Getting started with Aperture 3

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Techichi, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Techichi macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Hello everyone,

    I recently purchased Aperture 3 but I am unsure on how to proceed in terms of importing my iPhoto library into the program and I was wondering if any of you could give me some advice in this regard.

    I have around 5,000 photos in my iPhoto library, but I probably wouldn't be interested in editing the great majority of them, as I got into photography only recently, when I bought a DSLR camera. I therefore don't know if I should clean up my iPhoto library first, then import all of the photos onto Aperture, or whether I could just import the few events I'd like to work on in terms of editing.

    Would it be a good idea to use Aperture exclusively for my DSLR photography and to use iPhoto for iPhone/compact camera pictures that I am not interested in editing in the future?

    My questions will probably sound silly to the great majority of you, but I'd still like to keep on using iPhoto as a program to organise my photos, while making use of Aperture's editing power but I'm a bit unsure on how to do this, or wether it is something really worth doing after all.

    Thank you in advance. :)
  2. Bymatt macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2011
    There is a piece of info missing

    Do you shoot in RAW or JPEG.
    While Aperture will allow some editing of JPEG files, there is only so much you can do with a JPEG as its inherent data content is limited compared to a RAW file. Aperture's advanced editing is most useful with RAW files.
    Another consideration is File management. In addition to being a very good RAW file editor, Aperture is an excellent DAM or Digital Asset Manager. If you are going to use Aperture to improve the management of your digital collection you will have an immediate choice, Managed or Referenced. Referenced is perhaps the simplest as it allows you to import your current files and retain their present location on your HD. Managed will import images and in effect relocate them to the Aperture library files area. The ability to easily back up your files depends on which path you choose.
    I highly recommend an in depth book on Aperture in addition to the Aperture help files. Once such book is Aperture 3 by Dion Scoppettuolo. There are a couple others, I am just familiar with this one.
    I would be glad to continue this thread with you. Good luck in your choices.
  3. Techichi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Thank you for your response, you seem to know your stuff when it comes to Aperture. :)

    I only recently started shooting in RAW, so about 90% of my photograph collection is in JPEG. I still have some great photos in that format, which I'd like to keep and look at now and then, but I also have a lot of poor quality ones. I have a few possibilities it seems:

    1. Keep my iPhoto library as it is and just import my most recent DSLR photos into Aperture from now on.

    2. Re-organise and clean up my iPhoto library and import the whole thing (managed or referenced) into Aperture.

    3. Keep photos in separate folders managed manually and import them in a referenced manner into Aperture to edit/organise them.

    I don't really know what the best option would be. I also need to learn to be more critical when looking at my photographs since, especially when shooting in a RAW format, they can take up a lot of valuable space, both on my camera and on my HDD.

    Thank you for your advice regarding the book, I'll definitely look into it!
  4. ChrisA, Sep 21, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I would never want to use two managment systems. Way to much work.

    If there are some photros you don't need to look at that is what Apertures "smart albums" are for. Maybe you define a smart album to have one RAW image with 4 or more star rating or maybe only photos shot after some data or with one camera.

    A smart album is really just a saved search criteria and you can make it anything you like.

    Never use"referenced" files in Aperture unless yu 110% understand how Aperture works.

    Also don't worry about photos taking up "valueable" space. Disks sell for well under $100 per TB. The "huge" raw file cost less then a penny to store. You time is to valuable to even bother with thetime to delete them.

    If it takes you 5 seconds to pick up a penny off the ground you ca not even earning Minimum wage. Same with deleting images file to save the cost of storage.

    Aperture allows you to offload images but stil kep the index and thumbnails.
  5. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    Been thinking about switching from iPhoto to Aperture...though unsure how my 2008 iMac will handle it as I've heard some say it doesn't run great on my "old" machine.

    But what is referenced? I thought I was hearing that was the better way to go??
    Thanks (and sorry for cutting in here)
  6. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
  7. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Referenced files are Masters that aren't stored in the Aperture Library. The Master-the original one from the camera-is stored somewhere else on the hard drive or on an external drive. People who insist on using their own file system use referenced files. It's easiest to let Aperture manage the files in it's own Library. It's a database kind of like the one used in iPhoto.

    Regarding power, I use aperture 3 on an October 2008 MacBook Pro with no issues other than it could be faster with more ram. I have 4GB in my system. The cpu is the 2.5Ghz core2duo.

  8. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    Thanks, good to know. I have a 2008 Imac, 3.06ghz - C2D, 4GB with 1TB space (just upgraded hard drive-should have jumped to 2TB but oh well).

    I was thinking perhaps it would be best to keep my library on an external box so I free up HD space on iMac. I would let Aperture manage the library but just aim it to teh external drive.
  9. captain kaos macrumors 65816

    captain kaos

    Jan 16, 2008
    Im running 20,000+ photos so far, i shoot RAW professionally on a Nikon D200, so the libaray gets gig!

    I started many years back with iphoto, aperture 1, now on 3 so i had a bit of thought processes on the best route and unfortunately it was only A3 that allowed your "libaray" to be external folders so i have about 120gig within 2 A3 library files, which means it does get a bit clunky if your internal drives is slow.

    At the moment im in a "good place" with my set up.

    1. Firstly I found on my 2010 macbook proi5 i had my photos (libraries and photos in folders) on my original a 7200rpm drive. This made it very painful to edit photos, there was a massive delay in any effect i put on a photo and generally moving around aperture.

    2. I purchased an internal SSD drive for my "C drive" and then moved all my photos, library and photo folders onto an external FW800 drive running on the old 7200rpm boot drive. It now flys! It is definitely happier having the programme on one drive and the photos on another.

    3. Now, the best way i found to keep things organised, and to stop a bigger aperture library is to "import" the photos from the camera card to a folder (named something obvious) onto the external drive. Then you import these photos into aperture but choose the option to keep the files where there are so aperture just links to them directly.

    4. For iphoto, which i don't use anymore (but im still in the process of exporting the original jpegs to re import to aperture!) just go to the option in aperture to import you iphoto library. Then you get all your iphoto events in aperture for you do whatever you want. I shot jpeg on my smaller cameras for years and i found aperture did a very good job of processing and changing effect on jpegs. Obviously RAW has more data to work with than jpegs, but you can still do a lot to them.

    5. Backing up. This is a major headache for me as i panic i may lose years of photos! I basically triple up. Once you import my photos i burn them to dvd, and then i have a network NAS i back up to, and a back up on another external drive! One thing with aperture, within the import area at the bottom on the screen is an option to back up. You select where you want to back up to and it does it for you. Very easy!

    Long winded answer, you can see and use your iphoto library with aperture!

    Sorry for the long answer, but its a major freak out for me when i see people don't back up. That old drawer of photos your parents have doesn't exist in our digital word and i think things are a lot more volatile for the digital files. One hard drive failure and its gone!

    PM is you have any questions, happy to help!
  10. Techichi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Thank you all for your answers to my original post. It seems like the Aperture guide book by Dion Scoppettuolo is a must-have, I'll look into it! :)
    In the meanwhile, I'll probably keep my photo folders independent from iPhoto/Aperture from now on and eventually import them into Aperture to organise/edit them.

Share This Page