What are versions?
After you import originals to your hard disk, you can review and make adjustments to your images. For example, you can change the exposure, contrast, or saturation, or add information to an image, such as the photographer’s name, the project, and the location. To work with photos, Aperture creates a version of each original that includes your adjustments and embedded information, leaving the original unchanged. A version is linked to the original on your hard disk, but it is not the original itself. Versions store only the thumbnail image, adjustments, and embedded information. A full image file is not created until you are ready to print or export, saving valuable hard disk storage.
In many cases, your workflow may call for different renderings of the same photo. For example, a client may request a color as well as a black-and-white version of the same head shot. You can create multiple versions of the same photo in Aperture.
When you create a version, Aperture reads the original image file on disk and displays it on the screen. As you make adjustments or add information to the image, Aperture displays the version with your changes, but the original image file is never changed.