3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 29, 2018 4:00 AM by john beardsworth

    Moving from Aperture to Lightroom Classic: How to organize photos in a logical structure?




      I'm still using Aperture on my Mac, which is still working well despite the fact it's been in legacy mode for a few years now. Considering the fact that one of these days, an upcoming OS upgrade will most likely render Aperture obsolete, I've decided to do the switch to Lightroom Classic right now.


      I've been playing around with LR for a while now and am slowly but steadily getting the hang of it. I'm still undecided about creating a logical structure for organizing my media, though.


      In Aperture, I had ...


      * MOST images on an external disk, grouped into YEAR/MONTH folders

      * SOME images within the Aperture library package


      ... and


      * ALL media then arranged in Folders -> Subfolders -> PROJECTS, such as "Private / Dogs" -> all dog media, and "Business / Workshops / 2018 / XYZ Workshop".


      Projects in Aperture worked much in the same fashion as physical folders on a disk -> whenever you moved an image to a different project, it was gone from the project it was placed in originally.


      Now, with Lightroom, I don't really see an equivalent to Projects. There are "Collections", which are much like "Albums" in Aperture which I never used.


      I would love to stay in the same organisational logic I was in in Aperture: Moving an image from one place to another means it's gone from the original place. As of now, there seem to be two ways of doing it:


      1) Using Collections | Moving media, then deleting it from the original place, and occasionally using Smart Folders / Search to find media that is in NO collection or in MORE than one -> clear up


      2) Not using Collections, but organizing my media within the (physical) folders displayed in the left part of the screen just above the collections.

      Havening folders and sub-folders ... and using those just like I used "Projects" within Aperture.



      Method #1 seems more like a workaround that is prone to errors and mistakes in the long run. Method #2 seems more logical, but I'm not sure this is the right way to go about organizing your media within Lightroom ... or is it?


      Any suggestions are warmly welcome. I'm pretty sure there's bound to be someone in the same place (moving from Aperture to Lightroom and wanting to keep on using the Project logic), or not having used Aperture but still being able to give an idea about an ecological, clever way of organizing your media.

        • 1. Re: Moving from Aperture to Lightroom Classic: How to organize photos in a logical structure?
          Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

          I suggest the images that are in the Aperture Package folder/system you Move them, Using Finder, to the external drive in year/month/day (or whatever combo of those 3 you like) and then "Simply" Start Over in LR by importing them from where they are located on the external drive using the Add option at the top of the import dialog window.


          I personally would not try to use any Aperture > LR plugin to try and convert > import the current Aperture library/catalog to a LR catalog.


          I, Not Knowing, exactly how Aperture works if it store the edits in its library file I would first Export those image as TIFF's so I had a record of them and place them next to the original RAW files. If all you shot is JPG then I wouldn't really worry about it.

          • 2. Re: Moving from Aperture to Lightroom Classic: How to organize photos in a logical structure?
            dj_paige Level 10

            I would recommend method 3: use the primary organizing tools in Lightroom, those are keywords and other metadata.


            Do not try to use folders to organize, other than by capture date. Do not use collections as a primary organizing tool.


            Keywords and other metadata have several advantages over folders and collections. And using keywords and other metadata is easy to do in Lightroom, and you don't have to move photos from one folder to another (which for some reason, new Lightroom users have trouble doing).

            • 3. Re: Moving from Aperture to Lightroom Classic: How to organize photos in a logical structure?
              john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Echoing this comment:

              • Folders only for physical storage and safekeeping - backup, restore, use of disc space
              • Categorise and analyse your photos by assigning keywords and other IPTC metadata like the job field
              • Use Collections for gathering and grouping pictures for specific needs

              Don't routinely move stuff around - it only undermines whatever backup you've made of those files.


              Re the comment "SOME images within the Aperture library package", I would suggest making all files referenced before transferring.


              I would certainly suggest using Lightroom's from Aperture plugin to bring in your Aperture library. Backup everything first, so if anything goes wrong you could take an easy step back. Secondly, with all your files referenced in Aperture, I recommend you review the options in the Import from Aperture dialog box and choose the option to import files in their current locations. More here.