my external hard drive and show me where that file is located.
So now I can do all of my normal Photos things. Of course, this isn't a system library, so you can't do the iCloud stuff, but I can image edit and I can print and that kind of stuff, as long as this hard drive is connected. If I eject this hard drive, you'll start to see these little red lines on my referenced file. That means that the drive is not connected where the master image is.
It will tell me that it cannot find it, and it won't let me do a lot of the things that I want to do. For instance, if I try to export it, now I'm going to get a message because it cannot find the original because the hard drive has been disconnected. In the next movie I'm going to show you how to consolidate those images if you decide that you want to bring them in to your Photos library. That way, you don't have to have the drive connected. We'll cover that following this movie, but right now this is the way that you set up a referenced library in this version of Photos for OS X.
Note: This course covers the version that accompanies Mac OS X El Capitan, and will be updated as Photos for OS X evolves.
- Connecting Photos to iCloud
- Importing images and movies from a camera
- Deleting and hiding photos
- Creating albums and Smart Albums
- Adding keywords and other metadata to photos
- Rotating, cropping, and straightening
- Adjusting color and light
- Applying sharpening and noise reduction options
- Using the Retouch tool
- Sharing photos
- Backing up a Photos library
- Building print projects from Photos
- Working with video