Smart Albums overview

When you need to group certain types of photos, either temporarily or permanently, you can use a Smart Album to gather the photos automatically based on the search criteria you specify. For example, suppose you want to see the best photos you took of a particular sports event. You select the project containing shots of the sports event, create a Smart Album, show the Smart Settings HUD, and search for photos rated Select (five stars). All photos with that rating immediately appear in the Smart Album. Whenever a photo meets the search criteria later, it’s automatically added to the Smart Album.

Aperture comes with a Smart Album set up in the library for you that contains all photos imported into Aperture over the last 12 months. Select a Smart Album to see its contents in the Browser.

Figure. Library inspector showing Smart Albums in the library.

You can also choose where to search for photos—across the entire library or within a specific project or folder. For example, when you select the Projects item in the Library inspector and create a Smart Album, the Smart Album searches across the entire library. When you select a project or folder and create a Smart Album, the Smart Album searches within that project or folder.

You can create Smart Albums that:

  • Collect photos of certain poses or subjects, such as head shots, photos of particular models, or photos of sports scenes

  • Collect photos suitable for a specific purpose, such as distribution on the web or submission to stock photography houses

  • Gather the best photos of your collection into a portfolio of poster photos that you use to present or introduce your work

  • Gather a project’s select photos

  • Gather specific types of media, such as audio and video clips

  • Collect photos with a specific type of adjustment applied, such as a vignette.

You might also use Smart Albums to explore different aspects of your photography portfolio. For example, you can create temporary collections of photos based on technical data such as camera model, exposure, or lens type as you investigate technical influences on your photos.

You can quickly create a Smart Album to review photos and then delete it. Or, you can create Smart Albums that hold permanent and expanding collections of photos. Using Smart Albums can become an efficient way to relieve yourself of slow reviews of photos that you are required to track periodically.

Important: Aperture Smart Albums cannot be edited in iPhoto. To modify the search criteria of an Aperture Smart Album, you must open the Aperture Library in Aperture and then revise the Smart Album’s search criteria. For more information, see Revise the contents of a Smart Album.