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I've finally figured out a half-decent workflow for my stuff (which you can possibly even help me with). I figured i'd post it here, it may be of use to others.


I was facing the problem of Aperture vs iPhoto 6. Both are now unibin. Both run k-sweet on my hackintosh. But each has advantages and disadvantages:




+ Imports movies

+ Nice, easy interface

+ Works with Front Row and other iLife apps


- Basic keywording only

- Destructive edits





+ Improved workflow

+ Non-destructive editing

+ Improved rating and keywording


- Doesnt import movies

- No Front Row / iLife goodness



What I realised is that I dont have to choose between them, I can use them both, and exploit their strengths.


So I use Aperture as my 'digital darkroom' - the first port of call for importing pictures (though not movies - more on that later). I have all of my photos (5000+ since 2002) imported in Aperture, and organised to meaningful projects, all organised in a heirarchical folder structure. Eg:


Family -> Trips and Holidays -> Holidays -> 2005 - Italy and Switzerland


We were in Italy and Switzerland for two weeks, and I shot about 400-450 photos. Now, despite my best intentions, many of them are basically {censored} (out of focus, hand shake issues, just not terribly interesting shots etc etc), and some of them are good but need work (cropping, straightening, colour adjustments etc). Aperture's workflow lets me burn through a large project in no time, stacking similar images and making a select; fixing, straightening, cropping and adjusting - allowing me to round-trip to Photoshop for any advanced adjustments -; and then applying ratings, marking the unusable ones are rejects (-1 stars), and marking any I actually want to see in my finished shoot album with 1 star or above, according to how good I think the photo is (currently I use 0 stars to denote a photo which is technically ok (in focus etc) but isnt all that interesting).


I then create a smart album of photos from that project with 1 star or above. This gives me my selections, and weeds out all the chaff. I then go through them one more time, making sure i'm happy with the adjustments and ratings, and I give each one a proper name. Finally, I do an export of the images in the smart album to a appropriately-named folder on the desktop, selecting 'JPEG - Fit within 1024 x 1024' for the export. This gives me web-friendly images, with proper names etc, all in a nicely named folder. I then import this into iPhoto, which creates a Film Roll with the name of the folder (eg 'Italy and Switzerland 2005'). I'm then free to use these images in iDVD, iMovie etc, and also to show them off to visiting friends and family via Front Row (controlled via Salling Clicker and my phone). I can also export directly from iPhoto to my website via iPhotoToGallery.


I think this approach gives me the best of both worlds, and allows me to exploit the individual strengths of Aperture, Photoshop, iPhoto and Gallery.


Things I still have issues with:


- Movie Clips: Aperture won't import them, but can unceremoniously dump them to a directory. I current dont do anything with them, but my feeling is that I should probably put them into iPhoto. Perhaps Image Capture and some Applescript magic could help?


- Duplication of disk space. On my current hackintosh this is not an issue, but I plan to move to a MacBook soon, where disk space is going to be more scarce. One option is to archive off the old Aperture projects to an offline store. Meh, who knows?


- Unnecessary effort. Perhaps Automator can help me here. I have seen one Automator action for Aperture to iPhoto, but it didnt do the nicely-named folder -> film roll name thing.


So... opinions anyone? Does anyone else use anything similar? Or completely different? ;) Anyone have any tips to share?

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Awesome write up, munky. I'm using iPhoto right now since I don't shoot in RAW. Maybe when I get my Rebel I'll have to adjust that. :police:


I'd be interested to see what other people use as well.

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Actually, I dont shoot RAW either - Aperture works just as well for JPEGs.


My camera takes an age to store RAW images, so its not really worth it.

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Can you possibly tell me what hardware you use, or is there a trick to gettting round the hardware checker on Aperture. My only reason to install SX is to run Photoshop and Aperture. I do shoot in RAW, my wife and I have collected 6000+ images since we got our DSLRs in November and I urgently need some processing software. There is no chance of me ever gong back to the dark side and Linux does not run these 2 apps.


Many thanks,



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I am currently using a self-built machine:


- Intel D945GTPLR board

- Intel Pentium D920 Processor

- 2x512Mb DDR-667 Corsair VS RAM

- GeCube ATI Radeon X1800XL PCI-E 256Mb

- 160Gb SATA-3 HDD


The machine is 'fully supported' by for example, the JaS 10.4.6 disc. The 'borisbadenov' method gives me full graphics support, and the only thing that doesnt work is System Sleep (it goes to sleep but never wakes).


I'm also planning to buy either a MacBook or a MacBook Pro at some point soon.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks Munky, I'm trying to work out what is the best way for me at home with my Ricoh GR, a point and shoot camera with RAW files using the Adobe DNG format. Aperture doesn't support the Ricoh version of DNG, so it's no use to me at this stage. Lightroom does and is pretty good for importing and adding IPTC info which i think is very important expecially with images being viewed all round the world. So i'm using IView Media Pro to import and organise the images. I rename them with my surname and the date in reverse order ie 20060729_ then postfix them with a 4 digit serial number.....no photo will ever have the same name. The details of where when and who go into the IPTC which many image handling apps will read and access, including most importantly flickr. so no more reentering tags etc. i upload with picturesync (who were giving away a free licence with every one that was paid for, although this wasn't in any advertising - just found it when i registered) to flickr. The RAW end has me stumped though. Lightroom processed files aren't as good as they could be. Photoshop CS processed files are great, but the processing allows only one process per image, i often do a couple to blend in areas that are over or under exposed. Capture One is the software that I use at work (i'm a commercial photographer) which is nothing short of brilliant, but it doesn't support my ricoh yet either. I've tried a couple of other programs, raw developer is the only other that supports the camera, but the processed files were terrible.

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Been sniffing around after a discussion in a flickr group for Ricoh gr-d fans. someone there said he used photoshop for all of his workflow, I thought he was crackers but had a look around for more about it and.......




there are some great video tutorials to download.


The workflow isn't perfect but i'm surprised how much you can do within creative suite.

.........i'm still wearing my capture one t-shirt though.

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interesting stuff lamb, thanks for that.


ive made some changes to my workflow (in case anyone cares...)


i now use my QCool OnTheGo drive (usb2 hard disk / card reader / mobile storage thing) for all imports, thus i have a hard disk copy of all memory card contents.


next, i convert all my Pentax RAW files to DNG files, in a folder on my desktop


i import the DNG files from that folder into Aperture (and any JPEGs from the QCool drive which i shot with my Canon Ixus 55 ('pocket cam')).


i then import any movie files taken with the Canon into iPhoto, in their own rolls. this is to address the fact that Aperture wont import movies.

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  • 7 months later...
  • 4 months later...
  • 2 years later...

can you hook up a second, larger monitor for processing your photos? (yes i'm working up to the required 5 posts before i can post about my very sad semi-hacked computer so i don't know anything about macs YET)


anyways, it's an option vista offers and it's sweet! takes a bit to wrap your mind around it at first, but you can really spread things out when you have that second monitor... or digital tv?? could a good-enough tv become the second monitor for processing some of our seriously cooler images?

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