Aperture to Lightroom

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by stevenseelig, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. I am in the final phases of preparing to move all of my archival Aperture Libraries over to Lightroom.
    1. I have been using LR CC and PS CC since last fall and am reasonably comfortable with it.
    2. I have about 200,000 images stored in yearly Aperture libraries (about 10 different Aperture Libraries)
    3. I have cleaned up those Aperture libraries making sure all of the images are referenced, there are no missing images and I have deleted the old previews and rebuilt the preview to large JPEG files
    I would like to have all these images in one catalog or library
    Question 1: At this point I have a choice in the process. Should I build one large Aperture library combining all the years first and then import that combined library into Lightroom or should I import the individual Aperture libraries into Lightroom and then combine the LR catalogues into one large catalogue. Does anyone have a similar experience, and if yes, what were the issues?
    With Lightroom import of Aperture Libraries, the LR catalog seems to ignore the folder structure leading to the folder containing the pictures and only uses the final containing folder name. One can fix this issue by adding folders and subfolders in LR after import to provide a bit of structure to the folder list. As long this additional structure is done on the same drive as the Aperture Library points to, Aperture seems to be able to find those pictures with problems.
    BUT, once rearranged in LR, it does not seem possible to reimport that Aperture Library again as the import process fails to find those LR moved pictures (although Aperture still finds those pictures and are not listed as missing or offline in Aperture. Somehow the Aperture Library links to the pictures fail to give LR sufficient information to find them.
    I have rebuilt the Aperture library, put the pictures back to their original folder location and a few other strategies without success.
    I know this is a long note, but creating a legacy LR catalog for me is critical so other family members can find pictures.
    I only wish Apple would have come out with an Aperture Library reader that would be stable going forward, preserving the Aperture edits.
    Thanks in advance.
    Moderator: The questions being asked here are very specific. Please don't tell the poster to do something else, that's not an answer to the questions being asked. If you feel that what you are saying is important, find a thread where it answers the question(s) being asked. Responses that don't help with the question being asked are scheduled for deletion.
  2. Lightroom will retain (optionally) the images in their original folders, if these are physical folders on the disk. It sounds like all of your photos are in a single directory, divided into pseudo-folders (groups) by Aperture, and recognized only within that program.
    I doubt I would spend a lot of time organizing photos in a program (Aperture) which has been discontinued by the manufacturer (Apple). At the same time, who knows if Adobe Lightroom will exist in ten years, or even two. How quickly did Adobe Pagemaker disappear after Adobe introduced InDesign?
    If you want photos to hand down to your heirs, print them. In the shorter term, if you want to organize your images, put them in directories recognized by the operating system. Fifty years from now, people will still have eyes (not sure about brains), but PCs, MACs and related technology will be relegated to historical museums, if at all. We still have legible, 4000 year old clay tablets with Cuneoform writing, but readers for 8", 5-1/4" or 3-1/2" floppy discs?
  3. Which family member will go through 200,000 photos? I don't think that's realistic. 99%+ are similar if not outright duplicates. Pick out the ones that are representative and the real best. As Edward suggested, print those out. Give them as a gift NOW to you relatives. They will love and thank you for them and those albums have a greater likelihood of getting passed down and viewed.
  4. The effort I described above actually has three goals. The first goal is to aggregate 15 years of digital files held in reference Aperture libraries into a Lightroom structure. I am hoping to get some guidance on that process specifically. Since Aperture will likely be non-functional with the next OS upgrade (this fall or next fall), my time horizon for the legacy of the digital files is not decades, but more like 2-7 years. Hence migration of the digital files to LR catalog extends the useful digital life time. This migration will also allow my wife to access the digital files for her needs (emailing and posting images) using a single platform at least for the next few years.
    The pictures are currently stored as a directory structure in the following structure: Year folder-->Month Folder-->Day Folder-->RAW/PSD/TIFF Folder and JPEG Folder. The Aperture library only references the RAW/PSD/TIFF files and not the JPEG files. So they are not divided by pseudo-Aperture folders as I think I understand your point. As best as I can tell, the LR plug-in to import Aperture libraries only recognizes the folder actually containing the images and not the organizing folders of year and month. I have chosen to leave the pictures in their original location during import. Is there a way to have the organizing folders recognized and incorporated into the LR structure during the migration?
    So my first question remains. For those that have migrated a large number of images from Aperture to Lightroom and consolidated them into a single larger catalog, would you do the aggregation in Aperture first or would you create individual LR catalogs and then aggregate those together? It is a process question.
    But the second goal of the project, once the images have been aggregated together in a LR catalog is to create a series of print albums of the best images from the past 15 years. I suspect this second goal may take me a few years to accomplish, hence my desire to have a functional digital catalog at least for the next few years. Another reason for this aggregation is the knowledge that my photography and editing style has drifted considerably over the years and I plan on re-editing the images that end up in the print albums so they are more coherent, at least editing style.
    The path of the second goal is still under consideration. For those that have done legacy print projects, would you print individual pictures and put them in scrapbooks or would you do print albums?
    With respect to the question of family members will look through 200,000 images. I don't know the future. My oldest son has not only the interest but also the technical skills to maintain the digital asset at least through his life time. I know with 100% certainty that family members will not likely agree with my selections and will want the opportunity to find other and perhaps similar images. In addition, pilot testing the process with 20,000 images suggests the LR plug-in is pretty robust (minus the organizing folders issue), so there is little merit for me to cull the 200,000 images at this time.
    The culling issue was a critical decision point in a past project. My father had taken nearly 12000 slides over his life time. He had organized them into the carousels and annotated nearly ever slide in the set. When discussing this project with others at the time, nearly everyone made the same recommendation: "pick the very best for scanning and not worry about the rest. Today, nearly 5 years later, I am glad that I ignored that recommendation. Let me try to explain. Those 12000 slides are a pictorial history of my parent's life and each image adds its little bit to the story. By analogy let's create a 12,000 word story. Then reproduce that story in two ways: 12,000 words identical to the original story or the "best" 2000 words in the same sequence as the original story. The "best" 2000 word version, IMHO, is a mere faint shadow of the true story.
    Anyway, I have digressed from my central issue... that is the migration process of a relatively large collection of Aperture libraries to a single LR catalog.
  5. Your dad's 12000 slides can be stored in 150 carousel trays (80 each). 200,000 of your pictures is equivalent to 2500 carousel slide trays. A magnitude over 16 times greater. And that's for just 15 years of shooting. 2500 trays! Amazing!
  6. Well, I suspect the difference is driven by a number of factors, but I am still in search of individuals who have migrated a reasonable number of images contained in a referenced Aperture library into a LR catalog.

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