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Evolving your Photography Workflow #2

Evolving you Photography Workflow #2
The switch from iPhoto to Aperture. Rating and Tagging.

So, we succeeded porting our iPhoto library to Aperture after the last tutorial and now we’ve got a new library that is as unorganised as the one we have left. We already know about projects, albums and folders. What we don’t know, is how to find that certain picture we are looking for. Well that needs a lot of work at the beginning but it is worth every minute. We need to rate and tag our photos to be able to sort and search through them.

How does rating and tagging? Rating is a way of building a hierarchy inside your photographic vault that’s usable throughout your entire library structure. Tagging is the best chance to find the one photo you’re looking for.


You can rate a photo using stars with the number keys 1-5. The more stars you apply, the higher you rate it. This sounds much easier than it is as you have to make up how you want to apply those stars. For me it basically boils down to the ratings 3-5 stars. Three is a mediocre image, four is a good image and five is one of my topnotch images. So basically an image with three stars is a technically good image, maybe even a great one technically but without much heart and soul. Four is an image that has some heart and soul and is technically at least good and five are those images that are just exactly what you wanted them to be.
So what do I use one and two stars for? One star is basically going to be deleted after I sorted through a day worth of shooting for different reasons like blurred but not beautiful, unsharp without purpose, bad composition and so on. A two star rating is for pictures that might not be worth it on their own but are needed for a collage. I give a two star rating to the parts of a panorama or the single exposures of a later HDR as well. So basically a two star rating means work in progress. There might be higher rating in those picture sets where the middle exposure of an HDR turned out perfect or the part of a panorama gives a exciting condensed view but basically that’s what I use two star ratings for.
What’s left of those one and two star selections after deleting and building bigger pictures with them, will be exported as jpeg to be kept but at a lower expense of hard disk space than the better images in my library.
So as you see, by rating your images you have an easy way of sorting through a days work or a vacation without looking at each one of the pictures any time your searching one specifically.


What’s a tag? Basically a tag is a description of a photograph done in keywords. For example if you were on vacation in France and took a photo of the Eiffel tower in Paris at midnight with a long exposure, you would tag the photo with: Paris, Vacation, Eiffel, Long Exposure, Night, Landmark. As you can see the more tags you use, the easier it will be to find a photo after the fact, as Aperture and Spotlight can search for those information tagged onto the photo.
You can give tags to photo out of the keywords menu right inside Aperture, or by selecting a photo and writing the tags you want separated by commas into the keywords field in the information slider when you have selected a photo, or you can already write them into the keywords field at import for every marked file your importing.