Aperture - Organizing Photos (Newbie)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by tdmac, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. tdmac macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    Well now that I have imported tons of photo's I am working on properly organizing them. I have photos that were in the wrong folders, when importing, thus they are now in the wrong projects. I tried dragging them from one project to another but that seems to duplicate pics. How do you move pics? When doing what I did by dragging and dropping, does that make a whole new master in the other project or is it just a link to the first original. If its not a link, then is there a way to link a photo's in multiple albums, under different projects so there aren't multiple original copies?

    As far as my second question, what method have other used to organize photos? I guess I am looking more from those who may not just use aperture in just a professional setting since it would seem that projects are really "jobs" and there is a clear cut delineation. But, in the case of family photo's there could be tons of ways to organize the pics. i.e. projects by child and then albums for each event under each child. OR a particular activity, like sports, and then all pics from all children as albums under that heading. Seeing what others have done helps to see if there is a better way.

    I have signed up for Apple's one to one to learn more about Aperture, but that doesn't start until the middle of next week. Trying to get a jump on the organizing, keywording, etc.
  2. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    read the manual
    visit YouTube
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The answer is "All of the above". FOr family photos I use a "project" to hold shots that where done more or less at the same time and place.

    Then you import the images and apply keywords and comments and rate them. Make up a fixed set of keywords and try not to always be adding more. I use them to descibe the kind of photo like "landscape, underwater, portrait, city scape and maybe the style. Each photo gets one or more of these. I use comments to describe the exact subject "Sue", "Yosemite falls" "Bob's Dog Spot" of whatever.

    Next I make as many Smart Folders as I want. Here is where "all of the above" comes in. Make a folder for "people" and then inside of it a set of smart folders, one for each person with search criteia set to the prsons names. Make a location folders with smaert folders for each place. Sometimmes I'l male one for "Four start and higher" for any of a set of people. Make as many smaart folders as you want and put these into folders.

    One photo might be in four smart folders but still only takes up one place on the disk.

    Think of smart folders like a library card catalog. One index for Author, one for title and one for subject. Each book can have several cards. But with a computer you can create new indexs, as many as you want. The key to organization is adding keywords and comments and ratings
  4. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    You have to drag the image from the actual project to move the master (as opposed to a directory within the project which only creates copies). You can reference masters in different projects, aperture just inserts a link and not an actual different copy of the picture. If you make changes to the image, aperture just records the new formula to apply to the master.

    For organizing, realize there are two types of folders (blue and yellow maybe? sorry not at my computer). One type of folder holds projects, the other organizes pics within projects. I typically use very few of the second type of folder. I normally do something like event/weddings/projects with one wedding in each project. I guess I could split the project up further, but typically just sort by rating and that narrows things down considerably. How you organize is up to you, but I would organize by people and keyword the sports. Normally I would be searching for a pic of a specific child much more often than a random child playing a specific sport. Again, it is a very personal decision that evolves over time.
  5. tdmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    I did. You tube is basically the same tutorials that are on Apple's site. The manual doesn't seem to answer my question either in regard to moving photo's between projects. I understand that when you create albums and smart-albums under the library heading, these are pointers to your photo's stored between the various projects below. Thus no duplicates. My question was more in regard to moving master photo's between projects.

    Thanks for the info.

    I have started keywording. You mention to come up with a fixed set of keywords and you also use commenting. I guess when do you do commenting over keywording? I assume you can create albums based on text found in comments. For family photo's I would think you would want keywords for subjects in the pics so you can easily find them and not have to type the names over and over or take a chance on mis-entering the names.

    I do a family holiday card each year that is made up of photo's from that year. I am typically looking for the best pics (usually the kids) from the family and maybe some other pics that include signs from places we or the kids have been. So I would want highly rated pics but I would also want to restrict to just those of our immediate family. So I can see keywording playing a big role.

    When it comes to personal photo's I guess when do you stop with the keywording and/or commenting? I can see wanting to tag all aspects of a picture so you can one day I want all pics that have sports or just baseball or all pics that have my daughters best friend (So we can make an album for her - my wife is big into that), etc.

    Here is what I am dealing with:
    Up until we recently got Aperture and became MAC people :D, the process was that my wife would upload the photo's from a card reader on the PC onto our NAS. Thus I have a directory called "PHOTOS" and in that directroy are various folders for child 1, child 2, Holidays, child1 & child2, Dog, etc.
    Under these folders are subfolders broken out by a particular event (dance recital 2007) or a year and thus more folders with evens within that year. Don't get me started on all of the duplicates that were put into other folders (i.e. pics to print), I eliminated alot but sure there are more. Not sure if there is a way to search within aperture to find duplicate masters.

    The easiest thing to do was to initially import each parent sub folder found in the photo's directory into aperture as a project. This kept the same "folder structure" that I had using the file folders. I am not looking at it now but I believe that the main folder is a project and the sub directories were imported as albums.

    So If I want to find pics of my daughter from softball this year I would go to the "project" that has her name and then look for the particular event (which I guess is an album) under her name. This versus what ChrisA's method in which each event is a separate project and thus no drilling down within a project. So there would be a project for my daughter softball this year and another project for softball last year, etc. Or a different project for each and every game.

    I can see this leading to a ton of projects to scroll through to find particular pics. Or am I over complicating this becuase you can pretty much search for anything (assuming you tag things correctly). This is why I wanted to hear how others are organizing their pics and why. This will help me choose the most logical method for what would work for me so I can correct the organization for my existing pics as well as new ones going forward. I'm sure the way we did this originally is illogical or antiquated but was the only method I had available at the time. So this is all I know.

    I appreciate any feedback to help me with this monumental task. Sorry for the long post.
  6. tdmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    Thanks for the info. I tried this out last night. Kind of a PITA if you do have folders within a project. So if you want to MOVE that photo from a folder in one projEct to an album or folder in another project, you have to click on project A, locate the photo, drag it into project B and then dig through the project to then find the master you copied to then drag it into the folder or album in project B. As you said if you drop it on album or folder it just makes a copy (not sure if it a copy of the master or just a referenced file).

    I checked this out last night as well. Not sure what you mean by comments. I did not see that field anywhere. Do you mean Caption?

    I am curious as to how other organize the masters of their family pics. Do others use folders and group related pics in projects (i.e. one "Birthdays" project and all different bdays within folders under that project heading)? Or do the majority just put each event as its own project (i.e if there was 5 years worth of parties, there would be 5 individual projects)? If so why? I know when it comes to a wedding photographer for example, the later makes sense, since there is only one "event" per couple. But in the case of family photo's or maybe even a photographer that shoots multiple types of shots (landscape, portraits, wildlife) there can be multiple ways to organize/group the photos when importing the masters into the library.

    As I said I am trying to benefit from the responses to see how I should/could go about re-organizing/grouping my masters.
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    That's right. So don't do it that way. "Projects" are for photos that were shot at about the same time of about the same subject. I liked the way older iPhoto called these "film rolls" as that is very descriptive. I don't make folders inside projects. And I nver move images between projects.

    I make folders at the top level of my library and place projects INSIDE folders. I only have a few of these folders and I put projects inside of them.

    Yes. I'm using generic terms

    I'd make a "birthday" folder and then put all the birthday projects in that folder" Why? I never want to have to hunt down or choose a place to download the pictures to. I make a new project each time. the probllem this avoids is having a "San Fransico" project and a "Mary" project and then what to do it you shoot Mary's Birthday in San Fransico? Now you have to choose wich on-going project. Best not to have to. Just make a now one and add the meta data and then make smart albums named "Mary", "San Fransico" and "birthday" and Aperture will put the images in the smart albums for you. Don't worry about where they actually are location. It does not matter.

    The answer is "All of the above." The photos get placed in albums based on data and person and place and "landscape and so on. Just tag the images and ake enough smart albums

    The next thing to think abot is workflow. I always import from the memory card into a new project. then I can stack and rate the imagfes and do a firt cut on image rotation, color and exposure and cropping. I do this kind of work inside the project. Project grouptoget images shot with the same camera in the same light I use smart albums to group toget images on say "trees, 4 or 5 stars" or maybe all the Morrey Ells I've shoot over the years.
  8. tdmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    Ok I am confused. Your initial sentence says to make a folder called Bdays and then add each new Birthday as a project within that folder. But then as you go on with the Mary & san fransisico example you then say this is why you don't want to put each project in a folder.

    Two other questions:

    1) How can you tell if you are looking at a master image or referenced copy?

    2) Is there a way you can search for duplicate "master pics" within aperture? In my case I know there could be the same pic found in multiple folders. The pic name should be the same or mostly the same with the name "copy". Looking for an easy way to hunt then down.
  9. Astroguy12s macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2008
    In regards to organization, I've followed what this guy does on Flickr and sort by year->month->project. Here's a screenshot of his Aperture organization, it works well for me.

  10. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    That's how dad does it. But he does not use any program.
  11. tdmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2008
    OK now this makes sense. At lest this is a great starting off point. Man I got a big job to do. Probably will take all summer :).

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