An Overview of Smart Albums

Unlike a standard album that you drag images into, a Smart Album’s contents are controlled by the criteria you specify in the Smart Album’s Smart Settings HUD. When you change a Smart Album’s search criteria, the contents of the Smart Album change.

Aperture comes with a selection of Smart Albums set up in the library for you. For example, there are Smart Albums that gather all your select images, all images taken in the last week, and all images taken in the last month. When you click the Library Albums disclosure triangle, you see the list of Smart Albums created for you. Select a Smart Album to see its contents in the Browser.

Figure. Library inspector showing Smart Albums in the library.

You can also create your own Smart Albums. For example, suppose you want to create a Smart Album that includes the best images you took of a particular sports event. You select the project containing shots of the sports event, create a Smart Album, show the Smart Settings HUD, and search for images rated Select (five stars). All images with that rating immediately appear in the Smart Album.

You can also choose where to search for images—across the entire library or within a specific project or folder. For example, when you select the Library Albums icon and create a Smart Album, the Smart Album searches across the entire library. When you select a project and create a Smart Album, the Smart Album searches within that project. When you select a folder and create a Smart Album, the Smart Album searches the projects within that folder.

By instituting specific keyword schemes, you can create Smart Albums that are automatically updated with specific kinds of images.

For example, you might create Smart Albums that:

As you complete projects throughout the year, Smart Albums are automatically updated with images that match their search criteria.

You might also use Smart Albums to explore different aspects of your photography portfolio. For example, you can create temporary collections of images based on technical data such as camera model, exposure, or lens type as you investigate technical influences on your images.

You can use Smart Albums to track images that you’ve performed specific types of adjustments on. For example, you can use the Smart Album’s Smart Settings HUD to specify that a Smart Album collect any image that has had a vignette applied to it.

You can quickly create a Smart Album to review images and then delete it. Or, you can create Smart Albums that hold permanent and expanding collections of images. Using Smart Albums can become an efficient way to relieve yourself of slow reviews of images that you are required to track periodically.