I receive so many questions regarding Aperture 3 via email it's not funny. Some of them are actually extremely complicated but you would be surprised how many are very simple things. I typically don't post about this kind of stuff because I have been using Aperture so long that for me it appears that "everybody knows that". I guess I am wrong so I am going to try a series of "Aperture 3 - Super Simple Stuff" kinds of things based on things I respond to in email, etc.
If it is totally redundant information please let me know an I will not waste the global internet bandwidth or my time on it. If it provides any insight say so. I will kick it off with a question that comes up so often I cannot believe it. I guess it has to do with the mindset you need to take when using Aperture - namely - try the simple way first, it will usually just work. The topic is searches and smart albums using a range of dates or for that matter times on a particular date.
If you take a look at all the stuff that has to do with dates and times in the search HUD there are about a million ways to go about this. My advice is to go the simplest route. As an example if what you are trying to do is simple like showing every image between date and time X to date and time Y you are doing it wrong if you feel the need to start adding a bunch of search criteria having to do with date. Saying it a different way, If the calendar criteria isn't going to do exactly what you want, use something else. For our purposes just use the EXIF date criteria.
You can type pretty much anything that makes sense in the box after selecting the "in the range" option from the drop down. Here I am going to take a look at all the test images I shot with my LX5 in crappy midday light, say from 11am to 4pm. Just type that in. Like so…
Hmmm, most of them. I am a terribly lazy photographer before coffee in the morning and around dinner. Wow. Okay let narrow it down to a single day within that project. I am lazy and I have no idea what dates are what in that project. Heck I have to look up today's date. I am not going to do that. Aperture knows what dates are in the project. I don't feel like typing in DD/MM/YY either. You could if you wanted to or that was easier. I am just going to add a calendar criteria to my existing search like this.
Look mom, only the dates of images currently displayed are highlighted. Very cool now I will just check the Tuesday box and that looks better. See that was the first day I got the camera so I have an excuse for shooting in horrible light. The point is try the easy way, it will probably work. Most of the time if you type something in that Aperture cannot deal with it will tell you in a pop-up what it will deal with. Very cool.