An Overview of Stacking Images

To capture a specific moment in time, such as a bride and groom kissing or your daughter kicking the winning goal, a photographer may shoot multiple pictures, using both bracketing and continuous shooting, to increase the odds of capturing a usable image. After shooting the series, the photographer reviews the images and picks the best image of the group.

Reviewing and making picks from many related pictures can be time-consuming and difficult. To help with this task, you can organize related shots into stacks. A stack is a set of similar or related images from which one image will be selected for use. Aperture can automatically group such photos into stacks by grouping images that were shot in quick succession together. You can also select images and create stacks manually.

In addition to creating stacks of individual images, Aperture automatically stacks multiple versions of the same image together, also known as version stacks. You work with version stacks in the same manner as you work with stacks you create of individual images.

A stack appears in the Browser as a group of images. The image that represents the stack, called the pick, is selected and displayed on the left. You can select any image in the stack as the pick, and it moves to the leftmost position in the stack. You can rearrange the order of images in a stack. For example, you might choose an alternate image and position it next to the pick. A Stack button appears in the upper-left corner of the pick image in the stack, indicating the number of images in the stack.

Figure. Expanded stack with three images.

After creating a stack and selecting the pick, you can close the stack by clicking the Stack button on the pick image. When a stack is closed, only the stack’s pick image appears in the Browser. Clicking the Stack button again expands the stack.

Figure. Closed stack showing the pick image that represents the stack.

By closing stacks, you quickly reduce the number of images you have to visually sort through when selecting images in the final photo edit.

After creating stacks, you can organize and change them as needed. You can add images to a stack and remove those that don’t belong. You can also split a stack into multiple stacks when necessary.