11 Replies Latest reply: Jul 11, 2013 1:51 PM by billbir
billbir Level 1 (0 points)

I am seriously thinking of investing in Aperture. I appreciate that I am only an amateur, with a current collection, of about 3000 photos. I currently use iPhoto, together with Pixelmator, but have read that Aperture, is good for organisation and management of photos. i have looked at numerous video tutorials, so have some idea what is available, but what I would really like is for someone to review my proposed organisation, to see whether it makes sense and to offer any suggestions, before I import from iPhoto. This would give me some confidence/or not, based on the comments. I would be very grateful to get advice from someone who has already done this, so that I do not import a mess!


These are my suggested high level categories:-


Cruises Folder

Cruises – River  subfolder

Cruises – Ocean subfolder

Holidays Folder

Holidays by year subfolder

Holidays by location subfolder

Domestic Folder

Family Folder

Family Special events i.e. Anniversaries, Birthdays etc subfolder for each

Family General subfolder

Family Genealogy Folder

Family Genealogy by family subfolder for each family

Flora and Fauna Folder

Flora subfolder

Fauna sub folder

Art – Watercolours Folder

Mountains Keyword

Sky Keyword

Friends General Folder

Friends Specific subfolder for each

Plus: – Colour codes/photos stars/Flags

iMac 27" i5, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,580 points)

    What part of that can you not do with iPhoto?


    For my 2 cents? You have way too many folders, Use Keywords to achieve the same effect while still allowing yourself to have photos in more than one category. Then use Smart Albums to gather them together.

  • billbir Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Terence,

    Thanks for the response. Could you be more specific, as to where I am being profligate with the folders? Also I was lead to believe that management and organisation of files, was Apertures major strength. Some of the tutorials had massively more folders, than I am proposing. If folders, sub folders, keywords, colour codes, Flags, smart albums are all in iPhoto, and can be managed as effectively as Aperture, then I need to revisit it and you have saved me £55

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,580 points)

    Only thing missing from that list is colour codes.


    iPhoto Events cannot be put into Folders. Aperture Projects - which are pretty close to the same thing - can.


    Those are the big differences in organising Photos. Aperture has better file management capability.


    You have 3000 photos, right? And some 21 "folders"? 3000/21 = 142 images per category? That's micro managing. 3k image is a minute library these days. iPhoto and Aperture are good for 1,000,000. - though if you're on 10.6, that version of iPhoto is only good for 250k. Per Library.


    What do you mean by "folders"?


    In either app, photos go in Events or Projects, Album, Smart Albums. These can then be put in to Folders, but there is no way to put a photo into a folder. It goes to an Album/Event/Project.

  • léonie Level 10 (85,025 points)

    Besides better file management support Aperture has more support for tagging photos: More kinds of EXIF and IPTC tags, more views to see these tags when browsing and searching the database. For example, in iPhoto you can search for the most frequently used tags, like caption, keywords, dates; in Aperture you can also search your database for any EXIF tag the camera sets, like Exposure mode and focus mode, or search for the adjustments that have been applied.


    And you can see more than one item from the source list at once when comparing albums or moving photos between albums. For example: Seelecting two smart albums in the source list and comparing them:

    Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 07.30.33MESZ.PNG

    -- Léonie

  • billbir Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Terence,


    Thanks again for your reply. Unfortunately, it does not take me forward, at all. You seem to be implying, that I do not need Aperture.  I can do the arithmetic and do not believe that identifying 142 photos, is micro management. Having given you a list of the types of categories, that I wish to identify, perhaps you could take one of them, and tell me how you would manage/organise it. I have already said that I am an amateur, so picking me up on terminology, is not helpful, an example, would be.

  • billbir Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Leonie,


    Thanks for your helpful reply.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,580 points)

    Yes I am saying that with 3k photos you do not need to buy Aperture.


    Terminology is important because it means that we can speak unambiguously. You want to put images in folders. In iPhoto or Aperture that's one thing you simply can't do. Images can be in albums or Events/Projects. These may be in Folders but you can't create a folder and drag an image to it.


    Personally I would use keywords for what you want to do. A photo can have many keywords.


    Here's a canned answer I use to suggest some of the organising possibilities in iPhoto. It might spark something for you.


    I use Events simply as big buckets of Photos: Spring 08, July - Nov 06 are typical Events in my Library. I use keywords and Smart Albums extensively. I title the pics broadly.


    I keyword on a



    Where basis (The When is in the photos's Exif metadata). I also rate the pics on a 1 - 5 star basis.


    Using this system I can find pretty much find any pic in my 50k library in a couple of seconds.


    So, for example, I have a batch of pics titled 'Seattle 08' and a  typical keywording might include: John, Anne, Landscape, mountain, trees, snow. With a rating included it's so very easy to find the best pics we took at Mount Rainier.


    File -> New Smart Album

    set it to 'All"

    title contains Seattle

    keyword is mountain

    keyword is snow

    rating is 5 stars


    Or, want a chronological album of John from birth to today?


    New Smart Album

    Keyword is John

    Set the View options to Sort By Date Ascending


    Want only the best pics?

    add Rating is greater than 4 stars


    The best thing about this system is that it's dynamic. If I add 50 more pics of John  to the Library tomorrow, as I keyword and rate them they are added to the Smart Album.


    In the end, organisation is about finding the pics. The point is to make locating that pic or batch of pics findable fast. This system works for me.

  • billbir Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Terence,

    Thanks for the reply. It was very helpful to read how you handle your files. My aim is the same as yours ie finding my photos as quickly as possible. You just seem to be saying, that my present level of 3000+ does not, in your opinion, justify moving to Aperture, and I appreciate your view.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,580 points)

    Aperture is a great app and is my manager of choice. But I shoot Raw and the fine control of Aperture on Raws is markedly better than iPhoto - it's like the difference between, say, iMovie and Final Cut. For someone not shooting Raw then the other reason for going to Aperture is when you're shooting high volumes of Jpegs, and with 3k photos to manage I don't see the value in it.


    My 2 cents.

  • léonie Level 10 (85,025 points)

    You just seem to be saying, that my present level of 3000+ does not, in your opinion, justify moving to Aperture, and I appreciate your view.

    Just a few aspects, that TD did not mention:

    I have been using iPhoto for many years - it has been my companion since I bought my first digital camera in 2002, and I still think it is a great application. I like the simplicity of the interface - in offers most of the tools that I need without having to customize menues and presets.


    But nevertheless, I switched to Aperture as my main photo manager two years ago. My reason to switch has not been the size of the library, but the more advanced image editing. In Aperture it is easier to preserve the lossless workflow without having to fall back on external editors and plug-ins. Most of the adjustments can be brushed in and applied locally, edge sharpening, color correction, dodge and burn, etc.

    Also, the possibility to define presets for the most commonly used tags and keywords are perfect for me, since I maintaining the photos taken by my husband in the same library as mine.

    And I really appreciate that Aperture supports timezones better than iPhoto. That is a big help, when you ar finding yourself in a different timezone every other day. iPhoto simply assumes that the photos have been taken in the same timezone as the system time, which can be a pain, if you are having photos from three different timezones on the card in your camera and are importing them while in a different timezone from all of them.

  • billbir Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Leonie,


    Thanks once again for your advice. I think that my topic was too narrow and we got bogged down with the size of my current photo library and I appreciate you pointing out that there are other features that make Aperture a worthwhile purchase. I have looked back at some of your other advice and it makes me more confident that I can get some benefit out of Aperture.Your timezone example, is very pertinent, as I have travelled all over the world.


    Possibily, where I have gone wrong, is trying to understand and forsee things, before I buy the software, whereas, maybe if I had it on my system, it might all fall into place, by usage.


    Thanks again