Suggestions for software

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Newbe, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. Newbe macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Finally I conceded to digital and I have left film. I really hated to leave my favorite nikon prime lenses: 35mm 1.4 & 105mm 2.5. I shoot primarily on vacation - people and scenery. I am technically challenged when it comes to computers and for that reason I bought an iMac.
    What software gives the most bang for the bucks? Do I have to go the whole route with Apeture 3 and/or Photoshop? If not, what are the alternatives? Your recommendations will be greatly appreciated.
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    What do you want to do in the first place?

    Aperture and Lightroom are for managing your photos and alterations of metadata and values like exposure, white balance and so forth.

    Aperture, Lightroom and Photoshop have 30-day trials you can fully use, so you can test them out before you commit to anything.

    Also iPhoto is capable of minor edits with RAW footage.
  3. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    When my favourite film (Fuji Velvia) was discontinued, I gave up photography. I couldn't see myself coping with digital, though, looking back, I'm not sure why. Anyway, I took the plunge, eventually, and bought a Nikon D200, and kit lens. It's been quite a learning curve for me (and I'm not young ;)), and, over the weeks and months, I proved to myself that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

    I forgot all about film, and wouldn't want to go back. I use Aperture on a 24" iMac. It was quite a challenge to learn a lot of new stuff, especially the techy computer side of things. But it's been well worth it. And, anyway, if you know how light works, then you have a head start in digital image making.

    Accept the challenge! You won't regret it... :)
  4. yaroldb macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2007
    I'd start with iPhoto. It's a really nice little program and it comes with your iMac. It will sort out pictures for you and even let you do some minor edits. Try it out, if you feel like your missing something or limited by it, then you should start venturing out. Programs like lightroom and Aperture allow for much greater control. They also come with a step learning curve. I have photoshop and to be honest, I avoid having to use it as much as possible. I love being artistic and have fun when I use it, but I also don't want to spend 6 hours on evey picture I take. Lightroom 3 is almost out and there is a beta version out there you can play with. Start with iPhoto and see where it takes you.
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    This is a gross simplification, but I hope its a good starting point.

    Lightroom and Aperture are designed to manage groups of photos, and help you keep them organized. They also do image editing - but their starting assumption is that you have bunch of photos that all need to be white balanced, tone corrected, etc.

    They assume that you are going to use any single photo for a variety of uses. This means any image editing you do by default does not change the original image, the changes are recorded in a database. LR (and I believe Aperture) assume that you are going to "Export" the image you are working on so there really isn't a "save" option. You "Export" a copy of an image that you have edited for a particular use. Perhaps next week you have a new use for that same image, so you start from the original image and "Export" a different finished image for that different use (Print vs Web, for example).

    Photoshop (and similar programs) start with the assumption that you are going to work on a single image and transform it into something better. If you want to keep the original image you need to archive it first and/or start with the "Save As" command. Photoshop assumes that you are generally working one image at a time (though of course there are ways to automate a task and apply it to multiples of images).

    Photoshop has extraordinary controls to manipulate a single image. LR and Aperture do not come close to the power that PS has to transform a single image. Most people use no more than 5% of the power that PS has.

    I would not start with LR or PS to begin with, they are both expensive and priced for professional work. Even if you decided that one day you would be at that level, you will probably find that by the time you got there you will have paid for several upgrades on versions that you weren't fully using. I believe Aperture is not as expensive, and so you might want to consider it if you think you have the need for a very robust digital asset system.

    If you have an iMac, I suggest you start with iPhoto (Apple's consumer level image management program). It has been called "Aperture Light" by some (I have no direct experience with Aperture). With iPhoto you will learn about organizing digital assets, key wording, calibration of your monitor to your printer, doing tone corrections, white balance, etc etc in an affordable and easy to learn package. But not immediately - first you will have fun with albums, folders, printing calendars and Apple Books, etc etc And don't be fooled, iPhoto is also a powerful program. In time if you outgrow it you can upgrade to Aperture easily, or to Lightroom with only a little more effort.

    I don't know and can't recommend what image editors (like Photoshop) you could start with, but there are several out there for Macs. I've always used the full Photoshop (since version 3!) and have no experience with the more entry level programs. I have Lightroom, and use it for the bulk of my digital image management, but I still keep iPhoto around because it does some things that Lightroom doesn't.

    From reading the threads here, I suspect that your natural upgrade path from iPhoto will be to Aperture, in a few years time.

    Good Luck. I know how you feel about leaving film behind, though I'm contemplating an Epson v700 scanner so I can go back to my medium format system. I have a good collection of glass for it.
  6. Newbe thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2007
    Sounds good to me. I will start with my iMac' iPhoto and go from there. For now my purpose is merely to print and to organize my photos. Thanks for all the information.

Share This Page