11 Replies Latest reply: Jul 17, 2013 11:28 AM by Keith Barkley
Amy WS Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

 I am writing to this forum to ask for help in determining whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.  

 

I am currently using Photoshop Elements 8 on Windows 7.  After several years of use, I am self taught and adequately proficient for an amateur.  What I didn't realize (until I started researching my upcoming migration on the Internet) is that I actually use PE8 for two functions: digital asset management and digital editing. 

 

Regarding Digital Asset Management: My research leads me to understand that PE on MAC does not provide the same level of organizational capability that I am used to having on Windows, instead providing Adobe's Bridge which does not look very robust.  Furthermore, iPhoto, which come on MAC will not support the hierarchical keyword tagging that I require to organize my library of photos. The two SW applications which I am thinking of switching to are either Aperture or Adobe's Lightroom.  Frankly, I'm thinking that it would be smoother to stay within the Apple product line. 

 

So the remaining question is whether Aperture will support my digital editing needs. The tweaks that I do to my photos are not very complex (no, I do not want to put people's heads on other animal bodies).  But could someone who uses Aperture tell me whether It will allow me to do the following kinds of edits?:

- If I have a photo where someone's face is too shadowed, can I lighten just that person's face, and leave the rest of the photo as-is?  

- if I have a photo where the background is cluttered (eg, 2 people in front of the Parthenon which is undergoing renovation), can I remove just the construction cranes?  

- Can it splice together several separate photos to give a panoramic?  

 

If, once I get Aperture, I find that it cannot enable the kinds of editing that I do, I would probably get PE11 in the future. However, if people in this forum tell me that Aperture will definitely not  support the kinds of editing which I've described in the previous paragraph, I would prefer to get PE11 with my initial configuration (since someone will be helping me with my migration).  

 

Thanks in advance for your consideration and help! 


Aperture 3
  • 1. Re: I am writing to this forum to ask for help in determining whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.
    Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,945 points)

    1. Yes.  Look into Adjustments and Brushes in the User Manual.

    2. No.  You would use Aperture's external editor feature to send the Image to a program which supports some kind of context-sensitive repair.  In this case you use Aperture for it's superb DAM features, but resort to another program for this kind of (major) graphics editing.  Aperture's Repair tool works great with sensor dust spots, and can handle minor cloning out and repairs (blemishes on faces, bugs on flowers, an errant hair, etc.)

    3.  No.  Same as #2.  Aperture does not create new graphics entities (afaik, Lightroom does not, either).  Any time you want to create a new graphic entity (as opposed to adjusting your importing file to make it as good as possible), you will have to call on an external editor.  I save the several Images in a Stack, export the Images in the Stack, use PS to create the panorama (or use Hugin), and then import the new file and put as the pick of the Stack.

     

    A few general notes:

    - Aperture and Lightroom are equivalent in abilities, shortcomings, and excellence.  Either is an excellent choice.

    - Each provides _a lot_ of the "editing" any photographer needs.

    - Neither provides all the editing any photographer needs.  Most users augment Aperture with plug-ins and with an external editor that is called when something needs layers or transparency or the creation of a new graphics file.

    - For Mac users, Aperture provides many channels of integration with other programs and the OS that are unavailable to Lightroom.  These are valuable.

    - Aperture has always been superior to LR as a DAM (details on request)

    - Lightroom has for more users and learning aids available.

     

    HTH.

     

    --Kirby.

     

    Message was edited by: Kirby Krieger - added links.  Then for clarity.

  • 2. Re: I am writing to this forum to ask for help in determining whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.
    CorkyO2 Level 4 Level 4 (1,290 points)

    Regarding Digital Asset Management: My research leads me to understand that PE on MAC does not provide the same level of organizational capability that I am used to having on Windows, instead providing Adobe's Bridge which does not look very robust.

    PE11 doesn't use Bridge, it uses the Organizer which is a replacement for Bridge Lite that used to come with PE. I think it was PE10 where they changed.

     

    If you purchase PE11 direct from Adobe, you will get the Organizer as part of the package. The Mac App Store version is missing this function as Adobe assumes some Mac users will want to use iPhoto for management and PE for editing beyond iPhoto's design.

     

    Since you already understand and use PE, I would suggest starting with that and if you feel the Organizer won't handle the level of management you need, you can look to Aperture if needed. As Kirby mentioned, you will still need a pixel editor that can do some of the things you want to do (which Aperture and iPhoto are not designed to do).

     

    FWIW - Adobe Bridge (full version) is very robust and includes the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in for non-destructive editing of RAW, JPEG and TIFF files. It is based on a cache (vs. database) design, so searches can take longer due to the need to build those searches on-the-fly. Databases build the info at the front-end during import, so searches are faster. Bridge seems to get some bad publicity from people who don't use it much. I have been using it at work since it's inception and it can handle much more than many people seem to realize. It also recognizes many file types beyond just image file formats.

     

    Good luck on the move to Mac. I think you will find stability of the OS and the hardware manufacturing quailty to be a step up.

  • 3. Re: I am writing to this forum to ask for help in determining whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.
    léonie Level 9 Level 9 (51,740 points)

    Adding to Kirby's and Corky's list:

     

    whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.

    Aperture's photo library integrates seemlessly and well with the sharing features on a mac and with iCloud. You can access the photos using the media browser in all other Mac - applications - word processing, Mail,  and share them using Photo Stream or sync them with iTunes.

     

    can I remove just the construction cranes? 

    You can remove objects, as long as you can cover them up by brushing in background texture from other parts of the same image. I am doing this kind of repair frequently within Aperture, only you cannot transplant objects between different photos or scale them, as Kirby pointed out.

     

    But removing and replacing objects is not the only way to make them less annoying - usually I will distract from the cluttered background with different techniques - turn the background black-and-white or lower the contrast or the saturation, blur it to simulate depth of field. An example where I used the clone brush to remove construction work - it is o.k. in a slideshow, but not sufficient for high-quality prints.

    Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 08.08.25MESZ.PNG

  • 4. Re: I am writing to this forum to ask for help in determining whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.
    Amy WS Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The example you provided is exactly how I "erase" clutter - by copying in background textures over distractions.

     

    Thanks, looks like Aperture should satisfy my editing except for the creation of panoramics.

  • 5. Re: I am writing to this forum to ask for help in determining whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.
    léonie Level 9 Level 9 (51,740 points)

    I stitch my panoramic shots in Panorama Maker before I import them into Aperture, it came for free with my camera.

     

    But you could use other free tools for that, for example Hugin.

  • 6. Re: I am writing to this forum to ask for help in determining whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.
    Amy WS Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    CorkyO2,

    Looks like I "Googled" up some outdated information regarding the MAC version of Photoshop Elements not including the catalog. So yes, since my experience base is with PE and it looks as though I can get the functionality I'm used to, maybe I should stay with PE - or, to be more precise, migrate from PE 8 in Windows to PE 11 in OSX. 

     

    I am concerned, however,  about using a non-Apple Digital Asset Manager in OSX. I would really like to avoid integration problems. Is using PE11 to import and catalog my digital photos likely to cause conflicts?

     

    Thanks for any insight on this

  • 7. Re: I am writing to this forum to ask for help in determining whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.
    CorkyO2 Level 4 Level 4 (1,290 points)

    I am concerned, however,  about using a non-Apple Digital Asset Manager in OSX. I would really like to avoid integration problems. Is using PE11 to import and catalog my digital photos likely to cause conflicts?

     

    Thanks for any insight on this

    Amy,

     

    Not so much conflicts as maybe a little less seamless integration with Apple software and perhaps some third-party software providers in the Mac App Store where some programs build in direct access to iPhoto and Aperture libraries for getting images into those programs easily. Typically, there is a manual command to go to Finder (think Windows Explorer) to browse folders.

     

    One caution to mention however, is that the organization you set-up in PE Organizer is unlikely to transfer over to either iPhoto or Aperture if you decide to change at some point.

     

    The only real stumbling block that I see in your opening comment is that you want hierarchical keywording (Kirby or Léonie can go into the details on keywording limitations as I stay at one level). If you can work with the keywording schemes of either iPhoto or Aperture, then using PE for your external editor (either program supports setting an external editor) would probably be ideal since you know PE well. This is the idea with the Mac App Store version of PE (editor with no organizer).

     

    Note - I use Photoshop CS6 (full version) with Aperture and it works really well. The only downside is that Aperture has to make either a TIFF or PSD file to send to an external editor so that the original file is protected by not sending it to the pixel editor. While TIFF or PSD files protect the integrity of the image information without degrading it, they are typically much larger file sizes on disk than either RAW or JPEG files. Therefore, your library size (iPhoto or Aperture) will balloon quite a bit if you send a lot of files to external editors.

     

    One other possibility for an external editor would be a program called Pixelmator. It is pretty similar to early versions of Photoshop, but built for Mac. Other than the panoramics you want, it will do most pixel editing that PE can do. It is not an organizer, so it is built to go with either iPhoto or Aperture. It does have differences in how you complete certain procedures, so there is bit of a learning curve when you are used to doing it the Adobe way.

  • 8. Re: I am writing to this forum to ask for help in determining whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.
    swandy Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)

    CorkyO2 wrote:

    Note - I use Photoshop CS6 (full version) with Aperture and it works really well. The only downside is that Aperture has to make either a TIFF or PSD file to send to an external editor so that the original file is protected by not sending it to the pixel editor. While TIFF or PSD files protect the integrity of the image information without degrading it, they are typically much larger file sizes on disk than either RAW or JPEG files. Therefore, your library size (iPhoto or Aperture) will balloon quite a bit if you send a lot of files to external editors.

     

    One other possibility for an external editor would be a program called Pixelmator. It is pretty similar to early versions of Photoshop, but built for Mac. Other than the panoramics you want, it will do most pixel editing that PE can do. It is not an organizer, so it is built to go with either iPhoto or Aperture. It does have differences in how you complete certain procedures, so there is bit of a learning curve when you are used to doing it the Adobe way.

    Corky. As Amy suggested, I switched (actually from Lightroom and PS3) to Aperture and initially to PSE9 when I moved to a Mac. Last year I switched to Pixelmator as my external editor - primarily because it can do all the things I need that Aperture can't and it is cheaper than Adobe's upgrades. Have not tried doing a panorama yet, so can't comment on that. I do do most of my "rubbish removal" in Aperture using it's brushes.

    As far as Aperture exporting TIFF files - yes, they are large. I get this going to both Pixelmator and various Nik pluggins. However, after the file is worked on and reimported into Aperture, what I do is convert it to another format - generally a JPEG depending on what I plan on doing with the file - and discard the huge TIFF file. This might be an option for you to save disk space.

    As far as your keywords go, Aperture nor iPhoto will read them directly from PSE. The only option that was told to me (coming from Lightroom to Aperture) was to save and export all my files - this would keep my Lightroom adjustments and keywords - and then import them into Aperture. Not sure if this would work from PSE to either Aperture or iPhoto because I never did my keywording in PS or PSE. Perhaps someone with more experience could answer.

    Steve

  • 9. Re: I am writing to this forum to ask for help in determining whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.
    Amy WS Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I just wanted to write a note of thanks to everyone who's provided their advice.  Truthfully, it's all a bit confusing.  In switching from a Windows PC to an Apple  MAC, I'm comfortable with everything about the move EXCEPT for the migration of my library of 16,000+ digital photos.  Since it seems as though the full version of Photoshop Elements 11 will  give me both the digital asset management and digital editing with which I am currently familiar (hopefully maintaining my extensive hierarchical tagging), I  have decided to not switch to Aperture.  I'm pretty sure that the switch from PE 8 (Windows) to PE 11 (MAC) will be enough of a headache.

     

    Thanks, again!  Amy

    PS I'm taking my migration questions to a Photoshop Elements forum.... 

  • 10. Re: I am writing to this forum to ask for help in determining whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.
    léonie Level 9 Level 9 (51,740 points)

    Good Luck, Amy!

     

    And I hope you will enjoy your Mac!

     

    Léonie

  • 11. Re: I am writing to this forum to ask for help in determining whether Aperture will satisfy my needs when I switch from Windows to MAC in the near future.
    Keith Barkley Level 5 Level 5 (5,260 points)

    One other transitional strategy would be to create a bootcamp partition on the new computer and just keep using the same workflow until you are comfortable with the Mac Workflow.