Best Of Your Best

by Steve Simon

With the deadlines for a wide variety of photo contests looming, if you want to try your luck against the best of the best photos taken in 2006 you need to get moving. It's important for me to reflect on work created during the past year. I see how productive and successful I was, learning from mistakes and setting photograhic goals for the coming year. It also allows me to pick my best stuff for contests and to update my portfolio and website.

Aperture lets me find my best work quickly and easily by creating a Smart Album. Since I know I will perform this ritual at the end of each year, I have chosen an editing scheme that allows Aperture to add to this album throught the year, automatically.

I am still tweaking my system of keywording and other metadata entry, but to separate my best work from the rest, I rate with four stars--any image I deem has potential to make the final cut at the end of the year. So when the year is up and I want to review my best stuff, it's all in my smart album.

Under File>New Smart> select Album, which I title "Contest Selects 2006". I set the criteria for the smart album in the Query Hud.

Smart Albums.jpg

I match "All" of the following in the Query Hud. I make sure the rating box is checked, and I drag the slider to the right until I'm at four stars. I then make sure the Calendar is checked, and I choose Jan 1, 2006, advancing the calendar to Dec 2006 and, with the shift key pressed, I click on Dec 31, 2006, so the whole year's 4-star images will be included in the album.

Smart Albumsclose.jpg

I now have a collection of my best 2006 images to edit from. My Smart Album for the coming year is alreay set-up, so Aperture will automatically collect the 4-star work into this album, so I'm ready to go same time next year.

It might be helpful to hear different users long term editing and archiving schemes; so feel free to share your editng and workflow ideas here.

If you're looking for contests to enter, here are some good resources:

Photo District News List

Photojournalism Related List

Frank Niemeir's Photography List

Library Default

In my last post I went over the differences between "managed" and "referenced" photos in Aperture Libraries. Here are a couple of important points to keep in mind.

If you want to have a managed library/vault system, but you don't want to use your main operating system drive to contain it, that's fine. To choose a different location than the default for your Aperture Library (which is in the Pictures file of your main drive), go to Aperture>Preferences>Choose (under library location) and navigate to the hard drive you want your default library to live. You then have to quit out of Aperture and reopen it for the new library location to be recognized.

Know that if the external drive where your library lives is not online, you won't see it, since Aperture creates a default library in the pictures folder on your operating drive as mentioned earlier. Therefore, if your main managed library is on a separate drive like mine, make sure that drive is turned on and shows up in the finder before you launch Aperture; for it to be recognized. Otherwise, you need to go to preferences each time and make the fix.

For new users in particular, determining how to manage libraries and grow an archive is a top priority. Feel free to share your ideas and strategies on long term archiving with Aperture Libraries.


Rob Hyndman
2007-01-12 05:32:43
Just curious why, instead of using the very simple Date - Capture Year criteria, you use Calendar for a year search.