Migrating from Aperture to Photos for OS X

“This is the story of migrating from a system that involved Aperture and a bunch of jury-rigged hacks to Apple’s new Photos for OS X,” Fraser Speirs blogs.

“Since Aperture first shipped, I used it to manage all my digital photographs – until the iPhone came along and wrecked my workflow,” Speirs writes. “I can’t properly explain what went wrong but I think we all recognise now that there is a sense in which photos ‘live’ on an iPhone in a way that they don’t live on a digital camera.”

“Since the iPhone, I rather relied on occasionally dumping photos out into Aperture and then, later, relying on the never-very-good iCloud PhotoStream to get photos into Aperture,” Speirs writes. “The first step after installing the 10.10.3 beta was to migrate the Aperture library. Photos did this more or less automatically and quite well. The software is obviously still in flux, so exact details of UI are not worth discussing right now and I want to focus on the data migration.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, and Speirs seems to agree, Photos for OS X and iCloud Photo Library are going to help clean up the hot mess that was iPhotos et al. for Mac and iOS users.


  1. I never really had a problem with iPhoto. The only issue was that you couldn’t delete photos synched from iPhoto via the iPhone, but I got around that by not needing to and managing them on my Mac. Photos is definitely a lot better so far though.

  2. Why would someone lead a how-to article on Aperture with admitting he was too stupid to figure out how to properly import photos from an iPhone into Aperture?

    Not only that, but he thinks “we all recognize” the difficulty.

    Sorry, but the iPhone’s Camera Roll is absolutely no different from an actual camera when it comes to importing into Aperture.

    Photos has a lot of advantages over iPhoto, but isn’t a suitable replacement for anyone who really used Aperture. There are some people who used Aperture, when they would’ve been fine with iPhoto, and they should be fine with Photos as well.

    As for me, I’m sticking with Aperture for as long as I can, but I know it won’t be very long, so I’m actually reducing the amount of photo work that I’m willing to take on and shifting to other types of projects.

    And yes, I’m aware of all the competitive products, just nothing comes at all close to Aperture in terms of photo management.

  3. The problem I have is keeping most of my photos on an external drive. Aperture had no problem with this. With thunderbolt it is like working with an internal HHD. I do understand the whole iCloud keeping everything synced. However that is not what I want. I am hopping Apple will allow plugins, they said they would. A plugin may have a solution. I understand that photography has changed with the smartphone, and that photo management had to also. Starting from scratch with a new app instead of trying to change to old systems is more logical. However people with large libraries are going to have problems.

    1. I wish there were a better Apple solution for photography… All I can say is… Welcome to Lightroom. A great program. If only it integrated better (at all) into the apple ecosystem…

  4. Frankly Photos is NOT in any way a suitable replacement for Aperture and that was obvious from the beginning. Replacement for iPhoto? OK…that makes sense. Consumer grade application aimed primarily at getting people to sign up for overpriced cloud storage. I am reminded about something Steve said..something to the effect of when the Sales Guy takes over the company is headed in the wrong direction. Apple over the course of its history as a niche provider always catered to professionals in the creative arts. From the first laser printers, early attempts at cameras, on to Logic, Final Cut (7), and Aperture among others, alongside Consumer grade products like Pages and iMovie. There simply isn’t enough margin anymore in professional grade software as PRODUCT, hence Adobe’s move to software as a service, something Apple has always resisted (though their upcoming music streaming service will change all that). What all this does is create an opening and it MAY be that Affinity Photo (still in Beta) will fill that new void between the absurdly obtuse Lightroom interface and the 5th grader mentality of Photos.

  5. What’s with all the iPhoto hate? I fail to see how it’s a “hot mess.” Prepared for Photos to make a hot mess of my well-organized iPhoto library, as virtually all recent Apple software revamps have done.

  6. Apple is seriously losing the plot here and alienating a lot of previously loyal Apple users. Photos is probably great for the point and click iPhone photographer, but for anyone a little more serious about their photography it falls well short of what Aperture can do and what Aperture would be able to do in future if only Apple had decided to continue developing it. Yet another case of Apple abandoning it’s core followers, sacrificed at the altar of consumer electronics.

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