Learning About Importing Images
You can import a wide variety of file types into Aperture, including RAW images from
your camera, JPEG files, and TIFF files, among others. You can even import video and
audio clips that you can play in the Viewer and use in slideshows. You can also import
the images from your iPhoto library, and Aperture can maintain the original iPhoto
organization that you’re already familiar with.
When you import a photo into Aperture, the original file is the master. You never
work directly with or change the master. Instead, Aperture always displays a version
of the master image onscreen for you to work with. Any changes or adjustments you
make are applied to the version. A version is not a copy of the master; it’s a smaller file
that derives most of its information from the underlying master. So when you create
multiple versions of an image, you are not filling up your hard disk with repeated
copies of the larger master.
When you import images, you can choose whether to store the masters in the Aperture
library or store them on a hard disk outside the library.
Managed images are physically placed in the Aperture Library file on your hard disk,
and the files and all information about them are managed and backed up by Aperture.
Referenced images are images whose masters are not stored in the library. They are
located elsewhere on a hard disk or other media, and Aperture merely refers to the
masters in that location. The advantage of using referenced images is that you can
import your portfolio of existing images as they are currently stored on disk, without
having to physically copy or move them into the Aperture library. You can also give
Aperture access to images on different hard disks. You can simply allow Aperture to
refer to the files, using your current file organization and image filenames. Aperture
doesn’t back up referenced images; you must maintain them yourself.
It’s important to plan how you want to import your existing portfolio of digital images.
The Aperture library can easily track any mix of managed and referenced images.
Because you may have thousands of images previously stored on disk, you can decide
which images to import into the Aperture library and which to import as referenced
images, leaving them in their current hard disk locations. You can also copy or move
images into a different hard disk location when importing them.
After importing images as referenced images, you can work with versions of
those images just as you can with the managed images in the Aperture library. All
adjustments and metadata applied to referenced images are tracked in the Aperture
library just the same way they are for managed images.