What Happens When You Edit an Image Stored Outside of iPhoto 6
One of the questions I've been getting a lot lately is what happens when you edit an image that's stored outside of iPhoto 6? Now that you don't have to import images stored on your hard drive into iPhoto 6 (you can "point" to them instead), does this mean that when you edit those images they're stored outside of iPhoto too?
They are not. Once you edit an "outside the library" image, iPhoto 6 makes a copy of it and stores it in its Library. Take a look at this file path for a picture I made adjustments to:
On the left you'll see the file path inside my iPhoto library (~iPhoto Library Fourteen) that leads me to the copy of the image that iPhoto made when I edited it. What's nice, however, is that it uses the same folder name (Sebastopol Jan 06) in the iPhoto Library as I used to store the image on my hard drive. It was a cinch to find the edited image.
If I use the "Revert to Original" command in iPhoto, the application removes the altered image from my iPhoto library (and in this case the folder too because it was the only image in it.)
Hope this helps...
Derrick Story is the author of The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers, The Digital Photography Companion, and Digital Photography Hacks, and coauthor of iPhoto: The Missing Manual, with David Pogue. You can follow him on Twitter or visit www.thedigitalstory.com.