When I am travelling, I create a new Aperture library on my MacBook Pro and import the new images into that library. I back up to a small, portable HD.
When I am back home, I merge this new library into my main library using "File > Import > LIbrary".
This works well, because I weed out and delete most of the bad or redundant images already while travelling, so the library I need to merge into the main library will not be too large.
Many thanks for helping. Your system makes sense and I think would meet my 90% of my photo processing needs.
Are you aware of a way to update or adjust existing photos from a remote location?
I think Lightroom keeps a preview of all photos on a laptop so we can manipulate all our existing photos. I was wondering if Aperture has a similar solution.
(BTW: I moved from Aperture to try Lightroom and went back to Aperture again.)
These previews are small jpegs and the edits and updates to metadata are instructions which use little space.
When the user gets back home after some time out "on the road", the "instructions" embedded in the previews stored on the Macbook are synchronised with the data drive which is usually an external drive like a dRobo hooked up to the home or office network.
Editing previews cannot be as extensive as working with RAW files when adjusting white balance and exposure etc., but I would be happy to just be able to update metadata, sort, arrange and group photos while on the road and have these updates synchronised wiht the main Aperture library when I get home.
Your system of course meets 90% of my needs though. I am getting closer to buying my first Macbook.
I contacted Apple Support and they suggested I use iCloud's "Back to my Mac" (I think it's called) to access my photos remotely. I will need to look into it.
Once again, many thanks for taking the time to respond to my query.
(Sorry, if I'm rambling on a bit...)
I think Lightroom keeps a preview of all photos on a laptop so we can manipulate all our existing photos.
You can do something similar in Aperture, if you use a referenced library. A referenced library can store the database information with metadata tags, ratings, keywords,albums, etc. inside the Aperture library, also previews and thumbnails, and the original files on other drives. Even with the drives with the originals offline can you browse the images based on the thumbnails, and rate them, group them in albums, addkeywords and captions. Only, you cannot adjust the images, retouch them, etc. That will require the original image files. See: Aperture 3 User Manual: Working with Referenced Images
Another way to continue working on certain projects would be to export your current projects as a new, partial library to your laptop and take that library with you.Then merge that again into your main library when you return. See: Working with Library Files