One of the areas in which Aperture excels is in managing, applying, and searching metadata about your images. To get the most of this feature, however, you need to make sure you add the appropriate metadata to your images in your library. It doesn’t take much time to edit the metadata for each image, but it does add up. There are several places in the Aperture workflow where you can work with metadata, but the most used place is the Metadata View panel.
By default, this panel comes with several view presets that give you lots of options for which metadata you want to see. For me, however, no one view worked quite as well as I’d like. There are certain IPTC fields that I care quite a bit about and others that I don’t use at all. And, I like to see my camera’s EXIF data mixed in to the meta data view.
Luckily, Aperture makes it really easy to work with metadata just the way you’d like to. By clicking on one of the buttons at the bottom of the metadata view, you can add, remove, and rearrange the metadata fields shown. Once I really identified the need to customize my metadata panel, I spent a bit of time and came up with the organization shown here.
All of the IPTC fields that I need to edit quickly are grouped right up at the top. I can click in to the either the Event name or Headline field, add text, tab through the list of items, and be done in no time. Most importantly, I’ve got the fields structured in an order that makes sense to me, especially the grouping of the Headline through Country Name fields. You’ll notice all of the editable fields are grouped together at the top in a group, while the EXIF data is organized in the second major section. The only editable field that’s outside of that top block is the Copyright field. For most purposes, this is a read-only field for me, but in cases where I’m working on a project with somebody else, I do want to make sure that the proper copyright is embedded into the metadata for an image.
By spending a bit of time figuring out the best organization for this panel, I’ve made the entire process of working with my images smoother. And that means I spend just a bit less time futzing with metadata and a bit more time shooting photographs. If you’re spending any amount of time working with Aperture, you should do the same and spend a bit of time figuring out the metadata panel view setup that works the best for you. After all, you should spend more time shooting photographs as well.