Important for Mac and Lightroom users


Hall of Famer
Preparing to upgrade to Mt. Lion, I was researching the steps. An article on MacWorld pointed to this article, to get a disk-space analysis tool:
Byte breakdown | Macworld

I thought Grandperspective looked cool GrandPerspective so I downloaded it.

Grandperspective gives you a neat graphical representation of your largest files.

Here's mine:

See that HUGE block in the top right? That's iPhoto jpg library. I might have to rethink my iPhoto strategy. But see the three large yellow blocks below the red one? The largest is my LR 4 catalog. The next two largest are my LR3 and 2 catalogs. Still chewing up disk space to the tune of 3GB and 4 GB each. Then, the larger groupings of red and yellow blocks just to the left are something like 10GB of LR backups stretching back to 2009!

I also found 2 1/2 GB MTS file that LR had lost in it's temp files somehow. I don't store video in LR, but sometimes accidentally import them off my SD cards. This one got disconnected and was just chewing disk space.

The other thing I learned -- video, which I shoot too much of and almost never use or view, is pretty much the entire 1/4 of the left side in the diagram.

Any rate, thought this might help long time LR users. If you do find LR elements that are chewing up disk space, please Google search to see if you are OK with deleting them. Don't delete something and then blame me for it, lol. Be careful and research, but at least this gives you some things to look for.


Ontario, Canada
Real Name
It's always worth actively managing your disk space. Space is now fairly inexpensive, but that doesn't mean we should not use it well.

Two other comments:
1. it's advisable to keep 10 - 15% of your disk unused to ensure good performance
2. Your LR backups: to my mind it doesn't make much sense to have them on the same disk. Doing so only protects against corruption of the original, but if the disk dies you lose the original and the backup. Unless of course you have a backup of this entire disk.


Hall of Famer
I use Timemachine in the background.

I just cleaned up my disk using this approach, and reclaimed 32GB, on 750GB drive (though only 480 is being used). That's 4% of my total space, or 7% of my used space.


New Member
IPhoto is evil. Those files aren't jpegs anymore. They're one giant file which is the iPhoto database. Even if you export them as jpegs they're a copy, which means they've been resaved and recompressed two more times than the original.

Not to mention that you can't even move the database to a different drive.
Awabakal Country
Real Name
You can export your iPhoto library as originals: you just have to choose to do so when offered the jpg/medium, tell it no, theres a drop down that lets you choose whatever you want. And, you can have the database wherever the hell you want. I don't know, Amber, where you got those ideas.

I've had to do that just today, then reimport to reorganise the events (I chose not to export the events which were all over the shop) and may revert to Lightroom use, after all. I'm not going to bother with iCloud/photostream anymore, I don't think. The reason I chose to do an export was that I installed Aperture again, and got the latest from the App Store, told it to use the iPhoto library, decided I didn't like it, and when I went back into iPhoto, found that I now had double the quantity of photographs. Thats never happened before, with Aperture. Anyway, its a non event for me., now.


Hall of Famer
Also, if you right-click on the iPhoto package and choose "view contents" you can get into the iPhoto library and see the photo originals. Having said that, I have still left iPhoto for Lightroom. The LR tools are more powerful, back when I switched, iPhoto export did not seem to make NR and sharpening stick on export (i.e. you could see it in iPhoto, but upon export, the new jpg didn't reflect them -- this may have been fixed with more recent updates), and I do prefer the file management of LR better. Also, LR is cross-platform in case you ever want to go back to PC.