I've got a large Aperture library of images from 2016 and earlier. I started using photos for my phone and eventually used it for everything. I now want to use Photos rather than Aperture, so that I can upgrade to macOS 10.15, Catalina. The facts:

  • almost 2,000 projects
  • almost 120,000 images
  • most images are stored as referenced files
  • I've got a 2TB SSD with my 2019 fastest MacBook Pro

Possible approaches

  1. Should I "Consolidate Originals" first on Aperture? Why or why not? My originals are on an external hard drive.
  2. Should I group my projects into folders so that I select a subset to generate previews? What happens if my machine crashes during the generation of previews?
  3. Should I import my old images into my system Photos? or will that bog down Photos, and so I should create a separate photos library? What are the pros and cons of just one library vs. keeping my old library separate, since I will rarely do edits there?
  • Do you have comprehensive back-ups? Do you have a back-up that can be disconnected from your Mac when you are upgrading or making changes – something like an external drive? Nov 7, 2019 at 8:20
  • 1
    This is a rather broad question and partially also covering areas where answers depend on your actual work processes and setup. It will be easier to get answers if you break the question down into specific pieces asking for specific advice (so instead of asking for the pros and cons of "consolidate originals" just ask whether "consolidiate original" is required for the migration).
    – nohillside
    Nov 7, 2019 at 9:27
  • Also, for some of the topics there are blogs etc. out there where other photographers documented their approach/experience, so it might be helpful to do some browsing as well
    – nohillside
    Nov 7, 2019 at 9:28


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