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Author Topic: How to go about it  (Read 2658 times)
LarryLee
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« on: April 08, 2007, 12:04:18 PM »

I am a new Mac user and also been debating how to go about it to organize my huge number of dig images. I have been using WindXP have all of my images in Ext, HDs with only one back up, but bought another 500GB HD. Here is the thing, I am still debating between Lightroom and Aperture (I already bought it but have not even opened it).

I have been told to set up how I'd like to have the files structure then import them to the DAM.  However, I have been reading that some of you have 3 or even 4 back up copies.......and some on DVD.

So do you make that many copies when you first start with this project, or start doing it after you have imported the first copy or Master copy of my entire collection.

Secondly, my other concern is that at times I [think Aperture has a very steep learning curve, so I'm asking myself what would I be getting into.
 
Speaking of back up, I was interested in setting up Aperture (as Reference) and keep the images on my Ext HD. However, I have heard that is wise to also back up the Library is that true or am I being redudant.

And finally, if any of you wouldn't mind sharing your workflow as to how did you start setting up Aperture. I am overwhelmed:Smiley Huh

Thanks
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2007, 01:23:46 PM »

Larry

I genuinely don't want to put you off, or offend anyone else here, but I don't think there's a lot of expertise here on Aperture.

I don't think the learning curve is much greater. It looks more daunting, rather like a SQL Server Administration panel from my murky past, while Lightroom looks rather dumbed down. One place you must try is Bagelturf where Steve Weller has written some very good tutorials. Another is Inside Aperture - look for his Adjustment Tool Guide. See O'Reilly's blog, and check out Aperture Users Pro Network - it's new, well-funded, and there aren't too many people asking questions yet, so you should get good answers. And there's always Apple's forum, but don't ever compare the program with Lightroom as the censorship is outsourced to N Korea (nothing against N Koreans btw).

Hopefully those resources will help you. They certainly got me up to speed, but I would add that my knowledge is patchy. Aperture has something called a Vault, a managed backup - you should look at this before deciding on the backup strategy. I think it only works on managed files, files imported into its library (this is a package which can be opened by right clicking). I felt this management was too alien to my views that I haven't given it a good test, even though my Mac only has sandpit status. The Reference method seems to work well enough with the bucket principle but you have to build the buckets through Finder, then use Import Folders as Projects. So you then have Aperture projects that match up to real folders. Once you've got your existing archive in, you then have to be careful bringing in new images (just watch that it is importing by Reference), but I think it's possible to follow a pretty pure bucket approach. So set up the files the way you think best.

Other specific points. I burn one DVD straight after import and I'll do this regardless of software. Likewise, I've always followed a bucket type approach, regardless of software. In other words, good practice (hopefully) comes first, software is incidental (and often accidental). When you import by reference, the library still needs to be backed up.

Hope this helps. Aperture has features that I would like in LR, like smart albums, the loupe, html web templates. But I also disliked certain things - fails to read xmp metadata, only sends xmp out on export of masters, fail to run on most computers, lift and stamp (vs LR's AutoSync), no background processing so locks up. I also got better image quality out of LR, and a lot faster. But let us know how you get on.

John
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LarryLee
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2007, 09:13:58 PM »

Hi John

Thank you for taking the time to write a well detailed response, it's much appreciated.  I have gone to some sites as the one you mentioned, they all have the assumption that everybody has a higher knowledge about using Aperture, duh.  I tell you I have used before Albumn from Adobe and it worked fine but i don't even remember why I stopped using ti. It could be that it didn' support RAW.

I jumped ship from Windows to Mac a few months ago, and got lured into Aperture when I saw it at The Apple Store, and bought it. (not opened yet). I even bought the book and I don't do too well reading, I do better by osmosis or talking to another user. However, after I bought it I have gone to several sites, and lots of people have been facing too many decisions using Aperture.

I was traveling a month ago, and this guy told me that even though he likes Digital, it has changed his life completely,  since now is no longer an art but a job, during pre/post shooting, and I agree.  The instant gratification is a great benefit, but remember the old days, you shoot, you take the film and in less than 3 hours, you had the contact sheets,  period.

I am sure that you know the drill now, it never stops, trust me I still like shooting Digital, it but sometimes I take a look from the outside  and realize how time consuming it is these days during post/shooting.

Yes, I forgot to mentioned about The Vault on my posting, and that is why I prefer to set the files in Aperture as referenced, at least I would have better acces to  the images just in case. I was also suggested to check into Entenx, which cost  about $200. and it has been around for quite sometime, have you heard anything about it.  I glanced at it, but didn't like that cikir if the border of the thumbnail is grey, I am not sure if the color can be changed, I prefer black.

Hmm, the bucket method I like the way you phrase it, it makes sense to burn a DVD. So how do you reference your files, do you keep an Excel or Access DB.

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johnbeardy
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2007, 12:50:27 AM »

Larry

Have you not read Peter's excellent book? While I was already applying the idea, I take the word "buckets" from Peter. You catalogue or reference the bucket folders on your HD - you know that HD folder NEF_073 is also a DVD with that number. I've no idea about Entenx or most Mac-limited software.

(Warning - John's DAM as serial monogamy analogy is being wheeled out yet again)

Not saying this is you, but some people can plan forever, ask endless hypothetical questions, and never actually do anything. I say the same for iView or for any similar program, but you've got Aperture so open it, upgrade to 1.5.2 and get using it for a month or two - long enough to understand how it fits with you, but not so long that it would be too painful to start all over again.

Use that time to do as many tasks as you can, mess things up, set up new Aperture libraries if you need, see what works and what hurts, build buckets in Finder and import folders as projects, then try it entirely Apple's way, ask targeted questions. But don't pretend for a moment that this library is for anything other than the short term. Plan to trash it.

When that time is over, start from scratch and now do it for real, thinking medium / long term. With DAM, you always have to plan for the day when you move on, and Aperture does offer you a prenup - export masters which duplicates the files/folders and writes xmp sidecars with any keywords or other captioning. If it all goes wrong, now or in the future, you can take everything to the next program. Junking Aperture now would be like cheating before the honeymoon's even begun.

It's like the first time you pour film developer into a tank - sooner or later you just have to say you've done enough checks and it's now or never. A big difference though, is that those checks now include backing up your pictures. So what can go wrong?

John
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