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“Organizing Your Aperture Library”; a Three Part Post on

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February 24, 2013 - 7:09pm

The first part of a three-part post on Photofocus titled “Organizing Your Aperture Library” is now online! Be sure to check that out, even if you’re 100% organized. There may be some new tips in there for ya!

I don’t know the schedule for parts 2 and 3, so be sure to check back for those.

Update on March 6, 2013 - 12:21am by Joseph @ApertureExpert

UPDATE: Part 2 is now online.

Update on March 30, 2013 - 5:46pm by Joseph @ApertureExpert

And here’s Part 3.

Apple Aperture

Interesting. Thought Scott Bourne dumped Aperture for LR.


He did, which is probably why they asked me to write for them :-)


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Hello Joseph:
I followed your recommendations and I love what its’ done to my library. I had been struggling for a couple years, trying to figure out the most logical way to do this and the recommendation for 2012-02-25 | Hawaii Shot (as an example) - was brilliant. I ended up going thru my entire library, spent several hours making these changes.

The one thing I did which was a little different is I also created smart albums by ‘Year’, since I have numerous categories for my projects. So - for 2013, 2012, etc., I now see a chronological composite of all my various projects/folders all in one tidy location too, sorted by year. Thanks a ton!

Right on Mark, glad to hear it!

Smart Albums are great, for sure. I like to rely on a fixed structure for the big-picture stuff, and then use Smart Albums for smaller things. Keep in mind that every time you click on a Smart Album it re-scans it’s target (which could be a project, a folder, or your entire library), so if you have a 200k image library and a pile of Smart Albums that look at the entire library, it may take a while to populate each one every time you click on it.

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So just out of curiosity, why did Scott abandon Aperture for LR? I’ve tried every version of LR off and on since its inception and I just can’t get the feel for it. I’m sure this debate has been worn out but I’m always interested to hear why an experienced professional prefers a piece of software or a particular brand of camera, or lenses, etc.

I have heart heartedly tried a few filing structures in the past, but none of them have stuck, or been that effective. I implemented your approach a few months ago, and have diligently stuck with it. It’s been very easy to adopt, has completely structured my library, and perhaps most importantly, the clean structure has allowed me to start focussing on getting more out of the other features.

One thing I would love to be able to do is for the folder structure in the Inspector sidebar to be in REVERSE order (i.e. 2013 folder being the top most folder, and oldest year being at the bottom). At the moment, I have to scroll to the bottom of the list to see the most current photos (which are often the ones I want to work on the most), and it would be very convenient to just have the newest folder on top. Not a biggie, as the benefits of achieving the structure are huge, buy do you know if this is possible?


Thanks, glad you’ve found the structure beneficial. Sticking with whatever you choose to do is key!

Unfortunately no, there’s no reverse-sorting. Seems silly doesn’t it? Hopefully that’s one of those tiny features we’ll find in the next version.

-Joseph @ApertureExpert
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