1444 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Apr 7, 2011 7:11 AM by Ardwa
I am fairly new to Aperture, but I have been doing what you are planning for a few years. I currently use Final Cut Express, but I will be watching this post for ideas about using Aperture more.
As far as workflow goes 2 things I learned very quickly is that video, especially HD video uses up a lot of memory. I very quickly realized that if it's not moving.... take a still. Don't use up 60 seconds of video for a landscape. Take a still (a little wider than you normally would) and then pan or zoom in the editing to get the feel of video (Ken Burns effect).
The second thing is to review the pictures and video either on camera or hooked to a monitor and delete files you know you won't use.
I did do a quick slide show with a bunch of stills and 3 video clips using Aperture just to see how it would look and was very pleased with the outcome. When added to a dvd the picture quality was very good. The picture looked more vivid and colors had better saturation than what I have been getting out of FCE. The downside was limited titles and effects. But with a Photoshop type software or a plug in I think you could overcome some of that.
2- Selection of images for each DVD and selection of videos taken for same.
Use smart albums for this. There are several criteria you could use, and that's up to you. Depending on the number of DVD's, you could use the color coding. That's limited to 6 (or is it 7?) colors. Alternately, maybe you can use a keyword for each DVD. (Keywords should be about the content of the photos, so using it to indicate which DVD it will go to is not 100% right, but it may get the job done for you. I use a "Slideshow" keyword for the same purpose.)
Then make a smart album based on that criteria. Voila, any changes you make in your "include on DVD x" decision will be immediately reflected in the smart album.
Consider your images data security at every step of the workflow you develop. Security needs to be a constant overriding concern. E.g. my brother-in-law lost ALL images from once-in-a-lifetime trip to ancestral homeland when his camera gear was stolen from a hotel room on the last day of the trip. His error was storing exposed film with the camera gear.
Unlike film, digital capture allows us to a) instantly review our pix and b) easily maintain redundancy of originals. We just have to do it, which means lots of thought to possible security holes in daily activities and diligent attention to following the secure workflow we develop.
Thank you gentlemen for fine input.
In reverse order:- security is (hopefully) taken care of. Cards (12) split into two containers, bag & pocket - downloaded to MBP HD, 2 x external HDs, one in bag and other stored in hotel safe with MBP.
Any more than that and I'll get confused myself and probably delete the lot ..... in frustration!
The 'smart folders' sound exactly the way to go. Best way to import would be the next question along those lines.
Good point on the file size for Video, I WILL remember. I will have to have a bit of practice with the compiling and editing as you describe.
So far so good.
Anymore tips still gratefully received.
The first and most important step to images data security is to back up originals on external drives prior to import into Aperture or any other images app. I cannot overstate how important that is, and various manuals, texts, etc. present workflows that miss that critical step. Then once redundancy of originals is achieved at least one redundant set needs to be secure.
Obviously no backup security will be perfect, but some strategies (like originals camera cards stored in a money belt, or DVDs mailed home, or hard drive in the hotel safe) can be very close to it.
• Auto-stacks save time for some photogs when it comes time to cull (YMMV).
Auto-stacks can be very useful when shooting certain kinds of shots. E.g. for people shots I shoot bursts at continuous low speed (3 fps) to optimize expressions and deal with eye blinks. Then set Aperture to create stacks of all pix within 3 seconds or whatever. Or if you bracket you can auto-stack the bracketed sets.
• We all know our gear but it never hurts to review the online camera reviews for pre-trip ideas. E.g. I usually do not use RAW compression, but it allows more images per camera card which may matter on a trip. Rereading the D2x reviews reminded me of that forgotten tidbit.
I just got back from a mission trip to Uruguay. I shout about 5000 pix during the 10+ days. About 80GB worth I think. My workflow, FWIW...
1. Shoot pix.
2. Import into Aperture on MBP.
3. Each night, backup up Aperture Library to USB drive. Use "versioning" (manually adding ;1, ;2, ;3, etc.) to keep multiple copies of Aperture Library.
4. After backup, format CF card in camera. [Note: CF card pix can usually be recovered by Data Rescue in case of emergency.]
5. Rate pix X 1* 2* in Aperture.
6. Adjust, touch up, etc, 2* pix. Keyword and caption if applicable. Pull out time lapse and panos with keywords and smart albums.
After I get back I do my products: slide shows, books, graphics, time lapse movies, and DVDs of images.
-I'm only using 8GB cards. You can use larger ones, perhaps, and not have to reformat so they may serve as a backup until you get home. Make sure you name them and have a system so you don't accidently overwrite them.
-You'll want at least a 500GB drive in your MBP. Mine's older--only 320?GB
-Some software for taking notes--maybe your ipod or pages on ipad . Or a good old paper notebook.
-Decide on your classification of pictures. You might want to get a controlled vocabulary to keep things standard. [CVKC]
-Might as well make the external USB backup drive a spare boot drive. Just in case.
The idea of smart albums for producing DVD collections is good.
Fwiw ... heh ... I would use Albums (not Smart Albums) for this. In fact, I think this underscores one of the prime differences between the two. Smart Albums, for me, create groups which make it easier for me to find, count, adjust, and administer images; Albums are +output containers+, used to manually create groups of images which I will publish together.
I find it helpful to separate the three image-activities of Aperture: storage, development and administration, and output.
In this particular case, I think Albums have four advantages over Smart Albums.
. It is easier to remove images. Just delete. With a Smart Album you have to know the field the criteria is based on, and then change the contents of that field. The means of removing an image from any Album is always the same; from a Smart Album it will always be different.
. Any metadata field should be applicable to all images. "Belongs to/Does not belong to ... +tea ceremony+ " is not universal enough to use metadata, but is perfect for an Album
. The contents don't change automatically. For output containers, this is important. It is much more likely to mistakenly assign (or delete) keywords or other metadata than it is to add or remove images in Albums. I really want to be certain in six or nine months time that the images in my Album are the ones I used -- no more, and no less.
. Albums are easier to delete. In two year's, when I'm house-cleaning, I can simply delete "Tea Ceremony, Vacation, 2011, for DVD". With keywords (which seems most likely), I have to delete the Smart Album, then chase down the keyword and delete it. May seem trivial, but the goal is to keep the database clean. I've seen enormous amounts of cruft added to people's databases by simple things such as this.
As an additional example of the Album/Smart Album divide:
I have a keyword "Portfolio" and a Smart Album of Portfolio images. This is internal to my operation (that is, it is part of my general image administration). When it comes time to publish a set of images I refer to as "my portfolio", I create an Album specific to that publishing task (e.g.: "MobileMe Portfolio, Sept. 2010"). My Portfolio Smart Album makes it easy work for me to pick images and drag them into my "MobileMe Portfolio" Album (or Albums). The point is that there is a difference between the two of them, and each serves a different function in my workflow.
My recommendation to the OP is to create Albums for each publication, and use Folders to group those publications into DVDs.
Tremendous amounts of good advice in this thread.
A few additional things which, I hope, will prove of value.
. Use a color label to identify images that you intend to combine in any way (stitching panos, HDR, focus stacking (unlikely in this case), etc.). I find the visual reminder in the Browser and the Viewer that these images should stick together and should NOT be used individually helpful. Although I end up Stacking these, the color labels tell me that this is a "raw material" Stack and not a Version Stack. (I put the pano (or whatever) at the head of the Stack after I create it; it does not carry the "raw material" color label, and is thereafter administered as an image rather than as "stuff from which I will make an image".)
. Stick to "one shoot = one Project". Don't get fancy with Projects. Forget they are called "Projects". In particular, Projects should form an absolutely linear progression through time of your images. Think of them as beads on the necklace of time: one after another, sometimes spaces between them, other times crowded together, some big, some small, some polished to a very high value to you, others maybe just filler (but still important) or waiting to be polished -- but always an endless string of groupings with NO overlap in time.
. Separate in your Library your +storage area+ from your +output area+. That is, put your Projects under one top-level Folder (with or without sub-Folders), and put your output Albums under another top-level Folder (with sub-Folders).
. Use Albums to group images you will publish as a unit. For DVDs that will contain multiple publications (groups of images, slideshows?, movies), I suggest making a Folder for each DVD and an Album for each unit on the DVD. (I have another post on this in this thread.)
. Consider a quad-port external drive. Use USB only if you really don't intend to use it again. 250 GB is a lot of data to put through a straw that thin.
. Image security. Always worth mentioning again.
. Concentrate on captures while you are traveling. It's good to review your images on a decent size screen as a check on what you are capturing, but (imho) editing, adjusting, and publishing are best left for after your return. Your time there is limited and (I assume) expensive. Any time spent on photography should be spent getting the very best stuff you can. Everything else can be done later.
Be safe. Post something when you have it.
It is Sunday and I have read two or three times all the advice very kindly given.
The only thing I am a little unclear about is the download itself. Importing directly into AP on my MBP?
So far I have treated my laptop only as a communications centre for readers,HDs ipod etc.. and keeping in touch with base.In other words although it has AP on it I have never used it to file or adjust images on the road.
If I take the advice, how does the transfer to my main machine go?
Thank you all once again.