Not trying to start a flame war--just an honest question:
>> This as the Aperture debacle has demonstrated is a useful starting point as it is a universal way of organising your images being recognised by different OSs and programmes - it is completely software agnostic.
What debacle are you referring to?
Aperture was marketed very specifically as a Pro App. That means it is a tool that as a Pro you rely on and expect to keep being updated and maintained. Apple's long silence re Aperture was pretty bad, but then simply saying they are dropping development of a programme which professionals based their workflow on with no easy way to move onto an alternative professional solution is pretty messy. No pro in their right mind should commit to a workflow relying on Apple products because this is not an unusual occurrence with Apple. Particularly as pros are a very small part of their business which is mainly phones these days.
I consider myself to be pretty organized and also interested in abstraction, should the need ever arise to switch applications. My Aperture photo workflow / organization goes like this:
* Import from camera to a designated "temp" import folder. Immediately run a rename script on the CR2s so that each file is named year-month-day_hour-minute-second[-sequenceNum].c2
* After renaming, I import to Aperture (my library is referenced)
* Immediately after import, I keyword, assign places, faces, and other metadata (which to be clear are stored in the Aperture library, but may be exported to XMP). I then delete the photos I don't want and empty the trash, which moves the original images to the "real" trash
* I then move all originals from the temp import folder to the appropriate "year" folder on my drive. I have a series of folders 1997 - 2014 (and counting)
* Aperture knows where these files were moved, because the link to the file is done by the filesystem node ID, which is independent of physical path
* If I ever need to relocate the originals, I use the appropriate command "Relocate Originals" or some such
* I create Smart Albums to create sets of images that contain all the images that meet certain criteria: keywords, adjustments, lens or camera type, etc...
The part I bolded, LR does for you when you import saving you the effort, but does it to individual dates. Which if importing a stack of images from say your phone that were taken over the last few weeks can be quite faffy if you do it manually.
I honestly don't see the need to have "direct access" to the original files as given in Lr. The layer of abstraction that Aperture provides is sufficient to ensure clarity (where the file resides, where to move it to if desired), but beyond that the "abstraction" serves to eliminate confusion (as evidenced by this thread), and lets you focus on the metadata "value" that you add: who the picture is of, what place it was taken, etc.
The problem that people who rely on meta data organising tend to not mention is that metadata organising involves a lot of hard work up front. The reason I use both folders and metadata is they complement each other nicely, where one is weak the other is strong. My other bug bear with finding stuff via metadata is all the false positives I end up with - in several different programmes this is an issue.
For example earlier on I searched for music by GusGus in iTunes, now when typing in Gus
I also got unsurprisingly music by 'Angus
+ Julia Stone' and another 200 tracks where there was no seeming link to 'gus'. GusGus got just GusGus but if they spelt their name gus gus then I would get all the other 200 extraneous titles as well. This is a very specific example, but it happens a lot when I search for things using metadata by text. Verry annoying.
The thing I don't really like about Lr is how alternates of the "original" are treated. For example I have a picture of a fish that shows up in several different smart albums. In Aperture, if I edit the picture of the fish, all "references" to the fish photo reflect the changes I made to the original. OTOH, in Lr my experience has been that each reference to the fish photo may have it's own adjustments...which means I may have several different treatments of the fish photo, each in it's own container. I don't want this.
In Aperture, if I wanted different treatments of the fish I would make a new Version, and then include that Version in the fish in the album of my choice. In Lr Virtual Copies offer the same functionality. In both cases these alternates are explicitly created.
In Lr is there a way to prevent the creation of different alternates as described above?
That is not what should happen. If you alter an image then each copy whether Master or Virtual in other places should also change. I just tweaked a bee image in it's folder, made two VCs and tweaked them and the version in the smart collection also changed to match - as expected. I did a dumb collection too added them there and no matter in which of the three locations I altered the images the changes were seen in the other two places.