I just published my guide showing how to migrate from Aperture to Lightroom. While I tried to be as complete as possible, this guide shows how I plan to make my own migration. The guide discusses the issues I faced and how I would recommend dealing with them to get the most the process and show you how to migrate from Aperture to Lightroom.
It’s most likely not perfect, but it seems more comprehensive than most of the other resources I’ve found so far. The good news is that nothing in the guide is terribly difficult to perform. If you can use Aperture and Lightroom, then you can successfully migrate your photos from one to the other.
On the down side, it can be a tedious process. There are some things that just won’t migrate, also. You will lose the adjustments you made to photos in Aperture, but you can export a version with edits as a JPEG. You’ll also have to rebuild your organizational structure, as they won’t transfer into Lightroom.
Fortunately, most of your descriptive metadata will transfer nicely. You can move your keywords, star ratings and a lot of other metadata. Some of it requires a bit of massaging inside of Aperture. Custom fields won’t export, but you can move that data to unused fields that will transfer to Lightroom.
My Advice For Aperture Users
You know what they say about opinions, everyone has one. You can take it or leave it, but this is the path that I intend to follow.
While there is no immediate rush to migrate from Aperture to Lightroom, I plan to just get it done as soon as possible. I have no reason to believe that Apple wants to be in the professional photography market and I’m not waiting to see what Photos brings to the table. Yet I’m also leaving the door slightly open.
In my guide to migrate from Aperture to Lightroom, the first thing I recommend is creating and keeping an archival copy of all your Aperture Libraries. That’s to hedge against any file corruption, but also to wait and see what Photos can do with those old Libraries. My gut feeling is that it won’t be enough. That’s why I’m moving to Lightroom now. I’m just keeping these files around to cover myself (because you can never have too many backups) and to play with the new tool when it arrives.
In addition to moving to Lightroom sooner rather than later, my suggestion is to use Lightroom as it was intended to work. Aperture and Lightroom have some differences. There’s no sense in trying to force Lightroom to work the same way you worked in Aperture just because that’s the way you’re comfortable doing things.
Look at the best practices from many of the reliable Lightroom training sources and take the best elements to use in your workflow. If you try to bend Lightroom to your will, then it will likely end up becoming a mess and there won’t be a soul around to help you. That’s because everyone else uses Lightroom the way it’s intended to work.
Ending the Aperture vs Lightroom Blog
Writing the posts for this site has really been an educational experience for me. I’ve enjoyed digging into the features of both programs and sharing what I found. I’ve also really enjoyed the comments and messages I received from readers.
With the end of Aperture, it’s time to conclude things on this site. I just renewed the domain a week ago, so I’ll leave it up as a reference until my domain registration expires. No doubt the interest in comparing Aperture vs Lightroom will decline sharply, so the site doesn’t serve much of a purpose anymore.
I also don’t really intend to turn this into a Lightroom tutorial site. There are other folks far better qualified than I am to help guide you through the best practices of using Lightroom. In fact, I’d even mention one of them if they hadn’t unceremoniously canceled my affiliate relationship earlier this year. Not a damn word to me about it, either.
This is the final post, but feel free to ask questions or leave comments about any migration issues you encounter. I’ll update the Aperture to Lightroom Migration Guide as more information comes my way.
Thanks for reading the Aperture vs Lightroom blog.