As this is my first blog entry on the Inside Aperture, blog I’d like to use this first paragraph to let you know who I am and what I’m all about. My name is Allen Rockwell, I’m 43 years old and I’ve been taking photos most of my life. I am not a full time professional photographer, you might classify me as an “advanced amateur” or a “part-time professional”. I have a business that pays my bills and allows me to work on my photography either as a hobby or a part-time business. I rather like this arrangement and I think there are some full time pros out there that would probably prefer my situation. I’m an all-around technology geek and more often than not an early adopter to all new hardware and software. I’ve been using Aperture since the day it was released and have never looked back, I was running software update every few minutes on the day that Aperture 1.5 was released, I ordered my Intel MacBook Pro the day it was announced, I ordered my Canon 30D the day it was announced … you see where I’m going with this? … I like my tech toys. While Aperture is a “Pro App”, I hope to bring a sort of “regular guy’s view” of Aperture to this blog, I want to talk about how a semi-pro or an amateur uses Aperture and how it helps me with my digital workflow.
So, for this blog entry I thought I’d run through my workflow and describe how and why I do things the way I do. As I write this I am in the middle of shooting the ISA World Surfing Games at Huntington Beach California. The event is a nine day event and we are 5 days into the event. So as this is something I’m actually doing right now, I figure why not use it as an example.
Naturally the first step in the digital workflow is getting the images off the camera and into Aperture. This is simple enough in Aperture, just plug your card into your card reader and Aperture goes into import mode. Well, that’s not how I do it, that’s too easy. The first thing I do is create a folder on my external firewire drive for the day’s shot. The folders are organized by Year/Month/Day. Then I copy all the images (I shoot all RAW by the way) to the day’s folder. Then I eject my CF card and launch Aperture if it’s not already running (and it usually is), I create a new project or Album if I need to and then import my images from the firewire drive into Aperture. Just before you press the “Import” button it’s a good idea to fill in some of the metadata fields. I always fill in “Credit” and “Copyright Notice”, and if all the images are from one event like the Surfing Games this week I’ll fill in the “Caption” field and maybe some keywords that apply to all the images (such as: surf, surfing, beach, huntington, ISA, ….)
Now it should be noted here that in Aperture 1.5 I do not really need to import my images into the Aperture library, I can simply reference them in their current location … but for safety reasons I prefer to have my images stored in at least two different places at all times. If the hard drive on my Mac or my firewire drive were to crash I would still not loose anything. By the way, my Aperture Vault is on yet another firewire drive …. yes, I’m a little paranoid about data loss, but as a result I’ve never lost a byte of data…. ever. (more on backing up Aperture and cool tricks for syncing Aperture libraries between two machines in a later blog post).
So, now the images are imported into Aperture. In my next installment I’ll start rating the images and doing basic image editing.
Until next time,
Allen Rockwell Photography