I started using Aperture a year ago. I never spent any time watching Lynda.com or anything else, I just thought I figured the darn thing out, as far as downloading images. I plug my phone or Canon into the computer and download images. At the same time they're downloaded, I have them backed up to a USB drive attached to said computer. Now I'm trying to export images and Aperture is telling me that some of the original files are unavailable. What gives? I can view all the damn pictures using Aperture. Why am I unable to export them? Seriously, what gives?

EDIT: I was attempting to send a selection of images to that God awful facebook. Two separate accounts. One account ended up with 46 out of 125 images. The second account ended up with only 33. This makes no sense to me.

  • I haven't used Aperture, but assuming it's similar to iPhoto: There are original files and there are previews - the pictures you see in Aperture are presumably the low-resolution previews (stored on your main hard drive), while the actual originals (used for exports) are unavailable. There should be a setting somewhere: "import originals to library" vs "leave originals where they are". You may get better answers at the Apple stackexchange site. – j-g-faustus Jan 2 '13 at 7:51

If you're using referenced files (vs. managed files, where Aperture stores the originals inside its database), then Aperture keeps a reference pointer, within its database, to the original file location on disk (along with a low-res thumbnail, as @j-g-faustus mentioned in the comment).

If, for some reason, Aperture can no longer find the original file in the the location it believes the file(s) to be in, you have to help Aperture out, and tell it where the referenced masters are. If you're viewing one of the photos in question, you can select all the files in the project, and choose Locate Referenced Files from either the context menu or the File menu (I'm going off memory here; not currently on my photo-editing computer). At this point, using the dialog box that pops up, you should be able to navigate to the folder containing the images. Once you do this, Aperture should be able to re-sync its database with the proper file locations.

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