Photos 1.1 - 3rd party extensions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by DennisMadsen, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. DennisMadsen macrumors regular

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    #1
    I'm using Photos 1.1 on OS X El Capitan Beta. Currently all my photos (~50GB) are stored in iCloud. I've read that the new Photos in El Capitan supports 3rd party extensions. Are there any extensions available yet?

    I've been editing my photos inside Photos but I would like to use a more powerfull tool. Which program would you recommend? Photoshop CC, Lightroom, Pixelmator or?
     
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    #2
    MacPhun is the only developer that has announced them, AFAIK. Check YouTube; there are a couple of demos. But apparently not released yet. Their B&W conversion application, Tonality, is top draw IMHO.

    But even with extensions Photos is still rather a poor digital asset manager. The standard, of course, at least in terms of user base, resources, compatibility, etc, is of course Photoshop and Lightroom, as in the Photographer CC subscription.

    Pixelmator does photos, but is also a graphics program for painting and some drawing, as is Affinity Photos. Both great though, although I'd say Affinity is a bit more to the Ps end of things than Pixelmator. Or Acorn; haven't used version 5 but it would stand up agains Pixelmator for most tasks.

    Capture One Pro 8 has a lot of fans, especially folks who like it's RAW conversion. And speaking of that, there's also Photo Ninja, RawTherapee, darktable, LightZone, Raw Photo Processor, AfterShot Pro, Photos Supreme, DxO Optics Pro, Nik/Google plugins, and many more, even GraphicConverter. Just depends on what you need to do.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #3
    The answer depends on what you mean by "edit". Are you making general adjustments for color and contrast, cropping and so on, that is things that effect the entire photo or maybe you are making selections of areas inside the image and changing parts of the image only. The ability to make selections and then operate on the selected area is the reason to go with one of the higher end apps like Photoshop. Yes some of the other ones have brushes that is almost as good but you can't make fine selections (such as strands of hair).
     
  4. Macphun Team macrumors member

    Macphun Team

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    #4
    Hey guys @ChrisA @DennisMadsen @robgendreau! Since you've mentioned Macphun, we'd like to ask you - what you feel about the Photos Extension thing in general. Can extensions make Photos a worthy alternative to LR and similar?
     
  5. MCAsan, Sep 24, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015

    MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #5
    My $02.00

    What extensions? Having the possibility in the architecture is very different from companies delivering products that use the extensions. You would need to compare the capabilities of Photos + any plugins.....vs.....LR + the large set of existing plugins.

    So when will these theoretical Photos plugins show up from: Topaz Labs, Nik, OnOne, Pixelmator, DxO, and others that have LR plugins?

    Until there are serious plugins for Photos, comparing tp LR is no where near....apples to apples. If Apple wanted to support serious photographers, not snapshot takers, they would never have killed off Aperture. But Apple sells lots more IOS devices than Macs.
     
  6. Macphun Team macrumors member

    Macphun Team

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    #6
    TRUE.
    But you'll agree that for people, who choose to use Photos as their default photo software, extensions will be very helpful. Wonder if there are any stats on the % of Mac users who have adopted Photos for Mac.
     
  7. steve123 macrumors regular

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    Aug 26, 2007
    #7
    Hi, glad you guys jumped into this thread topic. Here is my $0.02.

    Start by looking at Aperture and what is missing from Photo's. If you re-created the missing parts you would likely attract every current Aperture user and perhaps coax some of the users that have moved to LR.

    After filling in the holes left by Apples abandonment of Aperture, you could improve the application significantly by adding capability for layers and other PS and Affinity Photo types of editing. Finally, some of the PS (and PS Express) features such as stitching panoramas together, removal of unwanted picture elements, swapping of faces, etc. would be extremely useful extensions.

    Let me know if you would like to talk. I have been using Aperture for several years now, really like the software, and hoping someone will step in the fill the gap.
     
  8. r.harris1 macrumors 6502a

    r.harris1

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    #8
    Potentially, yes. It depends entirely on your needs and requires that you not define yourself by the tools you use but by the results you get. If you want it to be LR, probably not. With Macphun stepping up to the plate, and very likely Pixelmator, there will be a good first round of extensions in place after the OS release next week. It will either take off or not - I hope it does. As someone who takes my images seriously, I am always looking for different and potentially better ways to do stuff. Amazingly, Photos works well even if you aren't an evil "snapshot shooter" ;).
     
  9. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

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    #9

    I was an iPhoto user...switched to Aperture for a more robust editing set (with ability to control more than +/- options)
    I then changed from JPG shooting to RAW shooting.

    I have NOT switched to Photos. (I almost used the word upgraded...ha). the reason I have not switched it the editing features present in Aperture are not fully available in Photos. Aperture still works...Photos seems like it could have the ability to be just like Aperture with add-ons/extensions and if Apple sold an Aperture extension, that would be great and I could possibly switch. I LOVE the DAM that Aperture had and ability to Star rank and add Meta dada, keywords, etc.

    **I used to edit with Photoshop but realized that was more than I needed for most and turned edits into finals. (I am a designer so work with PS everyday)**
     
  10. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    #10
    For those of us who (loved) and left Aperture for C1 Pro or LR it's going to be a very hard sell to bring anyone back to Photos + Extensions. But there is a very large market of future photogs who don't yet know that they really want something more than just an apply filter button and a large group who aren't ready for the power of PS, CS1 or LR yet. I think there's an opportunity to offer unique extensions that focus on the user group and provide expanded capability...and also the classic tie in to IOS apps and social media.

    If you try to rebuild Aperture with Photos extensions I fear you may be wasting your time as the majority have probably moved on and found that the other offerings where probably better to begin with.
     
  11. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #11
    Not until I see them delivered and working. Where are any extension plugins by any company? So far all we have is any unfulfilled architecture with APIs. We need the rubber to meet the road.
     
  12. joesegh macrumors regular

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    #12
    I think it would by my ideal solution, but I need the plugins/pricing to be right.

    What I will miss about Aperture is:
    • Library management - events, smart folders, ratings, etc.
    • Combination of editing tools (basic scene stuff, obviously), presets, but most of all brushes for darkening/lightening parts of images.
    • Integration with iOS devices - very easy to load up an album to my phone to share with friends later.
    I don't really want to shell out $150 for Lightroom when my feature needs are basic. Photos with some good brushes and scene settings at $50 or so is really all I want/need, and would definitely pay for it. Lightroom is just too advanced for my "pro-sumer" needs.

    Intensify+Photos looks really compelling to me right now and that's probably what I'll try first.
     
  13. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #13
    If Apple hasn't told devs like yourself, I don't think you'll find useful hard statistics elsewhere.

    My feelings? Most iPhoto users have been/are making the switch to Photos. They haven't lost the range of tools and capabilities that Aperture users have. If you do your marketing well, I think you'll do fine with them. There are holdouts, of course - they'll keep on using their old, familiar iPhoto for as long as they can. Perhaps the availability of cool extensions will the the carrot that gets some of them to switch.

    Does it matter what percentage of all Mac users are using Photos? Not nearly as much. If they weren't using iPhoto before 10.10.3, then they either don't care much about photography, distrust DAMs in general, were already using Lightroom...

    Or, they're Aperture users. What percentage have already migrated to Lightroom, and what percentage are soldiering on with Aperture in hopes of redemption by Apple and/or the Photos extensions developers... Your guess is as good as mine. I'm in the latter group. I've been using both Photos and Aperture. I've been trying to use Photos as my primary tool, since I prefer everything be in iCloud Photo Library. I fall back to Aperture when I need things like brushes and plug-ins. Now that there's light at the end of the tunnel on plug-ins/extensions...

    To me, it seems important that photographers who catch the "bug" with an iPhone or iPad camera will be able to stay within the Apple ecosystem. Those who, in the past, would have migrated from iPhoto to Aperture for the sake of the editing tools (which is why I migrated), should not have to jump ship the day they outgrow the creative tools that come with Photos. You may or may not be able to capture the hearts and minds of the old-timers, but since there's always a new crop of newbies, there's always hope for the future.
     
  14. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    #14
    Here's what I'd like to see. "Always on" extensions or embedded extensions. Allow me to explain... I've always used extensions with Aperture and now Capture One. Primarily the NIK extensions. Even though the process works perfectly with Aperture and now C1Pro the one thing that I find annoying and time consuming is how the extension has to be called up or started each time. Both Aperture and C1Pro have to prepare a TIFF...open the extension...import the TIFF....and then save the TIFF.

    Next level stuff would be an extension you could buy and install that enhanced the native capability of the parent editing program. So that when you wanted to use the 3rd parties noise reduction capability (for example) it was presented as a tool inside the parent editing program with no round tripping. I realize that this would probably mean more work for extension developers and host programs would have to provide the code or whatever to make it all work.

    That's where I think Apple (and 3rd parties) could really offer something in the image editing/management world. Apple is already doing this with HomeKit and HealthKit. Why not ImageKit? Apple could build the basic foundation and all the hooks into OSX and IOS and then let developers, through the ImageKit program provide all the capabilities. You could start with Photos and then build it into whatever you wanted by customizing the capabilities you install. ImageKit could provide the foundation so that all the editing/DAM extensions worked seamlessly in OSX without round tripping and producing multiple TIFFs. Conceivably, even stand alone apps could have access to the original file with edit information through ImageKit and continue the non-destructive process.

    BTW...I have no earthly idea how any of that would be accomplished but that's what provides me the freedom to suggest anything!
     
  15. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #15
    One of the things I love about using LR plus Perfect Photo Suite ising Smart Photos which are images in PSD format. In the future I can reopen the Smart Photo and adjust any of layers and filters used in the original editing session. That would not be be possible using a TIFF image format in a round trip back to LR.

    http://www.on1.com/training/smart-p...ffects-9-premium-with-lightroom-and-aperture/
     
  16. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #16
    Brilliant insight! Indeed, round-tripping to TIFF is far from the ideal situation. The need to save multiple versions of an image is space-inefficient and violates a core principle of non-destructive, DAM-based editing. Speaking as a somewhat knowledgable layman, my guess is that one of the big sticking points on the road to all-native editing is support for layers (well, the lack thereof) - there are limits to what you can do (and un-do) when all editing is performed on a single layer. I can imagine that Apple might be cautious about adding that level of complexity, but ultimately it is going to be more cloud storage-friendly than round-tripping TIFFs. I hope it's on Apple's road map.
     
  17. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #17
    Since I can do that round tripping today with LR using PSD format, I will not be waiting for a potential date in the future when Apple restarts its desire to give a damn about serious photography and not just support snapshots made with IOS devices.
     
  18. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    #18
    Nor will I MCAsan. As much of an Aperture fan as I was it would take something game changing to bring me back to an Apple DAM/editing solution. I'm quite pleased at the moment with my C1Pro and NIK combination. I'm not really in the market for more extensions for C1Pro since NIK does everything I want. I'd like more speed and a "smart photo" capability like you described would be great in C1Pro. I spent about a month in LR and liked it. I liked how C1Pro handled my NEF files better. If I was a PS user I probably would've stayed with LR but I never use it. I don't even have PS installed anymore.

    On a side note though I am looking at Adobe Premier Elements as a replacement for iMovie 09 (which has been great). My video editing needs are minimal but I think Apple is also dropping the ball with iMovie as well. Perhaps it's just me but I've tried the latest iMovie several times and it just makes my skin crawl. I just can't seem get on board with the user interface or how it manages your content.
     
  19. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    It's not an issue of whether I like it or not, it's an issue of what the app can do for me. Photos without decent DAM is an app I'll never use beyond syncing previously edited (in another app) photos to my iOS devices.

    Simple stuff like solid keywording, ratings, picks or flags and a compare view. Without that front end, I personally don't see much of a market for plug-ins on the editing side. The existing editing module in Photos is not bad, perhaps with a plug-in for local adjustments. But without a decent front-end, what serious user will use Photos?

    If you're asking how many resources you should devote to developing plug-ins for Photos, I'd suggest looking at DAM. If that's an area Apple has sealed off, I'd suggest few if any resources. The market your serving is willing to spend money for post processing apps. I seriously don't believe that's a market that is, or would, use Photos.
     
  20. ChrisGVE macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I think this is exactly where the problem is. Photos is a poor DAM for the time being. Keyword, rating, flagging are missing, and more advanced DAM features as Joseph mentioned. Difficult to establish if it will catch up with C1 (which is only a slightly better DAM than Photos) and LR. Over time it could become compelling but only time can tell.

    I've bought the Macphun bundle by curiosity and also because it include the LR plugin... So I hedge my investment...
     
  21. alexjholland macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I'm an enthusiast, rather than a pro photographer. What I want mainly missing from photos was a decent HDR.. I used to use Snapseed for that.

    I'd be quite happy with a decent set of editing tools, including HDR and the world map view again, which was a great way to view my photos.
     
  22. harry20larry macrumors 6502a

    harry20larry

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    #22
    I am in the % of users who were in Aperture who swapped to Photos. I enjoyed the power of Aperture's brushes and more advance editing features, however, I couldn't justify the swap to Adobe's offering due to money. On top of this, I also really enjoy how elegant iCloud Photo Library is.

    I am really looking forward to seeing Photos Extensions drop as I am going to use them a lot. No one likes having to take a file out of Photos to edit to just bring it back in. It is inelegant and cumbersome. Having an inline editor is going to be so valuable to me and a lot of my friends who want more power than Photos has to offer.
     
  23. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

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    #23
    Having used iPhoto, Aperture, LR, and C1Pro I propose you are selling C1Pros DAM capabilities a little short there. Initially I was confused by C1Pro and thought it was a step down from Aperture in the DAM area but like many parts of C1Pro it takes time to really discover all the ins and outs and how best to employ all the features (granted, that's probably one of the cons of C1Pro). At this point I can confidently say that for my experience C1Pro is a better DAM for me than Aperture was (and I loved Aperture).

    I think harry20larry demonstrates where the market is for Photos extensions and it's probably a very large market when you think about it. I don't think you will compel C1 or LR users to come back to Photos with great extensions. Like me, most Aperture users who were pining for Apple to update Aperture have realized that C1 and LR are/were more powerful and that's what we were looking for.
     
  24. r.harris1 macrumors 6502a

    r.harris1

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    #24
    I'm now taking Photos for a spin with the Macphun extension for Intensify. I like it very much so far and do like that it gives me local edit capability and that it is a non-destructive extension, not a round-trip plugin creating files all over the place. What I like about the extension model is that it lets people who do things well, like Macphun, add functionality in a best of breed fashion rather than relying on one vendor to do all things well (and no vendor does all things well). I really do hope it takes off because it is, I think, a great paradigm. I'm not a high volume shooter and have never needed terribly sophisticated DAM, though I would obviously like to see it improve in Photos. And ideally, if over time Pixelmator can get extensions in place that are more pixel level, I'd be in heaven.
     
  25. ChrisGVE macrumors newbie

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    #25
    Maybe a bit :) but not by much :( granted that C1 is somewhere around Bridge CC as a DAM. Now if you consider pro features C1 is remarkably poor for a Pro tool: limited keywording capabilities, no external references for structured keywords, no synonyms, limited IPTF. Now it is true that I don't even compare it with Aperture but with Photo Mechanic, unfortunately PM is not a DAM.

    Beyond that don't take me wrong, C1 is an extremely capable tool and which has seen a remarkably fast development cycle recently. There is reason to believe that they might surpass the competition at some point (Adobe bring new features frequently but is not known to listen to their user base very often)
     

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