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In this course, photographer Derrick Story teaches the concepts and techniques behind efficient photo management and backup, which becomes increasingly important as a photo collection grows. The course begins by showing how to transfer and organize photos "by hand"—that is, by copying them from a memory card to a hard drive without using software. In the second portion of the course, discover how to take advantage of the photo-management features provided by programs such as Lightroom and Aperture, by assigning descriptive keywords, by giving photos ratings and color-coded labels, and how smart album features can automatically collect photos that meet certain criteria.
The course concludes with a look at aspects of a good backup and archival strategy, ranging from the best file format for long-term backup to the best hardware options for offline storage.
I am going to talk a little bit about preserving your work when you are using Aperture digital asset manager. Now there's two aspects to this; one is setting it up so that you save your work, and then the other, of course, is if disaster happens to your computer, how to restore based on your backups. So Aperture uses something called the Vault, and let's take a look at it down here. There is our Vault. Now you get to it right here. This is -- this little icon down here, turns it off and on. You notice that we have a little red circle there.
Well, that is because I have added some photos since the last time I ran the Vault; I have added these hot air balloon images. Now if everything is up to date, this little circle will be black. And if you've just changed some metadata, let's say, added some keywords, since the last back up to the Vault, it will be yellow. Red means that there are masters and metadata both. And the way that you update the Vault is that you simply click on this arrow here, it will ask me about updating, I say yes, and it goes to work.
Now the arrow is black. So what just happened there? Well, we have a referenced library set up here in Aperture. There are two types; referenced and managed. I'll talk about managed in just a minute. Aperture backed up my work, and if you watched the Lightroom version of this movie, it works very much the same way. The work is backed up, but the masters are separate. Let's take a look at where the masters are. The masters are located on an external hard drive, and if I open this up right here, you'll see that the masters are right here in Balloon Festival.
So I am responsible for backing those up myself. What Aperture did was when I ran the Vault, which is right here on another hard drive -- so this is one hard drive where the Vault lives, and here is another hard drive where my masters live. The reason why I have my masters on this particular drive, this is that Western Digital drive that actually has two hard drives in it. So when I copy my masters to this drive, it actually mirrors them on to the second drive, and that helps protect me from mechanical failure.
All right, so at any rate, here's my work in the Vault, and here are my masters. So every time I run the Vault in Aperture, it backs up my work. Making sure that my masters are safe and sound; that is my responsibility. And that is why I have them on an external drive, and that's why I have them on a drive that backs itself up, because the whole idea here is, of course, that if your Macintosh crashes, then you want to make sure that you can restore your work.
Now restoration is actually quite easy; let me show you how that works. I am going to switch to a brand new clean library. Go up here to File>New, switch to what I call Aperture Library Fresh. Doesn't that sound pleasant? So here we are; fresh library. So let's play out the scenario. Let's say that your Mac totally crashed, or a piano fell on it and you had to buy a new Mac. You reinstall Aperture, and you are here with a blank Aperture, but you want your work back; you want all the work that you did, and you have been backing up your images, and you have been running the Vault. How do you get your stuff back? Just go down here to the Gear menu, go to Restore Library; you have to pick the Vault.
So the hard drive that has the Vault on it needs to be connected to your computer. Here's our Aperture 3 Vault right here, and then also the hard drive that has the masters on it has to be connected too. Because what the Vault is going to do is it is going to restore all that information, and then it's going to look for those masters to point to. So you have to have the drives connected that have all of your information. We do. So I am going to put Select here. Now I am just going to click Restore.
I always love this: Are you sure you want to restore your library? Yes, I am positive. And we just wait, well, not too long. Keep in mind that this is a smaller library. If you have a really humongous library, you'll click Restore, and then you go have lunch. And there we go. Our entire library is back. Here are the new images, and you'll notice, not only did it restore the library, not only did it bring back my images, and my metadata, but it is in the same state that I left it.
This is the way I left the Hot Air Balloons: with the rating sorted, and the three stars on the top, and all that stuff. So it brings it back very nicely. Now, there is another option in Aperture. This option here is restoring from a reference library; that means your masters live outside the Aperture container. There is another option called the managed library, and that is where your work and your masters live inside this container.
It is very convenient in the sense that you don't have to worry about backing these up separately anymore. They are all in the Vault. Now, the reason why I am not going to show it to you right now, how to set that up, is because there are a number of steps that actually began at import. The import movie that I showed you in this training is for referenced, because we are talking about organizing your library, kind of by hand, really. But if you want to know the steps involved for setting up the managed library, we have all of that for you, waiting for you, by me, in Aperture 3 Essential Training.
It's not difficult at all once you see the steps; it does take a few minutes, and even if you started your library one way: referenced, and you want to have it managed, you can switch. The people that I think managed libraries work great for; they don't accumulate a whole lot of RAW files. People that are shooting JPEGs, managed works fantastic. If you are shooting a ton of RAW files, that's going to fill up a hard drive quickly, and you need to separate your RAW files over many hard drives, then this approach that we've been talking about I think works well, because Aperture can read those masters from all those different hard drives.
So something to keep in mind; you have two approaches in Aperture. In Lightroom, you basically have one approach: the referenced approach. Pick the one that works best for you, but the main thing is to back up, and to be consistent, and to protect both your pictures and your work.
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