Aperture workflow overview

The basic process of managing photos in Aperture is described below. You don’t have to do every step, and you might do other tasks that aren’t listed here.

Use your iPhoto library with Aperture

The first time you open Aperture, the Welcome to Aperture screen invites you to open your iPhoto library. You can also switch to your iPhoto library by choosing File > Switch to Library.

Important: To ensure library compatibility, make sure you upgrade both iPhoto and Aperture to the latest versions.

For more information about switching libraries in Aperture, see View other libraries.

Import photos into Aperture

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.

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

Create projects

As you work with Aperture, you create projects to hold your photos. Projects are simliar to events in iPhoto. A project can hold dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of photos. When you need to further subdivide and organize photos in a project, you can create albums. As your portfolio increases and you create more and more projects, you can organize your work into hierarchies of folders, projects, and albums.

View and organize your photos

To work with your photos, you select a project in the Library inspector, and the project’s photos appear in the Browser. You use the Browser to review, organize, and select photos. When you select a thumbnail image in the Browser, the photo appears in the Viewer. If you want to work with your photos in detail, you can view them in full-screen view.

Aperture also provides several tools to help you organize a large portfolio of photos. You can compare high-resolution photos side by side, group similar photos in stacks, rate photos, identify people in your photos using Faces, and apply location information to your photos using Places. You can also apply keywords and other metadata to your photos to make them easier to find.

Adjust your images

You can enhance your photos using a set of powerful, nondestructive adjustments such as Crop, Straighten, Exposure, White Balance, Levels, Curves, Highlights & Shadows, Vignette, and more. In addition, you can use brushes to apply or remove adjustments selectively, affecting only certain parts of an image.

To streamline your workflow, you can save adjustment settings as presets (collections of saved settings) and apply a combination of image adjustments to one or more photos in a single step.

Share your photos

When it’s time to show your work to others, Aperture provides many options for distributing and sharing your photos:

  • Send your photos to Flickr and Facebook.

  • Present your photos in multimedia slideshows.

  • Create premium-quality photo books.

  • Print high-resolution photos.

  • Export your photos in a variety of file formats.

  • Email your photos directly from Aperture.

  • Publish your photos in web galleries and web journals as HTML that you can upload to a web server.

  • Use My Photo Stream to make your photos available on all your devices—including iOS devices, Mac computers, PCs, and Apple TV—and use iCloud Photo Sharing to share photos with friends and family members who have iCloud accounts.

Back up your work

After you import photos from your camera and erase memory cards in preparation for the next shoot, Aperture stores a single copy of each photo on your hard disk. It’s important to make backup copies of these photos to safeguard your portfolio. You can set Aperture to back up your managed images (images that are stored in the Aperture library) and all information associated with them, such as keywords and image adjustment settings, on vaults located on hard disk drives. You can also set Aperture to automatically back up your photos during import.