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Possibility of editing directly from external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by defektive, May 8, 2012.

  1. defektive

    defektive SC Veteran

    375
    May 4, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Sam
    I have had an idea :bravo-009:.

    My photos are taking up way too much space so I want to get an external hard drive to release some pressure on the system. I have had a poke around the photoshop preferences and it looks as though I can save my RAW images directly to an external drive, work on them and then save them back to that drive without having to save them to my computer at all. Does anyone do this? Is it feasible or is it a very slow process? I am on an iMac so I can't use USB 3.0 but can use firewire 800. What specs would I need to look for when purchasing to keep the speed up? Am I being stupid and should I just do what most people do and get a simple external hard drive for storing/backing up images once I have finished with them?

    Cheers,
     
  2. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    I do it all the time, I have used and still use USB2.0, firewire 400 and 800 but now it is mostly SAta
     
  3. defektive

    defektive SC Veteran

    375
    May 4, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Sam
    Thanks Bob,
    Do you notice much difference in speed between the SAta and slower connections?
     
  4. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    You may find that initially you will have to wait for the external HDD to 'wake up' but after that it should be pretty seamless.
     
  5. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I store all my photographs on my ext drive. Use to be a firewire 400 but now a USB2, and its fine. and a relief not to have the internal drive clogged up by so many photographs. Theres the iphoto library, the LR library, and all the edited shots which I keep separate from both of the others. I can even access the same iphoto library across the wireless network from my MBP, but that is as slow as molasses in winter... so its a rare event. A wired external drive is a lifesaver for such things.
     
  6. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    yes eSATA is much faster but I think you see that more when you are coping files and during the layout of files, photoshop speed seems to be effected more by ram and the speed and available space you have on your scratch drive.
     
  7. Will

    Will SC All-Pro

    Aug 30, 2010
    England
    Photoshop will use the RAM and HDD on your computer for the actual processing of the image so once you have opened it from the external drive there should be no difference in speed.
     
  8. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    My newest photos are on the computer. Once I am done with sifting, sorting, discarding the chaff and processing/uploading, it all goes to externals. I have both a desktop external and a more portable one. Images I resurrect or decide to go back for on an external, stay there, and I do all the same processing, they are just on the external. I don't do this a lot but have done it for various projects. You could do it all on the external as the others say above. This is just how my workflow seems to go. When I move on, I move things over. It prevents me from saving everything, including the garbage shots, on my externals as often I move on rather than look back.
     
  9. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    Sam

    I use Photoshop along with aperture Aperture and I uses a system where I have split my images. Images taken before January are duplicately stored on two separate hard drives and accessed by reference from one drive. Images taken after January are stored in Apertures Library i.e. my computer's hard drive, and they are backup as I use them. Images on the hard drive have to be backed-up manually which I do on January the first when I export the previous year to my first hard drive. This way I never have to worry about loosing images.

    If I were to shoot lots of images I would simply split the Library based on a semi-annually or quarterly time devision.

    Virtually all the work I do on my images are done around the time I import them so they are accessed from the main hard drive. Therefore the bulk of my images I edit in Photoshop are on my local drive. Most of my previous image I need to revisit have already been edited. With the few older image I haven't previously edited I don't see an appreciable lag. As far as access speed the only time I notice a difference is when I bulk export or consolidated large amount of image to and from the hard drives.

    The only trick with this is that if I have to rework an older image in Photoshop I then treat them as if they were new images and in this year and this gives me store them in the Library so they are automatically backed up.
     
  10. winginkris

    winginkris SC Veteran

    315
    Dec 15, 2011
    I'm not much at the techie stuff and I've tried to Google how this is done but the terminology used gets the better of me. I simply want to store my photos on my 1TB external drive and access them when I might need them(in other words, bringing them in and out of Aperture). Can someone explain how this is done? I'm using an iMac with Aperture.
    Sorry to sound like such a dummy, but the computer is something I just can't get a grasp on.
    Thanks, Kris
     
  11. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    Just a word of warning that a single storage location (internal or external) should be supported by at least one backup located on another medium (a separate HDD or DVDs). I've had one external drive die on me but I restored most of my collection from CDs/DVDs. If your a pro or a paranoid amateur then a third backup stored off site (at work or a relative's house) is recommended.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    The danger here is in over thinking it.

    Put simply, in most ways simply consider your external drive as being an extension of your computer.

    In Aperture or Lightroom you need to let the application know where to place the images.

    Plug in your external drive.

    Then navigate to this link, and follow the instructions in the first section (title: To create a new, empty library file in a new location).

    From then on, Aperture will store your photos on the external drive, and pull / return them to the drive when editing.

    Aperture 3 User Manual

    Note: you will have only one copy of your photos. Dangerous. When you can, get another drive for a backup.
     
  13. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    Kris

    In Aperture on the top menu go to File>Relocate Masters and select you external hard drive and a folder location this will moves all masters out of the Library. Next when you import your images select the folder on the hard drive and you images will automatically be stored there (you should only have to do this once). After that Aperture will handle all you images and the process will be transparent to you.

    All that being said you should back up this folder to another hard drive for safety.
     
  14. winginkris

    winginkris SC Veteran

    315
    Dec 15, 2011
    Thanks Pelao and Grant. I managed to get them relocated. Now all my photos have a box and an arrow pointing to the upper right in the lower right hand corner. I'm assuming this is telling me that the master is in another place. Also, I tried to import a photo from my sd card and I believe it went to my external drive. Actually, I checked the drive and it was there, so I'm hoping all is well.

    So now I just use Aperture the same as always but the Masters are stored on the external drive by default and what I see in my "projects" are basically shortcuts to the masters?

    Thanks to both of you for your help!!!

    Kris
     
  15. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    Kris

    You are correct in you assumption of the box and arrow. It simply means the files are Referenced instead of Managed and are somewhere else than in Apertures Library. In your case on and external hard drive. Aperture will maintain all the Donkey work associated with these files, with the exception of backing them up. This you will have to do on your own. Good luck as you should have no problems!
     
  16. winginkris

    winginkris SC Veteran

    315
    Dec 15, 2011
    I also use a service called Cabonite which automatically backs up my entire computer daily. I just checked their website and the service doesn't back up external drives. I'm going to get a second hard drive as a back up just in case.
     
  17. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    Oh YES! I don't go so far as to have an offsite store but on my Mac I use Carbon Copy Cloner for the internal drive to an external, and I have two additional external drives, one of which is a clone of the other, thanks to CCC. Carbon Copy cloner is donationware or free with advertising. the ads are no big deal. Also, its set and forget, and if your internal drive dies, you can boot from the clone. I currently have two cloned drives for the internal because I've recently begun beta testing for Mountain Lion, so I'm using a different clone drive for that than I had for Lion.

    I'm not sure how CCC will cope with cloning a drive attached to my AEBS which will be my next step in making my iphoto and itunes libraries available to both my iMac and MBP (running two of each seems just silly) but I'll be setting that up today, all other things being equal.

    I've been caught with my pants down, as it were, in the past, and have lost thousands of photographs because of it. Never again. And because drives dont last forever, the ones I am using now, will be replaced before much longer.