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Chapter 6. Editing Your Shots > Editing RAW Files

6.18. Editing RAW Files

As noted in Chapter 4, iPhoto can now handle the advanced photographic file format called RAW—a special, unprocessed file format that takes up a lot of space on your memory card but offers astonishing amounts of control when editing later on the Mac. (Also as noted in Chapter 4, the RAW format is available only on certain high-end cameras.)

In iPhoto, Less Is More

I just finished editing a batch of photos, cropping each picture to a much smaller size. But now my iPhoto Library folder is taking up more space on my hard drive! How can making the photossmallerincrease the size of my photo collection? Shouldn't throwing away all those pixels have the opposite effect—shrinking things down?

Your cropped photos do, in fact, take up much less space than they previously did. Remember, though, that iPhoto doesn't let you monkey with your photos without first stashing away a copy of each original photo, in case you ever want to use the Revert to Original command to restore a photo to its original condition.

So each time you crop a picture (or do any other editing) for the first time, you're actually creating a new, full-size file on your hard drive, as iPhoto stores both the original and the edited versions of the photo. Therefore, the more photos you edit in iPhoto, the more hard drive space your photo collection will occupy.

Incidentally, it's worth noting that iPhoto may be a bit overzealous when it comes to making backups of your originals. The simple act of rotating a photo, for example, creates a backup (which, considering how easy it is to re-rotate it, you might not consider strictly necessary). If you've set up iPhoto to open a double-clicked photo in another program like Photoshop, iPhoto creates a backup copy even if you don't end up changing it in that external program.

If this library-that-ate-Cleveland effect bothers you, you might investigate the free program iPhoto Diet (available from the "Missing CD" page of www.missingmanuals.com, for example). One of its options offers to delete the backups of photos that have simply been rotated. Another option deletes perfect duplicates that iPhoto created when you opened those photos in another program without editing them.

There's even an option to delete all backups—a drastic measure for people who believe that their photos will never be better than they are right now.



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