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Archive 2012 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .
  
 
Dennis M 1064
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p.1 #1 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


I'm planning to start putting together my digital dark room. Having been away for awhile, my stuff is really outdated. My old system was a Nikon 2000 film scanner, Win98, Photoshop 6 (which I still have and use ) and an Epson 2000P printer that is probably clogged and doesn't work anymore.

So, starting over, with the intent of establishing myself as a professional over the nex few years, I am again, building my digital darkroom. My foundation this time is going to be Mac, and that is not up for discussion. Sorry, but I am just PC'd out. So, I will have an Imac, and am waiting until the fall to see if the upgrades come through and what they encompass.

That brings me to my workflow. Starting with LR 4 and Aperture. This is an incredibly tough decision. I am finding great online support and training for both products. Something I didn't have in 2000, and that made my digital darkroom a very frustrating place to be.

As a professional, but starting from scratch, if you did it all over again, Lightroom or Aperture? Regardless of your 'field' of photography. Architecture, editorial, wildlife, nature, portrait. . .

Do the industry requirements drive your decision? Is one not accepted as much as another, or doesn't anyone care?

Learning curve? Is one much more complicated than the other, and if so, is the higher hurdle worth the end result?

Speed is a factor. I have read that Aperture is faster to download with. In the field, that could be a big issue indeed. At the 'office', it may be easier to settle in and expect to do other things while downloading takes place. I'll look to your expertise in that area.

The reason I didn't post this in the general forum, is I am really looking for the Professionals perspective, as they deal with clients and editors.

If this has been covered ad nauseum, please accept my apologies. I have not had great luck with the search button. I only found one post and it was about the speed issue.

Cheers,
Dennis



Jul 04, 2012 at 12:30 PM
swoop
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p.1 #2 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


I started out using Photoshop to do everything, then picked up aperture and used that for about a year. It screwed me pretty bad. Tried out Lightroom and more important than the way it edited was the way it handled files. It was just a lot easier to organize and backup my work. Now I use Lightroom for everything.

And I really feel Apple is putting Aperture in a position as a kind of iPhoto "upgrade." Just dumbing it down and adding useless features. I think Adobe realizes that a lot of people use Lightroom to get work done.

There's really no "industry requirement" other than adjusting for CMYK and 300dpi as a JPG. clients and editors don't care how you get it done as long as you get it done and on deadline.



Jul 05, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Dennis M 1064
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p.1 #3 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


Thanks Swoop.

So, I'm not sure about adjusting for CMYK. Since I haven't shot for a publication, I was under the (mis?)understanding that you would make yor minor adjustments in an RGB colorspace, and CMYK adjustments would be made for copy in-house by the publisher to match their output printer. That has always been a confusing issue for me. That got me into using Colorvision Spyder, and trying to mathc my IYAMA monitor and 2000P printer (Which never seemed to work) and made me really dislike digital, and the digital darkroom. I'm assuming things are better now.

As far as JPGs go, I would have thought they would require the RAW file, considering the controversy of Photograph vs Digitaly rendered image.

If you or anyone could point me in a good direction to 'catch up' on some reading in this area, I would be grateful. I am going to need to figure out a workflow, and means of storing images in the best way, to ensure that they are available for output to either gallery, book, magazine or .net. How it would suck to have somebody say that they can't use a photo because I renedered or saved it incorrectly for what 'they' require.



Jul 05, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #4 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


I don't really have a crystal ball, but I'm not sure of Apple's future plans for Aperture. I'm more confident that there will be LR 5, 6, 7 etc. as long as Adobe is around.
Unless you have the printing profile it's best to allow the pre press people handle the cmyk conversion. Other than when I am doing a project for myself I have only had to convert to cmyk for a client about 3 times in 25 years....



Jul 05, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Dennis M 1064
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p.1 #5 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


Thanks Micky. And you make a good point on what the future of Aperture may or may not be. I wonder if it will be 'dummed down' a little (not trying to be rude) for consumer use, and then separated to a Pro version and a Consumer version. Ha Apple not really indicated what their dedication is to the Pro shooter?


Jul 05, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Brit-007
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p.1 #6 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


I have no reason to think that Apple would drop Aperture. Everyone expected that there would be a Version 4 but instead they released 3.3. If you actually run 3.3 you will find there are numerous changed which under normal circumstances, could be classified as a full version and the cost was FREE.

There are some really cool tools in Aperture and I find it so much easier making adjustment. It is a personal opinion but personally I find that Lightroom is way too slow and cumbersome. They did a test last month with importing 500 images. They used Aperture, Lightroom and Photo Mechanic. They were able to go through the images within 3 minutes on the latest Aperture.

Apple is getting very fancy on some of it's automation. There is a new wand that will analyse the image and make a change to up to 5 adjustments including curves. In the main it does a great job but then allows you to make changes or add other changes. I personally like ease and speed when I am working on images. Time is money.

A Good read (even though it is a few years old): http://www.macworld.com/article/1058422/digitaldarkroom.html

The Speed Test: http://www.apertureexpert.com/tips/2012/6/19/import-browse-test-aperture-vs-lightroom-vs-photo-mechanic.html



Jul 05, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #7 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


I don;t know the future of Aperture, but Apple has a lot of things (iphones, ipads, iTV, itunes, Macbooks, Desktops, software like FCPX, etc...) going on. I don't think that Aperture makes them very much money considering the price and the number of users. Apple, without fail will do what is best for Apple and their customers are welcome to agree.
Adobe will (IMO) keep updating LR, and as PS goes off in other directions, LR will become more valuable to users and Adobe.



Jul 06, 2012 at 05:53 AM
Dennis M 1064
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p.1 #8 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


As far as software goes, neither one is very expensive. Photoshop on the other hand. . .that is a bit pricey. Not saying it isn't a good value, just a big bite of the Apple (budget).

I'm trying to get a feel for the pulse of the industry. From the things I read here, and the various blogs and reviews, the industry is completely on the fence. No sense on which way, if any it will tip. It is more up to the software companies at this point, as to whether they will continue to support each platform as a commercial quality product, Pro-sumer, or slide completely into consumer land.

Demand and income will likely be the driving force. So, maybe it is too early for the original question. One could use either, or both. You could see which one has the preferable workflow, speed, and organizational capabilities, without a huge investment.

I will likely have a couple mentors help me into the digital side of photography. I'll likley just go with what they use to keep things simple. Meanwhile, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience here, so don't be shy about giving your perspective.

Cheers,
Dennis



Jul 06, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Gregory Edge
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p.1 #9 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


I have used both LR and Aperture. Aperture hands down wins for an intuitive interface. That for me is 50% of the battle. I am very computer savvy with PC and Mac. I just don't want to constantly have to read cheat sheets or use the help menu to get things done. If anything Apple will drop iPhoto before they drop Aperture. Yes have they added iPhoto features but the features needed by a pro are there too. They add features for pros and consumers each time. By lowering the price they most certainly have a bigger client base. This in turn will drive development.

Photoshop is needed for heavy manipulation of files. Like adding or subtracting people, backgrounds etc. If you are tweaking exposure, white balance, reducing noise, sharpening etc. Aperture has you covered. I prefer to get it right when I shoot it rather than play for hours in post production. That being said when you have a job to do you might tweak it to make it better. You can send a file to PS from Aperture and save it back in Aperture when you are done. Very seamless. If you want a much better priced alternative to Photoshop I have heard Pixelmater is excellent. I have not tried it but I can tell you I am sick of spending hundreds of dollars on Photoshop for only a couple of times a month I use it. I am at CS5.5 and will skip a version or two. I may try Pixelmater to see if it really is for me.

I ran both Lightroom and Aperture side by side when I was deciding. LR made me frustrated me. I am sure once you get used to the software it is great. One downside to Adobe products is RAW file handling. If you upgrade cameras you will most likely need to upgrade LR and possibly PS depending on workflow. Adobe camera RAW is not backward compatible and as new versions come out they drop software. I know this happened to a lot of people with CS4. They were forced to upgrade to CS5 if they want to read RAW files of their new camera. Apple has RAW file processing built in to the OS.

One other thing you may want to consider. Instead of an iMac go with the Mac Mini. Then you can use a monitor more suited to photographers.



Jul 10, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Dennis M 1064
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p.1 #10 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


It sounds more and more like I will be needing both. Or at least should have LR with Aperture to follow for ease of use in the workflow. I agree with you about getting the image right in the first place. In college, that was a big point of contention. Control your composition, control your highlights, get it right in the camera, and don't depend on post to make up for talent or professionalism. There is of course, the unavosidable situations, but like the saying goes, "'There's always time to do it right the second time."

As you can see from my OP, I'm not quick to upgrade software. I'm cheap that way. I will buy the best I can get in the beginning and keep it until it dies. Hence, photoshop 6.0 on my HP laptop that is barely able to send an email without crashing. I'll wait a little while on Photoshop I think. There will be plenty to learn with everything else for awhile. We'll see.

Not being backwards compatible is news to me. You would think that that would cause an uprising, big enough to get Adobe to not be so manipulative of the market, forcing upgrades. An 'Adobe Spring'!


I just had a look at the Mini-mac. It looks like it has about half of the power of the Imac. I'm not so sure that is the direction I would choose for working with large files. What Monitor is it that you think I should look at? I was pretty impressed with the monitor for the Imac. I know of photographers that use them. Glare can be a PIA, but my windows have shades, and indirect lighting can help. I have an old Iyama CRT monitor on my desk upstairs. It was a wonderful beast, but a beast non-the-less. Time for it to go.

I sure wish I knew what Mac had in mind for their new processor. . .I would hate to buy, only to be way behind the latest technology a couple weeks later. I prefer to get behind gradually.



Jul 10, 2012 at 12:23 PM
 

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joeisayo
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p.1 #11 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


I get much better RAW conversion on my Canons (5D3,1DS3) than with any previous versions of Lightroom. Also prefer the workflow of Aperture.



Jul 11, 2012 at 04:14 AM
shaunmlavery
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p.1 #12 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


Like others have mentioned, aperture is hands down cleaner and much more intuitive to use, atleast to me when compare against LR. With that said, LR runs on my Mac no problem while Aperture makes my Mac slow down at times evens with a ssd.

One option that isn't mentioned is capture one. Its interface is a little different and it handles your files a little different than Catalouges or Librarys, however, I prefer it to the others. The guys that headed capture one were the same guys around for color standards, icc, etc. To me, there is something to be said with that. The colors out of C1 look great.

If you choose C1, just look up sessions and variants and you will be good!

Good luck with your choice.




Jul 12, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Brit-007
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p.1 #13 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


Actually, some of the top programmers from Capture1 now work for Apple.


Jul 12, 2012 at 12:14 AM
TT1000
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p.1 #14 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


This guy is no ordinary Aperture user:

"You might not know my history, but if I do switch itís a pretty big deal. My history with Aperture is as almost as deep as you can get. I taught (alongside Derrick Story) the first live Aperture class taught anywhere at Macworld the year the product debuted. I also taught it there the following two years. I have been the technical editor on almost every Aperture book ever written (I worked on nine of them.) I was in the first Apple Train The Trainer (T3) class and was one of the first Apple-Certified T3 trainers. Iíve taught thousands of people how to use Aperture in seminars and workshops. Iíve also recorded training titles for CreativeLive.com and lynda.com (total three video training series) and I founded the first Aperture blog and podcast (Aperture Tricks) later sold to a third party. If Apple canít hang on to someone like me, what does that say about their prospects for hanging on to the rest of the market?"

http://photofocus.com/2012/05/29/heres-why-im-seriously-considering-a-permanent-switch-to-adobe-lightroom/

And it appears he did switch from Aperture to LR:

http://photofocus.com/2012/07/07/10-tips-for-those-migrating-from-aperture-3-3-to-lightroom-4-1/

I use a PC so I use LR. Not a choice for me.



Jul 12, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Dennis M 1064
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p.1 #15 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


That is some great input. I hope this is easy to find for people with the same questions in the future.

I think I may have come up with a fix. I am in the process of buyin an iMac from Buy/Sell here on FM and it has both LR4 and Aperture as well as CS6. Hadn't thought about that as a possibility!

I will have to carefully examine the workflow of both and check out the various suggestions and comments on these two programs, before really locking into a 'system' for handling my image files.

Dennis



Jul 12, 2012 at 11:05 AM
shaunmlavery
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p.1 #16 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


Brit-007 wrote:
Actually, some of the top programmers from Capture1 now work for Apple.


This is interesting. Having recently gotten certified in Capture One, there way of interpreting color is amazing. I always like Aperture more than Lr but it slowed my Mac down so much. Maybe it is better now? If I switched from Capture One, I would definitely be inclined to use Aperture full time.

FWIW, I use iPhoto for JPGS and iCloud syncing. Works nice.



Jul 13, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #17 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


I really really liked the look I got out of Capture , it could pull out subtle color differences that LR and Aperture (earlier versions) turned in to mush, but then the G5 that it was on croaked ...so it all went away.

I use LR and i like it but might give C1 another go.



Jul 13, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Dennis M 1064
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p.1 #18 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


Well, I'm back to square one as that deal went sideways in an ugly way. I'm going to stick to new computers from now on.

I'm going to be using CS6, so maybe it would be better to Start out with LR4 for the initial part of the work flow, since they are both Adobe products so shout have the highest level of compatability.

I could add Aperture, and maybe investigate Capture one as software that I could chck out and see how I feel abut it as I progress. Initially, I won't be good enough at any of them to get the full benefit, so it would be hard to compare. Sometimes easier is just easier. I want to know if that will also mean better.

What about storing, filing, tagging, and retreival? Initiating your workflow with these programs will also mean they will be the tool for organization. On a hobby level, you would have more latitude in what one might consider to be 'organized'. On a professional level, time is money.

I'm doubting that just one of these two tools (or three) would be the only program that is going to be used to work with an image before being finalized. So, what about moving the image around from program to program? Do they all play nice? Is anyone a bit. . .quirky?



Jul 14, 2012 at 10:43 AM
markd61
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p.1 #19 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


I do not use Aperture but I am a very heavy user of LR. I think both are excellent apps but my fear about Aperture is Apple losing interest in it or turning into iPhoto-plus.

The key features for me as an architectural photographer is LR's incorporation of lens profiles to correct for distortions and aberrations. Perspective control is also key for me. I note that Apeture seems more portrait oriented with skin softening and face recognition for example.

LR does have a bit of a learning curve but does produce excellent output. In fairness some of the differences that can be seen in rendering between the apps are so small as to be meaningless once the image is either printed or delivered to a client who may then hack it to bits in their application. I am not advocating delivering poor quality but as an old business partner of mine observed "The client may not know quality but they can tell time." So here the real issue is your comfort. I am extremely experienced in PS so LR was a relatively obvious choice for me as they integrate well.I did think it was a bit arrogant on their part not to have a user manual or even a help page when they introduced v1.0. Maybe this was to encourage a robust online community to support it.
As for new camera compatibility both Aperture and LR have lags in accommodating the new cameras. Yes Mac OSX does handle RAW at the OS level but they still have updates to support new cameras.

As you mentioned your frustration at printing I thought I would mention that issue.
If you intend to deliver images in a professional manner I would recommend a regular calibration of your monitor and using a pro lab for your prints. This obviates the need to develop a printing workflow and adding overhead costs that get right out of control.You can print for yourself but professional print services are so inexpensive now I would only do it if time was a factor. Another bonus is that they offer so many products that you can potentially offer a huge range of profitable items to your clients.If you have clients out of the area who order prints you can have them drop shipped without any hassle on your part.

If you are delivering files to clients Aperture and LR will deliver superb results in any file format that is currently accepted as a professional format.

As for the database aspect, I do not use LR for that as I already use iViewMedia pro. I suppose it works fine but I have found that the searching features poor compared to purpose built catalog programs. Another advantage is being able to set up the catalog on another machine so your image editing is not interrupted by a search request from a client. I keep my work files on two separate HDs and when I close the file, I burn it to DVD and file it with the paperwork. The HDs get stored both in the studio and off site.
Filing is important to retrieve images for clients but that again can be up to your personal preference. I have used a number system to locate images and I have also used a filing cabinet system and alphabetized my records. Both work.

Workflow is a critical, if not THE critical, issue in being a successful pro. The only thing you are selling is your time and expertise. If you are wasting your life in front of a computer( as I often feel I am) then you cannot be out taking pictures and billing for them.

Best of luck



Jul 15, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Dennis M 1064
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p.1 #20 · As a Pro, LR 4 or Aperture-starting over. . .


That is some great insight Mark. I appreciate the time you put into that, and in front of your computer no less. Very interesting stuff.

Dennis



Jul 16, 2012 at 02:47 AM
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