Aperture 3 library management - a PC to MAC switcher

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by foxdirect, May 13, 2010.

  1. foxdirect macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2010
    Hi there,

    First off let me apologize for the length of this post. I SCOURED the internet trying to find some answers to a complex problem that needs your input...

    Background: I made the switch from PC to MAC 8 days ago. I'm a longtime PC user (former network administrator) and so far the MAC is superior in almost every regard. To say I'm impressed would be an understatement - I'm loving my new setup. I have a i7 MBP w/ 8GB RAM and Aperture 3 installed to organize my photo library.

    In my PC days I took over 40K photos, all in JPG and also some movies in various formats (all of which the MAC can now read thanks to Perian).

    Image and movie folder management on the PC was was very simple, I used a hierarchy like this:

    [My Photos folder]
    -Brazil, Porto de Galinas - JUN 2009 - Day Trip to Beach
    -Japan, Tokyo - JUL 2008 - Tokyo Tower
    -Thailand, Pattaya - JAN 2010 - Girls

    Also, in many of the "best" folders I have movies that I took in those locations "shoots".

    When I wanted to see images and videos I used Windows Explorer and just browsed to that folder and viewed the pics and/or videos. I begin showing people my collection within 10 seconds using all keyboard shortcuts.

    On to the Questions:

    1. How do I "import" my 197 folders "shoots" into Aperture and still maintain the folders?

    2. Instead, should I just allow Aperture to use the internal managed library instead?

    3. What about my movies I have? If I allow Aperture to manage my library where should I put my movies for easy access?

    4. How would you recommend I organize/use my MAC with my digital photo/video collection like I did on my PC?

    Thanks for your time and valuable imput!
  2. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    Ok, first congrats. You wiln't regret it. I say wiln't, as won't is incorrect english. Won't stands for wo not, correct? Oh and it is Mac, not MAC.

    Huh, anyways, back to the questions at hand.

    I just started using A3 after having it for a few months. I bought the book
    "Aperture 3" by Dion Scoppettuolo. It is published by Peachpit Press. It is also part of the Apple Pro Training Series and Apple Certified. It was just released a few weeks ago and is like $34 at Amazon! I would start there. I have only read the first chapter or so, and really made a difference.

    As for organization, I had mine organized like you did on your PC, on my Mac.
    I have since imported them into A3, and backed them up in the "folder" style on an external(s).

    I will include some screen shots of an example of some of my "folders" or projects in A3.

    Inside of Aperture, you can hit command and a number to mark your photos with a color tab. I use cmd-4 (green) for photos that are near perfect, cmd-1 (red i think) for ones that need some work, or are marked for garbage.

    As for videos, iTunes can do that as well. I don't have videos in my iTunes or Aperture libraries.

    Attached Files:

  3. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    You can see in the screenshots (especially the last 2) how i organize my photos. I see no point in putting "Columbia River Gorge Wednesday" and then another shoot from the same area, but named a different day. I just combine them, and go from there. I hate having so many folders.

    I just went through like 10 gigs of old photos, and most were garbage, heh.

    It isn't as daunting importing them as you would thing. Just hook up an external with the photos you want to import, and go from there. Doesn't take that long at all!
  4. flosseR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2009
    the cold dark north
    I think you need to radically think differently about organizing your photos. the amount of folders etc. must be daunting.

    This is where Aperture's keywording comes in. Import the photos into projects (possibly for each TRIP a folder, not for each day). Then you give your best photos a 5 star rating and create smart albums based on rating and other keywords. Any photo you change in any library with the same keywords to a 5 star rating will apear in the smart album without any other modification (moving or whatever). All photos are located in one place.

    As I said you will have to re-think the way you organize your photos but in the long run this is DEFINITELY worth it.
    This way you can also create collections (smart albums) across all projects for all photos with a specific keyword. A name for example of a person that appears in many projects etc. With a smart album with that keyword you will have all photos of that person in one place without moving them. Even better make the rating a criteria and all of a sudden you have all photos of that person in one album with only the photos that you consider the best ones.

    Yes, it is a lot of work but in the end WELL worth it.


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