Managing Managed Files

by Micah Walter

In my workflow I like to keep most of my Master images files on a network attached storage device. In fact I have my entire image library sitting on a number of USB attached hard drives that are connected to my Airport Extreme base station. This gives me easy access to my entire image library, and a great storage solution for all those large RAW files that I don’t want to cary with me on my laptop.

However, when I want to work on a file, I usually prefer to have it on my local machine for the sake of speed and portability. To move the image masters back to my machine I simply select the images I want to work on and use the Consolidate Masters function found in the File menu. This copies the files back to my machine as Managed files.

Now that I have my selects back on my machine I can go about editing the images from wherever I am.

One caveat to this system is that I end up with a number of Managed master files sitting on my laptop’s hard drive. This was something that I had wanted to avoid in the first place, so once I am done I need to put them back on the external as Referenced Masters.

This is simple enough, just go back and use the Relocate Masters function to put them back. Well, there is one problem with this. Sometimes, while editing, I may decide to downgrade an image that I decide that I don’t like. Now that image is back in the heap of the original shoot. I could certainly select the entire shoot and Relocate the whole thing, but instead, I have come up with a pretty simple trick.

In my Query HUD i select Show All, and then I add the File Status attribute. I set the File Status to look for Managed Files, and viola, my Managed images are shown. I can now set this as a new Smart Album and easily be able to see which images are on my local machine and which are not, regardless of their current star rating. Now I can move the Managed files back to my USB drive with ease.

This weekend I spent some time photographing a benefit Thanksgiving dinner that my girlfriend put on for her local chapter of Physicians for Human Rights. We brought all sorts of food and fun to about 15 residents of a small retirement/assisted living home on the island. The light was sort of all over the place, with harsh sunlight backlighting some of the subjects. Luckily Aperture’s Shadow recovery tool was on hand to help fix up some of the scenes. The pictures turned out pretty good and I may make a quick photo book to donate to the home when I return after the holidays.

To see the rest of the photos check out this post on my personal blog at


Dudley Warner
2007-11-27 17:59:24
Having recently played alot with Referenced Image Files and Master Image Files, this post was really helpful.

Thanks -