Think of Aperture as a big pipe. You put files in one end (by importing them), and you make files come out the other end (by exporting Images). Inside the pipe are all these wonderful tools that let you make adjustments to each Image so it is as good as you can make it for whatever use you have, and that let you apply labels and stickers and other markers so you can organize your Images however you want, and find them however you want.
Even when you create a new file by exporting an Image, you generally (and by default) keep the Image. The thought is that you are likely to want to use it again.
Aperture makes it possible to _share_ your Images in a few particular ways. A Flickr Album is one of those ways. But it is set up to share _dynamically_: any changes you make to any shared Image is reflected at the sharing site. Those changes include deleting an Image.
So your plan -- viz.: to share files based on your Images, on Flickr, and then remove those Images -- can't work.
If that is what you want to do (and I advise against it -- read further) then you have to create the files by exporting Images from Aperture, and then upload those files to Flickr. (You can't share them via an Aperture Album.)
In no case should anyone use Flickr for back-up. You should maintain a full set of copies of all the files that are important to you (presumably, everything on your system drive, and any file you create and don't delete) in a place that is secure and allows easy access should you need to restore files from your back-up. OS X has Time Machine built-in for this -- use it. If you want to also maintain separate copies of your Aperture Library, you can use Aperture's Vault feature, or any of the cloning programs such as SuperDuper or Carbon Copy.
Thanks, Kirby, that is very helpful. It's much clearer now.
I am unsure why you recommend against using Flickr as a backup. Do you think Flickr could disappear without warning, or am I missing something? I am exporting full size photos that I've already tweaked in Aperture or Photoshop, so have no need to do anything but store them.
Thanks in advance.
you would be using Flickr in a way it is not designed for. Aperture's user interface to Flickr supports sharing and syncing. Any changes you do to your Flickr albums in Aperture, will be reflected in the online Flickr album. And when you are uploading photos to Flickr from other sources, they will appear in your Aperture library. Perhaps this manual page will clarify this more:
Note the paragraph:
Deleting Flickr and Facebook Albums
You can delete Flickr and Facebook albums in the Aperture library at any time. Keep in mind that deleting a Flickr or Facebook album in Aperture deletes the corresponding Flickr set or Facebook album along with its contents online.
Warning: Deleting Flickr and Facebook albums permanently deletes the corresponding Flickr sets and Facebook albums online. If you want to temporarily remove a Flickr or Facebook account in Aperture, but keep the albums and images as they are in your Flickr or Facebook account online, you can always disable your Flickr or Facebook account in Aperture. For more information about disabling and enabling accounts in Aperture, see Disabling and Enabling MobileMe, Flickr, and Facebook Accounts.
Echoing (I think) Léonie: back-up simply isn't what Flickr is used for. There is no reason imaginable to use it for backing up.
Remember, too, that Aperture excels as a RAW workflow tool, and that a meaningful part of that is that your Originals are never altered. Many (most?) photographers like to keep these "digital negatives" -- RAW converters continue to evolve, and it is, IME, expected that at some point I will need or want to develop a different final image from my Original.
Yes, thanks—I have used Aperture for a few years, and understand how it is supposed to work (keep originals, etc.). But I have some photos—mostly old scanned images (not RAW from my camera) I have been storing in Aperture—and I simply want to archive them somewhere and remove them from Aperture completely. I'm not talking about archiving and backing up *all* of my photos in Flickr as part of my workflow. Just a few sets.
Does that makes sense? I can see now, thanks to your explanations, that exporting them to a folder on my hard drive and uploading them to Flickr is probably the best way to do it. So thanks. I already archive my Aperture library to a dedicated backup drive (using vaults) and use Time Machine. But my primary computer is a laptop, and I have a LOT of photos, I just want to remove some of them from my Macbook Pro. If I'm still missing something, I apologize.
Imho, what you're proposing is an elegant but flawed solution. Backing up (or archiving) data must be 100% reliable, and, using the common methods, isn't expensive. Using Flickr to do two tasks (publish your work on-line, and serve as a back-up copy) is clever, but Flickr is not, in my judgement, 100% reliable. The gain simply isn't worth the cost -- especially since you already have an excellent back-up system (Time Machine + Aperture Library Vaults).
One of the truism I rely on when decided what to keep and what to toss is, "If it's good enough to show to people, it's worth keeping." Certainly one should retain much more than a _minimum_ amount. The second truism I rely on is, "If it's worth keeping, it's worth keeping the entire Image-production-module of the RAW (or camera-made) file and the instructions I labored to create that produce the picture I want from that file." So my advice is to keep, in Aperture, any Image that is worth putting on Flickr.
The Image is made from two files: the Original, and the Version. The Version is a text file that is always stored in the Aperture Library package. The Original is simply the image-format file you imported. Aperture -- brilliantly -- allows you to store you Originals on any, and as many, directly-attached storage devices as you want, and furthermore allows you to move them whenever you want.
The issue you are dealing with (afaict) is how to _archive_ Images that have been fully developed. My first question is: why archive them at all? If your Library is too large, move older Images' Originals to a dedicated external storage device. If your dedicated external storage device is not big enough, purchase another (data storage is one of the greatest bargains of our time). If you've moved almost all of your Originals to a dedicated external storage device, and your Library is still too large, move the entire Library to a dedicated, fast, external storage device (today, use USB-3 or Thunderbolt). If the problem you are trying to solve is one of organization rather than storage, then you'll have to look at your workflow and make improvements. One of the simplest things to do in your Library is to create a new Folder (call it "Archive" or whatever) and move Projects that contain Images with which you are finished into it. Use the disclosure triangle to collapse the Folder. Out of sight, out of mind -- but safely archived and doesn't require any additional effort to be backed up. If that doesn't fit your workflow, then we need to know more about your workflow in order to suggest improvements.
If you have a set of Images that make up a fully self-contained set and you really want them out of your Library (e.g.: scans for a completed project), export them into their own Library, put that Library with your general documents, and delete the Images from your main Library.
A general (and slightly out-of-date) post about the workflow I use and recommend, is here.
I'm wondering if you could offer some advice. I'm looking for a SIMPLE and RELIABLE way to ensure that all the pictures my wife takes on her iPhone and Canon 60D are saved and backed up. I've tried a variety of solutions and nothing seems to work as well as I'd like. I've had portable external hard drives that have failed and I've had stationary external hard drives that have failed. To give you some background, I was previously using iPhoto for importing all her photos. Our iPhoto library has grown to over 400+GB. A sales associate at the local Apple store suggested I move to Aperture. I downloaded it this weekend and am trying to understand how it works. I also have a Pro account on Flickr that I've been using as one more means of back-up. I've read several posts about not using Flickr for back-up, but I'm not sure I understand why. In the past, we used to burn chunks of photos to DVD. The sales associate said that he wouldn't recommend that, as the lifespan is shorter on a DVD. I do have an EYE-FI card in our 60D that automatically uploads all our pictures to our computer and Flickr when it's connected to our WIFI. I have yet to find a simple solution for the photos on our iPhones, although I discovered this weekend that Flickr has a new automatic upload feature in their app, so that may address part of the issue. I am wondering if I need to get a Time Capsule. I was also considering getting additional external hard drives (we have a WD My Passport that we use with our Macbook) to save everything to and put in our fire safe. In any event, I'd love any suggestions you might have. Thanks