How does stacks work in Aperture 2?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MichaelBarry, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. MichaelBarry macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2009
    I'm getting Aperture 2 soon but I'm slightly confused about how stacks work.

    When I import a RAW image into the Aperture library, that is the master - am I correct?

    but when I duplicate it, does it make another stack or is the duplicated RAW image stacked under the master. Or do they both become masters (like two completely different images?)

    Also when I adjust a RAW image (brightness, highlights, etc.) and save the file, is it saved as a version under the master of the stack? this is all very confusing!!

    basically what is saved as a version and what is saved as a completely different master?
  2. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Canada, where we live in igloos.
    Correct. The imported image files become the master images.

    Stacks first: Stacks are a way of simplifying the viewing experience in Aperture. Stacks are similar to the "stacks" in the dock. When you click on it, it expands to show many more files contain in that "stack". I use stacks to hold the many master images and versions of a particular photographed subject. For example, if I have 30 shots of the same tulip, I make all of those images a "stack" so that when I'm viewing my images in the browser, I can choose to see the 30 images, or only the best one. Hope this isn't too confusing.

    Adjustments in Aperture are just a set of instructions that are applied to the master image. When new adjustments are made, the master or a version is duplicated, Aperture makes a new set of instructions for that version.

    The Aperture Manual has more information on this.
  3. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Any new version you make from a RAW file within aperture is a version, not a new master. That is because the picture you see is really just a "recipe" of adjustments applied to the original RAW file and a new photograph is not actually created on your hard disk. thus the file space taken up is minimal.

    AFAIK there is no way to actually duplicate the master file, and there is no reason to do so because it would just duplicate file space. That's the beauty of RAW and nondestructive editing.

    If OTOH you create a tiff or jpg in photoshop and edit and re-save it, now you have a new master because that image cannot be recreated by aperture. So in that case you have a whole new file, and it's a master. These files unfortunately can get quite large - with saved layers I routinely have images that are 300-500mb a piece :(

    You can stack masters, versions, or any combination you wish.

Share This Page