Introduction: Aperture - How to Upload Photos

This will help you to upload photos to Aperture. Let's get started!

Step 1: Your First 10,000 Photographs

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” This is a quote by Henri Cartier-Bresson. While taking photos to get to the 10,000 mark, they need to get uploaded to the Aperture editing software. I promise, this is easier than many people think. Let's get started.

Step 2: Equipment Check

To begin, some equipment is needed, including a compact flash card/memory card (SDHC, SDXC, or microSD will be used for these instructions), card reader with cable for the computer (I will be using the Transcend USB 3.0), and of course the Macintosh computer (for these instructions, I’ll be using a MacBook Pro Laptop) with the Aperture editing software already installed. With these tools, the photos should upload within a few minutes of getting started.

Step 3: Where Do I Go From Here?

The first step is usually the easiest; turn on the computer via the power button (usually the top right of the laptop). When your computer turns on, locate the Launchpad. It is a gray circle with a rocket ship, usually in the bottom left corner of the screen in the toolbar. The Launchpad is where all of the applications for the computer are stored. Click it to open the Launchpad before proceeding.

Step 4: Finding Aperture

Next, navigate through the Launchpad until you find the Aperture editing software. To open the aperture editing software (the icon is a cameral lens and says “Aperture” underneath), click on the icon. The icon should appear in the toolbar at the bottom of the page. Typically, it will be located on the right unless it has already been saved in the bottom toolbar. When opening the application, the icon in the toolbar should bounce. When it opens, it should automatically open the default library. This is where aperture stores different photography “projects”. The projects are photos that are grouped together when uploaded. Next, we can begin the upload process.

Step 5: Remove the Memory Card

To begin, take the memory card out of the camera. There is a button on the right side of most cameras to open the flap where the memory card is stored. To remove, there should be a little button next to the memory card that will eject the card from the slot it is in. Push this button and pull the memory card out.

Step 6: Hooking Up the Card Reader

Next, we must match the memory card with the appropriate slot in the memory card reader. Reminder: the memory card reader that I will be using for these instructions is the Transcend USB 3.0; however, most memory card readers will follow the same set up. The reader will have slots, which should be labeled for which memory card goes where (on the Transcend, it is labeled for a microSD, SDHC, SDXC, and CF). Now, insert the memory card into the appropriate slot, it will only fit in one way. Do not force it! Forcing the memory card into the reader will cause damage to the memory card, resulting in lost pictures.

Moving on, insert the cable for the laptop connection to the
back of the card reader. The cable will have two ends- end “A” will be inserted into the computer USB port (located on left side of the computer, by the charging cable insert. The USB port on the computer will have the same symbol as the cable. Again, this cable can only insert into the computer one way, do not force it! The cable end labeled “B” is what will be inserted into the memory card reader. It will be a different a different shape from end “A”. Insert cable end “B” into the back of the card reader. If done correctly, the light on the card reader should light up, showing that it is getting power. A few things that may keep it from working properly may be forgetting to hook up one of the ends, or a bad USB port in the computer itself (if the computer has two slots, try both and see if either one works). If the memory card is inserted correctly and the reader is hooked up to the computer correctly, the next steps will be easy.

Step 7: Finding the "Import" Area

Now, aperture should automatically open the “Import” tab. However, if it does not, the “Import” tab is located in the top left corner and can be opened by clicking it. Once the tab is opened, there will be a gray area that appears; in here is where the memory card will be visible. Using the cursor, double click on the memory card to select it. If it is not visible in the top left box under “Import,” please recheck the above steps. DO NOT REMOVE the USB or card reader from the computer until instructed. Doing so can cause damage to the memory card, reader, and cause images to be lost or damaged.

Step 8: Time to Upload the Photos

The photos will begin appearing in the center as they are being uploaded. This is a sign that everything is hooked up correctly and that aperture recognizes the files on the memory card. As the photos are uploading, the right of the screen (under “Import Settings”) gives photographers options for detailed information about the photos being uploaded. One may choose to fill these out if they want to organize and name the “projects,” keep details of the sequence of photos being uploaded, or it renames the files themselves. To select what details to have visible, use the dropdown arrow next to “Import Settings.” This will show different details that may be visible/optional for uploading. To select, click on the items desired until a checkmark appears next to it, the checkmark means it will be visible. We will go through some of the basic settings options next, including File Info, Rename Files, and Metadata Presets.

Step 9: Choosing a Destination

First, a destination must be chosen under the “Aperture Library” section. There is a “New Project” option, or the pictures can be placed in any current “project”. If a current project is desired, there are two options for adding it. The first option is to select it from the drop down area to the right (this will show recent projects if it is not listed proceed with option 2). The second option is to locate the desired project in the list of projects on the left side of the screen (left of where the pictures are shown in the middle and below the “Import” section). There is a tab labeled “Library,” and then under that tab is the “Projects” section where it will list all of the projects located in the current aperture library. Simply find and select the project desired.

Now, if selecting “New Project” the computer will ask for a “Project Name.” It is best to be short but detailed with project names (dates or subjects are great for this, example: “6/10/17 Rebels vs. Hogs Football Game”). The more detailed the name is, the easier it is to know what photos are located there without having to open the projects later to search for a certain photo.

Step 10: Renaming Files

Second, under the “Rename Files” header is a subsection called “Version Name” with a drop down arrow. Using the dropdown arrow, select how to name the photos. Different options located here include Custom Name with Index (with or without spaces), Version Name (this can be by itself or paired with sequence, date/time, or an index), Image Date & Time, or there is the option of “none” if no name change is desired. Select which option is preferred, and that’s it for this section.

Step 11: Adding Information

Third, under the “Metadata Presets” header is the subsection “Metadata.” This drop down gives the options of “None” (if no metadata/ information from the photos are desired), “Basic Info” (the most commonly desired information and metadata to be included), or “Edit…” (to select additional information to be included). For this section, we will be using the “Basic Info” option.

Now, to include the information, the boxes must be checked next to the description(s) desired in order to be included. The first one is “Caption”, you may write a caption for the photos being uploaded (this will add a caption to every photo). It could include anything such as football photos, which may get the caption of teams playing and final score.

Next is “Keywords.” Here is where to include words to describe the picture, so in future searches for photos of a certain description, it may be pulled up without looking through each project. Make sure to separate key words and phrases with commas. For example a picture of a close up of a purple flower could have keywords including purple, flower, macro, (type of flower), close up.

Then, “Image City “State/Province” and “Image Country” are the next options. Simply type the corresponding information for the pictures in the right section (Image City: Watertown, State/Province: South Dakota or SD, and Image Country: USA). If this information is not desired, leave the box next to these items unchecked.

Now, the last section included under the “Metadata Presets” is “Copyright Notice.” This is to add a copyright on each image and be transferred with the image when exported from the program to prevent theft of photographs, and to ensure proper credit is given to the photographer. The first thing to do for this section is create the copyright symbol “©”. To do this, push down the “option” key on the keyboard (there are two on the keyboard, the first one is two buttons to the left of the space bar, and the second one is two buttons to the right of the space bar). While holding the option key down, hit the letter “g,” and then release both keys. This will produce the copyright symbol (if it does not produce the copyright symbol, try again and make sure both keys are pressed at the same time). Once the symbol is in place, the name for the copyright may be entered, example: ©Lindsey Jungers Photography.

Step 12: One Last Step

Finally, once the images are uploaded from the memory card and the desired “Import Settings” are completed, it is time to import the images and information to aperture. Located in the lower right of the screen is a button labeled “Import Checked.” This button will only illuminate once all the photos have been initially scanned off the memory card through the reader and into this section of the aperture software. If there are photos that shouldn’t be uploaded at this time, simply ensure there is not a check mark next to the picture. Ensuring there is a check mark next to any photos to be uploaded, click the “Import Checked” button.

Step 13: All Done

Finally, the photos will begin uploading into the aperture software. Aperture will automatically bring you to the “project” being uploaded. See, not so hard. The pictures that are uploaded will be able to be edited immediately. You are now on your way to editing those first 10,000 photographs and more. Good luck!


Swansong made it! (author)2017-07-04

You have some really great shots! I love the butterflies :)