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Move Aperture photos to Photos Library? #1
Debbie's picture
by Debbie
April 24, 2016 - 10:07pm

Can someone please tell me the best way to move the photos in my Aperture Library to my existing Photos app Library? I’ve been using Photos as a new library since it was released, but also kept my Aperture Library intact. Now I’m ready to have all of my photos in the Photos app only. Is there an easy way to transfer all of my photos from Aperture and still hopefully keep all of the metadata, or at the very least the original dates of the photos? TIA!

~Debbie

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
April 26, 2016 - 8:27am

Debbie,

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you can migrate your Aperture library to Photos and you won't lose any work you've done, but you also won't be able to continue to edit where you left off in the case of any editing feature that doesn't exist in Photos but did in Aperture.

But here's the bad news — there's no good way to import an Aperture library into an existing Photos library. Photos offers no import of library, nor merge library feature. This is something we can only hope Apple adds. In the meantime if you want to migrate to Photos, you will have to maintain two separate libraries.

The other alternative would be to move everything from Photos into Aperture (no automation; simply be exporting and reimporting images), then migrate that larger Aperture library back to Photos.

Finally, there is one option that could work if you have a large enough iCloud Photo Library account. I've never tried this, but the theory is that you sync your ENTIRE Photos library to iCloud… convert the Aperture library to Photos and make it the “System Photos Library” (i.e. primary library that iCloud syncs to), and let that sync to iCloud. This should merge the two libraries.

It is, to-date, the only way to “merge” libraries. It's obviously impractical if you have huge libraries or anything less than an epic internet connection. 

@PhotoJoseph
— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

splinke's picture
by splinke
April 26, 2016 - 9:45pm

There is a relatively new application called PowerPhotos that reportedly allows you to merge iPhoto, Aperture, and Photos libraries in various combinations, as well as maintain separate libraries in Photos. It comes as a package with iPhoto Library Manager for $30 from Fat Cat Software. I have used iPhoto Library Manager but not PowerPhotos, but it may be a solution for you. Somebody else in this forum posted a caution, though.

Debbie's picture
by Debbie
April 27, 2016 - 7:06pm

Thanks to both of you for your replies. I will ponder all of these options. I may end up making a separate Photos Library for Aperture, but I’m not sure how to do that. I will look it up somewhere though if I decide to go that route. My Aperture Library has about 160,000 photos in it, so I’m a bit nervous about it all transferring to Photos okay. 

~Debbie

Susan Johnston's picture
by Susan Johnston
May 19, 2017 - 7:10am

Can you please tell me if you successfully transferred a migrated second Photos Library from your Aperture collection?

Susan Johnston

Susan Johnston's picture
by Susan Johnston
May 19, 2017 - 7:18am

Can you please tell me if you successfully transferred a migrated second Photos Library from your Aperture collection?

Susan Johnston

Debbie's picture
by Debbie
May 19, 2017 - 11:23am

Susan,

I’m sorry, but I never tried. I gave up. I use Photos for current iPhone photos, and I still have my Aperture Library for older photos. I don’t really use Aperture anymore, but I still have it in case I need it. I did export all of my Aperture photos to Finder in folders by year and month so that if Aperture stops working I’m safe. It’s still working though in Sierra. 

~Debbie

Debbie's picture
by Debbie
April 27, 2016 - 7:13pm

Btw, Joseph, I do have the largest iCloud account for $9.99/month. I currently do sync my whole Photos Library to iCloud, but I also download the originals to an EHD so I’m not dependent on the cloud and wifi. I’m assuming you mean it can only be in iCloud and I can’t have the originals downloaded too? I might find it too overwhelming though if both libraries are merged as my Photos Library is currently climbing towards 30,000 photos and these are all mostly iPhone photos only. That’s all I shoot with now. I have it pretty organized too, so I might be better off having two separate libraries. I’m just afraid to keep using Aperture since it’s no longer being supported. I fear someday it will stop opening. 

~Debbie

Debbie's picture
by Debbie
April 27, 2016 - 7:17pm

ps… I really like the Editing features in Photos. Being a hobbyist and not a professional photographer I find it much easier and simpler to edit in Photos. What I don’t like is the lack of good organization features. I also stopped syncing my whole Photos Library to my iDevices because even with optimized chosen in Settings the photos were still taking most of my iDevices’ hard drive space and I only have 64 GBs on each device. It was frustrating because I thought the photos were supposed to be stored in the cloud not on my devices. 

~Debbie

Debbie's picture
by Debbie
April 28, 2016 - 12:46pm

So, I decided to create a separate Photos library for Aperture. It’s not uploading to the cloud, and it’s not the System Library. I have 134,000 photos and videos in Aperture and began the transfer to Photos at 2:00am this morning. This was 10+ hours ago. It’s at 41%. The library is on an EHD and I do have high speed internet. I don’t know how long to wait before giving up? It’s only moved 3% in the last six hours. Frustrating. Also, the images in my Aperture Library are all jpegs, no RAW. I removed the few RAW images I had before beginning the transfer. I’m not sure what to do at this point? Give up?  

~Debbie

Debbie's picture
by Debbie
April 29, 2016 - 11:25pm

Well, I realize I’m just talking to myself at this point, lol, but I wanted to update that my Aperture library didn’t migrate to Photos. I gave up after two days when it wouldn’t go past 43%. Now I’m trying to delete the Photos Library that didn’t complete but the trash has been emptying for 8 hours or so now and it’s just the blue line waving across the box like it’s still preparing to empty. I might be stuck with an unusable Photos Library that’s almost 400 GBs in size. So frustrated. 

~Debbie

Geoff Robinson's picture
by Geoff Robinson
July 27, 2016 - 12:32pm

Well, this has scared the life out of me, Debbie, and royally put me off moving my Aperture library over to Photos.  My 2009 Mac’s display died a week ago.  Everything is backed up several times over including over 100,000 images.  I had 3 Aperture libraries and I’d already transferred the smallest of these to Lightroom. The new iMac I’ve bought obviously uses Photos rather than Aperture and I need to access the other libraries as I am a pro shooter and a magazine editor with a deadline looming next week.   

I was considering importing the smaller of the 2 remaining libraries into Photos so that I could quietly feed them across to a Lightroom Catalogue but it doesn’t sound like a great idea now.  The 2 libraries weigh in at just over 520GB so I can imagine a similar situation to yours - particularly as I don’t have the quickest broadband connection in the world. 

Krakatoa Sundra's picture
by Krakatoa Sundra
April 30, 2016 - 7:25am

i know i will eventually migrate to Photos because i want to be on one system that is native to iOS. i can do all the global adjustments of Lightroom in using native Photos adjustements. if i need any more i use an app called External Editors For Photos ($0.99 at Mac App Store) that will allow me to use Nik Collection to do more advanced adjustments. for doing color, b&w, filter adjustements, i think Nik Collection is way better than any raw editor/dam on the market.

However, i do have a few issues that prevent me from migrating.  Photos does import xml sidecars or gpx files so i figured out solution to geotag my RAWS with Geotagr or GPS watch. That is a show stopper for me. Would also be great to have user-created Stacks too since Apple already has it for Bursts. Ya, Photos is one of the challenging photos app i have ever used. i always feel it is fighting me. Photos speculatively appeared to have been willfully developed to be difficult for us to use.

Editing wise, i could do any photo adjustments, multi-images composition, rastor paint/draw, vector drawings, frequency domain editing. i can do these from the Photos' Extension thanks to External Editors for Photos app.

Robert Ke
twitter: rke21

also at:
instagram: rke21
facebook: outdoorphotographynow

Debbie's picture
by Debbie
April 30, 2016 - 10:13am

Photos was made for the amateur iPhone users, not professionals. I’m an amateur photographer, but I liked Aperture. I guess I’ll stick with Aperture for all of my previous photos for as long as it’s working. I have the current OS on my MBP Pro, but only Yosemite on my iMac. Aperture is working fine right now on both. I hope it continues until I can figure out how to migrate to Photos. 

~Debbie

Krakatoa Sundra's picture
by Krakatoa Sundra
May 1, 2016 - 12:53pm

ya, i would have to agree you. Dam wise, Photos really is for the beginning iphone shooter and maybe it's acceptable to more advanced iPhone shooters.

Apple claims that Photos has some advance features like advanced adjustments, extensions and raw support. Of course, many of us felt mislead by the extension feature and falsely anticipated non-destructive extension editing much like how PS CC can create Special Objects from the plugins. That never did happen and the extension was much more limiting. On editing, i would have to agree with Apple (at least when it comes to global adjustments) that Photos has a few adanced editing features. The white balance adjustment and level adjustment comes to mind in particular. The white balance adjustment is the Aperture white balance with neutral tone, skin tone and temp/tint setting. That's so sweet!!!! Level adjustment has 8 control handles that operate on L, RGB, R, G & B which allow users to do just about any kind of tone and tint adjustments. The control is great because it has 8 control handles which eliminates the need for curve adjustments in most cases. It's awesome stuff.

I also find the Light, Color, and B&W adjustments to be pretty good as a starting point. Then I can break it down to the minute adjustment within these if necessary. i really like this. Really cool stuff. I wish Apple could the same for the Definition adjustment where there are sub-adjustments of structure, micro-structure, highlight structure, shadow structure, mid-tone structure and clarity!!!

Not being able to geotag raws (GPX and/or sidecar), poor raw support on iPad and no non-burst Stacks, prevents me from getting an new iPad Pro and migrating to Photos from Aperture. While i would like migrate to a mainly iOS workflow, i'm not holding my breath. Apple has to make a business decision whether i am a target customer or not. Maybe it's a technical decision for them? i really not not know.

Robert Ke
twitter: rke21

also at:
instagram: rke21
facebook: outdoorphotographynow

Mark Heyer's picture
by Mark Heyer
May 1, 2016 - 5:00pm

OK, with a full day of enlightenment under my belt, I am ready to make a first report on the Great Migration project, Aperture to Photos. Everything I say can be done, but there may be features I am completely unaware of, so please let me know and  consider this a work in progress. 

I shoot tons of RAW on DSLRs or the like. But more and more, iPhone6s. My Aperture library is well over 1TB and swelling ominously. A mass migration to Photos is unlikely. Despise Adobe bloatware.

Yesterday I discovered (thanks guys), Polarr and instantly fell in love, triggering the current exporation. There are two killer features, IMHO: 1) you can always see the state of your adjustments at a glance. That is one of the most desirable features of Aperture. Polarr takes the concept to the next level. Love it. 2) Polarr works with Photos, with Aperture and directly through the file system on OS X. And it is fast and utterly intuitive. The iOS version is especially cool. Makes me wish I had opted for the big iPad Pro last month. Polarr opens the door to many different workflows for us. 

Let’s face the reality of Photos - it is designed mainly as a distribution medium, either through iCloud or iTunes sync. And it is brilliant for that. What is missing is substantial editing and organization tools.  

I worked with Affinity since the beta days, but couldn’t see how to use it effectively. Does not replace the “single glance” adjustments view of Aperture and Polarr.

I also downloaded and tested PowerPhotos. It might have some value as an organizational tool, but the fact that it can’t convert from RAW to jpeg during a Photos album copying is a deal killer for my proposed workflows. So here they are:

The objective is to shoot RAW and iPhone, edit in RAW, assemble jpeg albums to be loaded onto the Photos system library for distribution or exported for web distribution, like to Google Photos or such. Three options:

1) Import from the camera to Aperture, with renaming. (Assuming that Aperture is not going to go belly up any time soon). Edit with Polarr as the external editor. When invoked, Aperture creates a duplicate TIFF of your original, anticipating that the external editor will overwrite it. However, Polarr saves by creating a jpeg to the file system. So you end up with a folder of edited jpeg selects. I would not at this point try to include iPhone photos, because Photos gets weird when they are re-imported unless you rename them. Do that part later in Photos.

Import the Polarr export folder to Photos, either directly into your iCloud System Library, or into some offline library of your choice. Integrate your iPhone photos and edit with Polarr in Photos.

2) Import to Aperture and do your initial image selection. Export those originals (RAW) to the file system. Drag and drop that batch into Polarr. You now have a very fast and slick OS X editor and can buzz through the images. If Polarr only had a grid mode, it would be perfect for this, but again, not a deal killer. 

Polarr once again saves jpegs to the file system. Import them to Photos as above.

In the above two examples, Aperture provides the organizational structure. What if we want to only use Photos and Polarr? 

3) Import your RAWS into a special “RAW import” Photos library. Put them in albums for organization. Do your initial selection and edit in Photos with Polarr. Export them to the file system. Photos will convert them to jpeg. Import them into your Photos System library and add any iOS photos. Edit more with Polarr. Export that album to the file system for upload to the web or whatever if necessary.

You could also use PowerPhotos to copy your edited RAW library directly to the System Library, but it (apparently) cannot convert from RAW to jpeg in so doing, which is a deal killer for using it here. Plus, it is hardly more difficult to quit Photos from your RAW library, double click on the System Library and drag in the folder of exports, than to quit Photos, fire up PowerPhotos, drag the RAW album to to the System Library and restart Photos. 

Of course, for every different photographer’s workflow, the devil is in the details. File naming is one. I have use the AE approved method for years, thank you very much. However, it looks like Photos uses the created-time metadata rather than file names to create sort orders. So do we really need to worry about file names? Obviously some photography workflows do need them (copyright comes to mind), but it is worth asking the question. Photos exports with the option to rename files with the album name and a sequence number. That is very useful for ensuring that the photos will remain in the intended order on the way to their next assignment. 

OK, so where have I gone wrong and what possibilities have I missed? 

Markopanama

Krakatoa Sundra's picture
by Krakatoa Sundra
May 2, 2016 - 4:00pm

I have a simple setup. i put raws and iphone photos into Aperture and primarily use Aperture to make adjustments. i use Photos to import photos from iPhone and then burn in all of Photo's non-destructive editing into the image by exporting them out. Then i import those into Aperture.

I have a lot of photo apps but if i had to use Photos with a few apps at the lowest cost, i would use the app “External Editors for Photos” ($0.99 in Mac App Store) to use with Nik Collection (free). i really like Color Efex Pro, Viveza and Silver Efex Pro.

Currently use Aperture until/if Photos is ready (maybe never). iTunes can sync my Aperture photos to my iPhone.

Photos and Polarr would work since it seems like Polar clicks with you.

by the way, Apple includes an app called Image Capture to import raws from ur camera. u can use Image Capture to select which raws you would like retrieve from your camera.

Robert Ke
twitter: rke21

also at:
instagram: rke21
facebook: outdoorphotographynow

BonnieB's picture
by BonnieB
May 4, 2016 - 12:08pm

“i use Photos to import photos from iPhone and then burn in all of Photo’s non-destructive editing into the image by exporting them out. Then i import those into Aperture.”

Hello KS,

How is that better than taking them in Aperture directly, via iCloud>My Photo Stream?

Krakatoa Sundra's picture
by Krakatoa Sundra
May 5, 2016 - 1:56pm

The issue with using the iCloud Photo Stream is all the Photos in the iCloud Photo Stream are the source image files and since editing in Photos for iOS is non-destructive, the editing is never applied to the image file. Instead, all editing performed in Photos for iOS are applied to the image's sidecar and not the image itself, thus, i can only get the unedited image files from iCloud Photo Stream.

Plus, i don't want to edit iPhone photos in Aperture. I only use Aperture to manage all my photo. i'm trying to move away from Dam/raw editor like Aperture or Lightroom. Here's a personal opinion i have about Aperture as well other Dam/raw editors such as Lightroom. I think usage of apps like Lightroom are in decline for 2 reasons. 1) sales of SLR's are have on decline for several years. 2) Existing SLR users are shooting more and more photos with their iphones. at least among my friends of Lightroom users, they do not use Lightroom with their iPhone photos. Since they are shooting more and more photos with their iPhones instead of their SLR, Lightroom is used far less frequently. I could totally understand why Apple discontinued Aperture. It's not the future direction for a large majority of photographers. It's used by professionals and prosumers. And prosumers are shooting more and more with their iPhones. These products will still be used by professionals but i feel the number of prosumers using products like Aperture and Lightroom is shrinking.

There're still plenty of people who could benefit from using a product like Aperture or Lightroom but I want to move away from that.

Robert Ke
twitter: rke21

also at:
instagram: rke21
facebook: outdoorphotographynow

iShming's picture
by iShming
May 8, 2019 - 9:03pm

HEADS UP OLD FOLKS!!!  Mojave is the LAST OS that will support Aperture….  Shoot me…

See discussions dot apple dot com slash docs slash DOC-8462

https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-8462

iShming

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