Posts tagged with Aperture

Aperture-like projects and Lightroom

You can have an Aperture-like project structure providing you don’t make the mistake of thinking Lightroom folders are Aperture projects.

Apple kills Aperture

Even before yesterday’s announcement about the end of Aperture, consistently the most-visited page on this site was Moving from Aperture to Lightroom.

Looking over the fence

It’s time for Aperture user Scott Bourne’s biennial wobble Here’s Why I’m Seriously Considering A Permanent Switch To Adobe Lightroom. After saying how he prefers Lightroom’s raw conversion quality and its “much faster, speedier processing”, this seems the most interesting part:

Now if I knew Aperture 4.0 was around the corner and that Apple answered each of these new improvements with improvements of their own, I’d reconsider. But at this point I don’t know that and have no reason to expect it.
So if I can get my arms around the fact that I need to move almost 480,000 images and that I need to be able to master a new workflow involving referenced rather than managed files, I’m going to switch and if I do – I’m not going back – no matter what Apple does. Even if they do catch up because it will only be a matter of time before more…

Will Lightroom ever get away from this modal hangup?

It might, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I know “modal” is a loaded word in Mac-land, but these are “modules” and more akin to the workspaces you see in Photoshop than they are to nasty unMaclike modality. They’re dedicated to tasks like adjusting or organising, and help you focus on the task in hand rather than flipping between adjusting images and entering metadata. The key to getting over the modal hangup is to learn just a few keyboard shortcuts – E G D R Q W . There are lots more, but those combine important functions with moving between workspaces.

What has Aperture done to my x@%king metadata?

I'll be posting some of my own thoughts on Aperture 3 soon, maybe tomorrow. But I just noticed David Riecks has some issues with how Apple Aperture 3 writes metadata and I recommend you read his article very carefully indeed:

Apple has made some significant changes to how Aperture handles metadata with this latest release. However, the ways in which this has been done should be of great concern to professional photographers that work with other programs, or hand off their metadata-rich files to others who need to be able to access the full range of that information.

You shouldn't be concerned if you use Aperture 3 on your own Mac, don't typically use embedded metadata, and don't share your images with others, or work with other programs such as Adobe Photoshop. Even if you do use metadata to describe your images, and only need to find them on your local computer, more…

A late winner

I imagine this will interest a very small crowd, but here's a year-old presentation to a Mac developers conference by Adobe's Troy Gaul on how Lightroom is coded. He shows the development environment they needed to build because they were using Lua rather than a more widely-used language. One thing (as well as a new term) that I picked up was that there was a “stretch goal” to produce a development tool for plug-in authors as (hot news folks) “it might get a little tedious” to use a text editor to write code. No sign of it yet, but here's hoping (after all, Ryan Giggs just hit a 5th).

Also read John Nack's post on Lightroom beating Aperture 6-1 - more for the comments from the crowd.

The grass is always greener?

Rob Boyer's All Things Photography blog includes Aperture tips and has also ventured into the dangerous waters of direct Aperture versus Lightroom comparisons. While overall Rob's about as fair and balanced in advocating Aperture as I am in preferring Lightroom, some judgements fall in Lightroom's favour. For instance, see his comparison of Aperture and Lightroom keywording:

[In Aperture] you can do crazy stuff like running scripts that smash the entire hierarchy into each of your images based on the specific keywords but that sort of defeats the purpose. Lightroom on the other hand will export the entire hierarchy for each specific keyword, but wait there's more, for each and every keyword Lightroom let's [sic] you specify whether or not to include the parent keywords and… whether to export it at all.

…Score a big win for Adobe Lightroom 2 versus Apple Aperture 2 when it comes to keyword functionality.

While I think his more…

Trojan horses

Not long ago I almost linked to Micah Walter's Inside Aperture article Seeing RED. He's now doing more video and is having problems managing the new file types:

What would save my day would be Aperture. If only Aperture supported AVCHD (and many of the other tapeless formats) I could import my AVCHD card just like I do with my DSLR. It could import any stills from my HD camera, as well as all of my native clips. It could allow me to preview my clips, maybe even set in and out markers and I could select a batch of clips and still frames to send off to Final Cut Pro for production. Final Cut could be responsible for converting the clips to QuickTime format (or not) and everything would just be in one place in an Aperture project.

Can't recall why I didn't more…

Strange (and missing) words

Over at the McCreate site (which first adorned the web as Aperture Professional Users Network, soon dropped the word “Professional”, and then dropped the rest) John Omvik does a lengthy comparison of Aperture 2.1 vs Lightroom 2.0 – Different Approaches to Local Image Corrections:

So Which Method is Best?

Both methods offer advantages and disadvantages for local corrections. After working with both I have to say that I am very impressed with the speed and flexibility the Adobe solution offers. I like the open plug-in concept from Apple, but feel that the implementation leaves much to be desired, especially as it relates to the rest of the non-destructive workflow.

My ideal solution would be a plug-in architecture that would allow for 3rd party plug-ins to be integrated in the processing pipeline offering the extensibility of Aperture with the speed and non-destructive functionality of Lightroom.

Pravda extolling the virtues of capitalism? But these are days more…

Plug-ins (Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy)

It's easy to see real positives in Aperture's announcement of plug-in architecture. Taking advantage of existing third party tools can quickly flesh out its features, while positioning it at the centre of a viable “ecosystem”. Meanwhile third party developers can be working on fully-integrated solutions.

On the other hand, it's a long way short of the original concept of the one ring to rule them all, and might even be seen as defining limits on what's going to appear in the core product.

In any case, even if that fear's untrue, it seems pretty obvious that people don't really want to pay for a range of plug-ins for essential tasks like noise reduction or lens distortion - they will do so, but reluctantly, as a distress purchase. Then there's the hassle each time the host or the plug-in upgrades, or the palaver of tracking down licence numbers when you get a new more…

Aperture versus Lightroom

Ian Wood ( here too) has written an interesting and lengthy Aperture versus Lightroom 2 beta comparison.

He admits “Obviously I'm pretty biased towards Aperture (contributing to an Aperture blog, writing Aperture-related software, top-rated poster on the Apple discussion forum, posting on pretty well every Aperture-related forum on the net etc.), but I like to think I can put together a reasonably balanced list of pros and cons. The comments on those pros and cons, on the other hand, will be strictly personal… ;-)”

Fair enough - both in terms of sufficient knowledge and admitting up front to being an Aperture enthusiast. It's therefore hardly surprising that the choice of language supposedly describes the opposition's strengths yet carries a barb (it all reminds me of hearing Bill O'Reilly on Fox commend Kerry not for being more eloquent than Bush but as “more glib”). So I don't think I would have spun more…


It's not a secret that I find Lightroom the best application for reviewing, adjusting and applying initial metadata - I'd pretty well finished processing last weekend's 2,100+ raw files by Wednesday morning. Equally obviously, it's not the only program that aspires to manage and process large numbers of pictures. I'm immediately referring to the Mac-limited Aperture, but it's interesting to see others moving into this database+processing arena. There are hints of a SmartFlow from Microsoft, and Robert Edwards pointed out some of the features that are going to be in Bibble 5. Click one screen grab and you'll see the cataloguing system, click the other and there's local adjustment within the application (ie not via some pixel rendering plugin or Photoshop).

I can't shake off the feeling that right now there's no Manchester United that wins the DAM+P market with style - man, yesterday was so tense - but just a more…

Aperture to Lightroom (update)

Last year I posted a note on how to move master pictures from Aperture to Lightroom and transfer any metadata that you had entered. Essentially you used the Export Masters command and told Aperture to put the metadata in XMP sidecars. This worked fine for raw files, but not for originals whose file formats were publicly documented such as DNGs, TIFs or JPEGs. Adobe (rightly) expects metadata to be embedded in the file and not in a sidecar, so Lightroom or Photoshop wouldn't read any Aperture captions or keywords in those files. There was a workaround, but it required you to keep your head screwed on.


Take a look at Jeff Schewe's teasing post in a thread about Aperture 2.1 and its dodge and burn utility:

what are you gonna be doing next Wed, April 2nd? (I actually already know what you'll be doing but I can't really tell ya)

Rendering out the raw file to run a Photoshop type plug-in on the gamma encoded file (making a tiff) is NOT the way I want to be dealing with raw files. Dodge/Burn, and optimal output sharpening can/should/will all be done right in the raw workflow. That would be the Lightroom way…


What a lousy week. Sunday's high - United going 5 points clear against the Scousers - was sorely dented the following afternoon when a Mac user drove his Volvo into the side of my car, which had been parked in front of the house. As if I've not said some nice things about Aperture recently! Another whole day then went down the drain trying to unblock a panicking friend's email before finding that it wasn't the free antivirus or firewall that someone had installed, or some problem at the recipient's end, but her ISP blocking an innocuous letter combination in a single plain text, attachment-free message. It was one of those weeks when you never even start one of the things you'd planned to finish.

But at least the week's ending nicely, with news of a private re-enactment event down in Hampshire this weekend, and this afternoon I picked up a more…

XMP madness

Of course, you’ve got to be sceptical of a PC-using Lightroom author’s opinions on Aperture, even if he also uses a Mac and pretends to know a little bit about using it to manage and process his pictures. After all, would you listen to his view on driving a BMW once you know he’s driven Audi for 15 years? Or when he tells you what’s wrong with Liverpool when his loyalties lie firmly at the other end of the East Lancs Road? Perhaps you would.

I particularly rate James Duncan Davidson’s posts because he’s an Apple-using switcher, moving from Aperture to Lightroom – the decisive issue being working speed, not brand loyalty. His Aperture 2 quick impressions picks up on many of the points I keep banging on about. He likes preview mode and the belated addition of background processing, but he also picks up on one of Aperture’s strangest failings:

The more…

Progress chasing

Looking over the fence as one does, and no doubt breaking a couple of biblical commandments, one Aperture feature that I've always liked is Smart Albums. Partly for me it's a very simple principle - any database-driven application should let users save any queries and search criteria. Modern business systems also help control and drive the workflow, so that call centre guy in India escalates your issue to his supervisor, who logs on in California and sees a task on her action list, while her manager reviews exception reports and overall clear-up rates, and no doubt wishes he'd never heard of outsourcing and offshoring. Data already present in the system is leveraged (forgive me) to drive the process forward and exceed customer expectations.

OK - and before I career off into a Scott Adams mission statement filled world - principle and analogy are all very well and good, but where more…

Aperture and tethered shooting

I don’t do much tethered shooting and don’t have much feel for how common a requirement it is. But for some it obviously matters a lot, and it’s no surprise to see that Aperture 2.0 has introduced a tethered mode.

This morning I tried it out with a Nikon D200 (it’s worth noting you have to set its USB connection to peer to peer mode). After choosing a project, you then begin a tethered session by setting where the files should be written. You’re not forced to select its black hole (OK the managed folder) but can send them to a regular “referenced” folder, and can set filenaming options and add some descriptive metadata like your copyright. You then see this little palette, which you can move out of the way, and then fire the shutter with its Capture button. Once the new image arrives on your computer, it is more…

Aperture 2.0 speed

There's little doubt that Aperture has been harmed by being slower than Lightroom on equivalent Apple hardware - as well as by being worse than glacial on non-Apple computers. For myself, I never found version 1.56 was too bad on my MacBookPro with 2Gb RAM - slower though not impossibly so was my feeling. But I was very interested to see if 2.0 would be any quicker than the previous version, let alone a match for Lightroom

Overall, in my view 2.0's performance is definitely no worse than before, and Apple aren't strong-arming users into upgrading their hardware again (further evidence it's a 1.7?). And it is pretty clear that plenty of effort has indeed gone into making the program appear faster. So it quickly announces it has finished importing new pictures, even though to do anything useful with them you still have to wait while it quietly builds thumbnails and more…

Essential gear + Aperture 2

Ever have problems remembering your keyboard shortcuts? Some people just print them out and stick them to the monitor, while I go try use one new shortcut every day, but if you're an Aperture user, what you need is AUPN's long sleeve t shirt.

Update - Aperture 2 has just sneaked out. I suppose I am surprised that it looks so unexciting, as if they've copied a few of Lightroom's adjustments - Recovery, Vibrancy, Definition (ie Lightroom's lousily named Clarity which I always call Punch) - and then done a lot of tidying up to its remarkably fiddly interface.

The detail is here:

Proper DNG support so Aperture will now read files shot on a camera or camera back not natively supported by Mac OS X. If Adobe support it, Aperture will do so too. Given the recent fiasco over supporting new Canon and Nikon pro cameras, that's a very wise move more…