Aperture Users: Post your library

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chris14, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. Chris14 macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #1
    Hello to all,
    I am contemplating buying aperture to replace iPhoto because of its more RAW -oriented interface. I have been trying the demo, but the whole projects thing confuses me a little. I would like to see how other aperture users organize their library (pics please), so post away!
     
  2. valdore macrumors 65816

    valdore

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    #2
    Well, I happen to have a screenshot from working in Aperture this morning...

    [​IMG]

    The stupid black box in the middle isn't supposed to be there.

    These days I organize my projects by month and subalbums detailing each shoot. I used to start a new project for every shoot, but that started getting chaotic...
     
  3. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #3
    I am away from my MAIN aperture library so I will post when I am home.

    Anyway, the interesting thing about Aperture is that it will confuse you a lot because it isn't locking you into any set way of working. This is why a lot of people find Pro apps sort of difficult to use and master, there is no "1" "2" "3" your done, it's all open to you and how you want it.

    Lightroom is similar but locks you into the way it was programmed to work, and you can't leave that program at all. And the other apps don't have as much features as Aperture and Lightroom.

    I organize my library by the type of work that I do, then by client or by job. Depending on the type of job I will organize by day/month/location/theme depending on how good the hierarchy gets with each division.

    Then I make a few Smartalbums for images that are rated or keyworded for future use in a portfolio or another grouping of jobs.
     
  4. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #4
    Thanks a bunch Valdore and Digital Skunk...

    BTW how many images do you have in your libraries? Managed or Referenced?
    And how do you manage editing... non destructive? or do you save your changes once done to the master?

    I had ~9000 in Aperture and performance was not quite as nice as I had hoped. Am currently migrating to using referenced images so I can organize as I like via finder... its gonna take a while though!
     
  5. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #5
    I did manage all my images and use Photoshop CS2 and it was TERRIBLE! Then I grabbed CS3 and learned that referencing images made Aperture fly. Also, I have two machines that I would love to share one library, so I had to reference them. All 5000 or so images are stored on the tower, and the MBP references them. Now the tricky part comes when I have to work on a project. I suck the images into the MBP library and manage them on that machine only when i am working on the project. When I am done, or want to switch, I export the project and import it back into the library on the tower.

    I have two smart folders in my library, called Referenced Images and Managed Images to keep track of which images are where and it works flawlessly for me.

    My editing is non-destructive, and I don't think Aperture lets you do it any other way which is nice. I do have it so that Aperture just edits the preview instead of creating a new version everytime I make a change which saves me a lot of resources.
     
  6. uberfoto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #6
    I use a category based system right now and I reference all of my raw files. I usually leave the PSDs in the Aperture library for a few months until I know I won't need to use them anymore. I then relocate the masters to my external HD in the respective date folders along with the raw files with a subfolder "PSD".

    I wish there was a way to have Aperture automatically place a generated PSD version in the same folder as the existing raw file. Round trips through Aperture and CS3 would be much easier that way. It is pretty tedious going through my managed PSDs and placing exporting the master to the new location. This is a royal PITB and the Aperture library grows in size substantially. I like to keep my library on my laptop for easy access so a huge library quickly eats up all the space I have. I have expressed this through the "feedback" option and I suggest you guys do it as well if this is something you have also struggled with.

    Anyway, my categories include Nature, People, Family, etc with projects and albums subdividing separate family trips, and nature by type, etc. For example, in Nature, I have an album for macro, landscapes, animals... Or in People I have albums dividing up by client or person name. Although, in the People category, I am going to re organize it by creating a separate project for each client all under a FOLDER named "people" instead of everybody in one big project subdivided out into albums. This way I can divide separate shoots with the same individual under one project.

    I hope this helps. I think it is good you are getting an idea of what systems others are using BEFORE creating your own. It will really help to come up with something that works well over a long term scenario so that you don't have to go back and rethink/reorganize later on. I remember doing the same thing when I first started using the program. The organization really stumped me at first. Think about what you have been shooting and what you will continue to shoot in the future and come up with categories that will make the most sense and allow you to expand in the future. The idea is to be able to quickly access your images so keep it simple.

    Just some examples:

    If all you shoot are landscapes, you might want to split your categories up into locations and/or seasons. If you do weddings, it might make sense for you to create a new project for each client and use folders to group projects into seasons or by the type of package they ordered.
     

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  7. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #7
    Okay, well I just FINALLY finished re sorting all the photos I have.
    17 634 045 543 bytes (16.45 GB) later they are all sorted out in folders for the year taken, and subfolders for albums I suppose.

    I am thinking that I will reference them into aperture for the most part, but also into iPhoto (without copying to library) to serve as a less intensive "viewer" app. Any ideas on this plan? Will it work?
     
  8. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #8
    It will work perfectly. I do that now but use Bridge as the quick viewer and I can still send them to Photoshop for real editing. And if I need to I can send them to the other Adobe Apps. If Aperture 2.0 has a quick view type mini app that would allow me to just view the images and make basic metadata changes that could be imported into Aperture later on it would be an even more powerful app.

    Oh yeah... here is my library with one of my older projects.

    Picture 1.png
     
  9. marclapierre13 macrumors 6502a

    marclapierre13

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #9
    Wow those are some awesome shots.
    I have a question about using the photos.

    I know that Aperture does this. When you import a photo in aperture, and then you edit it in aperture, it saves the "modified" picture, and then saves the original somewhere. How does that work? Does it really hog up hard drive space?

    PS: I just discovered that iPhoto does this as well. I was searching through my HD and found it, under a folder called "originals" or something. I wasnt really impressed, i just wanted to keep my modified ones.
     
  10. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #10
    Well, there are two innovative things about this topic. The first is that Aperture doesn't save a new file and an edited one, just the adjustments you make to the image, which is why you have to export the version to get the actual edited file. Aperture just shows those adjustments that you made to the preview of the image.

    NOW, what I don't understand about LR and Aperture is that they both do that, but they won't allow you to do any offline image editing. I can understand that the preview doesn't have enough info to make proper edits but can I at least crop and do some basic edits?
     
  11. marclapierre13 macrumors 6502a

    marclapierre13

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #11
    well i read somewhere that the "master" images are tucked away somewhere. Or is that only for when you edit a RAW image?
    Also, i get what you mean about aperture when you make a change, but do you mean before it actually takes place permanately you will have to save it? Also, does it do it automatically like iPhoto, after you change the picture or whatever.
     
  12. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #12
    The RAW images or masters are wherever you want them to be, they are your images, but Aperture doesn't create new images when you edit them. What I meant was, Aperture and LR just show you what the image will look like with the adjustments, to get an actual file out of it for use outside of the Application or the iLife/iWork suites you will have to export the image version, then the adjustments you make will be applied to a different copy of the master that you can adjust the size or file type of.

    It makes the new version, or shows you the edits right after you make a change.
     
  13. Chris14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Chris14

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    Hamilton, NZ
    #13
    Okay, all done now, with Aperture reference all my photos, BUT I've noticed that the Aperture library still takes up a whopping 6 GB even though all images are referenced... Is this normal? 16 GB of photos + 6 GB just for previews eats up disk space fast...
     
  14. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #14
    LOL, I've got 120GB and growing rapidly...

    Disk space is cheap, unless you're on a laptop I guess.
     
  15. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #15
    And then it is still cheap. ;)

    External Storage
     
  16. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #16
    Why are you guys using projects and folders? Why not drop everything in the same folder and make a bunch of smart folder to sort everything by date, theme, etc?

    Also, does referencing images really speed things up that much?
     
  17. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #17
    Because each project is in its own package that can be conveniently exported (or even copied) to another Aperture Library. You should never ever, ever put all pictures in the same project.

    I've had my 100 GB drive replaced by a 250 GB drive yesterday, now my Aperture Library resides on my internal drive again :)
    Time to clean it up, though (I'm still working on sifting through old pictures every now and then). It contains approximately 10k pictures (down from 14k) that take up about 28.5 GB.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #18
    It's a preview and project thing. Aperture makes some really really hi-res image previews. If I shoot with my D2hs the previews from Aperture are the same resolution if I set them to make the biggest possible. The DPI is not as hi, but the pixel count is the same. Those previews can be lowered of course so they don't take up that much space, and they won't slow your computer down while processing.

    Also, whenever you create a PSD or TIFF when "opening your image in an external editor" that image file is stored in the library. Since neither Aperture nor Lightroom edit as good as Photoshop I do this often, and end up having a lot of PSD files in my main library. As another poster said, I clean out often, and leave half my library out of Aperture completely by exporting projects then leaving them in an archive section. That way I don't have to worry about having a 30GB Aperture library filled with previews and PSD files and wedding albums.

    It really is a wonderful application... I have spent more time working on images and other projects instead of organization. :D
     
  19. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #19
    I still dont understand why... From a smart folder I can select all the pics then export them too.

    The only reason I use real folders is for stuff I havent sorted / processes yet (they arent tagged) or to regroup a serie of pics that really dont have anything to do with each others.

    So can anyone confirm to me the speed increase of using referenced files? Also if you do so, do you use Time machine to back it up ?
     
  20. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #20
    For me, the speed increase came from my computer not having to stress the system drive to search a solid chunk of 30+ GB space. Instead, it had to search a scratch disk of tiny bits of space that equaled 30+GBs.

    As for folders, the only reason I use them is to keep my Aperture library and my referenced library looking similar. I could dump them all into one big folder and organize them by keywords and ratings but if I decide not to do that for a certain project it would mess everything up.

    Also, if my work were to extend outside of Aperture, like the web, Bridge, Final Cut Pro it would be a little harder for me to find what I am looking for. Smart Folders is one of the many reasons I stick with Aperture and it's very powerful in organizing photos. Personally, I just couldn't keep one large folder of my images and a bunch of smart folders.

    I do use three smart folders to keep my referenced images, managed images, and 5 star images together.
     
  21. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #21
    Yes, but it would be much, much slower and less secure.
    First of all, people have thousands of pictures. So instead of searching through roughly 10k pictures (others' libraries are much larger), it has to search through just a few.
    Secondly, project packages are very neat when you want to selectively restore pictures or transfer them. It's much easier to do that when you have different files and different folders.
    Thirdly, grouping pictures so that they appear in a smart folder means you need to tag each picture, otherwise, they won't appear in a suitable smart folder. When you import new pictures into specific projects, it's crystal clear from the beginning where pictures appear in. You cannot replicate this behavior with albums either (e. g. albums, books and websites may be part of projects whereas this doesn't work for albums).
    Lastly, projects are natural parts of your workflow representation. It's quite unnatural to me to avoid them.
    No, folders have myriads of other uses. In Aperture, folders, albums and projects are rather independent. My clutter, for instance, is a result of importing from iPhoto which I've used to bridge the gap till I bought Aperture. I've migrated my photo library so many times that I had tons of dupes (iPhoto 2 --> iPhoto 4 --> iView Media Pro --> iPhoto 06 --> Aperture).

    I agree with the sentiment that we need to move to something more dynamic. But both, speed and workflow aren't there yet.
    I let Aperture manage my pictures and I have no intention of changing that, so I cannot comment on that.
     
  22. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #22
    I believe it's published by apple that as folders get large (I think it was 5-10K photos) performance plummets.

    That's one reason not to use a large folder.
     
  23. mckvakk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #23
    I just organize my library after what i take pictures of that day.
    Yeah, i'm just a rookie photographer still :p
    [​IMG]
     
  24. dazey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    #24
    Here is mine. Basically I have each event as a project and these get all split into various folders depending on the type of shoot.
     

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