by Derrick Story

I've been using Aperture since it shipped in Nov. 2005 -- more than two years of building projects, adding metadata, and organizing images. There have been many little rewards along the way, such as being able to quickly locate this photo from an Apple event. But the big payoff just happened recently.


Over the last few months I've been working on a new book, Digital Photography Companion, and I've had to cull hundreds of pictures (from a catalog of thousands) for possible inclusion in the project. In the past, this was an agonizing endeavor. Pictures and various iterations of them spread all over the place, difficult to find, hard to organize.

For Digital Photography Companion, it's an entirely different universe. My Aperture library contains everything I've shot for the last two years (except for photos captured with the Canon G9), and the images are totally organized and accessible. I'm building preview catalogs for my publishing team, outputting Jpegs for sample designs, and will soon be exporting high resolution Tiffs for CMYK conversion in Photoshop. (I know what you're thinking... wouldn't it be nice to output CMYK directly from Aperture. Answer: yes it would be lovely.)

So the last two years I've spent gleefully organizing my images in Aperture is now paying off handsomely. I'm actually enjoying the photo editing process instead of dreading it. If I could only go end to end and output in CMYK, it would be a total victory. Ah, maybe someday. But for now, I have to say that my photography workflow has made a giant step forward. And I feel like my return on investment is excellent.

In my latest Digital Story podcast, I talk about this process. You might want to tune in if you have a hankering for more.


random bob, a.r.c.
2007-12-11 14:46:49
yeah see, that's the thing with these programs, the payoffs aren't just right now, if you use them properly the payoffs continue into the future. And I've said it before here, but it bears repeating: Proper keywording is crucial to make effective, efficient use of your library in the future. Want to find that photo of a headshot of that girl in the red hat? Well, if you had attached keywords to it such as "Woman," "Headshot," and maybe the predominant colors (something I do) or maybe even just put something like that in the caption, it'd be a simple process to find it years later.

If you DIDN'T keyword it properly? Well you just missed the biggest point of these database-type programs. Now you're back to step 1: "When did I take that? Where was it? Oh drat."

Kudos to you! Success feels nice!

Bill Griffin
2007-12-12 03:22:29
Keywording is good advice Derrick but how do you handle uploading a card into an Aperture project when there may be multiple subjects / locations on the card ? Do you selectively upload " like images " with the same keywords and then complete the rest in the same manner ?

Gunther Deichmann
2007-12-12 05:07:54
Hi Derrick,
you hit it right on the nail, I did this in 2005 all with Aperture version 1.0, it just came out and I was in the middle of my Book "Journey Through Color and Time" a compilation from 30 years of my photography covering more than 20 countries.
The only problem at the time, I had to rush out and buy a new Power Mac since my then iMac would not run Aperture due to the Video Card, at the same time I got two 20 inch cinema screens, well it was near Christmas anyway, so I thought why not. I have never looked back since.
I used scanned images from "ancient times"to the latest digital images including some 4000 plus new images from Tibet I had just returned from there (the last chapter of the book)two month before we went to print.
I think I pushed Aperture to the limits, without any problems. Almost identical from what you have described in your article.
From more than 8000 images in total I had to edit down to some 390 plus images a mixed bag from tiff to jpg from 30 years ago to the present, plus all the new 4000 or so Raw images from Tibet.
The book came out in time on Nov. 15, 2006, a 360 page monster created almost entirely with Aperture.
Without Aperture I be still sorting and editing now.
Cheers Gunther