Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing an Aperture library into Lightroom, part of Migrating from Aperture to Lightroom.
- Now that the verification is done over in Aperture, let's switch over to Lightroom. To import is a fairly straightforward process. Choose File, Plug-in Extras, and Import from Aperture Library. If you'd like some more information about what's gonna happen, you could choose Aperture Import Info. This will give you a bit of details about the plugin. This dialog has key information about what will import correctly. After you give it a read, just click the Okay button. All right. Click Okay, go back to File, Plug-in Extras, Import from Aperture Library.
As that opens, it scans to find any Aperture libraries on your system. If you've got more than one on your system, or a lot of drives connected, this may take a while. Once the validation is complete, you'll need to run through a few options about the import. First up, check which Aperture library is selected. You can click the Select button, and by default, you'll be taken to your Pictures folder. Navigate to the library that you identified earlier as the current active library.
You likely wrote this information down if you followed the previous steps. I remember that mine was stored on my Drobo 5D. If I search by Date Modified, it pops right to the top of the list. Highlight your library and click Choose. Make sure you've quit Aperture after it finished updating any of your preview files. Remember, Aperture updates its library when it quits. So you need to successfully quit the application and let it complete a save. If it were to crash during that quitting process, you'll need to relaunch and double-check that everything was properly verified and updated.
Remember, successfully quit and close Aperture before you invoke the Import from Aperture plugin. Okay. We've got the file path correctly loaded there. Now let's choose where to copy the images to. Click the Select button and navigate to your desired storage drive. In this case, I've got a folder called Photo Library Main, and I'll make a new folder called Aperture Import. These are folders that you can manually create. Again, you're just choosing a path that's right for you. But I do recommend targeting a specific folder that is empty for this import process.
Remember, you can do this by clicking the New Folder dialog, or right-clicking inside of this window. Click Choose to select the folder that you want to use. Then re-look over this dialog box. You now should have the Aperture library correctly set and a targeted destination for the copy. You can also see the number of files that are going to be imported. Remember, this number might be slightly lower than the total number of images you saw in your Aperture library. This is likely because you're using virtual copies or versions over in Aperture.
Lightroom will give you an estimate about the amount of disk space that's required, and I can see the amount of space that I have available on my drive. It's a very good idea to click the Options button here to bring up additional controls. First up, I highly recommend importing those full-sized previews from Aperture. You'll recall earlier, we take a look at how to set full-size previews over in Aperture. You need to make that adjustment there first. What's gonna happen here is that a reference image will be created for any images that were adjusted in Aperture.
It'll bring that JPEG file over into Lightroom that you could look at or even potentially print if you didn't want to redevelop the photo. When you check that, it may need to revalidate your Aperture library. Next, you could choose how Lightroom will handle Aperture keywords. I recommend you check the box here to only import keywords that were actually applied. This way, it won't import any of the default keywords that Aperture had that you didn't use, or perhaps keywords that were created for projects that you deleted, but the keywords were left behind.
This will cut down on the chance of any unnecessary keywords making the jump. The next two options specify how to handle things that aren't supported by Lightroom. For example, color labels are unique to Aperture. They won't directly correlate to Lightroom. Checking this allows you to create Lightroom keywords based on those color labels. Also, you can create keywords for stacks. This will help you find any images that you had stacked together. At the time of this recording, you could only choose one of these options, turning them both on or both off.
While there's technically two checkboxes here, the importer is currently only letting you select it one way. This may be something that changes in the future, so be sure to keep an eye on this preference if you need it. Below this is a very important option on how to handle referenced images. Personally, I recommend leaving the reference files in their current location. This'll work well if they're already on the target drive that you've set them to. Perhaps you've already got an existing backup strategy in place.
Remember, Aperture users have the ability to work with both referenced and managed libraries. So this will really depend upon your personal workflow. Because I personally used a reference library inside of Aperture, this'll cut down on any unnecessary copying and it won't duplicate the images and move them around again. It'll simply point them to the original location on my drive. This does present a slight risk, though, because, keep in mind that both Aperture and Lightroom could be referencing the exact same copy of the image.
It's gonna be a good idea to minimize from this point forward constantly using Aperture and Lightroom simultaneously. This way, you'll avoid potentially modifying an image and confusing the other application. Once you've decided if you want to leave the existing reference files where they're at, or whether you'd like to make a second copy, you could then decide what to do with the previews that you bring in. I highly recommend checking this box so that the images were placed alongside their raw counterparts. This'll make it a lot easier to automatically stack those together.
This way, when you're browsing, you'll see the raw file and immediately next to it will be the reference JPEG with all of the Aperture adjustments applied. This will make it easy if you want to redevelop the file and reference the still image. Or, if you decide you just need to make a quick print or share to the web, you might be able to reuse that existing high-quality JPEG. All in all, this will make it much easier as you work in Lightroom with the imported images. Remember, you can use that JPEG as a reference as you re-color correct and adjust the image, or perhaps print or export that JPEG file as is.
Let's give this dialog a look-over from top to bottom. If you're satisfied, you can click Okay. When you're set, click the Import button to start the process. Now it's gonna continue to actually import those images. This process may take a good bit of time, depending upon the size of your library. Remember, you're gonna wanna make sure to let this run until it's complete. Consider setting this up at night or over a weekend where your system is not gonna be needed to be worked on, but you could just let this run uninterrupted.
While you could technically stop the import by clicking the Done button, this could lead to duplicate copies later, when you start to import again. So I highly recommend you just let this finish. You'll notice that things start to come in and perhaps you'll see in the background some of the folders and the images updating. If you look to the progress bar up top, you'll see the images that are currently importing, and this could lead to a lot of updates onscreen. All right. That is going to complete the move into Aperture. We just need to let this process run all the way through.
Once the import has successfully finished, we're ready to work with the files inside of Lightroom.
*Aperture will be replaced by the new Photos app.
- Preserving an existing library or starting from scratch
- Preserving your organization and metadata
- Backing up your library
- Relocating masters
- Exporting adjusted images
- Working with Lightroom
- Understanding which Aperture plugins will work in Lightroom
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 01/20/2015. What changed?
A: This update includes a new chapter (chapter 9), which covers prepping an Aperture library to move to Lightroom and using Lightroom's Aperture and iPhoto plugins to import photos.