Friday, 17 April 2015

snapshot photos software

The new version of Photos arrived on my iMac whilst I was away. Time to once again decide 'whose the leader of the band?'

I've now had time to give Photos a spin but am so far rather unimpressed. Apple had two image handling programs, iPhoto and Aperture and for many years I used Aperture as the photo catalogue and basic editing weapon of choice.

That changed sometime last year when Apple announced that they would cease updates and switch to a new combined product - which is the now freely available Photos.

I can see what Apple have done, moving to an ostensibly Cloud-based version of their photo catalogue system, which works across all of the Apple platforms. Snap something on iPhone and it shows up in the same library as stuff taken on a Nikon DSLR. Actually, that was all possible with the older products although the speed was sometimes questionable. Now there's a revenue model beckoning as the libraries get larger.

In my case I'll say that Aperture and Adobe Lightroom have both been for a more advanced type of use. A few characteristics might include:

- 10s of thousands of pictures
- need for multiple catalogues
- Use of meta-tagging to describe the photos
- Need to use some of the copyright information
- Need to colour correct/change exposure/contrast or other base settings
- Ability to work with plug-ins such as Nik Software or Photoshop

The old iPhoto started to fall down on some of the above short-list - I know I'd have a longer list as well - lens correction, keystone straightening etc. Aperture and Lightroom used to play the usual hopscotch where one would be better and then the other one would overtake it.

It is no longer the case, and I moved my large Aperture libraries to Lightroom one week in mid 2013. I'll have to find the old post that described how I did it, because it involved using the utility called Aperture Exporter at the time.

My original plan was to work in parallel until things became clearer. That happened sooner than I expected because once I'd got used to the different layout used by Lightroom, I soon discovered that everything I'd previously used still worked, including all of the plug-ins and other labour-saving devices.

In effect I'd swapped to Lightroom as prime, along with a new backup regime which used straightforward Chronosync copying instead of the somewhat arcane vaults of Aperture.

So I wasn't unduly worried when Photos didn't appear with OS/X 10.10 and required a longer wait.

Now I've seen and briefly used it, I can see it is more like a lifestyle adjunct to the iPhone than to a piece of serious photo management software. I guess it's all a new code base, so there is a chance that it will get significant uplift in later versions.

I can't help wondering, though, if this is really the everyman software and will be designed to stay simple and obvious for those Instagram-like effects and snapshots of Mickey Mouse.

I've decided to stick with Lightroom for now.

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