That's because Aperture stores photos in projects. That's where photos live. Folders don't hold photos; they hold projects, or smart albums, or other things. But the ONLY thing in Aperture that can actually "hold" photos is a project.
So relying on a big "folder" to store everything won't work. You could use a big "project" to store everything if you want. Knowing a bit more about how Aperture works should ease your frustration a bit. It's fairly flexible, but there are some things which are immutable truths and one of them is "projects contain your photos, and a given photo resides in exactly one project" is a big one.
OK, now I think I get it. If I store all photos in one big 2013 project (and I know many people aren't fans of this structure, but it works for me), then I take it I can import all photos into the 2013 project and then create a series of smart folders for the months and then say other albums for different collections, say, Summer 2012?
I take it that photos can only be stored in one project but photos can exist in a number of albums or folders?
I guess along these lines I still think in terms of iPhoto organization where I could see all images from 2012 in one folder/entire library and then drag into indivudal folders/albums at will. Can you please tell me if this is also possible for Aperture?
Thanks a million!
Very helpful! Let me ask you one more question. I would like to reorganize my images from 2012. They are currently in one folder called 2012 with a variety of albums/projects within this main folder.
I understand now that I should put all images in a project, so I would like to create a project called 2012 and then fill it with a variety of albums and smart albums, drawing on all the images from 2012.
Is it possible to take images out of current projects and place in a different project?
Thanks a million!
You can ask as many questions as you like -- we have no limit on that behavior here.
The User Manual is well done and is always the first resource I search. There is a page titled
Click the link for the short but thorough instructions, which include this:
You can drag images into different projects and albums. Depending on where you drag an image, Aperture either moves or copies the image to the new location.
As a general rule, when you drag an image into a different project, Aperture moves the image into the new project.
Understanding the unique relationship between Images and Projects (and the differences between Projects and Albums) is crucial for a dynamic use of Aperture.
I would add that you might also consider separating your _storage_ containers from your _retrieval_ containers. For me, for a personal Library, the most sensible storage structure is by shoot and date. In this scheme, years are Folders, and Projects are at the end of the path. One advantage of this is that Projects rarely hold more than a few hundred Images -- this is more humanly possible to administer, and allows me to take advantage of the Project Description field and the ability to easily assign Places from the Project Info panel. (I do create subsets of large Projects using Albums.)
The _retrieval_ structure spans Projects. So I might have a whole set of Albums devoted to birds, or my grandkids, and so on.
Gotta run. HTH.