Basic components overview

Aperture uses the following basic components in your photo management system:

  • Originals: The original image, video, and audio files imported from your digital camera, memory card, computer, or external storage media.

  • Versions: Files derived from the originals and used to display your photos with any changes you’ve made, including image adjustments or changes to metadata.

  • Projects: The basic containers used in Aperture to organize photos. Projects can hold versions, folders, and albums.

  • Albums: Containers that hold versions. You can create albums to organize photos within projects or outside of them.

  • Folders: Containers used to organize projects and albums.

  • Library: The Aperture database that records and tracks your original image, video, and audio files and all of their corresponding versions. You can also create multiple Aperture library files in different locations. The library tracks all the information about the projects, folders, and albums you create to organize your media.

  • Managed and referenced images: Originals stored in the Aperture library are called managed images because Aperture manages the location of the image files in its database. Managed image files are physically located in the Aperture Library file. You can also import photos into Aperture without storing the original image files in the library. Image files that are not stored in the library are called referenced images. Aperture links to referenced image files in their current locations on your hard disk, without placing them in the Aperture Library file.

  • Aperture Trash: Container that holds items you delete in Aperture. You can retrieve items from the Aperture Trash until it is emptied.

  • Vaults: Containers that each hold a backup of the library and all its photos and information.

The next sections describe each of these elements and how you work with them in Aperture.