8 Replies Latest reply: Oct 16, 2012 1:37 PM by Huygens-25
Huygens-25 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I am trying to manage under a same travel project different albums sorted by country.

 

So I created a project (World Trip) and I started to import the picture from the first country. I have created a folder (Russia) under which I created different album all related to that country. I have then attached all the pictures in the different albums.

 

The end result was something like:

World Trip (Project)

  - Russia (Folder)

    * St Petersburg (Album)

    * Moscow (Album)

    * ...

 

I was more or less satisfied. But a bit worried that when I click on the project, the browser view is empty (no pictures nor any sub-structures like the list of folder or albums). The folder Russia contained all pictures I had imported from Russia, although before I put them in the albums, they were in the project not the folder. And in the albums I had just the pictures I wanted to see.

 

My next step was to import the pictures from the next country. So I launched the import of the Mongolian pictures, I have imported them inside the existing project, but I don't see them where I would expect them: under the project.

Screen Shot 2012-10-13 at 22.12.42 .png

If you look at the screenshot above. Under the Travelling section, if I click Projects, in the browser view I see my only project and when mouse-hovering it I can see pictures from Russia and Mongolia. But if I double click on this project, the view is empty.

Now if I choose Photos in the Library view, I can see all the photos, cool. The same is true if I click under the Recent section on my project World Trip, there I see all the Russian and Mongolian pictures, which is cool but inconsistent with the other views of my project.

Finally, under the Projects section, when I select the World Trip, it is empty, when I select Russia, it contains only the Russian picture, but I see nowhere the Mongolian pictures, even though I imported them in my World Trip project.

 

I really don't get it. Even after reading the Aperture manual, it did not explain the behaviour I'm seeing.

If someone could explain me better what are projects and folders, and especially what is a folder within a project and vice versa.

Also, if you know how I could arrange (better) my photos? I would like to have all the pictures sorted by country, but within one main top structure. And under each country, I would have different albums, with subset of pictures, and sometimes pictures could be in more than one albums. How should I structure my library then?

 

I'm using Aperture 3.4.1.


Aperture 3, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • 1. Re: Don't get the library structure of Aperture
    Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,915 points)

    Start here.  And then here.  Aperture is very confusing at first -- it really is conceptually novel for most users (took me a week to get up the first step) -- and it has a terrible mistake drawn like a trip-wire across its front door.

     

    What you have done is logical, but it is simply not the way Aperture works.

     

    I am under deadline right now -- will try to post more in the coming days.

    Huygens-25 wrote:

     

    Also, if you know how I could arrange (better) my photos? I would like to have all the pictures sorted by country, but within one main top structure. And under each country, I would have different albums, with subset of pictures, and sometimes pictures could be in more than one albums. How should I structure my library then?

    Keep in mind that you don't need a fixed structure.  With Keywords and Places you can build ad-hoc grouping at will.

  • 2. Re: Don't get the library structure of Aperture
    Huygens-25 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow this is good information. But my brain starts sleeping (its 23h57 down here) and refuse to think clearly anymore. I will read those two reference posts tomorrow.

    Thank you, it looks like it could solve my misunderstanding and help me create a proper structure in my library.

  • 3. Re: Don't get the library structure of Aperture
    SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)

    IMO organizational structures that over-use Folders are what I call Folder-think or film-think, and should be avoided in favor of database-think. Try to use keywords and Albums as much as possible in your organizing in lieu of folders. A country, for instance, should simply be a keyword applied to all pix from that country; not a folder.

     

    Organize into Projects first and import one Project at a time; it should only take a couple of minutes to import each Project. Larger Project sizes can slow some computers. Personally I set 500 as my arbitrary maximum number of images in each Project but your mileage will vary. Experiment to see what number of maximum images in a Project may or may not slow your particular setup/workflow down; my guess is that 500-image projects will be fine unless maybe you are shooting a D800 or if there are scan files involved.

     

    Before importing one should:

     

    • Back up the originals before importing into Aperture. This is an absolutely essential step to a safe workflow.

     

    • Decide what keywords to batch-apply to each Project.

     

    From an earlier post of mine on this topic:

     

    Projects should be just that: individual-shoot (i.e. time) based projects rather than some kind of organizing tool for all the architectural photos or whatever. For performance reasons personally I keep each Project under 500 20-MB images, making a second Project if the shoot is large. E.g.

    110829_KJones_Wed_A,

    110829_KJones_Wed_B,

    110829_KJones_Wed_C, etc.

     

    One or more albums will always organize the KJones wedding pix together anyway. All three Projects (110829_KJones_Wed_A, 110829_KJones_Wed_B, 110829_KJones_Wed_C) would have the keyword "KJones_Wed" applied to each pic, which allows an Album "KJones_Wed" to be quickly created at any time.

     

    The way I look at it conceptually:

     

    Aperture is a database (DB), and each image file lives in one and only one Project.

     

    Albums are just collections of Pointers that point to individual image files living in one or more Projects. Since they just contain pointers, albums can be created or deleted at will without affecting image files. Very powerful. And Albums of pointers take up almost zero space, so they are fast and do not make the Library size grow.

     

    Keywords can be applied to every image separately or in batches. Keywords are hugely powerful and largely obviate the need for folders. Not that we should never use folders, just that we should use folders only when useful organizationally - - after first determining that using keywords and albums is not a better approach. Most of the time folders are inappropriately used.

     

    As one example imagine the keyword "flowers."  Every image of a 100,000 images Library that has some flowers in it has the keyword flowers. Then say we want to put flowers in an ad, or as background for a show of some kind, or to print pix for a party, or even just to look for an image for some other reason. We can find every flower image in a 100k-image database in 2 seconds, and in another few seconds create an Album called "Flowers" that points to all of those individual images.

     

    Another example is a european train trip. It may be one Project but spans multiple countries in a few hours. No problem, just keyword each pic with the appropriate country and create an album for each country; or another album for some combination of countries (e.g. "Baltic," "Scandinavian," etc.).

     

    Similarly all family pix can have a keyword "family" and all work pix can have a key word "work." Each individual pic may have any number of keywords. Such pic characteristics (work, family, flowers, country, etc.) should not be organized via folders.

     

    So by using keywords and albums we can have instant access to every image everywhere, very cool. And keywords and albums essentially take up no space in the database.

     

    Another (IMO poor) approach would be to use a folder "Family" for family pix, a folder "Flowers" for flowers pix and another folder "Work" for work pix. IMO such folders usage is a very poor approach to using an images database (probably stemming from old paper or film work practices). Note that one cannot put an image with family in a field of flowers at a work picnic in all three folders; but it is easy using keywords.

     

    As an aside note that empirically many users find that even though the Aperture DB can contain hundreds of thousands of image files, no problem, individual Projects should be limited in size for speed reasons. Personally I limit Projects to a maximum of ~400 to ~500 RAW NEF files, but hardware and workflows vary.

     

    HTH

     

    -Allen

  • 4. Re: Don't get the library structure of Aperture
    SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)

    more...

     

    * Image files conceptually live in only one Project. The actual original (was called "Master" in older Aperture versions) lives where it is stored. I very very strongle recommend that backed-up originals live on locally attached hard drives and are pointed to by the Library; the approach called Referenced Originals or Referenced Masters. I very very strongle recommend against using the "managed originals" approach that actually stores originals in the Library and invariably leads to issues as Library size grows.

     

    HTH

     

    -Allen

  • 5. Re: Don't get the library structure of Aperture
    Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,915 points)

    All excellent advice, imho.  Particular like the distinction between Folder-think (physical filing based on a one-to-one correspondence between object and location) and Database-think (virtual filing based on a one-to-many correspondence between object and locations).  I might massage this to "Filing-think" vs. "Finding-think".

     

    Before computers, filing was inextricably linked to finding.  With computers, filing is a legacy desire with little use.  Finding should drive how one sets up one's Aperture Library.

     

    My casual advice to all: don't worry about _filing_.  Spend your time _tagging_ with the goal of being able to create whatever groupings you will ever need (eg.: Images depicting red insects photographed in daylight in Japan with a Macro Lens at a shutter speed of 1/800th or shorter).

     

    With Aperture this gets complex because there are different families of "tags" with each family being given a different presentation by the interface (Keywords are not treated the same as Color Labels, neither of which is treated the same as Ratings, none of which are treated the same as "in a particular Album").

     

    Cheers.

  • 6. Re: Don't get the library structure of Aperture
    Huygens-25 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I agree with you, this is one powerful feature I love of Gmail (and old-Gdoc), all emails are in All Mails, which I never use and then everything is tagged (using sometimes several tags when necessary).

    My problem with Aperture is that it has no All Photos project and it is not recommended. So I would end up with many many projects. Tags solve a big part of the problem. But projects are displayed in the library view and would end up clutering it. Would it then be wised to put several projects into a folder, to clean that up.

    I would be all OK to have one single projects with all photos and then organise everything in Albums and tags. But that is not possible in Aperture which mixes filing-thinking and finding-thinking (as Kirby said) and create the messy current situation.

  • 7. Re: Don't get the library structure of Aperture
    léonie Level 9 Level 9 (51,640 points)

    My problem with Aperture is that it has no All Photos project and it is not recommended.

    Aperture has an All-"Photos" View. Every Smart search and Smart album can be defined relative to all Projects. If you do not (yet) want he granularity of several projects, move them into one big folder and collaps that. Selecting this one folder in the library essentially will also give you the look and feel of an all-photos project.

    Or simply hide the projects completely, if you do not want to be bothered by them. Hover the mouse beside the title "Projects" and you will see the "Hide" button. Click it, and the "Projects" section will no longer be displayed. A second method to focus the library Inspector on your currently important library items are the "Favorites". Tag the project and the albums you are currently working on as "Favorites" and set the filter in the Inspector to display only the Favorites.

    hideprojects.png

  • 8. Re: Don't get the library structure of Aperture
    Huygens-25 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you LeonieDF, this is also a good idea.

    I have chosen the solution to have top level folders instead of projects (so in this first case, that would be a World Trip folder) in which I create one project per country. Within each projects I have what I want.

    In this respect I get the filing that I want (old school).

    Then I follow other advices and I'm tagging (keywording) my photos.

     

    This seems to work for me for the moment. I have imported (via reference) 500 photographs from the 12000 I want to manage in Aperture. Still some work to do, and perhaps I will change my approach.

     

    Thank you all this was really useful information! All posts in this thread have been useful!