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iPhone pics: file naming / importing / integrating #1
BonnieB's picture
by BonnieB
March 2, 2013 - 11:01pm

I've been using Joseph's filenaming and project-organization conventions** for over two years now and have been extremely happy with both.

Up until a few months ago, I imported iPhone pictures using the same workflow as regular camera pictures. However I am doing more and more “iPhoneography” and there are problems:
a) too many images to import;
b) too much “detritus” i.e. pics that aren't “real” pictures, just gradations along the way to a final image via the output of stacking different iPhone photo apps;
c) redundancy because they show up in Aperture via the Photostream projects (but with their original filename)

Maybe I can accept having *most* iPhone pics in a separate place, unnamed, in their Photostream monthly projects. It is a shame not to have them organized like the other Aperture pics, with folders and projects and consistent filenames…

…But even if I accept that for majority, there are times when I definitely want all related pictures to be collected together, such as a trip to somewhere, visit from a guest, or particular shoot. So sometimes I think I will still “import” iPhone pics into the scaffolding of the main Aperture library. (THOUGHTS?)

Q: What is the best way to do that?
Connect the iPhone to computer and import certain pics just as I used to with normal renaming workflow. But technically they are already in Aperture.
Q: “Import” them from the Photostream projects?
Q: *Move* (not import) them from Photostream into regular projects so there aren't redundant/duplicate images floating around?

Does anyone else have this problem and if so how have you solved it?
Thank you!

**Refresher Examples:

Photo Filename:
IMG_8910 becomes

2013-01-27~30|Albuquerque Trip = Folder
>2013-01-27|Old Town
>2013-01-28|Sandia Peak Tramway

BonnieB's picture
by BonnieB
March 10, 2013 - 9:02pm

This is so helpful. As you pointed out, it works best from the monthly “Photo Stream Months” project, not the Web/Photo Stream project.

Do you add a copyright note to your filenames? ©BonnieB is not showing up when I do the batch change, probably because a photo-file extension (.CR2 or .JPG) was already added to the filename, so my Version Name Format (“Import Rename BonnieB” includes a “Original File Name” element in the formula) is not getting the copyright phrase in. Do you have a fix for that?

Thank you for sharing this workflow solution!'s picture
March 10, 2013 - 10:58pm

Bonnie: glad it’s working out for you.

On the issue of copyright notice, I think you need to be sure of 2 items in your presets. 1: be sure copyright is part of your custom naming convention. 2: be sure copyright tab is part of your metadata preset for batch change and in your import settings as well. ( upper right tab of import settings). Finally: populate the copyright tabs with your info if you have not done so.

Best.'s picture
March 7, 2013 - 9:55pm

Bonnie: I have gone back and forth on importing iPhone photos with an eye to whether or not it was worth the effort to try to keep these images ORGANIZED in my normal library structure.

I finally tried this work flow and it takes care of my needs. I think it will help with the issues you raise.

1 : I use the batch change command (shift/command/b) on images I select in the monthly photo stream. Then I apply the metadata I choose–including rename master according to my preset.

2: I drag these BATCH CHANGED images to existing or new projects.

3: I delete the photos from either/or–(or both/and) the monthly photostream AND the WEB photostream projects in the projects sidebar.

When I import through photo stream rather than cabled I have way fewer duplicates. And eliminating detritus. And with bat h change you take care of original file name if you apply your naming convention to original file.

Note: I have not yet compared the size of the original image and the photostream image. But I will one of these days. But you will want to be sure.

Hope it helps.

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
March 8, 2013 - 1:01am

I did a comparison a couple of months ago with file size and pixel dimensions if iPhone images brought into Aperture via Photo Stream and direct download from the phone … the jpegs were in identical in both pixel dimensions and file size.

So in essence, Aperture (and I assume for iPhoto as well) gets the same image as was captured and saved by the iOS device.'s picture
March 8, 2013 - 2:20am

Thanks, Butch. I will take this task off the to do list.

BonnieB's picture
by BonnieB
August 13, 2013 - 4:00am

I figured out how to fix this! and will post solution for posterity in case anyone else ever comes hunting regarding the same problem.

In the preset formula for Renaming, the token needs to be [Version Name] instead of [Original File Name]. [Version Name] carries the filename value without the file extension.


1. Open the File Naming -> Edit window (via Import menu>Rename Files>Version Name, or Batch Change>Version Name Format)
2. In the Preset Name column, select the formula you usually use for imports; create a duplicate
3. Rename the new preset to show the difference, e.g. Batch-Rename instead of Import-Rename
4. In the right pane Format formula window, delete the [Original File Name] token; replace it with [Version Name]
5. When “transferring” Photostream photos to your regular project structure with Batch Change, as described above by @Vidpixarts, remember to use the Batch-Rename preset formula, not the Import one.

Walter Rowe's picture
by Walter Rowe
July 31, 2013 - 1:33am

Field format:
[Custom Name]_[Image Date]_[Image Time]_[Original File Name]©BonnieB

Bonnie .. move the “©BonnieB” text to somewhere before “[Original File Name]”. The file naming variable “[Original File Name]” includes the .JPG suffix. For example, try this:

[Custom Name]_[Image Date]_[Image Time]_©BonnieB_[Original File Name]

BonnieB's picture
by BonnieB
July 31, 2013 - 5:05am

Yes I can do that, but it doesn’t achieve the desired filename conforming to Joseph’s filename convention, which I think is wonderful:


Joseph have you, or anyone else who adopted that naming standard, found a way around this now with renaming/importing from Photostream? Is there a way to tell the data somewhere along the stream “Don’t carry over the file extension,” or use Applescript to move or delete it?

From the blurb about his Tips on File Management… ebook:

Tip #4 – Making Your Own “Rename On Import” Custom Preset
The real power in renaming on import is customizing that renaming scheme to meet your own needs. This chapter shows how to set up your own preset, and I walk you through how I have mine set up (it’s a long name!) and why I choose the naming elements I do, and why they are in the order they are in.

BonnieB's picture
by BonnieB
July 29, 2013 - 5:28am

I did not explain that correctly and I am still having the problem. The copyright notice does end up in the proper metadata fields, but the text doesn’t turn out right in the filename; .JPG ends up before the copyright notice.

The field setup for File Renaming, both Import and Batch, look the same to me (where are we putting screenshots these days?), but the resulting filename is different:

Camera filename ==> Aperture filename
IMG_4078 ==> NewOrder_2013-07-20_23-15-27_IMG_0465©BonnieB (import)
IMG_4078 ==> NewOrder_2013-07-20_23-15-27_IMG_0465.JPG©BonnieB
(batch change from Photostream month)

Field format:
[Custom Name]_[Image Date]_[Image Time]_[Original File Name]©BonnieB

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