Organizing photo's in Aperture 3

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Brm-G, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Brm-G, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011

    Brm-G macrumors member

    May 5, 2011

    I just bought aperture for my macbook air to organize my photo's and pictures. I am working on a way to properly organize my stuff but it is not working out to well yet.

    On my hard drive my photo's are organized in a folder-structure as following:
    • 2011
      - holidays
      - concerts
      * pinkpop
    • 2010
      - etc
      - etc
    • 2009
    • etc.

    Now I dragged and dropped the folders to Aperture but I have left out the 'main' subfolders (in most cases) and just put everything as a project in it like this: (see attachment). For all photo's and pictures which can't be directly linked to a certain year I have made their own folders.

    I am pretty pleased with the result up and till now. I have made smartalbums of the 'main' subfolders however I am looking for a way to tag/mark them. I want to mark my holidays (vakanties in screenshot) with a color label but I can't find a option where to tag the projects so if anyone could tell me I would be very pleased. I have found the way op tagging with text but this isn't functional for all my holidays.

    Another problem is that I have all my photo's double stored on my harddrive. Is there any that Aperture is linked to the files in the folder-structure on my harddrive or is the only possibility to have them in my Aperture library and in my photo folder?

    Thanks in advance.


    Attached Files:

  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Aperture can either keep the photos in its own library... or you can keep them in your directory structure. The two terms are "managed" and "referenced" masters.

    There are some great ebooks that I would recommend. I have learned more form them than any other source. has lots of blogs plus the ebooks that I mentioned.

  3. Brm-G thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2011
    Thanks for your help so far and thanks for the terms!

    Sorry for my bad english. I will have a look at your link and i'll try to find some e-books.

    However is someone knows the easy settings I need please let me know.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I organize my images by year but then with keywords, that way you can create smart albums to further organize how I want. That is, I don't physically create a hierarchy either with external file references or using aperture's internal file structure but let my keywords/smart albums do the work for me.
  5. kirky29 macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Lincolnshire, England
    This is how I organize mine,

    First the type of device, like iPhone > then year > then month. Then if there is a special set, I'll make an album for it.

    I also have two projects at the top, one for iPhone edits, one for Digital edits.


    Attached Files:

  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    This post starts outlining some of the advantages of using A3. Once you import your pictures, you can make a quick run through your day's pics and add lots of important data very quickly. Some of the important ones are:

    • Location: Since my cameras do not geotag, I add a location to the project
    • Stacks: You can have A3 automatically stack photos taken very close in time to each other. Example: A pole vaulter going over the rail... you might have 10 shots... and all 10 will act as a single photo, with your "stack pick" as the one that gets displayed
    • Ratings: 1-5 depending on your rating system
    • Keywords: as maflynn explained
    • Etc (lots more)

    Once you have this (it is very quick to do after each import... you can create smart albums instantaneously. In A3, albums take essentially zero space... so they are your friend. You can create as many albums as you want and your A3 library will not budge in size.

    For example, if friends came over and wanted to see certain pictures, I could create a smart album that had the following characteristics:
    Taken between 2006 and 2011
    Location at our beach condo or our mountain retreat
    Our friends are in the picture
    Only show pictures rated 3 stars or higher

    Within seconds, I would have a smart album created from my 100's of thousands of photos that match that criteria... and I could be playing them on the Mac... or in the family room on our Apple TV.

    That is what I described earlier as the difference between "storing pictures" and "using pictures". A3 is an absolutely incredible program! As mentioned earlier... the ebooks that I mentioned will probably make you 10X more productive than you could even imagine.

  7. Brm-G thread starter macrumors member

    May 5, 2011
    thanks again for your help Jim.

    I am sure it will be very easy to tag, mark and organize my new photo's because they are fresh in my mind.

    However tagging all the old pictures is a more difficult, more time consuming task which I am doing right now. I watched some small videos from the Apple site which are pretty easy to understand. Within just a few minutes I understand a lot more about Aperture.

    The only big problem which I now have left is the location of the photo's. I can't find the option 'don't COPY the items to the Aperture library'. I want aperture to used the "referenced masters" (the original files in my folder structure).

    I think I have found the option when adding new photo's. When clicking import on the right side I can choose Store Files in their current location or Store Filed In the aperture library, or I can set a folder.

    The problem is I dragged and dropped the files in my library and so they are copied to the Aperture library. Do I now need to start the entire process all over again by deleting the images and the import them again?
  8. rocknblogger macrumors 68020


    Apr 2, 2011
    New Jersey
    Thanks for the link, very useful.
  9. flynz4, Dec 28, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    To convert managed masters to referenced masters, use the "File -> Relocate Masters..." command.

    To convert referenced masters to managed masters, use the "File -> Consolidate Masters..." command.

    Be very careful if you use referenced masters. I personally do not use them... but if I did, I would NOT go into the file structure with finder, and start moving things around. I would not want to take the chance of confusing the A3 library files.

    Referenced masters are required if you cannot fit your library on your internal drives. I have a 2TB drive on my iMac, and it holds my entire library. If I was using my entire library on my MBA... I might have to use referenced masters with an external drive.


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