Software to editing photos?

Ledgem

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Jan 18, 2008
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I feel like you're hearing a ton of software recommendations and we're still not totally clear on your workflow or what you're trying to do.

You mention that you currently have around 700-1000 photos to sort through and edit. Apple Photos can do that but it'll be slow going. Some examples as to why:

1) You can't view more than one photo in a large size at a time. If you're the type of person to burst-shoot or even take photos in quick succession then you're going to want to find the optimal photo out of a pack of very similar photos, and the best way to do that is to view as many of those photos as large as you can. If you're more "disciplined" with the shutter button then this feature may not matter as much to you.

2) Editing a photo triggers a fancy animation and brings up an editing screen. That's a waste of time. With dedicated photography software (Lightroom, Capture One) the editing palettes are up at all times, and you can customize which tools are shown, and in what order.

3) You can't transfer edits between photos. For an example of how this is a useful feature, consider this: what if you took a photo and the white balance was off? Or what if the lighting washed everything out, and you restored the appearance by increasing the contrast and saturation? With Lightroom or Capture One you can manually edit one photo, then lift the adjustments from that photo and apply them to any number of photos that you want, all at once. Now instead of opening each photo one by one and adjusting the same sliders over and over, you've saved yourself a bunch of time.

Those features are helpful if you're doing high-volume photography. If you're generally only going to be doing 1-20 photos at a time then those features may be overkill, and Photos or even Finder and Preview might work just fine for you.

Similarly, consider what you're trying to edit with your photos. I use Capture One and most of my edits are limited to general scene adjustments. I'll occasionally clone something out, but I'm not doing any major manipulation of the image. As such, Photoshop (or my preferred Mac alternative, Pixelmator Pro) represents major overkill for my needs. At this point I only use Pixelmator if I'm assembling a diptych or triptych, really. I just don't have the time or inclination to do very heavy, focused editing on single images.

I don't like subscription software, hence my choices of Capture One and Pixelmator over Adobe's stuff. It sounds like you're in the middle of a whole bunch of things - not a good time to be committing to complex and expensive software. I'd recommend struggling with Apple Photos for now to get a sense of what's working for you and what's lacking. If you really want to splash out into the more specialized software, Capture One (and I believe Lightroom) should offer free trials - make use of at least one of them before spending any money (yes, even despite the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals). I don't really think there's a wrong choice you can make, but there are certainly sub-optimal ones. You'll know your own needs and budget best.

Good luck!
 
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r.harris1

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Feb 20, 2012
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I never stopped to think that there were services out tehre already. Since I am trying to start my own online business, and am not a web developer by role, I figured it would be a fun side project.
It can absolutely be fun, no doubt about it! I was thinking more about your now very near timeline and fighting through things like strangely rotating images, etc.




Let me clarify...

On any computer I have owned, I always create a master directory that is mine. Or, I create a seriees of folders: 10-PERSONAL, 20-MY_BUSINESS, and so on.

My casual users let their computers and software store data where the program wants to, and most Windows' users do things like putting their lives under "My Documents". Not me.

If the application I use (e.g. Photos, Lightroom) stores application preferences or metadata related to, say photos that I am editing, then I would prefer to store that in my directory structure and not nested away in some hidden/semi-hidden "Library" directory.

Follow me?
I sort of follow. At a high level (and there are nuances across applications), most applications that in some way manage your images will do it in a couple of ways. One is you can tell the application where the images are and it keeps a pointer to them that it manages. The other is that it will suck the images in to a library leaving the originals untouched. You them operate on the copy of the original that the application has brought in. In both cases, the application is managing state, metadata, edit history, variants, etc in its own internal database (I use the term loosely). You can place this database usually wherever you want within your disk structure (again there are nuances across applications).

So bottom line, you can absolutely choose where your images live - any drive, partition, what-have-you and you can usually specify where the application stores the metadata about the image. Sometimes, you have access to some of that metadata (related to image adjustments) in the form of image "sidecars". These sidecar files (*.xmp) are a mixture of application specific as well as "industry standard" information and you can usually read them in a text editor but they shouldn't be messed with (in general). Other applications, such as Photos don't really do sidecars (it's one of those application that sucks in your images).
 

r.harris1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2012
808
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Denver, Colorado, USA
This is for later, after you get your work done. In the intervening 20 years since you've paid attention to photography, there have been a number of key applications. You worked with Photoshop 20 years ago and obviously it's essentially the primal application. It's an image editor and then some. In the digital age, with the gobs and gobs of images out there, it became increasingly important to do digital asset management (DAM) and two cornerstone applications were Lightroom and Aperture. Additionally, at roughly the same time as these two were kicking off, Capture One from Phase One as well, though I'd contend that only in the last 5 years or so has it really come into its own. Dxo Optics Pro (now PhotoLab) made its way into the mix.

Other applications that are various mixtures (with varying degrees of success) of Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, Capture One, DxO have come out, including tools from Affinity, Skylum, On1, Topaz and also a handful of smaller players and open source tools. Most of these have matured into stellar tools and you can be successful with any of them - there will be at least one to suit your taste and price point.

Except for one. Apple's Aperture has been relegated to the scrap heap. Many of us on this forum have a soft spot (and some have a fanatical dedication :) ) to Aperture and were very sad to see it go. Some only run older versions of Mac OS so they can keep it up and running.

All of this history to add another tool for later consideration: RAW Power from gentlemancoders.com. The chap who is writing this application was one of the key contributors to Aperture when he was at Apple and is very responsive to user requests. He's slowly building in functionality to this tool that at the very least will likely make it "Aperture Light" if nothing else. There's no localized brushes and some of the other nice features from Aperture yet, but he's already added in presets, bulk edits, bulk exports and the raw conversions are fantastic. It's also extremely fast. It's still a little rough around the edges, but something to keep an eye on.

Also, you'll have options for subscriptions (Adobe) or what is essentially a yearly upgrade fee for other applications. A lot of people have opinions on either extreme for subscriptions vs purchase. For me, I do both. My yearly software bill is chump change compared to the hardware side of photography :cool:. I don't usually advertise for Adobe but their "all access" subscription is on sale for $29.99 a month until December 5 (it's usually 50-something/mth). I have it mostly because I use a lot of the other applications for work, less so the photography centric ones, though as mentioned I do dive into Photoshop for specific things. Their Lightroom+Photoshop subscription is $9.99 month, which is not too bad really. All of this depends on your comfort level with subscriptions, of course.

Most software companies bar Adobe run almost continuous sales, including right now, so it's a good time to be getting back into the game.
 
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tizeye

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So bottom line, you can absolutely choose where your images live - any drive, partition, what-have-you and you can usually specify where the application stores the metadata about the image. Sometimes, you have access to some of that metadata (related to image adjustments) in the form of image "sidecars".
I do similar and NEVER allow the processing program to import from camera into their file structure. I keep all photos in a "Pictures" directory and absolutely away from Apple's Photos/Cloud. No way I am going to pay for cloud storage of RAW files plus the various size processed files. I use Sony's program rather than direct SD card to transfer from the camera with a destination directory "1-Sony" in "Pictures" where the "1" keeps it at the top for the second process rather than alphabetically down in the "S". Second step is create a folder (or subfolder in existing folder) or multiple folders if multiple shoots were om that SD card. While this can be done later, create subfolder for final processed destination "full size" and "2500px". Next step is cut/paste all (or selected files on multiple shoots) to the destination folders created. That is where I will import them into Lightroom or other program from to begin processing.
A special note on Lightroom, it objects if you move the files later and then what to re-access them to further edit or delete from Lightroom before moving. Other programs do similar, particularly video and publishing programs, as they don't actually implant the photo but place a marker of where to find it. To simplify that and avoid going to each and every one, for paying clients I create a master folder of the year and each client job as a subfolder. I keep the past year and current year on the active hard drive with prior years archived. In a couple weeks will create the "2020" folder, then in Lightroom delete from Lightroom only the "2018" where I am then able to transfer 2018 to the external archive hard drive and frees up space on my working hard drive. Note: Lightroom give you a choice delete from Lightroom or delete from Lightroom and computer. Be sure and use the correct one. An example of deleting both is my "1 Star" which is trash not used but retained during processing the "5 Star" in event need to layer something in. Later, when finished, select all "1 Star" and delete within Lightroom from Lightroom and computer all in one step.
 
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Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
A year and a half ago I began the search for software to replace the beloved Aperture and after having tried Capture 1 and a couple others I finally found myself turning again to Skylum's Luminar, and I have been using that program ever since. It suits my rather simple needs and processing can be done fairly quickly and painlessly. I did not want to get into the subscription mode for Adobe's products and although years ago I had used Photoshop (last version I had was CS 3) I had tried Lightroom way, way back when it was first starting and decided I preferred Aperture. Sooner or later I may yet bite the bullet and at least give Lightroom a try, see if it suits my purposes....

I have never used iPhoto or Photo and have no plans for the latter. I prefer to transfer files from the memory card directly via Finder to a folder on the desktop and then am free to do with those images as I wish rather than having them tied up in some app's proprietary system. With images shot with my iPhone I again do not use iCloud for saving those; instead for just a few images I'll air-drop to the computer; for a lot of images I will use Image Capture to transfer the whole lot to the computer. This works out well, as then I can process them in Luminar or simply resize them and share them, whatever.

Good luck with your projects!
 
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Texas_Toast

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I feel like you're hearing a ton of software recommendations and we're still not totally clear on your workflow or what you're trying to do.
Sounds like a challenge, and one that I am up for!! 😃


You mention that you currently have around 700-1000 photos to sort through and edit. Apple Photos can do that but it'll be slow going. Some examples as to why:

1) You can't view more than one photo in a large size at a time. If you're the type of person to burst-shoot or even take photos in quick succession then you're going to want to find the optimal photo out of a pack of very similar photos, and the best way to do that is to view as many of those photos as large as you can.
I can see that you are really going to help me out!

Yes, unfortunately because of digital, I tend to be a sloppy photographer... 😊

In this case, I was using my iPhone and was doing lots of bursts. (And when I shoot with my digital SLR, I often a lot of "bracketing" - which is really just a nice way of saying "sloppy photographer"!)


If you're more "disciplined" with the shutter button then this feature may not matter as much to you.
15 years ago when I was getting into large and medium format, I was obviously more focused! =)


2) Editing a photo triggers a fancy animation and brings up an editing screen. That's a waste of time.
You mean Photos does that?


With dedicated photography software (Lightroom, Capture One) the editing palettes are up at all times, and you can customize which tools are shown, and in what order.
Now THAT is very helpful information into becoming closer to a professional digital lightroom specialist!! 👍


3) You can't transfer edits between photos. For an example of how this is a useful feature, consider this: what if you took a photo and the white balance was off? Or what if the lighting washed everything out, and you restored the appearance by increasing the contrast and saturation? With Lightroom or Capture One you can manually edit one photo, then lift the adjustments from that photo and apply them to any number of photos that you want, all at once. Now instead of opening each photo one by one and adjusting the same sliders over and over, you've saved yourself a bunch of time.
THIS is probably what that guy at the camera shop was talking about when he mentioned things like "workflow" and "mass edits" and "batching"...

Yes, I agree that if everything you shot was under-exposed because, say, you left your flash at home, then you'd more often than not need to make similar adjustments to all of your photos in a given shoot.


Those features are helpful if you're doing high-volume photography. If you're generally only going to be doing 1-20 photos at a time then those features may be overkill, and Photos or even Finder and Preview might work just fine for you.
I agree.


Similarly, consider what you're trying to edit with your photos. I use Capture One and most of my edits are limited to general scene adjustments. I'll occasionally clone something out, but I'm not doing any major manipulation of the image. As such, Photoshop (or my preferred Mac alternative, Pixelmator Pro) represents major overkill for my needs. At this point I only use Pixelmator if I'm assembling a diptych or triptych, really. I just don't have the time or inclination to do very heavy, focused editing on single images.
It has been said many a time that good photographer "get the photo" the first time, and don't need to rely on heavy post-production to clean things up.

There is also the argument whether you are photographing "reality" or you are creating "fiction" in something like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. (Particularly in the realm of landscape photography - which was my love many many years ago!)

So I get what you are saying here, and agree.

At the same time, I would like to learn more about Photoshop and "pushing" thigs to their limits, but for now, and for my work photos and for my e-commerce site, yes, Photoshop would be overkill!

BTW... I had to look up "diptych" and "triptych" so you got me there!! ;)


I don't like subscription software, hence my choices of Capture One and Pixelmator over Adobe's stuff.
Is CaptureOne by Nikon?


It sounds like you're in the middle of a whole bunch of things
If you only knew... :rolleyes:


- not a good time to be committing to complex and expensive software. I'd recommend struggling with Apple Photos for now to get a sense of what's working for you and what's lacking. If you really want to splash out into the more specialized software, Capture One (and I believe Lightroom) should offer free trials - make use of at least one of them before spending any money (yes, even despite the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals). I don't really think there's a wrong choice you can make, but there are certainly sub-optimal ones. You'll know your own needs and budget best.
$10/month won't leave me hungry, it is more just the principle (and toothache) of being perpetually locked in to that payment, which as an open-source guy, particularly rubs me the wrong way.

At the same time, I keep telling myself that I need to change my psychology for 2020, and start thinking like a "winner". As an entrepreneur I need to stop "sweating the small stuff" and understand that "it takes money to make money".


Good luck!
Very insightful post!! Thanks to you, and everyone else so far!! 👍
 

Texas_Toast

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It can absolutely be fun, no doubt about it!
Well, I set up my server - or more correctly a new cPanel instance - got a domain, set up Cloudflare, got my head back into web development after 4 years away, have a modest but nice looking solution so far, plus it will be cool to post a URL via work email and say, "Hey, I built this modest website over Thanksgiving, go check out your photos and videos!"

(I'm easily amused!) 😛


I was thinking more about your now very near timeline and fighting through things like strangely rotating images, etc.
Yeah, it looks like my goose is cooked! (Shouldn't have watched that TV special last night.)


I sort of follow. At a high level (and there are nuances across applications), most applications that in some way manage your images will do it in a couple of ways. One is you can tell the application where the images are and it keeps a pointer to them that it manages. The other is that it will suck the images in to a library leaving the originals untouched. You them operate on the copy of the original that the application has brought in. In both cases, the application is managing state, metadata, edit history, variants, etc in its own internal database (I use the term loosely). You can place this database usually wherever you want within your disk structure (again there are nuances across applications).

So bottom line, you can absolutely choose where your images live - any drive, partition, what-have-you and you can usually specify where the application stores the metadata about the image. Sometimes, you have access to some of that metadata (related to image adjustments) in the form of image "sidecars". These sidecar files (*.xmp) are a mixture of application specific as well as "industry standard" information and you can usually read them in a text editor but they shouldn't be messed with (in general). Other applications, such as Photos don't really do sidecars (it's one of those application that sucks in your images).
Since it looks like I am going to try Lightroom, I guess I will have to see how you set it up, and then make my best guess from there.

Especially with photo-editing software, it freaks me out to think the application is secretly making copies of my images and storing them away in some hidden Library directory.

Why? Because then I lose control of my data and privacy!!

For instance, I was was on a trip and took a picture of my hotel room and a month later realized that I accidentally captured some really sensitive data on a piece of paper laying on my desk that I would never want to be circulated!!

If that photo was in my 30-PHOTOGRAPHY directory, I could at least delete the original - although I am smart enough to know caching is still an issue. But if something like Photoshop/Lightroom is making copies of all of my photos, then even if I deleted the original, I could have that photo with sensitive data hidden away on my computer for life - not even knowing it is there - and that could be a serious issue...

BTW, no, I don't do anything questionable with my camera or computer, and I do run full-disk encryption and the lot, BUT that was just an example of where you gotta keep an eye on things!


******
On a side note, "in theory", regardless of how my photo-editing software works, if I follow my current workflow of...

- Take photos
- Manually download to: "30-PHOTOGRAPHY"
- Review raw lot
- Copy photos of interest to: "30-PHOTOGRAPHY > STAGING"
- Edit photos

...then even if Photoshop/Lightroom/etc makes copies of things, at least I have done some preliminary 'screening".

Of course, to my concerns above, I would prefer changing the preferences in, say, Lightroom so all "scratch-space" files and all metadata gets stored where I want, (e.g. "STAGING").
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
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Hawaii, USA
In this case, I was using my iPhone and was doing lots of bursts. (And when I shoot with my digital SLR, I often a lot of "bracketing" - which is really just a nice way of saying "sloppy photographer"!)
Depends on the type of bracketing that you're doing. If you're doing exposure bracketing for HDR or focus bracketing for focus stacking for deeper depth of field, those are all valid techniques to overcome various limitations. You wouldn't want to bracket with film because you wouldn't be able to merge them as you can with digital. It would just be an expensive waste.

You mean Photos does that?
Yes. But I may be overstating how much of a pain it is. Since it doesn't cost anything (except for an OS update; if I remember right you're still a few versions behind) it may be worth trying it for yourself to see if it bothers you or not.

Is CaptureOne by Nikon?
No, it's by the medium format company Phase One. There is talk that they may be spun off into their own company. Capture One is made in three editions: a Sony-specific version, a Fujifilm-specific version, and the general version. The vendor-specific versions are cheaper and probably the way to go if your DSLR is made by one of those companies. If you use cameras from other companies then you've no choice but to get the main version.

$10/month won't leave me hungry, it is more just the principle (and toothache) of being perpetually locked in to that payment, which as an open-source guy, particularly rubs me the wrong way.

At the same time, I keep telling myself that I need to change my psychology for 2020, and start thinking like a "winner". As an entrepreneur I need to stop "sweating the small stuff" and understand that "it takes money to make money".
In some ways you're right, but it does no good to spend money in a sub-optimal manner. As others have said, there is an open-source alternative to Lightroom called Darktable. As I've never used it I can't say how it compares; you could probably find some reviews online.

Regarding pricing, something that you wrote previously resonated with me. When I was originally choosing between Capture One and Lightroom (switching away from Apple's program Aperture, which had development ceased a few years ago) the subscription model for Lightroom was the major turn-off that put me to Capture One. I'm a hobbyist photographer and while I would probably use the program at least once a week, I hated the idea that I might pay my $10 and not touch the program for the entire month... maybe longer. I also hated the idea that if I stopped payment then I wouldn't be able to use the program at all.

Someone above complained about Capture One's upgrade fees, and the fact that the company now puts out paid updates about once a year. The nice thing about the perpetual license, though, is that you're not obligated to upgrade every year. As far as I know you don't even have to upgrade every other year to continue to qualify for upgrade pricing. You can pay if you like the new features and if your finances allow, or you can keep using the program as you are. And if you get out of photography for a while and then come back in, even in the worst-case scenario where the last version you bought no longer runs on the current operating system, you can either virtualize an older version of the operating system and likely run it that way, or otherwise find a way to install an older version of the OS to run it. With the subscription-based Ligthroom, you're out of luck unless Adobe is around and has processed your payment.

Granted, you can figure the costs in various ways. Capture One (main version) is currently $300; if you buy during sales (like the current Black Friday sale going on) you can usually get 20-30% off the price. The cost of upgrades has been increasing with time; the last cost was $150. By comparison, at $10 per month, Adobe seems like a reasonable $120 per year. However, recently Adobe had been testing an increased subscription price to $20/month, but received such backlash that they backed off. However, it is likely that at some point in the future they will increase the price, and then this price comparison will change again.

If someone likes the idea of subscriptions, though, note that Capture One does also have a subscription plan so that they can always have the latest upgrades, too. Granted, it's still more expensive than Lightroom's current pricing.
 

tizeye

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2013
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Orlando, FL
Especially with photo-editing software, it freaks me out to think the application is secretly making copies of my images and storing them away in some hidden Library directory.

Why? Because then I lose control of my data and privacy!!

For instance, I was was on a trip and took a picture of my hotel room and a month later realized that I accidentally captured some really sensitive data on a piece of paper laying on my desk that I would never want to be circulated!!

If that photo was in my 30-PHOTOGRAPHY directory, I could at least delete the original - although I am smart enough to know caching is still an issue. But if something like Photoshop/Lightroom is making copies of all of my photos, then even if I deleted the original, I could have that photo with sensitive data hidden away on my computer for life - not even knowing it is there - and that could be a serious issue...

BTW, no, I don't do anything questionable with my camera or computer, and I do run full-disk encryption and the lot, BUT that was just an example of where you gotta keep an eye on things!
Actually Lightroom and Photoshop don't make copies and store them somewhere. But, their approaches are different so must know the difference.

Lightroom, like other DAM software, falls into what is called "non-destructive" as the original remains un-altered. Instead of creating a copy - hidden or otherwise - Lightroom (On1 and others) creates a small sidecar text file that records all the adjustments and applies them the next time you load the RAW(or other original format shot in) un-altered file. It doesn't convert to jpg or other file format until you export it but the original RAW and instructions remain unaltered with the export.

Photoshop, by contrast is destructive. If you save, particularly if the original was .jpg, you lose the original, so MUST "save as" to retain both.

A practical example is today's POTD of the monkey sculpture. It is in the Winter Park/Albin Polasek Museum folder. It began life as DSC03739.ARW which is unchanged. There was also a DSC03739.TIFF created as during processing from within Lightroom after initial adjustments I edited more (cloning out background distraction) in Photoshop with Lightroom adjustments then saving back in Lightroom as a TIFF file which is the format it selects by default. (That is how the two programs work together). When the 30 photos in the Museum shoot were ready, "select all" and they were exported as jpg, however, while most files were exported out from ARW file type, in this particular case I de-selected the ARW for this photo and only exported the TIFF, renaming the files in the process. The one posted is web size file, Albin Polasek-2500px-14 and there is a corresponding Full size Albin Polask-14 in a separate subfolder from a second export, and of course the two DSC03739 files remain.

After all that, today I wanted to create an avatar for a different forum so launched Photoshop to square crop and downsize to 400x400px. I could choose any of the 4 files but for quick simplicity chose a jpg. If I did a straight save in Photoshop it would have wiped out that jpg original. I did a "save as" renaming to Monkey avatar 400x400.jpg
 
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Texas_Toast

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This is for later, after you get your work done.

In the intervening 20 years since you've paid attention to photography, there have been a number of key applications. You worked with Photoshop 20 years ago and obviously it's essentially the primal application. It's an image editor and then some. In the digital age, with the gobs and gobs of images out there, it became increasingly important to do Digital Asset Management (DAM) and two cornerstone applications were Lightroom and Aperture.
Thanks for helping to bring me back to the 21st century!


Additionally, at roughly the same time as these two were kicking off, Capture One from Phase One as well, though I'd contend that only in the last 5 years or so has it really come into its own. Dxo Optics Pro (now PhotoLab) made its way into the mix.
Okay.


Other applications that are various mixtures (with varying degrees of success) of Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, Capture One, DxO have come out, including tools from Affinity, Skylum, On1, Topaz and also a handful of smaller players and open source tools. Most of these have matured into stellar tools and you can be successful with any of them - there will be at least one to suit your taste and price point.
Good to know.


Except for one. Apple's Aperture has been relegated to the scrap heap. Many of us on this forum have a soft spot (and some have a fanatical dedication :) ) to Aperture and were very sad to see it go. Some only run older versions of Mac OS so they can keep it up and running.
What happened to Apeture? (Another Tim Cook conspiracy?!)


All of this history to add another tool for later consideration: RAW Power from gentlemancoders.com. The chap who is writing this application was one of the key contributors to Aperture when he was at Apple and is very responsive to user requests. He's slowly building in functionality to this tool that at the very least will likely make it "Aperture Light" if nothing else. There's no localized brushes and some of the other nice features from Aperture yet, but he's already added in presets, bulk edits, bulk exports and the raw conversions are fantastic. It's also extremely fast. It's still a little rough around the edges, but something to keep an eye on.
How does "RAW Power" compare to Lightroom as far as functionality?

Added presets, bulk edits, bulk exports, etc seems like a handy feature to have for someone with a couple HUNDRED-thousands RAW pictures scattered across numerous computers and hard-drives that I shot but never even looked at... 😈



Also, you'll have options for subscriptions (Adobe) or what is essentially a yearly upgrade fee for other applications. A lot of people have opinions on either extreme for subscriptions vs purchase. For me, I do both. My yearly software bill is chump change compared to the hardware side of photography :cool:. I don't usually advertise for Adobe but their "all access" subscription is on sale for $29.99 a month until December 5 (it's usually 50-something/mth). I have it mostly because I use a lot of the other applications for work, less so the photography centric ones, though as mentioned I do dive into Photoshop for specific things.
As mentioned earlier, sometimes I need to remind myself that I am (becoming) a businessman, and that things will cost money, but so what. (It is the consumer in me that just hates paying a lifetime of "rent" and never owning my own "home"...)

Yes, $29.99/month is chump change.



Their Lightroom+Photoshop subscription is $9.99 month, which is not too bad really. All of this depends on your comfort level with subscriptions, of course.
My bigger concern is paying for subscriptions that I don't end up using. Right now I feel like I have 25 hours of work to do a day... Guess I just need to work smarter and make time to buy and learn and start using some of the above applications?!


Most software companies bar Adobe run almost continuous sales, including right now, so it's a good time to be getting back into the game.
True.

Awesome advice above! Thanks a million!! 👍
 

Texas_Toast

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I do similar and NEVER allow the processing program to import from camera into their file structure. I keep all photos in a "Pictures" directory and absolutely away from Apple's Photos/Cloud. No way I am going to pay for cloud storage of RAW files plus the various size processed files.
👍


I use Sony's program rather than direct SD card to transfer from the camera with a destination directory "1-Sony" in "Pictures" where the "1" keeps it at the top for the second process rather than alphabetically down in the "S". Second step is create a folder (or subfolder in existing folder) or multiple folders if multiple shoots were om that SD card. While this can be done later, create subfolder for final processed destination "full size" and "2500px". Next step is cut/paste all (or selected files on multiple shoots) to the destination folders created. That is where I will import them into Lightroom or other program from to begin processing.
👍

Yes, like you I prefer to move my files around *manually* - don't need no stinking computer telling me what to do?!

And for decades I have been using the ASCII table to sort my elaborate filing structure on my computer. Using numbers and special charaters to sort things where I need...
Code:
20-AUDIO > 01-STAGING
20-AUDIO > 02-TEMPLATES
20-AUDIO > 03-COMPLETE
20-AUDIO > 04-REFERENCE
20-AUDIO > and so on...

A special note on Lightroom, it objects if you move the files later and then what to re-access them to further edit or delete from Lightroom before moving. Other programs do similar, particularly video and publishing programs, as they don't actually implant the photo but place a marker of where to find it. To simplify that and avoid going to each and every one, for paying clients I create a master folder of the year and each client job as a subfolder. I keep the past year and current year on the active hard drive with prior years archived. In a couple weeks will create the "2020" folder, then in Lightroom delete from Lightroom only the "2018" where I am then able to transfer 2018 to the external archive hard drive and frees up space on my working hard drive. Note: Lightroom give you a choice delete from Lightroom or delete from Lightroom and computer. Be sure and use the correct one. An example of deleting both is my "1 Star" which is trash not used but retained during processing the "5 Star" in event need to layer something in. Later, when finished, select all "1 Star" and delete within Lightroom from Lightroom and computer all in one step.
Sounds like a plan, and will probably make more sense as I start to (hopefully) learn Lightroom..
 

Texas_Toast

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I have never used iPhoto or Photo and have no plans for the latter. I prefer to transfer files from the memory card directly via Finder to a folder on the desktop and then am free to do with those images as I wish rather than having them tied up in some app's proprietary system.
Amen!!


With images shot with my iPhone I again do not use iCloud for saving those; instead for just a few images I'll air-drop to the computer; for a lot of images I will use Image Capture to transfer the whole lot to the computer.
Yeah, I use ImageCapture.app to download photos from my iPhone to my MacBook Pro.

And for my Nikon, I plug in a memory card reader into my Mac, plug in the Flash Card or whatever they are called, and again, manually download my pictures to a storage area of my choosing.


Good luck with your projects!
Thanks! :)
 

Texas_Toast

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Depends on the type of bracketing that you're doing. If you're doing exposure bracketing for HDR or focus bracketing for focus stacking for deeper depth of field, those are all valid techniques to overcome various limitations. You wouldn't want to bracket with film because you wouldn't be able to merge them as you can with digital. It would just be an expensive waste.
With my DSLR, I do traditional bracketing for exposure and various affects. (I also don't take enough time to do proper "composition" and shoot a boatload of pictures to CYA...) *LOL*


Yes. But I may be overstating how much of a pain it is. Since it doesn't cost anything (except for an OS update; if I remember right you're still a few versions behind) it may be worth trying it for yourself to see if it bothers you or not.
What are you referring to here?


No, it's by the medium format company Phase One. There is talk that they may be spun off into their own company. Capture One is made in three editions: a Sony-specific version, a Fujifilm-specific version, and the general version. The vendor-specific versions are cheaper and probably the way to go if your DSLR is made by one of those companies. If you use cameras from other companies then you've no choice but to get the main version.
Phase One is a camera company?!

Medium format?? Digital Medium format?

I have a Mamiya RX-67 in storage..



In some ways you're right, but it does no good to spend money in a sub-optimal manner. As others have said, there is an open-source alternative to Lightroom called Darktable. As I've never used it I can't say how it compares; you could probably find some reviews online.
Not following you here... I tend to buy high-quality items, just don't like the subscription model, but alas that is where the software industry has gone. (Ask Microsoft!)

Early in this thread I mentioned that I am thinking of switching to proprietary because while I prefer open-source, I also know that almost all open-source documentation SUCKS!! (The only exception being Mozilla Develoepr Network which is a Godsend!)

So while I could do a lot of things in open-source with my photos, I would waste so much time experimenting that would cost me more than paying Adobe and getting imemdiate help via forums, online guides, printed books, courses, etc.

This is why I will likely go with the Adobe stack...


Regarding pricing, something that you wrote previously resonated with me. When I was originally choosing between Capture One and Lightroom (switching away from Apple's program Aperture, which had development ceased a few years ago) the subscription model for Lightroom was the major turn-off that put me to Capture One. I'm a hobbyist photographer and while I would probably use the program at least once a week, I hated the idea that I might pay my $10 and not touch the program for the entire month... maybe longer. I also hated the idea that if I stopped payment then I wouldn't be able to use the program at all.
American Capitalism at its best!!! ;););)

For me, I think I need to be positive and *assume* that my starup will be successful and thus I won't care about the cost even if I bought the whole Adobe suite!

As a pure hobbyist, though, I agree with your fears.


Someone above complained about Capture One's upgrade fees, and the fact that the company now puts out paid updates about once a year. The nice thing about the perpetual license, though, is that you're not obligated to upgrade every year. As far as I know you don't even have to upgrade every other year to continue to qualify for upgrade pricing. You can pay if you like the new features and if your finances allow, or you can keep using the program as you are. And if you get out of photography for a while and then come back in, even in the worst-case scenario where the last version you bought no longer runs on the current operating system, you can either virtualize an older version of the operating system and likely run it that way, or otherwise find a way to install an older version of the OS to run it.
True.


With the subscription-based Ligthroom, you're out of luck unless Adobe is around and has processed your payment.
Also true.


Granted, you can figure the costs in various ways. Capture One (main version) is currently $300; if you buy during sales (like the current Black Friday sale going on) you can usually get 20-30% off the price. The cost of upgrades has been increasing with time; the last cost was $150. By comparison, at $10 per month, Adobe seems like a reasonable $120 per year. However, recently Adobe had been testing an increased subscription price to $20/month, but received such backlash that they backed off. However, it is likely that at some point in the future they will increase the price, and then this price comparison will change again.

If someone likes the idea of subscriptions, though, note that Capture One does also have a subscription plan so that they can always have the latest upgrades, too. Granted, it's still more expensive than Lightroom's current pricing.
Dumb question, but I assume with all of this software, as long as you have an edited and saved final rendition of your photo in a standard format, then I assume you can edit it later without Lightroom/Capture One/etc, right?

So it's not like you are totally locked out of your photos if one of these companies goes belly up, right?

Assuming that is true, what is the best non-destructive (??) format to save your photos in in case you need to later edit them?

I'm thinking the answer is leave them in the camera's RAW format, but if you were worried that Nikon/Sony/etc might also cease to exist, then which format would be truly univeral for later editing with no loss of quality?

Thanks!
 

Texas_Toast

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Actually Lightroom and Photoshop don't make copies and store them somewhere. But, their approaches are different so must know the difference.

Lightroom, like other DAM software, falls into what is called "non-destructive" as the original remains un-altered. Instead of creating a copy - hidden or otherwise - Lightroom (On1 and others) creates a small sidecar text file that records all the adjustments and applies them the next time you load the RAW(or other original format shot in) un-altered file. It doesn't convert to jpg or other file format until you export it but the original RAW and instructions remain unaltered with the export.
So it sounds like it loads the original RAW file into memory (RAM), applies the changes you want, and then it renders that image on your screen (still in RAM) so you can make a determination, right?


Photoshop, by contrast is destructive. If you save, particularly if the original was .jpg, you lose the original, so MUST "save as" to retain both.
I didn't know that.


A practical example is today's POTD of the monkey sculpture. It is in the Winter Park/Albin Polasek Museum folder. It began life as DSC03739.ARW which is unchanged. There was also a DSC03739.TIFF created as during processing from within Lightroom after initial adjustments I edited more (cloning out background distraction) in Photoshop with Lightroom adjustments then saving back in Lightroom as a TIFF file which is the format it selects by default. (That is how the two programs work together). When the 30 photos in the Museum shoot were ready, "select all" and they were exported as jpg, however, while most files were exported out from ARW file type, in this particular case I de-selected the ARW for this photo and only exported the TIFF, renaming the files in the process. The one posted is web size file, Albin Polasek-2500px-14 and there is a corresponding Full size Albin Polask-14 in a separate subfolder from a second export, and of course the two DSC03739 files remain.

After all that, today I wanted to create an avatar for a different forum so launched Photoshop to square crop and downsize to 400x400px. I could choose any of the 4 files but for quick simplicity chose a jpg. If I did a straight save in Photoshop it would have wiped out that jpg original. I did a "save as" renaming to Monkey avatar 400x400.jpg
Okay, interesting.
 

r.harris1

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Answers to random questions :)

- Phase One has been around for about 25 years in the area of medium format digital backs. They actually bought out Mamiya a number of years back so that they could compete with Hasselblad - Phase needed a bespoke camera body to go with their backs. They tend to focus on fashion, studio, landscape and along with Hasselblad are the only two companies who produce “full frame” or as close to 60x45 mm as they’ve gotten thus far (~54x40). New, these backs are north of 40k. Though once you “drive them off the lot” the price drops substantially, though they are still quite expensive. There are smaller medium format sensors (44x33) that appear in some backs from Hassy and Phase as well as the newer medium format cameras from both Hassy (H1D I,II) and Fujifilm (GFX 50S,R and 100S) and have either a 50mp or 100mp sensor. The largest Phase sensors in their backs are 150mp. Having a digital back can be useful on technical or view cameras for tilt/shift, etc.

- You never truly view a raw file. Any image you see on screen from any application is a demosaiced ("cooked") raw file with edits applied and displayed in a viewable render in your chosen color space. A lot of applications have their secret sauce to apply to raw files and therefore you might see slight variations in out-of-the-box raw conversions between applications. Nothing to get too worked up about, just interesting. In applications like Lightroom, once you have the "cooked" raw file, you apply edits on top of them, and then yes, the application shows you the rendered image with your edits. The raw file itself remains untouched even when you export to another format like jpeg or tif.

- Edits are proprietary to the application. If you edit an image in Lightroom, you can't have those edits visible to you in Capture One, for example.
 
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Texas_Toast

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Answers to random questions :)

- Phase One has been around for about 25 years in the area of medium format digital backs. They actually bought out Mamiya a number of years back so that they could compete with Hasselblad - Phase needed a bespoke camera body to go with their backs.
Wow! Who knew?! Told you I have been away from all of this a long time... ;-)


They tend to focus on fashion, studio, landscape and along with Hasselblad are the only two companies who produce “full frame” or as close to 60x45 mm as they’ve gotten thus far (~54x40).
Not to be a snob, but I don't consider 6 X 4.5 to be medium format.

So no one has a 6 x 7 digital back?



New, these backs are north of 40k. Though once you “drive them off the lot” the price drops substantially, though they are still quite expensive.
Still that much, huh?


The largest Phase sensors in their backs are 150mp. Having a digital back can be useful on technical or view cameras for tilt/shift, etc.
Too bad you can't get a reasonably priced digital back for a 4 x 5 or even better an 8 x 10 camera! *sigh*


- You never truly view a raw file. Any image you see on screen from any application is a demosaiced ("cooked") raw file...
Okay.


Edits are proprietary to the application. If you edit an image in Lightroom, you can't have those edits visible to you in Capture One, for example.
If you took a raw file and needed to save it in a trnasferrable format, that is lossless, which format would you choose?

I was asking if you took a raw file, edited in Lightroom, saved it as a lossless format like TIFF, and then went to edit it in say Capture One, I assume you could pick up where you left off in Lightroom, no?

I think you are saying that you can't take your settings that modify a raw picture and import those digital modifications in another application because they wouldn't be compatable, right?
 

r.harris1

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Feb 20, 2012
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Wow! Who knew?! Told you I have been away from all of this a long time... ;-)

Not to be a snob, but I don't consider 6 X 4.5 to be medium format.
Sure.

So no one has a 6 x 7 digital back?
No, though there may have been a larger scanning back at one point, but I haven’t followed those so don’t know.

If you took a raw file and needed to save it in a trnasferrable format, that is lossless, which format would you choose?

I was asking if you took a raw file, edited in Lightroom, saved it as a lossless format like TIFF, and then went to edit it in say Capture One, I assume you could pick up where you left off in Lightroom, no?

I think you are saying that you can't take your settings that modify a raw picture and import those digital modifications in another application because they wouldn't be compatable, right?
I’d use tiff. Yes, if you saved out a tiff from Lightroom, you could edit it in Capture One from where you left off. And yep, I’m saying the edits aren’t compatible in general, though some info like IPTC metadata, star ratings, etc, can move between some programs.
 

Ledgem

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Jan 18, 2008
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What are you referring to here?
Sorry if it wasn't clear - the annoyances of the limitations with Photos (Apple Photos). The advice is to try using Photos (assuming you're on a version of MacOS that has it) to see if it fits your needs. If you find that the annoyances that cause slow-downs affect you, then you'd know that some of the other software would really be worthwhile.

Dumb question, but I assume with all of this software, as long as you have an edited and saved final rendition of your photo in a standard format, then I assume you can edit it later without Lightroom/Capture One/etc, right?

So it's not like you are totally locked out of your photos if one of these companies goes belly up, right?

Assuming that is true, what is the best non-destructive (??) format to save your photos in in case you need to later edit them?

I'm thinking the answer is leave them in the camera's RAW format, but if you were worried that Nikon/Sony/etc might also cease to exist, then which format would be truly univeral for later editing with no loss of quality?
I see two questions here:

1) Being locked out of your photos. I believe all of these programs allow you to dictate where the files will be stored, whether you want to manage the file locations and directory structure yourself or import them into the program's database. Which ever you choose, you'll always be able to access the files from your operating system, outside of the program.

2) Edits and saving originals. Programs like Capture One and Lightroom offer non-destructive editing, which tizeye wrote pretty extensively about. You do your edits and then export the edited photos into new files. If you wanted to edit between multiple programs then as r.harris1 suggested, TIFF would likely be your best option. (PNG is a close second and offers superior file sizes, however TIFF has the advantage of being able to be 8-bit or 16-bit, whereas PNG is limited to 8-bit. Most cameras take photos with a bit depth of at least 10 bits, meaning that saving to PNG would result in some loss of information. Granted, when you export to JPEG you're going down to 8 bits anyway.)

However, as r.harris1 also alluded to, what you lose in this process are the edit "history" and other data. For example, if I do a number of adjustments in Capture One, including some masking to specifically adjust the contrast only on the sky in a scene, and then I export to TIFF, the program opening the TIFF won't have access to the mask or layer that Capture One sees. As far as I know, re-importing that TIFF back into Capture One would also result in loss of that particular edit data - you would just see the scene as it was edited.

In the grand scheme of things it's not a huge deal: you do the edits, export your photo, and most people probably don't go back to touch the originals again. I only mention it for completeness' sake.

RAW is your best option for multiple reasons. The only valid reasons to use JPEGs over RAW are if 1) you lack the capability to edit RAWs, or 2) you don't have the time (or don't want to spend the time) to process RAWs.
 
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Texas_Toast

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Awesome responses in this thread.

Thanks to everyone for bringing me up to speed and giving me so many things to consider!! 👍


By the way... Is there any chance that Lightroom (or any other application mentioned here) do basic video editing?

I discovered this weekend that displaying .MOV (from my iPhone) onto a web page isn't as easy as you'd think?! Apparently Chrome doesn't like .MOV and other browsers may/may not support them.

About half of my holiday shots were mini videos, and I was hoping to include them in the website I am wrapping up.

I am looking for a quick way to convert these .MOV files to some other more browser friendly format, WITHOUT spending a ton of money, or worse, spedning a ton of time learning how to do this?!

I am sure that video editing is a whole other level of complexity, but am hopeful that I could quickly convert these work videos into something that I can display shortly before our holiday party is "ancient history"!


Update: I basically got my website done last night, but still need to buy Lightroom and figure out how to use ASAP today. (And then there is the above "video issue"!) 😚
 

tizeye

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Awesome responses in this thread.

Thanks to everyone for bringing me up to speed and giving me so many things to consider!! 👍


By the way... Is there any chance that Lightroom (or any other application mentioned here) do basic video editing?

I discovered this weekend that displaying .MOV (from my iPhone) onto a web page isn't as easy as you'd think?! Apparently Chrome doesn't like .MOV and other browsers may/may not support them.

About half of my holiday shots were mini videos, and I was hoping to include them in the website I am wrapping up.

I am looking for a quick way to convert these .MOV files to some other more browser friendly format, WITHOUT spending a ton of money, or worse, spedning a ton of time learning how to do this?!

I am sure that video editing is a whole other level of complexity, but am hopeful that I could quickly convert these work videos into something that I can display shortly before our holiday party is "ancient history"!


Update: I basically got my website done last night, but still need to buy Lightroom and figure out how to use ASAP today. (And then there is the above "video issue"!) 😚
Both Lightroom and Photoshop have video editing capability but is limited and I don't use as they are primarily photo programs. Plus, I own Final Cut Pro X. While I know they can edit, don't know about file format change as never tried it. For inexpensive, two free programs, iMovie is included with you Apple device, and assuming you don't have FCPX, at that high end professional level, the free version of Davinci Resolve.While Davinci Resolve historically was the go to program for color grading, exporting then re-importing with grading changes to/from Adobe Premiere and Final Cut, they have really progressed with program version development to becoming a full fledge program even in its free version.There are some YouTube videos on Lightroom and video processing, as well as on on dropping Premiere for Davinci as a viable alternative.
 
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Texas_Toast

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Both Lightroom and Photoshop have video editing capability but is limited and I don't use as they are primarily photo programs.
Do you think Lightroom would help me convert from .MOV to .MP4?


Plus, I own Final Cut Pro X.
That is for video editing?


For inexpensive, two free programs, iMovie is included with you Apple device,
I don't see that I have iMovie on my Retina with macOS Sierra. Can I download it for free?

And how hard would it be to learn how to convert my .MOV files in iMovie? (Hoping that any solution would just require a few clicks...)

Thanks for the tips above!
 

Ledgem

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I don't see that I have iMovie on my Retina with macOS Sierra. Can I download it for free?
It should be available for free to you through the App Store. There is also an iOS version, although I don't recall the video exporting options.

And how hard would it be to learn how to convert my .MOV files in iMovie? (Hoping that any solution would just require a few clicks...)
It shouldn't be overly complicated - just adjust the export settings.

If you're looking for a dead-simple conversion program that would only require three or four clicks, I like Permute. It's not just for video, but can also convert between many other file formats. It's not free but pretty cheap ($15). There is a free trial that you might be able to use for this purpose, although I don't recall what the limitations of the trial were (time-based, number of conversion, or if the conversions have some other limitation). If you foresee yourself needing to do conversions regularly then it may be worth a purchase. If you're going to buy video editing programs then it's up to you - Permute will likely be a bit faster (particularly if you do batch conversions), but just going with a video editing program may save more money.
 
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Texas_Toast

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I just spent like 2 1/2 hours downloading and installing Adobe Lightroom. Upon completion, I got an email that said, "We're unable to process your order"

When I called Adobe there was a 2-hour wait time.

Seriously??
 

cSalmon

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Dec 18, 2016
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Yeh I got a chuckle out of you claiming Open source programs such as Darketable are a hassle I said to myself, never tried and contacted Adobe for help before, have you? :)

I do think it would be beneficial for Apple's users if they(Apple) struck a deal with Open source programs to be on the App Store, sure would give value to Apple customers and a positive branding position.

Personally I find Digikam to be superior to Lightroom for ease of use as a cataloging program. While Affinity is still obviously a version one program if you need to ask then I'm confident that Affinity will work with any of your needs. I've been able to remove Adobe 100% from my computers and while I'm no high end retoucher I get by. Once DarkTable releases a stable version #3 I will be testing it to see if I can remove Capture One from my workflow.

I do disagree with you that because Adobe use to be the gold standard it's the way to go today. I (and a lot of graphic designers I worked with) had so much trouble once they went to an always connection subscription model. Nope never again!
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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OP wrote:
"By the way... Is there any chance that Lightroom (or any other application mentioned here) do basic video editing?"

No.

For video editing, you already have a modestly decent app called "iMovie".
If you "want more", I suggest Final Cut Pro X.

Re the photo editing:
What OS are you using?
Is it Catalina?
Or is it an earlier version (Mojave and earlier)?

For simple, easy editing and browsing, I still like Picasa.
Yes, Picasa. (others in the forum will be laughing)
It's free.
But... it runs in 32 bits, so it works only with Mojave and earlier.

If one needs more, then USE "more".
But for simple browsing and editing, Picasa is "all I need".