I go back to pre IBM which PCs. Spent until 2010 with DOS/Windows, and finally jumped to Mac. The problem I cant seem to solve is with pictures. I am just an everyday photographer - but damned it I know where they go when imported from my D5100. That is not completely true - I can follow the path to my individual folders and there find the file. But when I use iPhoto - gave that up and went to Aperture - and now I have Elements 11. So I open Elements and there are some of my pictures - organized exactly the way Elements wants them. Not being entirely an idiot, I assume I must import those files 6 levels down in my Pictures Folder. After a trip last Spring, I managed to produce a pretty good slide-show of about 500 pics in Aperture. Now here is where I worry. Does that slideshow or any of the files in my Aperture library actually contain files or just pointers or placeholders? If I went down to the physical home of those original files and deleted them - would Aperture still have a copy - or (as I suspect) would they be gone? Same with Elements. As I look up top at my Pictures Folder - it is crammed with various libraries. Again,are these physical files? When I touch up a pic in an editor, is the original maintained. (probably in preferences). It seemed so much simpler with Windows - and I in fact hate Windows. But I could always drop to the command line and go wherever. Move files, make new subfolders, etc. I am preparing for a very long trip and will return with perhaps 5000 pics - probably raw. I will plug the cards in and I want to direct them exactly where I want them. IN SIMPLE TERMS - WHERE ARE THE FILES, AND IS THERE ALWAYS JUST ONE COPY?