How to fix photo file structure in Aperture/iPhoto/Finder

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by buywisdom, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. buywisdom macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2005
    I would like to begin by saying that I would appreciate any insight into my question.
    I have been taking digital pictures since 2004 and I have accumulated a sizable library. This summer I purchased a Canon Rebel Xti as over the years I have become more and more serious about photo. About a week-ago I purchased a copy of Aperture. Until then I had gone through many versions of iPhoto, I culminated in 08 witch came with the purchase of my new MBP.
    I now have what appears to me a huge problem. iPhoto many versions have created a file structure for my photos YEAR>MONTH>DAY however some days are named 08_3 some are not even days but words like "Original" I don't know where these came from. I would like to rebuild this file structure. Is this possible using the meta data of each photo? That is run some program that replaces each photo in a folder that is appropriate YEAR>MONTH>DAY style.
    My second issue is with Aperture. I have started organizing photos within Aperture I did this by location on the globe Country>City>Time Does this seem like a weird file structure? It would be great it Aperture actually moved the photos into folders and "projects" with these actual names. Alas it only seems to create links to the original flawed iPhoto mess. Is there a way to make Aperture move all my photos to one location? If this is possible then the first question becomes irrelevant.
    If none of this things are possible maybe someone has a suggestion of how to organize photos file structure (within Finder) that is really what I am looking to do. Maybe with Automator or something. I am really struggling here. I would appreciate anything. I hope my goal.
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Aperture will sort by any metadata item you like, which can aid in making albums (akin to playlists).

    Automatic iPhoto--->Aperture is messy. I would export (via Export) in iPhoto to a folder on the desktop. Then, import the photo folder (it will be unsorted) to Aperture. Then, set up your structure and move stuff around. The metadata is retained so you can start from scratch easily with the way
    *you* want it organized.

    You could do a lot of different things, for example:

    England [yellow project]
    __Oxford [blue album]
    __London [blue album]
    __Gloucester [blue album]

    You could even make a [purple] smart album for Europe so that your England, Wales, and Germany projects all show up together when you select that smart album.

    I think you have to get rid of Aperture's iPhoto import mess first. Start from scratch and build your structure with no photos. Then Export from iPhoto (metadate comes too!) and then import that desktop folder into Aperture into a temporary "Transfer" yellow project. Distribute the photos to the real project folders you've already set up until the Transfer project is empty. Then delete it and live in organizational bliss!
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Why do you care about the file and directory structure?

    That's the whole point of both iPhoto and Aperture - you don't have to care or even know that there is a structure. What you do is let Aperture store the files in the library however it likes. Then you organize the files using smart folders and albums. The neat thing here that make Aperture worth having is that files can appear to be inside any number of different folders.

    So you can organize them not just by date but by subject, location (lat long or city) by client and by type of shot (landscape, portrait, underwater,....)

    Back in the days when we had slides we had to put the slide in one place, so most of us filed by date or "roll number". Now we don't have the single place limitation. I keep my file in five or ten places at once. Of course it only physically appears in the hard drive once.
  4. buywisdom thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2005

    I have done what you said only now I have a different problem. First it seems the photos have increased in size MB. In the extreme case they double in size some grow between 20-50% so now I have a much bigger library. I also noticed that now My aperture library is about 30 GB so it seems like all the photos are there only problem is when I go show in finder it points to the folder i imported them from so now I have bloated pics and 30GB aperture folder and an even bigger mess then I started with. What have I done wrong? Could it be the way I imported them?
  5. Topher15 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2007
    I don't know about Apature, but in iPhoto if you select Preferences > Advance and make sure the option "Import to iPhoto Library" is unchecked your photos will be added to iPhoto but not duplicated/sent to the iPhoto Library and reorganised. It will keep your files in Finder where you choose to put them and how you choose to structure them.
  6. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    It could be that the Aperture version is still referencing the iPhoto version elsewhere.

    [As a general rule, you should try to have a disc backup -- just in case.]

    The pictures don't grow in size...I would look to see where they are referenced first. Check the file size of a particular photo in iPhoto, in your Export desktop folder (if you did it that way) and then in Aperture.

    Those programs don't mix too well, so you could also do a "clean install" by backing up the photos themselves (as individual images on DVD-Rs) -- then wipe both libraries, empty the trash, and import everything correctly into Aperture.

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