Smart albums in Aperture allow gathering photos based on specific metadata keywords, camera type, date and so on, basically anything you can see in the Metadata view. One useful smart album trick is filtering based on orientation, portrait or landscape. This recipe will walk you through setting up this type of smart album.
Okay, admission time. I wanted to do this because when reviewing my five starred photos on my iPhone (and by “reviewing” I mean torturing innocent people), it’s agonizing rotating the device between portrait and landscape modes so that my victims can see the pictures in their most magnificent iPhone splendor. Adding two smart albums to separate portrait and landscape photos made sense.
To create a new smart album, click the purple album icon (with the small gear in the center) or select File -> New smart -> Album. Name your new album (it creates the album ready to be renamed, so just type the name and press enter).
Next to the smart album in the projects list is the Smart Settings window. To add the orientation setting, click the small plus symbol near the upper right corner of the settings window and select Other Metadata from the drop down menu.
This will create a new Other line at the bottom of the settings window. Change the menu option to the right of Other to Orientation. This will also check the box to the left of Other which is activate this rule. Change the next setting on that line from contains to is and type either Portrait or Landscape into the last space on that line depending on the type of album you want.
For my example, I only want landscape oriented images with five stars so I need to add these settings. The image below shows the two additional adjustments required to make this work. The first setting line starts with Rating. I slid the control to the right for five stars, left the “is greater than or equal to” setting, and made sure that the box on the far left was checked (otherwise this setting will be ignored). The second setting is Match near the very top left of the window. By default this is set to any[b] which will result in a much larger album as it will select images that match either rule. Change this setting to [b]all and then only images matching all of the rules will be selected.
While you’re making changes to the smart album, the album and its contents will change in real time. Click the X at the very top left of the settings window to close it and save the album settings. To make changes to the smart album in the future, click the little magnifying glass (is that what it is?) to the right of the album name in the projects list.
Note: the orientation metadata is not editable for an image, although it can be seen in the EXIF-Expanded metadata view. The orientation is updated when you rotate an image in Aperture, but it is not changed if you make a landscape image into a portrait oriented one using the Crop Tool.