Getting a fresh start in Aperture 3

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by filmamigo, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. filmamigo macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2003
    OK, I admit I'm stuck. I'm not sure how best to get a good start with Aperture 3.

    I have a fair number of pictures -- probably 10,000? that I've taken since I started to get serious about photography a couple of years ago. And they are stored in a hodgepodge of locations.

    I started with iPhoto, and let it manage my photos. But that always freaked me out, so when I started to use Lightroom, I told it to leave all my pictures in place. Everything I have ever taken is somewhere in my Pictures folder, but scattered across folders for iPhoto, folders for specific cameras, folders of individual rolls of film that have been scanned to CD. Maybe this is OK? But it makes me feel stressed out to have everything so disorganised. Frankly, I never really made good use of keywording or organization tools in Lightroom either.

    Now I've splurged on a new Macbook Pro, and I decided to get Aperture to go with it. I had always been drawn to Aperture, but my old iMac G5 was too long-in-the-tooth for it. With a nice new Mac, it seemed like the best time to make the switch to Aperture. It was timed well too, as Apple gave me a "grace period" upgrade to Aperture 3 when it was released right after I bought Aperture 2.

    So here I am, with a clean install of Aperture 3, and my old Pictures folder full of disorganized mess.

    What is the best way to proceed? Should I leave all my files in place? Should I pre-organize my folders?

    And what is the best strategy to tackle organizing such an ungainly mess of photos when importing them into Aperture? Dump everything into Aperture at once, and sort later? Or be more strategic about how I import?

    Part of why I felt that I could switch from Lightroom to Aperture was that I hadn't put any effort into keywording or organizing. No matter which platform I chose, I have to put that effort in. So now I have chosen, and I need some Aperture gurus to point the way forward to me...:)

    I look forward to any suggestions.

  2. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    If you are using referenced masters, I would pre-organize your folders (to allow easy searching outside of Aperture and leave a cleaner path should you decide to switch again).

    Personally I have Categories (ie trips, people, concerts, etc.), then Subcategories (Band name, trip location and yeat, etc), then albums named as the actual date of the photos. Figure out what works for you, changing the system in the future is a pita.
  3. emorydunn macrumors 6502


    Jun 5, 2006
    Austin Texas
    The easiest thing to do might be to let Aperture organise everything for you. Then all you (should) have to do is be very meticulous about how you organise photos inside of Aperture. So import each folder separately and make it into it's own project. Then after your import the folder sit down and tag the files and add any other metadata you want. The key is to do it in small chunks so you don't feel overwhelmed.

    I'm actually just making the switch from Lightroom to Aperture myself and this is the technique I'm going to be using.

    The biggest thing to remember, if you plan on tagging your photos, is to do it on import, not later. Also, use nested tags that way you won't have an endless list and remember after each session of tagging organise them into their groups.

    The key is to make the migration manageable so you don't feel like there is too much to do and give up half way through.

    Good luck with the organisation!

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