Editing Offline Images

by James Duncan Davidson

For a variety of reasons, some of which I've posted about on this blog, I use referenced images, available in Aperture as of version 1.5. There are many advantages and disadvantages to using referenced images as opposed to a managed library, but for me the biggest advantage is that I can have other applications work with files in a referenced library setup. Another advantage is that you can keep the bulk of your image library on external drives that are larger than what may be available to you on the computer that is with you. This is especially handy for when you are working on a big shoot on assignment and only have a little bit of free space on your laptop hard drive.

The best part of this strategy is that you can still do quite a bit of work on your images even when your large external drives aren't hooked up. You can't make image adjustments to your photographs, but you can keyword and rate. This means you can edit your shoots down to your selects without the master images being available. And, you can also figure out which images should be rejected and deleted out of your image library forever.

For example, here's a snapshot of my Aperture library with some images that I ranked while the external disk that the master images are on was offline, indicated by the icon on the lower-right of each image.


Being able to edit a take of images without plugging in a hard drive means that you can work on your images in places where it might be inconvenient to plug in, such as on an airplane or train. And, it means that you'll be able to get a bit of work done on your images when you're waiting at the car repair shop or at the dentist office. Then, once you hook back up to your master library, you'll be able to take advantage of that work and can get right down to doing image adjustments to your selects.


2007-03-19 11:37:00
Slightly OT, but is there any way to use the managed library on a "master" machine and use the same library (mounted over network) as referenced on a second (portable) machine? I don't mean at the same time... but I like Aperture managing my library (because I'm lazy and sloppy when it comes to sorting and managing my files, among other things), but it would be really nice to have the ability to keyword, rate, and carry the previews of the library on my MacBook without having to export and import the projects all the time. Not to mention saving huge amounts of space on the laptop.
2007-03-19 17:08:40
where were those pictures taken? Specifically, the first two in the frame? I have, I dang near swear to god, the exact same pics in my library. Like, I saw those and was trying to figure out how you got ahold of my pics.... :-)
James Duncan Davidson
2007-03-19 17:17:54
Anthony: They're taken along the southern Oregon coastline.

Mayo: Synchronized libraries are something that I'd really like to see happen at some point. I know many photographers who have both laptop and desktop machines and it'd be nice if they could be used in tandem somehow. There are some hacks as workarounds, but nothing I've felt particular comfortable pursuing for my own work.

2007-03-20 08:15:14
All Oregon residents have pictures just like those in their libraries. It's mandatory. :-)
2007-03-20 22:11:54
I agree with James, synchonized libraries would be great. I'd love to have a referenced library on my laptop that is in sync with my main one on my desktop. Maybe isync can help??
Jan Steinman
2007-03-21 16:50:53
Anyone remember LivePicture? I'm longing for off-line adjustments! Since Aperture doesn't actually "edit" the master image, but applies a sort of a "script" to it, it should be possible to adjust images that are off-line, especially if there are previews. I'd even accept previews as a condition!

Of course, certain ops (like sharpening) should really only be done on the full-size image, but wouldn't it be nice to do a bunch of off-line adjustments, then come back and fine-tune them when your masters are available?