The reason I am asking the question is because, if I am doing something to put the photographs (well over 600 of them) in the trash, I certainly do not know what that would be. And the same applies to the iPhoto folder that appeared in the Trash basket on the toolbar.
So perhaps some hint as to what I might be doing would be more helpful than your question.
I did delete several (as in less than 10 or 15 photos, not over 600) INDIVIDUAL photos from albums before this happened.
I live alone, so no one else has used my computer.
I have approximately 5000 photographs stored in iPhoto.
On several previous occasions, I discovered a number of photos in Trash on the left sidebar of iPhoto. The number seems like it was the same, about 693 photos, or so.
In the past, one gentleman told me that I could open the Trash, select all, and then select a command (I don't recall the specific command, maybe "Undo") to return the photos to where they normally live. I did not find that command, but found another, "Put Back", which worked to restore the photos to where they normally lived.
That same gentleman also told me how to delete photos from albums, using "Command + Delete". This worked for awhile, and then several days ago, it stopped working. Tried "Control + Command + Delete", and it did not work either.
This morning, I successfully deleted one photo in an album using "Command + Delete". However, that did not work for the next, or any other, photos.
That same gentleman told me that I should not let the Trash get too full, as iPhoto does not "like" that. Therefore, I try to empty my trash basket on a regular basis.
This morning, after noticing another 673 photos in the Trash located on the iPhoto sidebar, I opened it, selected all, and hit the "Put Back" button. All photos seemingly were restored to where they are supposed to be.
I then closed out of iPhoto, and was getting ready to quit my session when I noticed the the trash basket icon in the tool tray at the bottom of my screen appeared to have trash in it. When I opened it, there was a "folder" in it that was named "iPhoto". At that point I looked to see if there was any "undo" command, and did not see one. That is when I asked for help, and got all of your clever banter.
Hopefully, this will provide you with enough information to develop some idea as to what is going on, what I am doing that results in unintentionally dumping things in the trash.
The iPhoto Folder on the System Trash was created by iPhoto. When you delete images from iPhoto 11 they go first to the iPhoto trash and thereafter to the System Trash, where they are put into a folder called 'iPhoto'. I have no idea how you get that to Applications.
You're not having your photos "saved in Aperture". Aperture is now managing your Library. But if you're using the latest versions of iPhoto and Aperture then it's the same library. Are these images also visible when you examine the Aperture trash.
I don't think I saw them in Aperture Trash, but I didn't really look until after I'd deleted Trash items from the trash basket in the task bar. Today, everything seems to be a bit better, although I noticed that there was trash in that basket when I opened the computer, even when I turned it off last night, there was no trash in the basket.