In The FieldThe first step in starting a new job is to create a new Project. Aperture stores photos in Projects, which are self-contained parts of a library into which photos are dumped during import. There are two schools of thought on Projects. One is to create a new Project for each part of a shoot and to put them into a folder for the event. Using this system on something like a wedding shoot, for example, I'd create a folder for the event and a different Project to contain each part of the day: preparation, ceremony, reception, etc. (Fig. 2).
The other way, and my preferred way of working, is to create only one Project per job and to create Albums and/or folders under each project to organize my data.
I prefer this methodology because it allows me to have one discrete container for each paying job, something that makes it easier to find things that match my invoices, and it makes it easier to make sure I've copied everything over to my desktop machine when I'm done with a shoot. However, if I'm on a multiday shoot or one where I know I'll exceed the capacity of my internal drive, I'll create a new Library on an external Thunderbolt drive. That makes it easier for me to port the shoot over to my desktop system—instead of having to connect my laptop in Target Disk mode or connect over the Ethernet, I simply plug the hard drive into my desktop and select the Library from Aperture's Import/Library menu option, at which point Aperture asks me if I want to switch to the Library or merge the Library with my existing one (Fig. 3).
This is one of the most powerful features of Aperture: the ability to meld one Library into another. When I shoot on the road, the Library I create will quickly become part of my larger, master library when I'm back at my studio. That leaves me with a choice when I'm in the field—managing or referencing my images, which controls the way in which Aperture stores my files.
As a nondestructive image editor, Aperture uses Library files, which are catalogs of the images being managed by Aperture, as well as a list of all the actions taken on those images. Remove red-eye? That's an instruction in the Library's catalog. Add metadata? That's really an instruction in the catalog, too.
When images are stored inside Aperture's Library file, too, the images are Managed. When they're stored outside the Library (with Aperture keeping track of their location), they're called Referenced.