Some weeks ago I decided to purchase Aperture 3 after a long time of non-decision due to bad reviews of Aperture crashing, eating photos and databases etc. Lucky for me, I had no problems importing my Aperture 2 database and photos and everything went smoothly.

I updated to Aperture 3 not necessarily to be up-to-date with the latest software, but to take advantage of some of its features. The ones very high on my list were:

  • geotagging
  • face recognition
  • Flickr uploader


Up until this update, I have hardly ever geotagged my photos as the process was a bit cumbersome with an external software. It did work well, but was just not easy for the workflow. Now with “Places”, a browser view in Aperture that shows where your photos are on a map, geotagging became easy as pie. Of course, having the GPS coordinates committed to the metadata immediately upon taking the photograph would be even better, but I do not have that luxury. Thus, I go for the second best option: tagging manually.

Places works very well and you can easily see which photos you have already geotagged as they have a little red pin in the Places view.

Aperture 3: Places mode
Aperture 3: Places mode

Face recognition

At first I thought I would be finished with tagging the faces in my pictures very quickly as I hardly ever take photos with people in them (how wrong could I be?). Once I fired up the Faces browser mode, Aperture told me that it found over 10,000 (!) faces in my photos. First, I thought: Yeah, right. But then, when I saw some of the faces, it dawned on me that I indeed had a lot of photos with people in them. I just did not upload them onto Flickr. As I tend to document events like special seminars or conferences that we had organized, by default, these pictures featured mostly people.

So it took me a long while to sift through all my faces and label those that I wanted to have in my Faces browser and reject all others. As I rejected the majority of faces, Aperture was not so good in “learning faces”, but that was fine by me.

Faces is actually nothing more than a special tag for a photo with the name of the person’s face. I could have achieved something similar by tagging the photo with the name in the keyword field. However, then the name would show up as regular tag everywhere. In photos with a number of people in them, I would still not know who was who. The Faces tagging resolves that problem. In addition, I can quickly see how many photos I have of a certain person, and I only see their face in a close-up and not the entire photo. This is especially great for photos of small children. You can see their development in seconds by flipping through these close-ups.

Flickr uploader

I had hoped that the Flickr uploader that was incorporated would be FlickrExport 3 for Aperture or something similar. However, I got disappointed. The Flickr uploader merely takes photos that you have selected and creates a new album on Flickr for them. That is nice for people who start out with Flickr after purchasing Aperture, but not for all others who already have Flickr albums. The Flickr option in Aperture does not allow you to view your already existing Flickr albums and add photos to them. I learned that the hard way as I tried to upload a photo to one of my albums and another one with the same name was created in Aperture AND Flickr. In the heat of the moment, I moved the image to the already existing album and deleted the newly created one on Flickr. But alas, the album still existed in Aperture. And I can’t delete the album there. That is the only time when Aperture actually freezes me out.

Aperture still needs to do quite a bit of work on this Flickr uploader. Meanwhile, I use FlickrExport which works like a charm and does not give me headaches. 🙂

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