After years of storing my still images in a haphazard way, I finally invested the money in Apple’s Aperture software to catalog my images. Up until now, I had been simply importing images using Photo Mechanic and parking them in folders on my hard drive.I haven’t been very disciplined about adding keywords and other metadata which, of course, makes it difficult to locate a particular image. I probably have thousands of images at this point, scattered among hard drives, CDs and even 35mm slides.
I am happy to report that Aperture is simple to use. A quick browse through the small instruction book that comes packed with the disc is all you need to get up and running with the product. I was able to catalog five years of images off CDs in about 90 minutes. That included importing reference files, adding keywords and assigning a rating to the best images. You can create different versions of the images; for example, you can export a JPEG version of a RAW image for use on the web with just two or three mouse clicks. The best feature of all-I think- is that you do not have to move files if you do not want to. You can leave the originals where they are, on a CD for example, and Aperture will keep track of them from that location. There’s no need to clog up your hard drive if you’ve already archived images to another storage device. Oh, yeah, you can also use Aperture to adjust your images! I’ve only scratched the surface. Aperture is a powerful tool.
Getting organized feels good! The accompanying image is one that was “lost” for awhile because I didn’t have it filed anywhere. It is a rooftop of one of the buildings on Alcatraz. I think if you spend the time to organize your photos you, too, will rediscover lost treasures.