For Whom is Aperture etc. really

Stan Halpin stan at
Tue Apr 19 21:27:25 EDT 2011

Aperture (and Lightroom which has also been mentioned) are relatively expensive general purpose programs that do two things: a) they support a file management process so that you can systematically name, tag, and store your images in a form that they  will be accessible when you need them; and b) they provide a suite of image manipulation tools.
So, do you need Aperture (or Lightroom)? Yes, if you need those capabilities. If you are just interested in the manipulation/editing features, something like the Photoshop Elements, also previously mentioned, will be useful to you. 
In choosing and then learning to use new software, the biggest stumbling block is not in learning the steps to do a particular task; instead it is in learning that you want to do that task. For example, Lightroom offers me options on re-naming my files when I bring them in from the SDHC card. Several options, a bit complex to manage, but really not more than 5 minutes of reading and trial-and-error to work out a routine for your workflow. The hard part is in knowing what you want the software to do. So in this example, the hard part is in thinking about how you will store and retrieve your images, and how the naming convention you use will make that process less tedious. Another example. Lightroom has options for adjusting the luminance, saturation,  and hue of many portions of the color spectrum. They are trial to use - you just slide a slider on a scale. Learning when and why to make those color adjustments, and the impact on your image when viewed on a screen vs. viewed as a print, that is the hard thing to learn. Any of the software packages mentioned in this discussion can do many things, but none will teach you what you should be asking it to do.
So, that was my long answer to your question. My short answer is that you should go on-line and find tutorials in the various software packages, or read a book or two that help you learn more about what can be done with image processing, with examples of when to use different tools.  Once you know more what you want to do, it will be easier to decide which tool to use to do what you want. Another approach that can also work is to just go ahead and try Aperture, explore with it, and learn that way. You have little to lose but a little time.


On Apr 19, 2011, at 5:25 PM, Thomas Bohn wrote:

> Hello or Moin,
> I'm wondering about my photo workflow on my Mac recently. So I
> downloaded the Aperture Trial to see wether the software works for me
> or not.
> Since I'm still importing my iPhoto database I can't tell much it yet.
> But I begin to wonder if I really need the power of Aperture now, on
> the other hand I already saw some feature I already missed in iPhoto.
> For example iPhoto offers just one option for a general improvement of
> a photo, which isn't always right.
> So basicly  iPhoto means for me, to stuck at a certain level and
> Aperture would mean a lot of feature which I might need or want in the
> future.
> I hope for some advice and some ideas, maybe even other software I
> could use instead.
> Thomas

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