Aperture 3 Library Organization Question

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by santaliqueur, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #1
    Hey everybody. I've been using Aperture 2 for a while now, but never really "committed" to adding a lot of metadata to my photographs because of my confusion over the structure of the application itself. I recently upgraded to Aperture 3, and I really like some of the new features (Faces, and especially Places). I'm ready to start to add my metadata, except...I'm confused about how I should be adding my photographs, and I hope some of you could help.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, or making any crazy mistakes. In Aperture, every photograph must be added to a project to be displayed and edited, yes? I started one project for each of my former cameras. I had a few old point & shoots and a couple DSLRs, each with a couple thousand photographs probably. I don't use any of those anymore. My current body, D700, has all its photographs in one project. I expect to be using this body for the foreseeable future.

    My problem is, the Faces feature does not appear to work across projects. The faces Aperture recognizes from my D300 project are unrecognizable to Aperture in the D700 project. Quite annoying.

    I suppose my real question is: Should I be organizing my photographs in this fashion? It is my understanding that some people use projects as a workspace for specific shoots. They might have many hundreds of projects in their Aperture library. That seems very cluttered to me. The one thing I liked about Lightroom is you could just add your photos to the library and browse by camera model. It seems I am trying to replicate that here with limited success. I would like to add that each camera has its own folder on my hard drive. None of the photographs are in subfolders.

    If I add my photographs to a folder, they still must be within a project (inside that folder) to edit them in any way, correct?

    I'd appreciate any help or advice anyone can give. Thanks!
     
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    I think that organizing by camera model is not the right way to do things. You need to learn about the differences between blue and yellow folders, projects, etc. Very simply... A lot of context will be contained within blue folders... and typically you would have many projects within a blue folder.

    The very best advise I have seen is within the works and especially ebooks written by Robert Boyer. I strongly recommend that you study his articles and purchase his ebooks (they are extremely reasonable in price). What really impresses me is that he he explains the "why" to do things. By contrast, most books and manuals describe just the "what". He is quite opinionated (well deserved if you ask me) and that comes through in his writing. He is also quite involved in the online Aperture discussion forums on the Apple support site... and is a good resource there as well. His web site is: http://photo.rwboyer.com/

    I have no financial or any other type of relationship with him... other than as a customer. I suspect that if you follow this advice, you will become a strong Aperture believer.

    /Jim
     
  3. santaliqueur thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. I think perhaps I should make a blue folder for each camera body, and make projects for each photoshoot within the folders? It doesn't solve the problem of faces not being recognized across multiple projects, if I was correct about that.

    I will check out the link you suggested. It seems like there is quite a bit of information there.

     
  4. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    I am going with a format that supports me as a serious amature. Your needs may vary.

    I have a couple of high level blue folders with names such as: Family, Landscape, Wildllfe

    Of those... almost all of my picures (99%+) will be located within family. That will allow me to perform searches and other operations within the context of family pictures.

    Within the family blue folder... I have blue folders by year. This allows me to collapse a lot of my folder structure when not desired.... plus it makes it easier to constrain searches.

    Within each year... I have projects that equate to "iPhoto events". Hence... every year's "blue folder" will have a project named something like 2009-12-25-Christmas. I have used the YYYY-MM-DD prefex on every project just to ensure that they can be easily sorted by date. It is not critical... but I found it useful. Since most projects (events) are multi-day in duration... I always use the first day. So if I made a 1 week trip to Disneyworld on July 1, 2006... the project would be labeled 2006-07-01-Disneyworld... and it would be located within the "2006" blue folder within the "family" blue folder.

    To me... it doesn't matter which camera I used. So, the project will generally contain pictures from my SLR, my wifes P&S, and maybe some iPhone pics as well. I figure that I can always use the metadata to create a selection of pictures from a particular camera. To me... the "event" is the key context to group by... and I tend to use them as my projects.

    Doing the above allows me form collections of photos from specific events... or by increasing the search context to the top level blue folder "family"... I can create a smart album that contains all of my Disneyworld pics across multiple years... or other "valuable to me" types of groupings.

    I am clearly NOT a professional photographer. I simply want better tools to help me manage my vast number of photographs. Also note that I am just now migrating to Aperture (after studying it for a couple of months). I have installed the app, created my folder structure... but I have not started importing my photos yet. My intention is to use Apertures features such as stacks, ratings etc... to cull down my library into a much more manageable set of photos published into albums that "tell a story"... rather than my current "huge mass" of pictures. I am clearly at a stage where "less is more" regarding my photo collection.

    /Jim
     

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