Aperture to Lightroom -- Week 1

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by colorspace, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. colorspace, Jan 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015

    colorspace macrumors 6502

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    #1
    So I got tired of holding my breadth waiting for Apple to release news regarding Photos.... has anyone even heard anything significant from Beta testers yet?! I guess there must be no concern on Cupertino about the ongoing hemorrhage of serious photo folks. My biggest concern about Apple right now is that Photos will never approach the support of serious photographers that Aperture once had... and not mostly because of what it what it means for Photos, but rather for what it will mean for future Lightroom development (including the significant issues noted below) without a significant competitor.

    I figured that I would start 2015 by putting all the (new) chips on the table for LR5. What that means at this point is that all of my photos since about mid December have by passed Aperture and gone straight into LR5. A quick summary of my "findings" so far below -- for the purposes here lets say my Aperture experience gets a general grade of B+ (down from an A+ from a few years ago):

    1) As expected the power of Lightroom really shines when it comes to the photo tools built such as lens correction, and even more most notably so far for my photos including a lot of nighttime and astro-photos, noise reduction. AWESOME A++.

    2. Handing of METADATA (very important to me) is maybe a bit weaker that on Aperture. Some of this might be due to my lack of familiarity, but if the point is to be able to tag images quickly and accurately, even after a week of trying to get up to speed... then this is not as slick as I was hoping. I would score it a weak B.

    3. The GUI Then there is the GUI... I did not expect this to be LR's strongpoint, but I find it to be a complete neurotic basket case in this regard. The entire Library/Develop module this is insane -- reminds me of lots of really poorly "designed" software that has never really been designed, rather has spend years growing tumors all over the place to do individual tasks (think BlackBoard, ESRI ARCGis, AutoDesk, etc). The "shutter design" with metadata, or controls on top, bottom, and L/R is clunky and confusing, extra unneeded keystrokes (and way more that I ever had to memorize for Aperture). I feel like my eyeballs are exhausted after about 30minutes scanning side to side and up and down (never an issue with Apple's design. Many of the control sliders that are insanely oversensitive. So much work needed here C-.

    4. Performance. This was my biggest surprise I was expecting something that felt at worst would be equivalent to Aperture.... not so, after much (WAY TOO MUCH) tweaking and playing with previews, caches, smart previews, caches/photos on HD, caches/photos on SSDs, etc and reading a ton of often conflicting articles in this regard, I can report that my editing, management performance is not CLOSE to that of Aperture. I absolutely HATE that the preview is significantly different in library and develop, and that they take different amounts of time to "snap in". Exporting of large number of files seems for some bizarre reason to be significantly SLOWER that in Aperture (either using the same HD or SSD). LR certainly does not seem to tax much of my available CPU (6 core Xenon with lots of RAM), even when it should! Not as bad as GUI, but shockingly "retro" C.

    So I would say that so far LR5 feels like a really well engineered and powerful jet built with all of the charm, ergonomic of the best SOVIET ENGINEERS. For now I'll keep plugging away at web and Youtube tutorials, as key command lines, I haven't given up yet.... So when does LR6 come out?

    More to follow
     
  2. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

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    #2
    I'm in the same boat and did the same as you. I did a heck of a lot of youtube tutorials, got Scott Kelby's book which was was helpful, etc before making the switch. My take using your criteria: 1) totally agree, same grade, 2) I actually found the metadata just fine since I fine tuned and customized it (see Kelby Lr book), so my grade is an A, 3) Agree on the GUI. I basically collapse the left side panel once I start on my photos...so no distractions there, and I use a file hierarchy very similar to what I have set up in Aperture. I plan on using Collections more on photos I'll be taking on an upcoming vacation, so my grade is probably a B-/C+ for now, 4) agree, very clunky performance at times..same grade as you.
     
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    #3
    Interesting; I found LR to be much easier to use for keywording than Aperture. I hated Aperture for this, even though I am in agreement with you about the inflexibility of some of LR's side panels, and I like the option of floating palettes (couldn't we just tear off a panel like so many applications do?). I love the checkbox thing in LR, and I also much prefer how it handles keyword hierarchies, especially in XMP and importing.

    I must say I don't have issues with speed, except for some clumsy stuff with retina on my new Mac. But I've also heard that some iMacs do better than Xenon based Macs with LR, although you'd think a six core would kill. Perhaps Apple still optimized Aperture for it's own flagship computers back when it cared.... I've done adjustments side by side (trying to see which would give better results) and didn't see any significant difference on my machine. YMMV.

    I prefer to do a lot of my editing with plugins though.

    One area you didn't mention where I give LR high marks are the incredible number of plugins for all sorts of tasks (not just stuff like Nik or DxO, but all the Cole, Friedl, Beardsworth etc stuff available. And the ease of working with referenced files; it's so much easier to move stuff to externals and such in LR IMHO.
     
  4. colorspace thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Rob

    For the most part side by side edits from RAW files are very similar, and I can certainly do thru them faster now in Aperture -- I suspect that even with more LR training this will still be the case, but less so. However, in the case of some of the low-light, high ISO photos that I edited from my Iceland trip I was really impressed w/ what I got from LR as opposed to Aperture. In these cases LR was did a great job with noise without loosing detail and I was able to get rid of the Vignetting (not great for Astrophotos) which Aperture cannot do at all. I was able to do about the same job on these photos, but I had to resort to plugin for the distortion and noise cancelation (DxO and Topaz respectively).




     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #5
    I'm still not using LR to its potential, but I've been able to transition over.

    I'm having some plugin issues, not sure why, but I cannot use the NIK plugins, it gives me an error. I can round trip from LR to PS, use the plugins there and then back to LR, but that extra step is a pain.

    Overall, I'm fairly happy with the UI, though I'm still getting used to the modal setup, i.e., needing to switch to the edit module, but realizing I need to perform some Library type tasks, I cannot do it there, but I need to switch back.

    Good review of how you're transitioning over to LR
     
  6. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

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    #6
    Mike, I had the same problems with NIK Complete but stumbled onto the solution. You need to go into Preferences>External Editing and in the section Additional External Editor You will see Preset. Click on Choose then go and find each App (Silver Effects, Color Efex, etc) in Finder individually and select it, one at a time. What you choose will appear as the selected choice in the Additional External Editor brick. Then go to the dropdown menu and select "Save Current Settings as new Preset" and name it for the specific app. Then go through the process for each one. Now when you're in Develop mode on a picture, when you right click on it you will see all of the NIK options. They do not show up when you use the File>Plugin Extras route. You can do this for the macphun apps as well. I had called Adobe tech support but they gave me a bizarre workaround which would cause me to have to choose between NIK or my imported presets. I could only use one or the other.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    ^^Thanks but you know what it was. My 2015 folder had its permissions messed up. I stumbled upon this when I went to edit a 2014 image with NIK and boom it worked.

    I should have looked closer at the permissions but I'm an idiot :eek:

    Thanks for the suggestions though :)
     
  8. kingebaneezer macrumors newbie

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    Aug 6, 2013
    #8
    Is there a series on youtube that you like for tutorials on LR5? I haven't bought Kelby's book and am looking for a free way to keep learning the software, but so far my youtube results are poor.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    KelbyOne's is probably one of the better ones.

    They offer deals for 99 bucks you get 4 months plus a free month. If you're looking to better leverage LR, then KelbyOne is one of the better resources imo
     
  10. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #10
    You guys need to stop looking at Lightroom so carefully. You're bursting too many "I Love Adobe" bubbles.

    I've switched twice, once for raw support and once to make sure I had my head in straight. I did, went back to Aperture both times.

    Adobe's products are made for people who love to sit in front of a computer and be reminded how well they can handle complex work environments. Then they like to spend hours doing post because the initial renders are so poor.
     
  11. cyb3rdud3 macrumors 65816

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    #11

    I could have written that, fully agree. And I would give it a D for library and file management. It is just unnecessary cumbersome. And another D for inefficient file storage as I when I want to use the files I have to export the raw files to then process.
     
  12. colorspace thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I'm not sure I'm that negative on it, but it certainly is no magic bullet :)

    Just finished my first test project (with some help of iMovie) which pointed out a few other weaknesses.... namely either I missed something or slideshows are not nearly as customizable as in Aperture -- in the past I could have created this project (photos from recent trip to Iceland), completely in Aperture -- maybe with a bit fewer bells and whistles, but MUCH faster.

    BEST Watched in HD resolution (Vimeo does not butcher this type of video nearly as badly as YouTube).

    http://vimeo.com/user3044548/iceland

    I will continue to climb the learning curve and see where it leads...


     
  13. jms969 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    :rolleyes:
     
  14. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

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    #14
    I think we should try to avoid turning this post into an Aperture v Lr which is better line of responses. Both systems have their pros and cons, neither is perfect or ideal. IMO, they should mate and their offspring would be close to perfect. The fact that Apple continues to be Apple and not give serious photographers any clue what Photos will really look like in more detail other than the crumbs they've doled out has left many photographers frustrated and looking elsewhere. The perception seems to be that Apple is more interested in iPhone photography and Apple watches and is less concerned with what the pro or prosumer photographer needs. It may not bee what Apple really intends to do but perception is reality in the eyes of many until Photos actually can be tested and used. Adobe is no better with their subscription model turning many people off and the question of whether Lr 6, when it gets released, being a standalone or tied only to subscription. At the end of the day, each one of us selects the tools that we feel work best for us in each of our own unique situations.
     
  15. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    #15
    I agree; that debate sort of ended with Aperture's impending demise. Right now Apple doesn't have a shipping DAM that it is committed to support. Not only Adobe, but also Phase One, Corel, Photo Mechanic, Lightzone, Darktable, and some others I'm forgetting DO have current DAM products. Many of which have been updated and improved even since Apple axed Aperture.

    I loved stuff in Aperture. And Appleworks. And MobileMe. And MacPaint. And so on. But that love is not requited. I'll trade stability and longevity for features that are here today, gone tomorrow.
     
  16. cyb3rdud3 macrumors 65816

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    #16
    The funny thing in that statement is that Aperture is here today and works very well with Yosemite ;)
     
  17. The Bad Guy macrumors 65816

    The Bad Guy

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    #17
    Not sure if serious…?

    I hate Adobe (and Apple too actually) but their software does what it needs to do.
     
  18. cyb3rdud3 macrumors 65816

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    #18
    It does what it needs to do, however the workflows are very in intuitive and made for people who have been conditioned by many years through the Adobe way. No argument that it isn't very powerful.
     
  19. The Bad Guy, Jan 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015

    The Bad Guy macrumors 65816

    The Bad Guy

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    #19
    Really? I find it fantastically simple.

    Matter of fact, you're all welcome to observe my workflow step by step below. :p :D

    • Import as DNG (if you're funny about that, you're wrong).
    • Crop if required.
    • Adjust exposure by one (shift + arrow key) either way if required.
    • Adjust contrast (shift + arrow key) by one or two.
    • Bump highlights (shift + arrow key) by one or two.
    • Bump or dump shadows (shift + arrow key) by one or two.
    • Bump whites (shift + arrow key) by one or five.
    • Dump blacks (shift + arrow key) by one or two.
    • Bump clarity (shift + arrow key) one or five times for everything but portraits. Except for clothes. But use brush tool or gradient mesh.
    • Bump vibrance (shift + arrow key) by one or two.
    • Dump saturation (shift + arrow key) by one or two.
    • Export to photoshop as TIFF.
    • Run self made frequency separation action.
    • Clone tool out things, use pen tool, make paths, make selections, use patch tool, use healing tool, use spot healing tool.
    • Dodge and burn and dodge and burn and dodge and burn and dodge and burn and dodge and burn and dodge and burn and dodge and burn and dodge and burn.
    • Muck around with levels and curves adjustment layers.
    • Close and save.
    • Back in Lightroom apply presets or not.
    • More than likely apply a vignette (lol jokes…probably).
    • Sharpen.
    • Export.


    You're welcome. :cool:
     
  20. cyb3rdud3 macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Blimey do you see all those steps, format changes and then you export it as well. You've obviously never used Aperture if you think that is normal.
     
  21. skaeight macrumors regular

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    #21
    The trouble is it won't be here tomorrow. I just don't want to invest anymore time in a dead product and Apple is refusing to show their hand on their future. That fact alone should give anyone that is really interested in photography pause in getting invested in their new Photos app.

    I have somewhat reluctantly moved over to Lightroom. It's not perfect, but I'm learning and I know for a fact it will continue to be here and will improve. Professional software is Adobe's lifeblood. Apple has proven time and time again that it's not anymore. At one time it was, it made sense for them to make software that really pushed the expensive machines they were trying to sell, but now they make most of their money on iPhones, so that is where most of their time is being put. That and a watch that no one really needs.
     
  22. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    #22
    And those same steps in Aperture would basically be exactly the same, wouldn't they? all those tools exist? You don't have to use DNG, or export as TIFF (and in fact, if you did rely on using DNG and exported to Photoshop THOSE steps would be the same).

    I'm having trouble seeing any difference for this workflow.

    For me, the difference was in keywording, plugins (I use Photosmith, Enfuse, and some metadata ones that don't seem to have equivalence in Aperture, although I haven't checked lately), ease of manipulating Finder folders, and I preferred Adobe RAW support (Apple took forever to support my latest camera). OTOH, I like being able to use floating palettes, faces (at times), and access by some applications to Aperture's library in Aperture.

    I'd grant that some of Adobe's applications rather vary from the Mac way, but that isn't necessarily bad. Especially if you have to work on a PC with their products, or are a long time PS user. Face it, it's Adobe and PS that set the standards for image processing, not the Mac OS. Doesn't mean LR and other Adobe products can't get better, they should. But some of us find the interface easy to use for a variety of reasons. YMMV.
     
  23. skaeight macrumors regular

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    #23
    I agree, my Aperture workflow was similar. I could do a lot of the dodging / burning and brush work in Aperture, but round tripping to Photoshop when heavy work is needed is something I might have done with Aperture anyways. If you aren't doing this type of stuff, iPhotos or the future Photos app are probably all you need.
     
  24. fcortese, Jan 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015

    fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

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    #24
    I have been playing around with Lr now for about 2 weeks. I've mainly spent my time setting up my import settings and some additional export settings and file structuring and I've found that both Aperture and Lr actually are very similar for my use (the vast majority of my photos were referenced). My DAM set up was folders by year with a year-month-day-name set up for the projects with sub projects or even sub albums broken down by subject or place or whatever I was shooting over a trip or outing. I would then create a sub smart album of my favorites. Now when I import that just changes all to folders and subfolders on my external HD. The only difference is that my culling process has actually gotten much quicker and I love the fact that I can delete bad photos off my HD easily (yes, I could delete my Aperture rejects; but I found I would forget to do this and my reject folder had grown to a 4 digit number of photos). What I do now is create a Collection set up similar to my subproject/album structure which makes it much easier to utilize the develop module and eventually have a separate collection of all of my favorites. So I've found that Lr when set up to my liking and to what I am use to, although not as facile as Aperture's set up nor as "compact," is pretty damn close. No pun intended.:eek: But there is no question that the ability to post-process photos is far better and more powerful and easier in Lr. I'm holding out hope that Apple gives real juice to Photos, but I'm not banking on it. Just look how they kept us all hanging before dropping the bomb that Aperture was dead and would not be available AFTER Yosemite.
     
  25. The Bad Guy macrumors 65816

    The Bad Guy

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    #25
    I formerly used Aperture exclusively. Until I outgrew it.

    The Lightroom portion of the edit process usually take less than a minute. Export only occurs if I'm publishing or printing.

    You've obviously never properly retouched a photo. ;)
     

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