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Organize and Rate Your Images in Aperture

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Organizing images is one of a photographer’s most time-consuming and important tasks. You need to be able to quickly and easily find the image you need for a particular client or job. And the larger your image collection, the greater the challenge. Another critical task is evaluating images—judging not only their composition and aesthetic value but also the quality of the shots, including focus, lighting, and exposure. With Aperture, it’s easy to organize and rate images in a seamless process, and in this lesson you'll learn how.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Lesson Files

APTS_Aperture_book_files > Lessons > Lesson03




This lesson takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.


Open and close stacks
Choose picks
Organize images using folders
Create a standard album
Email images from Aperture
Rate images as five-star “selects”
Evaluate images in the Viewer
Use the Zoom feature and Loupe to evaluate images
Navigate the Browser
Create a Smart Album

Organizing images is one of a photographer’s most time-consuming and important tasks. You need to be able to quickly and easily find the image you need for a particular client or job. And the larger your image collection, the greater the challenge.

Another critical task is evaluating images—judging not only their composition and aesthetic value but also the quality of the shots, including focus, lighting, and exposure.

The two tasks go hand in hand, because it’s natural and intuitive for a photographer to want to somehow identify or flag “hero” or “keeper” images (or duds) while sorting and organizing them.

With Aperture, it’s easy to organize and rate images in a seamless process. For example, you can choose the pick of a stack as your favorite in the group. And you can apply star ratings, such as making an image a five-star “select,” as you evaluate the image in the Viewer. In this lesson, we’ll explore some of Aperture’s organization and rating features as we continue preparing the potential fashion-shoot location images for our client, Grande Agency.

Working with Stacked Images

In Lesson 2, you auto-stacked the images of South Beach as you imported them. Aperture gives you many more stacking options and controls after images are imported.

  1. Double-click the Aperture icon in the Applications folder to open Aperture. The Jackson Hole, Colonia, and South Beach images are part of your Library and appear in the Projects panel as shown in the following image.
  2. Select the South Beach project.
  3. Choose the Ratings and Keywords layout (Command-Option-R), which offers a terrific view for working with stacks in the Browser while still keeping the Viewer open.

    The stacked images appear in the Browser, and the pick image of the first stack is displayed in the Viewer.

    Currently, the stacks are closed, because we closed them in the Import dialog. You can open and close stacks in the Aperture main window just as you can in the Import dialog.

  4. Choose Stacks > Open All Stacks (Option-’) to open the stacks in the main window.

    In addition to opening or closing the all stacks at once, you can open and close stacks individually by clicking the appropriate Stack button. Let’s try that now.

  5. Click the Stack button on the stack of SoBe_2005 17 of 50 in the Browser.

    Great. The other useful stacking feature that you need to know is how to choose a pick. When you auto-stack images during the import process, Aperture by default sets the first image of the sequence as the pick. Quite often, however, this won’t be the image that you think should be the pick. Now you’ll choose different picks for some of the South Beach stacks.

  6. Select the SoBe_2005 6 of 50 image—the last of the first set of three sunset images—in the Browser. It offers a little bit more detail in the shadow areas over the water than the other two images in the stack.
  7. Choose Stacks > Pick, or press Command-backslash ( \ ) to make it the pick of the stack.

    Aperture updates the stack with the new pick at left. You can also define a pick by dragging an image to this location.

  8. Drag the image SoBe_2005 40 of 50 from the center to the left of the stack. When you see a green bar appear, release the mouse button. This image is the new pick.

    Now that you have a better understanding of how to control stacks and choose picks, let’s organize the three collections of images we imported in Lesson 2.

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