Bringing It TogetherWhen I'm back in the studio, I begin the easy task of bringing my shoot into my main Library. Because Aperture is able to work with hundreds of thousands of images, I have one main Library for all of my work shoots. And, largely, this also contains all of my casual photography, as well.
The location of my Library determines my next step. If I kept my Library on my laptop's drive, I connect it to my Mac via Thunderbolt and boot into Target Disk mode (which makes my laptop act like a hard drive). If my Library is on an external drive, I connect that to my desktop via Thunderbolt.
At that point, I simply select File > Import > Library, and Aperture shows a dialog box that says, "Do You Want to Merge this Library?" with the choices to Add or Merge the images. There's also a description of the process, which boils down to "merging updates any matching files and adding creates a new image for each image imported."
The ability to merge or add files is an important feature of Aperture that most people overlook, and it's part of Aperture's ability to export any portion of the main Library as a smaller sub-library. That means that I can add a shoot to my Aperture Library and then later take that shoot (or even just a few images) with me to continue working with it on my laptop, and when I bring it back into Aperture, all the files I've changed can be seamlessly merged back into the main Library.
In the case of my typical workflow, there's no difference between merging and adding, since none of the photos lives in Aperture yet. I simply tell Aperture to add the new Library to my main Library.
At this point, I have a main Library that contains all of my images—a file that's Managed in an imported Library that remains Managed in the target Library. My next step is to select all of my images and choose File > Relocate Originals and point the dialog box at my current directory of Referenced images (Fig. 6). After my images are Referenced, I let my backup system run, copying the images from one RAID to another, and then I'm done.
David Schloss is a veteran photo industry journalist and an accomplished professional photographer. He's also the owner of Gypsy Donut & Espresso Bar in Nyack, N.Y.
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