New to Aperture organising images

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Quitosmum, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Quitosmum macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #1
    I've been doing a lot of reading but am now wanting some guidance if anyone can help as to how best to organise my images in the Aperture library as I'm getting bogged down with everything.

    I do a lot of photographic work with Plants for my website and would like Plants organised into sections on Wild Flowers, Trees, Shrubs, Climbers, Garden and House Plants, Fruit and Vegetables, Grasses, Ferns etc etc. within each of these sections I will have photos of specific plants; so my question is should the main category 'Plants' be a File or a project and is it better to put the categories of Wild Flowers etc. into Projects or into Folders and do the individual plants go into albums? I think I am making it a lot of hard work for myself worrying just about how to organise them all.

    Helen
     
  2. emorydunn macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #2
    Congratulations on getting Aperture, I think you'll really like it.

    As for organising your photos it can be a bit tricky. But basically it work like this: Folders can contain other folders and projects, and albums. Projects and contain albums. Albums don't hold anything.

    Projects are the basic unit of Aperture. The photos actually live the project, everything else is just for organisation and categorisation.

    What you would do is have a folder for each of your categories: Wild Flowers, Trees, etc. Within each of those folders you would make a project for each specific plant.

    Albums are good for organising extra stuff. I use albums a lot to break up a project. For example, if you took pictures of a shrub you could have an album for wide shots and album for macro shots all within the project.

    So to review, here's how you folder/project structure would look:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. WestcoastAkita macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
    #3

    I've also been using Aperture since version 2, version 3 is much better. I've also had to struggle with organizing my photos. I'm just an amateur photographer and do it as a hobby. I've found a good book "Aperture 3"
    by Dion Scoppeettuolo. You can purchase this on Amazon cheap. Also
    lynda.com has a training section: http://www.lynda.com/Aperture-3-tutorials/essential-training/59221-2.html
    You can find a discount coupon on-line for Lynda.
    here's a couple of other sites for Aperture stuff:
    http://www.apertureexpert.com/registration?success=true
    http://aperture.maccreate.com/

    Good luck and hope this helps you.:)
     
  4. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #4
    I'm certainly no expert, but here's one idea... and the best solution may depend somewhat on how you shoot and import.

    For example, if you shoot a variety of different plants and import them all in one sitting, that's a much different situation than if you shoot only trees and then import just those tree images in one sitting.

    The reason is that importing mixed photos into different projects is not as easy as importing all photos from a shoot into a single project and then organizing them after import.

    So the best structure for importing might be...

    Plants (Folder)
    Plant Shoots (Sub Folder)
    - Jan 2011 (Sub folder)
    -- Shots from the backyard (project)
    -- Shots from the park (project)
    - Feb 2011 (Sub folder)

    Then the best structure for organizing the photos might be...
    Plant Catalog (Sub Folder)
    - Trees (smart album or project)
    - Shrubs (smart album or project)

    If, after importing images from a shoot, if you tag them (trees, shrub, etc.) you can use that meta tag to display them in smart folders.

    If you don't tag them and just want to drag and drop them from the shoot project, I think you would want to have a project for each category... Trees, Shrubs, etc. so you can copy the images from your import project to the correct category project
     
  5. WestcoastAkita macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
    #5

    Here's another site I just found, lots of info for Aperture 3

    http://photographic.ly/categories/Aperture-3/?sort=newest
     
  6. Quitosmum, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2011

    Quitosmum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #6
    Ahh thank you this is what I have set up but as yet haven't imported any images into the Aperture library; so I'm feeling a little more comfortable now. I am sure I'll like it once I get the hang of it lol.

    Helen

    Thank you I appreciate all the help I can get and I shall certainly look up all your suggestions.

    What a great help this site is proving to be.

    Helen

    Hmm now I am having to think again as I do take shots of a variety of plants when I am out and about. I can see Aperture is going to keep me on my toes for a while lol. Thanks for the info as I hadn't thought of importing mixed images.

    Helen
     
  7. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #7
    Yeah... I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on this after you've tried a few different approaches.

    Maybe there's a better solution that I'm not aware of, but I find it very difficult to sort images as part of the import process... all you can see is a thumbnail of them and tick whether you want the image imported or not. So I find it easiest to import the whole lot and then rate and sort them (with ratings, tags, dragging and dropping or whatever means is best). Although it's an investment, tagging photos with key words can help later with searching and sorting in a variety of ways.

    Let us know what you find as it may help others like us if you come up with an interesting approach.
     
  8. Razeus macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #8
    Although I like Aperture's UI, it's organizing scheme is way too convoluted. Although I like Lightroom's organizing scheme, it's UI way to convoluted.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    First off just give up on the idea of folders. It will not work. In fact that is the whole point of Aperture so you don't have to bother with folders.

    When yo import the images first create a new "project". A project can be anything you want, one days shooting or all the work you do for one client. Basicaly it is some kind of "work unit" Maybe it is a bunch of shots you did of a product for a catalog. So place the new images into soe project, either create a new one or into an on-going project.

    Next step: This is the most importent one. Adds "meta data" tags and captions. You need to invent a system of keywords. I use two sets of keywords (I do some underwater photography) One set defines the type of image, as close up, landscape portrait, abstract. It is kind of an art to choose the right number of keywords. You don't want to have to remember 1,000 of them and four is to few. Write down your definition of each one. The other set of keywords define the subject and loaction. And I use a lot of these. each image is tagges with a general subject type like "fish" or my daughter's name. Then other words to be more specific like the species of fish. Normally I can select the entire batch of images and tag them all at once for location. Again I use a general place like "underwater" and then a specif one like "Wreck of the Avalon, Torrance, CA"

    One you have tags organization is nearly triveal and you can change you mind frequency without making much re-work. Use "smart folders". place smart folder inside normal folders. And rememebr that an image can exist in MANY folders at the same time (but is on the disk only once) This is the key. You make a smart folder by enterring a search criteria like "Black Sea Bass, five stars" then any image of that secies that I have rated a "five" will automaticaaly be place in that folder. I might not even have any some the folder is empty but some day I might tage a photo like that and Aperure will then place that image in that folder.

    That smart folder might go into a folder called "best fish portraits by speces".
    I have antother that says ""best fish portraits by location" And this folder has smart folders that read like "five star fish in Hawaii", "five star fish in So. California",....
    Of course the same images will be in multiple folders

    For family shoots I do about the same and make a big folder called "vacations" and it will have smart folders that each select images based on dates when I was on some vacation.

    Other smart folders pick ou the best landscape images by geophic area. It is easy to add more of these and I do NOT have to go through all 10,000 images and decide where to file each image. I don't "file" them I "tag" them.

    For some reason many people when maybe don't understand the concept of 'search" still want control of which finder folder each image is in. They will go nuts as their is no possible way to ever get it "right". For example do you place the image of Mary taken in San Fransico in 1993 in the "Mary" folder or the "San Fransico" or do you file it by date? I say "all of the above" This is really nothing new. Public libraies have card files where each book has three or more index cards and they have multiple index files, so you can find a book by Author, title, subject or even publisher or date or whatever. Aperture lets you create and change index file in a whin in a couple seconds. -- if you added the tags
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    Seems what I wrote was to long. Short answer is this:

    If you shoot a photo of a flowering tree in Canada with red flowers you should file it under "trees" and also under "Canada" and also under "Red" and also under "Flowers" and also under the date it was taken and the kind of camera/lens you used and the number of stars you gave the photo.

    If this were a physical 35mm mounted transparency (aka "slide") it could only go in one box. But this is a digital image and references to it can go into 50 folders if you like. If "smart" folders are used then the folders gather their own content and you don't have to place the image at all
     
  11. emorydunn macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #11
    That's only somewhat true. The image still lives in a project which lives somewhere. Using a film metaphor this would be like taking a photo and putting it in the "tree" box and then writing down some way to reference it and putting that in the "Canada", "red", and "flowers" boxes.

    With Aperture you have to have at least one way of "physically" organising the projects. This could just be a folder that has every single project and you use Smart Folders and tags to do the actual useful organising, but the project has to live somewhere. Unlike iPhoto where events (projects) weren't present in the sidebar.
     
  12. Quitosmum thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #12
    Thanks everyone I'm finding all this a little perplexing but helpful non-the less. It's looking to me like there are several ways in which I could organise my images; so I'll look to going what I feel most comfortable with. I get the point that apart from the Original image everything else will be virtual versions - is this correct?

    Helen
     
  13. emorydunn macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #13
    Sort of. There aren't really virtual copies unless you make virtual copies (which is a whole separate feature where you make a new version of a photo). It's more like the photo is being aliased in other locations.
     
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #14
    Not really virtual versions. A better analogy is a book in a library having multiple catalog cards. It is best to think there is one image because when you edit an image the change appears in every folder

    Aperture does have the concept of a virtual image. Every time you edit an image do make a kind of virtual copy that looks different. Aperture store the RAW file and a script of all your edits. So a cropped and white balanced image is "virtual" but the folders are filled with pointers to the (potentially virtual) image
     
  15. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #15
    Exactly what Chris said. basically Aperture gives you the freedom to organize however you like to in any way that suits your needs. This makes it a bit overwhelming in the beginning but much more flexible once you figured your workflow out. You can pretty much organize and INSTANTLY organize your photos the way you want, including during import. You can apply totally different settings during import, pre-apply some adjustments during import and arrange , even store the photos however you want. Basically they went and gave the Photographer pretty much all the tools to organize in any way.
    I might have to butt in and put in my own articles about organizing in Aperture 3 including import presets etc.

    Good luck with A3 :)
    http://go-dslr.com/welcome-to-the-apple-aperture-pages

    //f
     

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