Photo Storage: Leave in Aperture or Export?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Qwerty11, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. Qwerty11 macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2010
    I have a great deal of photos in Aperture. Some JPEG and some RAW. Most of these are just placed there for storage. I catalog them by events and such. Should I be exporting them outside of Aperture, or leave them there indefinitely? I assume all of the photos are contained within the "aperture library" file?
  2. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    First, the Aperture library is not a file, it is a special kind of folder known as a package. It contains folders and files, including a folder called Masters, which contains unedited master image files organized inside folders by year, month, and day. The basic idea behind a package is to keep end-users from accidentally mucking up the carefully-organized contents. If an end-user wants to make changes, it's important to use the tools/commands provided by the app.

    The thing is, you can't assume all the photos you can view in Aperture are physically contained in the Aperture library. It's possible to "reference" image files that are located outside of the library. When you Import you have a choice where to Store Files: "In the Aperture Library," "In their current location," or in still other locations. What choice(s) did you make over the years? (If you're in doubt, there's a "Consolidate images for library..." feature that allows you to copy or move all images into the physical library.)

    There is no particular reason you need to export images from the library, if your purpose is simply cataloging and storage. They're stored as well there as anywhere else, and databases (which is, fundamentally what Aperture is), excel at cataloging.

    Export does not mean "remove" - Export is a standard Apple term that means, essentially, "make a copy of the file (in a particular format) for use outside of the app," very much like Save As... If you need to send someone a copy of the image, Export, and choose the appropriate parameters for the file you're exporting. You can export a copy of the edited image, or a copy of the unedited original.

    Aperture contains a lot of powerful tools for managing your library, including the ability to split-off new libraries from the larger library (so, for example, you could archive a particular former client's work). Lots there, I'm just scratching the surface. Read the Help documents.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Although it would probably be deemed counterintuitive by Mac folks, from the beginning I've kept my photos "manually organized" "outside of" ANY photo editing program.

    I've built up a hierarchy of folders and files that maintain all my originals "in the finder", so to speak.

    When I use a photo app -- Aperture, iPhoto, Photos, etc. -- I force them to "reference" my original master files.

    Thus, my originals exist completely "independent of" any photo-management app AND its associated libraries.

    I just prefer it this way.

    BTW, I don't let iTunes "manage" my music, either!
  4. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    I like Aperture and continue to use it. Don't plan to switch to Photos until better editing capabilities are available. If Aperture is doing everything you want, why switch?
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The only risk with that is a future update or version of OS X, may break Aperture. I don't think that will happen, at least initially but it is a risk nonetheless.
  6. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    My hope is that there will be good 3rd party add-ins for Photos that give it better editing capabilities long before Aperture has problems. When an OS upgrade breaks Aperture I'm sure we will know about it long before it is released.

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