Taking A Look At Aperture

Posted by Stuart Herbert on January 12th, 2007 in Equipment.

When considering whether to go with Lightroom or Aperture, there are currently two major points in my mind against Lightroom. Silly as it may sound, Lightroom hasn’t actually been released yet. It’s still a work in progress (although it should appear by the end of February, when the current beta expires), and as such isn’t complete. The beta’s a cracking piece of software, and a real joy to use – I’m sure I’m not the only one eagerly anticipating the version 1 release – but I think that it’s just too early in Lightroom’s evolution to commit to it, and I’m really looking to pick a package that I’ll be committed to for several years to come.
The second thing I keep coming back to is project management. I’m very much the amateur photographer, but my photography does have a definite purpose to it (if not definite results 🙂 ). I have my photos organised on disk by import date, but that scheme doesn’t scale too well. I think it stopped working for me at about 5,000 photos, and I think it stopped working for Kristi a good deal sooner than that 🙂 Although Lightroom will surely improve in this area, today this isn’t the product’s strongpoint by any means.

My initial impression of Lightroom was fantastic (using it to process Kristi’s photos from the National Museum of Wales in the museum’s coffee shop the same morning), and if it had been onsale via electronic download, I would probably have parted with my cash there and then. But, the more I think about what I need to help improve my enjoyment of photography, there’s just a little bit of doubt in my mind over Lightroom right now. When Colin suggested I take a look at Apple’s Aperture, the 30-day trial eventually found its way onto my MBP.

I’m still getting used to Aperture (I don’t find it as instantly accessible as Lightroom), but this article listing the top ten features of Aperture on O’Reilly’s Digital Media site covers the features of Aperture that I’m focusing on before the 30 day trial runs out. I’m also hoping to play with some of the Automator scripts available off the web; if the weather clears up on Sunday I hope to take the MBP out for some tethered shooting.

I’ll post more thoughts on my impressions of Aperture before the trial runs out in February.

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