Importing Images With Aperture
The first step in any photo editing workflow is to import the images you want to work with, whether from a camera, an external drive, or another location on your computer's hard disk.
Before importing, however, you need to understand two things about how Aperture works: the difference between a master image and versions of that image, and the location of the master Library.
Master Image vs. Versions
Aperture is nondestructive. Your original image is always preserved as a digital master file ; any adjustments to the image are made on versions of the original image.
It's important to understand that while versions show up as thumbnails that behave like image files in the Projects panel and the Browser, they are not actually new image files. Think of versions as proxy images. In reality, they are little bundles of math that instruct Aperture to apply certain adjustments to the master file. You can create as many versions of the master image as you want.
The beauty of this design is that, since version files are quite small, you can make countless versions of a full-resolution RAW image without significantly increasing your storage needs, and you can always return to your untouched master file.
If you make an adjustment to an image, there is no need to rename it or to perform a Save As operation. The version you created is saved within your project. Of course, at any time you can create a full image file that incorporates the adjustments you made to a version simply by printing or exporting the version.
Later in this lesson you will practice creating versions of a master image.
Your master images are located in the Library. The default location of the Library is the Pictures folder of your home directory.
If you have a dedicated external drive for images, you will need to change the location of your Library. Since Aperture consolidates the images you import and stores them all in the Library, it's important to locate your Library on a disk that has an adequate storage capacity.
Importing From a Camera or Card Reader
For the exercises in this tutorial, we'll use images that are provided with the Aperture Sample Projects library. However, you may want to include some images of your own to work with, so let's take a moment to import some of your own images into Aperture.
Aperture supports color-managed workflows, managing ICC color profile information for your input and output devices. If you are using a color-managed workflow, it's important to calibrate and profile your devices before importing your images. For more on
You can import images from three places: a camera or memory card, an existing iPhoto Library, and an existing folder in your Finder. We'll start by importing from a camera.
Grouping by Timestamp While Importing Images
One nice feature of Aperture is that it gives you the option to
We'll explore stacks in more detail later in this tutorial. For now, let's just take a quick look at how to auto-stack images during import.
Adding Metadata While Importing Images
Another useful feature in Aperture is the ability to add metadata as you import your images. Let's take a moment to look at the Metadata Inspector, and add some metadata to the images you are importing.
At the top of the window, the Image Information section lists basic information about your image. Below that is the Time Adjustment section, where you can alter the time zone of your images' timestamp.
The bottom section lets you add detailed metadata information such as copyright notice, credit line, keywords, and object name. You can choose to view different preset metadata categories by selecting the Add Metadata From pop-up-menu. You can choose from a number of templates, and you can enter as much or as little information as you choose.
Note that several of the presets allow you to view and edit an image's EXIF and IPTC data. The EXIF information includes a wide range of camera settings such as shutter speed, date and time, focal length, exposure, metering pattern, and flash information. The IPTC information, which can be embedded in a digital image by most
Aperture also lets you easily apply a customized watermark to any image or group of images. See the
Of course, metadata information can also be added and edited after you import your images, and we'll discuss metadata in more detail later in this tutorial. But it is often handy to enter at least basic information about the shoot while you are importing the images.
For now, let's practice entering metadata during an import.