Creating Projects and Importing Your Photos

To use Aperture, you first import your photos. You can import digital photos directly from your camera or a card reader and from hard disks or other storage devices where you’ve archived digital files. After a shoot, you can connect your digital camera or card reader to your computer and Aperture automatically detects it. You can then easily import your new images into Aperture.

Aperture automatically imports any audio attachments associated with your image files, provided they have the same filename. In addition to importing photos into Aperture, you can also import QuickTime-compatible audio and video files.

Creating Projects

As you work with Aperture, you create projects to hold your images. A project is similar to a folder that can hold dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of images. For example, after completing a shoot of a foot race in Antarctica, you might create a new project named Antarctica and import the photos into it. When you need to further subdivide and organize images in a project, you can create albums.

Your new project appears in a list in the Library inspector.

Figure. Library inspector populated with projects, folders, and albums.

As your portfolio increases and you create more and more projects, you can organize your work into hierarchies of folders, projects, and albums.

You can create as many projects as you need and name them according to any naming scheme you prefer. It’s important to name projects so that they are easy to identify and access.

Over the long term you may be using Aperture to track years of projects, so you’ll want to develop a naming system that is easy to use and understand. For more information about organizing your images in projects and albums, see Working with the Aperture Library.

Viewing Projects in Projects View

Aperture organizes the images in your library using projects. Projects view provides a convenient way to visually review the projects in your library. When you select Projects in the Library inspector, the Aperture main window switches to Projects view. Each project is represented by a single image, but you can move the pointer over each project to reveal all the images in the project in succession.

You can choose one image per project to appear as the “key photo” when reviewing your projects in Projects view. You can also have Aperture group the projects according to either the year the images were taken or the folder each project resides in.

Figure. Projects view showing projects in the Aperture library.

For more information about Projects view, see Working in Projects View.

Working with the Aperture Trash

As you delete versions, masters, projects, folders, and albums in Aperture, they are placed in the Aperture Trash. The Aperture Trash acts as a container of final review. When you empty the Aperture Trash, its contents are removed from Aperture.

Figure. Browser showing the contents of the Aperture Trash.

For more information about working with the Trash, see Working with the Aperture Trash.

Importing Images with the Import Browser

When you connect a digital camera or card reader to your computer, the Import pane and Import browser appear. You can select your camera or card reader and see the images you’re about to import. You can select and import all the images or only those you want. You can also select image files on your hard disk for importing.

Figure. Import browser showing images ready to be imported.

After you select the images you want to import, you can specify options for importing your images. For example, you can specify that your images be imported into the Aperture library file in the Pictures folder, or you can choose another location in which to store them. If you have images already stored on a hard disk, you can simply allow Aperture to access them without changing their current location. You can choose how images are named and include other information that is recorded with each image to help identify it. For example, you can specify the event name, date, time, photographer, location, and copyright information.

You can also specify other import options, such as whether you want Aperture to group related images together in stacks. For example, if you have bracketed images or images shot in quick succession, you can have Aperture import these images and stack them together to make reviewing and working with them easier.

Importing Files from Your Body of Work

You can easily import your collection of archived digital images into Aperture from any hard disk or storage device connected to your computer. When importing legacy images from your portfolio, you can move them into the main Aperture library, or you can simply identify where the images are located, and Aperture adds them to its management system without changing the image locations. This means that you can use Aperture to work with your images in their current organization and on multiple hard disks, without relocating or reorganizing your files. You can also move or copy images to new locations when needed.

Aperture can also import your iPhoto library and files stored in a variety of common file types and formats, including:

  • DNG

  • GIF

  • JPEG

  • PNG

  • PSD

  • RAW files from a variety of supported digital cameras

  • TIFF

Note: For a list of supported digital cameras, go to

In addition to importing digital image files, Aperture can also import any QuickTime-compatible media file, such as an audio or video file. For more information, see Importing Images.