Aperture 3 Vs. Photoshop

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by clarkkent18, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. clarkkent18 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Location:
    Elk Grove, Ca
    #1
    First off, I am new to Mac’s and I am still learning all that it has to offer me. I am getting back into photography (when I first started I was using Canon 35mm and digital cameras where not out yet) and I do not know which program is better. I know that Photoshop has been around for years and everyone knows about it, but I have never really used it. Now that I have a Mac, I have been told the Aperture is a good program for photo editing. But which one is better? Aperture is only like 80 bucks (US) and Photoshop is close to a grand (US). Here is some background to help you out.

    Why do I need a photo editing software and what do I take pictures of? Back when I first got into photography, I was really into shooting sporting events (waterpolo, football, baseball) for local high schools, which I am looking at getting back into. Not to long ago, I have been asked to go to local bands and shoot them while they are playing, so I have had some fun with that. But where my true passion lays is in nature, mainly small creak, waterfalls, and the landscape.

    Right now I just want to clean up the pictures that I have and not real doing anything high tech just yet. Right now, I am not looking at taking the drummers head off and replacing it with the mine (if you know what I mean). But I might want to start doing that later on, once I get better and know what I am doing. Besides cleaning up the color, I would like to try and remove some weeds or leaves that happen to get into the shot. When shooting local bands I would like to touch up there faces and highlight some of there facial features.

    I am using a Nikon D5100 (16.2 MP) with a 10mm, 55-200mm, and 85mm lenses. I will be using the iMac 1TB hard drive, 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4 GB of memory. I am mainly looking at shooting outdoors with good lighting while hiking, but I might try and get back into low lighting wedding and local bands.

    So with all of this in mind, which software do you think is better? If money was not tight and the programs did not cost an arm and a leg, I would get both and see for my self. But since that is not the case, I would love to hear you reviews of both programs.

    I have added one on my photo to show you what I am trying to clean up with the color and remove some of the weeds.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. c1phr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    #2
    Aperture and Photoshop do two different things, the Adobe equivalent to Aperture is called Lightroom (or Photoshop Lightroom) and is far cheaper than Photoshop itself.

    My suggestion, and what you're likely to find here, is to download a trial of both and see for yourself. I assume you're already shooting in RAW, so both of these programs are going to do pretty much the same thing. The major difference here is how your workflow moves (Aperture works more library based as iPhoto, I'm not sure if it works parametrically like Lightroom).

    I personally found Lightroom to work the best for my workflow, but from what I've read it's almost all personal preference.
     
  3. clarkkent18 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Location:
    Elk Grove, Ca
    #3
    I am not going to lie, right now I am using .jpg to shoot with. What format would be the best to use??
     
  4. mackmgg macrumors 65816

    mackmgg

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #4
    They both offer free trial versions on their respective websites. You can try both for 30 days, and see which you like better. Then make your purchase based on that.
     
  5. c1phr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    #5
    I would HIGHLY suggest shooting in RAW. Since you're using a Nikon it will be called a NEF file (many camera manufacturers use their own type of RAW format). This will allow you to change things in post processing such as exposure, tone curves, white balance (!!) and others without quality degradation. This is the general purpose of both Aperture and Lightroom is for changing these values.

    Note though, that RAW files are not nearly as compressed as JPGs (since RAW records data straight from the sensor, rather than an interpretation of that data as JPGs do), so the files will be larger, ergo allowing you to shoot less on your memory card.
     
  6. Ish macrumors 68000

    Ish

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    ^^^ What everyone said above. Aperture and Lightroom are good for organising photos and enhancing things like white balance, exposure, selective exposure using brushes, retouching and loads more stuff like that. I'm still on my free trial of both so my knowledge is more limited than others. These programmes are not designed for replacing the drummers head with your own.:) For that you'll need Photoshop. There is a Photoshop Elements which is far cheaper and does a lot of the things that Photoshop itself does so you might want to check it out too. Remember you can try full versions of all these programmes for free for 30 days so you don't need to spend anything to try them out.
     
  7. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #7
    Aperture (and its competitor from Adobe, Lightroom) are primarily tools to organize photos and do `90 % of the edits.' Depending on what you do, you won't actually need any dedicated image manipulation app. Besides, from the sound of things, you likely won't need a copy of Photoshop, an app such as Pixelmator, Acorn or Photoshop Elements will probably suffice.

    Regarding whether or not to shoot RAW, I would recommend you start learning about other aspects of photography first. In most cases, you won't be able to fix a bad photo if you had shot in RAW. If you don't know the controls of your camera yet (effects of changing shutter speed, aperture and ISO, using the flash in various situations, etc.), this is where I'd start. Also, composition: the shot you've posted is not very appealing to me: it's very busy (the blades of grass in the foreground are distracting rather than an element which harmonizes the image), it's way too green, it's not clear for the eye where the focal point lies and what the message is supposed to be.

    Only after getting more comfortable with the technical aspects, I'd switch to RAW.
     
  8. clarkkent18 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Location:
    Elk Grove, Ca
    #8
    Thank you everyone for your feed back. I know there is a 30 day free trial, but since I am new to the digital enhancement, I don't think I will learn everything the software has to offer me. But from all the reviews I have seen out there, I am kind of liking aperture. If you have any more reviews, please post away. I am enjoying reading them

    Oreo, I snagged one of the shots from my hike, it is not the best one. I posted it to show my point on items that I would like to remove. I appreciate your comments about the picture, I am still learning and having a blast at it at the same time. Thank you again.
     
  9. kallisti, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011

    kallisti macrumors 65816

    kallisti

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #9
    I would suggest shooting in RAW. Largely because it offers you the best chance to correct any *oopsies* that happen at the time of image capture. Can't fix focussing errors, but can fix white balance, (modest) exposure, or color errors.

    Aperture/Lightroom are good for edits that involve global problems with an image. Things such as white balance, color correction, sharpening, coarse level adjustments, global contrast adjustments, getting back shadow detail globally, (trying) to recover highlight detail, conversion to B&W, etc. They are also able to do red eye reduction and some touchups for small blemishes.

    Here are some screenshots of what options Aperture offers:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Plugins (such as those from Nik Software) let you have more control over many of these functions.

    Aperture is fairly intuitive to use.

    Photoshop (once you figure it out) gives you quite a bit more control over your images. You can do much more radical things with your images through the use of layers and masks.

    If you are looking to find a program to *tweak* your images, then Aperture or Lightroom should be enough.

    If you are looking to radically alter your images (i.e. extract certain elements and introduce them into a different background, radically alter specific portions of your image, apply creative filters to either the whole image or specific parts of the image, etc.) then you really may need either Photoshop elements or full-blown Photoshop.

    I tend to view Aperture/Lightroom as tools for tweaking images while Photoshop is for radically altering images. If your intended output is close to what you obtained at the time of capture, then Aperture/Lightroom will likely suffice. If what you obtained at the time of capture is only raw material that needs extensive manipulation related to your intended output, then you may need the added power of Photoshop. Both programs are tools. Ultimately you use the best tool that lets you do what you want/need to do with the least amount of hassle.
     
  10. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #10
    Easy

    Get Photoshop Elements AND Aperture 3.

    Elements has probably 95% of the full version. As someone wanting to learn photoshop, Elements is a great jumping off point. I have been working in Photoshop since 6 and could not imagine trying to jump right in. You will only be missing a few things like CMYK, Smart Objects, channels, pen tool that you probably won't even need as a beginner.
     
  11. Keleko macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #11
    Exactly what I did.
     
  12. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #12
    IMHO the major shortcoming of PSE is its lack of layer edits in 16-bit files. One of if not the major reason to use PS over AP/LR nowadays is for layers and blending/composites/etc. If you use PSE to do any of that, you will have to export to 8-bit TIFF first, and in doing so throw away up to half your data.

    Ruahrc
     
  13. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #13
    That's precisely my point: this isn't an issue you fix with Photoshop, this is something you need to `fix' when you compose the photo.
     
  14. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #14
    Fact: Photoshop CS5 is better than Photoshop Elements.

    Another Fact: OP wont mind or even notice the 8bit "loss of data"
     

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