Image via CrunchBase
I have recently decided I need to invest in a good image management/editing application to organize and develop my extensive photography collection. Why it has taken me so long to come to this conclusion, I have no idea! I guess its due to the fact that I recently purchased a new Macbook Pro laptop and upgrade to the Lion system, which has prompted me to improve my overall workflow. Up until now I have been using a combination of Apple iPhoto and Adobe CS2 to manage my photographs. However, this has proved to be an awkward process, in which I have built a cumbersome iPhoto library while maintaining my original image files backed up onto an external hard drive. When I want to do any editing beyond the iPhoto’s limited editing features, I have to locate the original file on my external drive – open it in Photoshop and then save on the external drive or import into iPhoto – which then contains duplicate copies of this image. Realizing this was taking more time out of actually photographing, I decided to find an application that would both manage my growing inventory of photographs as well as allow me to perform all the edits within the software system. I would also want this system to easily upload to my social networks such as Flickr, Facebook, Photoshelter – uploading the metadata data/keywords as well. Simple right?
Now here comes the dilemma… At first I thought Aperture was the next logical step. Having been an iPhoto user and an increasingly loyal Apple subscriber, Aperture seems to fit the Mac environment I’m creating. However, as I began to research online, positive reviews of Adobe’s Lightroom started to surface, and I realized both offered different approaches to my workflow. Since I have used both iPhoto and Photoshop extensively, I am totally stuck and unsure how to proceed.
During my research I have uncovered quite a few opposing reviews on these two very different image management systems:
Pro – Aperture:
Reading these articles I have compiled a list of my main concerns for each – in comparison with each other:
Aperture: Slow, Large Size, unable to access files external of the library file system, limited editing capacity, lack of feedback and community (Adobe seeks feedback through beta testing and community forums); conversion of RAW files; does not have the history and editing background that Adobe has built through its range of creative suite products.
Lightroom: does not organize and manage files as well as Aperture – not as intuitive; not as many options for social syncing (including mobile me and facebook); not part of the inclusive Apple suite of applications that I use (interoperability of Apple products is key); lack of geo-tagging feature; does not offer the range of slideshow and album printing features that Aperture automatically incorporates.
To summarize: My main concern with Aperture is that it is not as effective at photo-editing as Lightroom and geared towards mainstream users instead of pro, which would make it not as useful as a photographer’s digital workflow tool; however my main concern with Lightroom is that it does not organize, manage, tag and sync with social networks as well as Aperture’s library system with its referential files located in one convenient place. I guess it depends what is most important to me as a photographer – but I value both the management and editing tools!
So as you can see I am clearly on the fence about my decision…. PLEASE HELP! I would welcome any feedback as to the digital workflow systems all of you amazing photobloggers out there use – do you use Apple or Adobe? Lightroom or Aperture? Iphoto or Elements? There are many options out there. However mainly I am looking at Lightroom or Aperture. Please leave a comment and let me know!!!
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