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Aperture Keyword-Fu

Keywording photos is very important for many reasons. The most important being organization and the ease of finding that shot at a later time and place. Sure I can create a slew of projects in Aperture to keep things organized but what happens when I’m looking for that good shot of my German Shepherd when she ended up in my portrait shoot of my wife. I won’t remember that the k9 queen is in that project titled “Studio Portraits: Wife”.

Furthermore, when shooting photos (especially outdoors) I don’t stick to one theme or subject, or I might not unload my camera after each shoot. This creates problems when I need to keyword my images. I’ll usually do a batch import from device and skip that dreaded keywording task going straight to the pics I want to process.


So how do I keep organized after I’ve procrastinated my keywording chores? It’s very easy and I’ll show you how. What I do is create a smart Album in the root of my library. I emphasize root because it will filter through all of your projects. If you create the smart album within a project, it will only encompass that project.


When creating the smart album, a smart settings dialog pops up. Click the plus symbol in the top right to add another filter to the list and choose IPTC. Next to the IPTC filter that is now checked, choose “keywords” and “is empty” from the drop down menus. Now your filter will find all images that have no keywords assigned.

When you close the settings dialog, you’ll see all the images that have no keywords in your workspace and you can start getting organized.


Stamping Keywords

Don’t forget you can lift and stamp your keywords. Keyword one of your images. Choose the lift tool icon. A lift and stamp dialog will open allowing you to choose which items you want to stamp.

Lift & Stamp-1.jpg

Uncheck all options except for your keywords. You’ll notice in my dialog I’ve expanded keywords to show all that I have applied to my source image. Now you can go through and stamp any images that are related.

Important Things To Remember
When you have finished entering or stamping keywords and you unselect your image you now have keywords and the images will disappear from your smart album. Make sure you get your keywords where you want them before moving on to the next image.

Keep this smart album in your workspace and frequent it. This will help you keep your keywording up to date.

Don’t be keyword shy. It’s better to have all the keywords you can imagine; finding those images will be so much easier later on.

If you use Frasier Speirs excellent FlickrExport plugin your Flickr tags are now done because you have done the proper keywording.