Workflows for migrating to OR from AP3 to LR4.3

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by egis, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Bethesda, Maryland
    Howdy all and Happy New Year

    Since 2006 I have been reading this forum. Over the last few years there continues a constant buzz about the qualities of Adobe and Apple's DMA's -- Lightoom and Aperture. I use both, but am now ready to move forward with Lightroom.

    I made my decision based on the many discussions in this forum since 2009, and I find there is a consensus that use of either is mostly a personal preference. It is interesting that I have observed that there are far more of us saying "I need/want to move to LR", than those saying "I need/want to move to Aperture". BUT - my question is all about implementation and no longer why or whether or not I should, and I do not have good information on which to make the move from AP3.x to LR4.3....

    What is a preferable workflow for moving my legacy images (managed) in Aperture Libs as well as Vaults to Lightroom. I have about 10,000 images taking up approximately 1.5 Tb of space. I manage the image library mostly by date, but do also have a few (<100 topic folders) and I will maintain the same basic organizational approach.

    I have looked in this forum as well as other sites and my question is not that widely discussed and the information from the vendors is just plain poor. So -- If you have any particular ideas and experiences I know I and I think others would find it valuable.

    If there are threads on this topic - then please point me in those directions.

    To the moderators: Perhaps this questions deserves a sticky??


  2. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2010
    Scott Bourne provided a walkthrough how he migrated from Aperture to Lightroom. It's not an easy process, and your original RAW images won't retain any edits.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Bethesda, Maryland
    Thanks for the link. This workflow is not easy, and the author's mention that one needs to experiment is true. Starting with a small library, it took 4 times to reach a successful outcome. One would think that with millions of users on both sides there would be a utility that would offer this capability.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2010
    I switched from aperture to LR and my method of migration was pretty straightforward.

    I just stopped using A3 and started using LR,

    I kept A3 on my mac if i needed an old picture I opened up A3 (i did move a few pics across to LR in a sort of best of A3 set) for my newer stuff LR.

    After a cple of months I found I hardly opened A3 anymore.

    This is a good time of year to do this I guess, that way you'll know anything 2012 will be A3 anything 2013 onwards will be LR
  5. macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I did the same, except it was from iPhoto. If I need to go back to iPhoto for an old image, I also take the time to export a full sized TIFF to re-import into Lr. I put a keyword in that tells me it is in iPhoto so if I need the original I know that it is in iPhoto. In my case my switch also matched when I moved up to a much better camera.
  6. Prodo123, Jan 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013

    macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    I recently moved my 12,000-some archive and work library to Lightroom. Having two separate libraries on a single disk and with the internal drive unable to handle the capacity, I had to do the following:
    I think I wrote or exported all the IPTC metadata to the RAW files so that it would be soundly transferred from A3 to L4.3.

    Then I organized both libraries such that they have essentially the same structure. For me it was multiple projects organized into folders. This is the essential part. Once this is done, the export becomes really easy.

    Now the real thorn in the side is vaults. Photos stored in vaults have to be restored first as far as I know; if not, you can choose to see its contents and manually pull each RAW file out.

    Then I converted both libraries from managed libraries into a referenced library by exporting all the originals into the same folder. Make sure you preserve the folder structure you created in your library with custom subfolder formats. I used Folder/Project/ which creates a folder for each project with all affiliated originals inside, all contained within a folder for the entire parent folder.

    Repeat the previous step until all of your libraries have been exported to a central location. Also make sure they mirror the Aperture library exactly.

    Then just import that central folder into Lightroom. That will register each and every master file with Lightroom in one fell swoop. From there you're free to move and manage using Lightroom.

    This gives Lightroom and Aperture a common folder structure for working with. It's then very simple to move between each program.

    I based this method off of Scott Bourne's method.

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