Getting the Hang of Aperture

Since upgrading my camera from the Canon Digital Rebel to a Nikon d5100, I have also been working to upgrade my workflow and image processing. And that upgrade was in the form of software.

For years I have relied on consumer software to manage and process my photos. The 2 largest players have been iPhoto and Google’s Picasa. Both completely capable for managing, processing and sharing photos, but not quite capable enough. Something that I discovered when editing my camera’s RAW files in Photoshop and Acorn.

Trying to be a proper fan boy, and not being a huge fan of Adobe, I decided to go with Aperture. It has taken me a few months, but I think I am finally getting the hang of it. I keep playing with features and am slowly building up a pretty effective workflow that is producing some nice photos.

(ignore the screen shot that was doubled up in the gallery. I’m still working on that).

I’m far from being an expert. I am able to use it for organizing, processing and even triaging my photos, which is nice that I can do that all in a single app. One thing that I haven’t figured out how to do properly is any automated batch processing. It requires the use of Apple Script, which I have not even used. So far, I’ve been able to handle batches using the app and I’m getting away from doing anything automated.

One thing that I have been forced to include in my workflow, which I haven’t before, is backup. Since I only have aperture installed on my Macbook Air, and since my Air only has a 128GB drive, space is at a premium. After each set is processed, it gets exported to either Dropbox or a networked drive and then deleted, sadly. Work-arounds for deleting are being formulated for 2013.

Any Aperture tips? Leave them in the comments to share with everyone!

Published by Don

Lead bottle washer at, host at and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

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  1. You completely delete the photos out of your Aperture library as well? Since we do the shared Aperture library thing – our photos permanently live on our NAS, with the library (thumbnails only) living on my desktop. The laptops connect to the library on the desktop to access the thumbnails but pull the full files off the NAS when needed.

    If you’re deleting them out of your Aperture library you might as well give up on organizing with Aperture as that data is only stored in Aperture not with the file’s metadata.

    I’m also not a huge fan of Aperture’s Flickr integration – I ran into an issue where Aperture deleted a lot of images off of Flickr, and I believe that the issue has to do with Aperture trying to Sync with Flickr. When it comes to tagging and metadata – I’ve seen that Aperture only provides Flickr with geotag info, and only if you specifically tell Aperture to share that with Flickr.

    I do like Aperture’s inspector window for editing images. I like having all the tools in one spot as opposed to the Photoshop way which has them scattered everywhere. What I haven’t figured out is how Aperture’s versioning works – where the new versions go when created. Since we use a shared library and there’s a NAS involved, where Aperture puts those things is pretty important to us… Honestly, I haven’t had the time to really sit down and examine what Aperture is trying to do there.

    I can’t imagine editing images on a Macbook Air – that’s got to be a seriously cramped display…

  2. I do. I have to since I only have 128GB of storage on this machine. For the time being, it is also my daily driver and increasing the HDD size is not in the budget until early next year. And, yes, it’s cramped, but again, it’s now my daily driver and what I have.

    I didn’t even think about the Flickr sharing. Sure as anything, every set that I have shared out of Aperture that has been deleted has also been removed from Flickr. That seriously sucks.

    I also don’t like that I can use Aperture or iPhoto, but not both. I would like iPhoto to be for my iPhone/Photo stream photos, Aperture for photos from my big camera.

    Looks like it’s back to the drawing board, of sorts.

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