Home Opinion Aperture bites the dust — again

Aperture bites the dust — again


I used to love Apple’s Aperture and I was miffed when, in 2014, it was made clear that no further updates would be published. But Aperture lived on. Some still swear by it, although the majority of users have moved on to Lightroom and a host of other applications. Some decided to downgrade to Apple’s own photos which became a sort of hybrid of the company’s low- and high-end offerings.

But now the end is indeed nigh. If you want to continue using Aperture you had better not upgrade your Mac’s operating system. Apple has issued a support document explaining that Aperture will not run on macOS systems after the current Mojave. The document provides help for legacy users to migrate Aperture libraries to Photos of Lightroom Classic.

If you haven’t already made the move, now might be a good time to look around and find a suitable home for your photo archive before it’s too late.

See the Apple support document here


  1. How sad – I loved Aperture, and I still have around 50,000 images in it which need converting to LR, Like Dave I loved LR5 and resented the monthly model, and then I got into LR CC and Mobile (as I need to share albums of images for weddings, articles etc.simply and fast) – and it works really well with good controls on where to show exif and whether to allow downloads etc.

    Then I started considering the model we mostly use – ie downloading the content of a card to the computer and then rating them and perhaps deleting the junk (if we got around to it, which I mostly didn’t) – which, of course, is why I have 50,000 images in Aperture!

    Like most of us (computer geeks at least to some extent) I’m pretty allergic to allowing any photo software to decide what and where etc. . . . but then I watched how Emma (decidedly not a geek) had all her pictures well organised in Photos, and cropping up wherever she wanted them (iPad/iphone/Mac) . . . . . .

    The upshot of all this was that in December last year I thought I would experiment by turning the process on its head. I bought a £12 per month Adobe subscription which gives me 2Tb online storage, Photoshop, Lightroom CC and Classic.

    1. import images from SD card selectively into Photos on the iPad Pro – so, triage in the first instance, and I’m finding that in most situations I’m only importing 20% of the images I take. . . . and in iOS 13 one should be able to do this directly from LR Mobile.
    2. Open LR mobile on the iPad – delete boring images and do basic adjustments using the Apple Pencil – this works really well – it’s fun and efficient and doesn’t destroy battery life (ie coming back from China I could do 8 hours without charging).
    3. Let them upload to the Adobe Cloud as they will (I shoot DNG only by the way), leaving the iPad plugged in overnight usually does the business, and we have dreadful internet.
    4. Getting to the computer at some later stage and the images are all in the cloud – I have them set to backup to an external drive as well, so the DNG files exist a) on the iPad b) in the cloud c) on an external drive locally d) on my network backup.
    5. Nowadays I do most PostProcessing in CC (I really like it), but it cross syncs with LR Classic, which now I only use for the book module and for printing (neither of which exist in CC).

    I was very sceptical of all this when I started 6 months ago, but now I love it – everything is everywhere (including on my phone), I can share stuff easily, the collections work really well and it’s all safely backed up . . . . . . and it’s just as simple as Emma’s Photos, but infinitely more powerful and great fun to use.

    Now then, when am I going to get around to importing all those Aperture Images!

    • Just as a PS and an example, yesterday someone rang and asked for an A2 print of a picture I took in Venice in 2015 . . it took a few seconds to find it in LR CC but I realised it needed a bit of cloning work done on it (I should have pushed the guy into the canal). Anyway I shelled out from CC (not classic) to Photoshop, did the cloning and then opened Classic to do the printing (of course the changes had synced) – Print done and sent off, and now if I look on my phone or anywhere that work is reflected there as well – no exporting to jpg or anything like that, the only version of the image is the original DNG . . .

      • I like your workflow, and arrangement – just trying to justify shelling out £12 a month for the pleasure (sorry saddo Yorkshireman).

        The canal cloning issue made me laugh, as I hate those moments where one item, or person in the wrong place just makes the image less than we would like. I recall a friend publishing an image of a brilliant canal reflection shot, and he had removed all of the people from the tow path – except the lady in a bright pink dress who walked ghost like in the reflection.

    • Hmm… you‘ve got me thinking on this, Jonathon. I will make checklist from your above comments see what bits I can use. I am definitely interested in the 2TB storage.

      As for Aperture conversion, I bought little application which did just that. One of my big problems with Aperture (and, I think, but haven‘t checked, Apple Photos) is that the database is stored in a dedicated file bundle and I always worried about getting the stuff out if Apple stopped support. Lightroom offers a simple file-based storage where you can see just what you have, rather than having to use the application to access the data. I prefer the simplicity and transparency of the Adobe approach.

      I think it‘s worthwhile exporting your Aperture bundle as soon as possible.

      • Hi Dave
        You were perfectly at liberty to keep your files outside the file bundle (I always did), so I certainly have no problem with getting files out of Aperture (as they aren’t in) it’s really a case of saving adjustments etc (which you can largely do importing into LR Classic).

        • I‘ve really forgotten and perhaps I didn‘t explore the storage options. I need to have a close look at your workflow and see if it would suit me.

  2. Just my halfpenny’s worth.

    Another one bites the dust. I love Lightroom 5 – it does 90% of my raw image processing needs, although I am looking over my shoulder at when the OSX police will switch support off for it as its been obsolete and not updated for a few years now by Adobe.

    For bigger projects with a fair bit of work – those on flickr will find my Easter Bunny image – not just for Easter – which is a blend of four images, and for that I used Lightroom 5 to process the originals, and then bumped them all into the newest version of GIMP which runs sublimely smooth on my MacBook and is excellent. In fact anyone not wanting to shell out for Adobe’s dumb Photoshop and Lightroom monthly set up – just download the latest version of GIMP since they did the recoding of the entire package it is very Mac friendly now.

    Other than that I have Luminar 2018, but while it is okay as a Lightroom replacement, it isn’t as intuitive as Lightroom – which is a shame as the interface is pretty decent.

    • GIMP is really good. Other cross-platform open-source image editing software worth looking into are Krita, darktable, and RawTherapee.

  3. One of the main features of these apps are the databases that underlie them.

    So before shifting away from the Apple garden, maybe a chance to try Photos which is built in to MacOs and there is something called “Raw Power”, you can add on for RAW processing which is built by the blokes who created Aperture for Apple.

    Only migrate away from Apple if that proves unsatisfactory.

    Personally I just use Preview/Finder/Iridient, what is it Leica say?… “Das Westenliche”?

    • … Oh and Iridient costs about £50, and “Raw Power” is even less expensive.

      A mere snip compared to Adobe’s prices.

  4. I tried Aperture, but it seemed too complicated for what I want.

    So I went back to the versatile iPhoto, which does MOST of what I want: its cataloguing is excellent, along with Keywording, Star Ratings, etc.

    For complex correction of, say, wide-angle or fisheye photos, I use Photo Ninja, which has a host of controls for ‘noise’ and vignette removal, and most other adjustments. (I use that nowadays instead of an old ImageTrends program called FisheyeHemi.)

    For local brightness, contrast and detail adjustments of, say, faces, I use Viveza 2 – which I first saw advertised in an old LFI magazine, and immediately bought.

    What else? I’ve a one-trick-pony ImageTrends program called Pearly Whites, which restores brightness to teeth, as they sometimes look dull, dark or brown in digital photos.

    DxO Viewpoint 3 corrects weird geometry ..but then so does Photo Ninja. Graphic Converter 7 lets me add pointers, captions, text, etc. ImageExifEditor does what its name says. I think I had to get a new Nik Collection – oh, no; maybe it was a new ON1 collection – because the old ..and versatile.. FocalPoint 2 no longer works (..that’s for painting out focus & painting in blur ..and vice versa).

    Finally, PhotoShrinkr reduces photos’ file sizes by about 80%, with no visual loss, so that’s what I use before sending photos to Mike for an article, for example, or for generally emailing them anywhere ..or for uploading them to a website, so that once there they display very quickly.

    Oh, and StellarPhoenixMacDataRecovery is a handy app for recovering deleted pix from SD cards.

    All these run on Mac computers. I’ve no idea about PC software any more, sorry.

    • PhotoShinkr could be of interest. Until I got the Leica Q2 — my first camera with a sensor higher than 24MP in density — I had had no problems in uploading to the site. With the Q2, however small I make the image in Lightroom Export, the system still reported problems. I then discovered we had installed the Imsanity (not sic) plug-in to „prevent insanely large image uploads“. A few tweaks of the setting solved that, but overall I think I will investigate PhotoShrinkr since there clearly is a problem somewhere.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here