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Aperture or Photoshop Elements?

386 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 15, 2013 6:50 AM by MarkPek RSS
CoolBreeze49 Calculating status...
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Jan 13, 2013 5:51 AM

I am an amateur photographer and photography is a keen hobby of mine. I have recently been pondering the idea of purchasing a photo-editing package from the app store and have come across both Aperture and Photoshop elements. I enjoyed using iPhoto but it felt a little limited. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (62,005 points)
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    Jan 13, 2013 6:17 AM (in response to CoolBreeze49)

    I've requested your post be moved to the Aperture forum, as there you are more likely to find those who have used both Aperture and Photoshop Elements who can tell you which really more suits your needs.  Both are great packages.  But both approach photo editing from a different stand point.

  • OGELTHORPE Level 7 Level 7 (22,450 points)
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    Jan 13, 2013 6:19 AM (in response to CoolBreeze49)

    I use Aperture.  It is a more sophisticated version of iPhoto and for my needs it is very satisfactory.  If you are a very serious photographer, Photoshop is probably a better choice, but there is the significant price differential to take into consideration.



  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,375 points)
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    Jan 13, 2013 6:55 AM (in response to CoolBreeze49)

    Aperture and Photoshop target different needs - if you are a serious photographer you should get them both, see         Re: how to combine breketed photos in one like in photoshop                                            

    • Aperture serves two purposes:
      • It is an excellent tool to manage and organize huge photo libraries for fast retrieval, tagging, geocoding, and efficient storage of different versions of the same photo.
      • And it has excellent image processing tools to develope high resolution photos (raw, tiff, jpeg) into a rendered version and to adjust the photo (noise reduction, contrast, retouche, white balance and color color correction, sharpening, ...).
      • But Aperture deals only with image files taken with a digital camera, not with graphics. It does not support transparency for example. For this the program offers an interface to use plug-ins or external editors, like Photoshop or the free Gimp.
    • Photoshop is a graphics compositing program; it offers basic image processing tools, but you can use it to add graphics annotations to your image or two combine parts of different images - it is great to work with transparency, layers, arbitrary shaped selections.


    I use Aperture do organize my photos - my Aperture library now includes all images I own, reaching back to 1910, the including the first photos my greatgrandparents have taken. Developing the raw images or adjusting jpegs Aperture is very intuitive and easy to do. And if I need to do compositing I use a plug-in or Photoshop.


    You may want to have a look at Gimp. It can do similar things as Photoshop, but is free. Also, have a look at the Aperture tutorials on the Aperture Support page: Aperture Support




  • stockscalper Level 3 Level 3 (515 points)
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    Jan 14, 2013 6:30 AM (in response to CoolBreeze49)

    I use both.  I shoot RAW so I begin processing with Elements.  With Elements I can use layers to adjust colors, levels, etc.  Sharpening and noise removal are also better in Elements.  What I use Aperture for is touching up the photo - doing spot sharpening, dodging and burning, adding or removing contrast in spot areas.  Before Aperture if I wanted to saturate the sky I had to create a mask, but how I can just brush in the saturation. 


    They are both useful programs to have and do a lot of the same things, just in different ways.  But Elements does a lot of things Aperture can't.

  • MarkPek Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
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    Jan 15, 2013 6:50 AM (in response to stockscalper)

    Count me, too, as someone who uses both (Aperture 3 and Photoshop Elements 10).


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