Aperture Apple Lightroom Photography

More about Aperture 3

I’ve only had a couple of days to play with Apple’s new Aperture 3 – released earlier this week.

Overall, I’m impressed. Aperture’s new interface design is much cleaner and simpler than earlier versions – and the new Quick FIx adjustments and the Quick Brushes are great! The full screen browser does a great job on my Mac Cinema Display.

I’ve only got one frustration so far. Why is there no gradient tool in Aperture 3? For landscape photographers, the gradient tool in Lightroom has been an easy way to bring down the sky in a graduated fashion. It’s seems so obvious that Aperture 3 should have a gradient tool – but it doesn’t. Huh? How could a gradient tool not have been included in this major update?

Aperture Apple Photography

Apple Introduces Aperture 3

This morning Apple announced Aperture 3, a long-awaited upgrade to its photo management application. I’ve been vocal about my preference for Lightroom – given the adjustment brushes that Adobe added in Lightroom 2.

From the feature description, it looks like the new brush adjustments in Aperture 3 are a big improvement. I’ll be downloading the trial version and deciding on an upgrade over the next few days. (RAW support for my Canon PowerShot S90 is included in Aperture 3 – but is not available for Aperture 2).

Aperture Apple Lightroom Photography

Aperture vs. Lightroom – Redux

Just looked back at my archives and noticed that last year in late March I attended Apple’s Aperture World Tour in San Francisco.

As I wrote at the time, the new Aperture 2.0 had become my standard photo management software again after a fling with Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom.

Later in 2008, Adobe introduced Lightroom 2 – and, most recently, Lightroom 2.3 – and I migrated back to Lightroom from Aperture. Frankly, Lightroom’s gradient filter and adjustment brush were the reasons I shifted away from Aperture 2.0 – as great a photo management product as it is – to Lightroom.

Because Aperture is so much more tightly integrated into other apps on Mac OS X (via the Media Browser), I’m hoping for an Aperture 3.0 announcement sometime this year with some great new features (like iPhoto’s new Faces and Places, for example!). And, naturally, I’m hoping that some of Lightroom’s adjustment capabilities also show up in a new version of Aperture.

Bottom line: I’d REALLY like to move back to Aperture – but Apple has work to do to eliminate the current feature gap between Aperture and Lightroom.

Aperture Apple Lightroom Photography San Francisco/California

Lightroom vs. Aperture – A Single Image Comparison

Last March, I posted “A Saturday Shooting San Francisco“.

In particular, that post included a link to a shot of San Francisco taken from the Sausalito waterfront that sort of mimicked a similar photograph done by Chris Honeysett that I have in one of my offices.

I happened across this post again today – and wondered how I might tweak it using Lightroom as, at the time, I was only handling my post-processing in Apple’s Aperture.

So, I pulled the photo into Lightroom 2.2, applied two gradient filters (one from above, a second from below) and here’s the result.

This kind of easy post-processing is what I’m enjoying most about Lightroom!

Aperture HDR Photography iPhone 3G Lightroom Photography

My 2009 Wish: Make Beautiful HDR Photography Super Simple!

This is a bit of a New Year’s Eve rant – and a wish for 2009!

Computers are here to help us make things more productive and efficient. Unfortunately, computers today (including the processors both in my MacBook Pro and in my Canon DSLRs!) have yet to be utilized appropriately in helping us both take the photos and manage the post-production process associated with High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.

Aperture Apple Books Lightroom Photography

A Great Lightroom Book, Discovering Lightroom Presets, Etc.

My post last night shared my recent conclusion that I was moving forward using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 as my primary photo management tool after spending the last couple of years using Apple’s Aperture.

One of the most useful resources I’ve found helping me up the learning curve with Lightroom 2 is Mikkel Aaland’s book “Photoshop Lightroom 2 Adventure“. It’s a great book that covers not only all of the functional aspects of Lightroom but also includes a chapter of Lightroom “Develop Recipes” from a number of photographers who accompanied Aaland on a trip to Tasmania in what had to have been one of the ultimate photo shoots!

Aperture Apple Lightroom Photography

Aperture vs. Lightroom

This post is for photographers – as it airs some “dirty laundry” that is more about personal preferences than it is about results.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been using Apple’s Aperture photo management software to manage all of my photography. I left iPhoto behind in 2006 and jumped on the Aperture bandwagon. I’ve been pretty happy with Aperture for photo management. It’s done most of what I needed it to do.

After my HDR session at Stanford in early September, I had lunch with a friend who was a real Adobe Photoshop Lightroom fan – another Canon shooter who also enjoyed HDR.

Aperture Apple Photography San Francisco/California

A Saturday Shooting San Francisco

This time of year – with the remnants of late winter storms and clouds – is a great time to head up to San Francisco for some photography. We’ve had unsettled weather yesterday and today – so this morning I headed across the Golden Gate to the Marin Headlands to see how things looked.

Golden Gate BridgeI also had a new lens along helping to motivate my quest – a Canon 24-105MM f4 L IS USM Zoom. (Whew, that’s a mouthful!) Most of my shooting to date has been either using Tamron zooms (17-50mm f2.8 or the 18-200mm f3.5-6.3) or a handful of Canon prime lenses (28mm f1.8, 50mm f1.4, or the 85mm f1.8).

This new lens is my first in the Canon L series – which Canon aficionados come to respect at a distance from the red line around the lens barrel! It’s all about “the glass.” For today’s shooting, the new “glass” was mounted on my Canon 40D.

After heading across the bridge and touring the Marin Headlands out to Point Bonita and back through the one lane tunnel, I ended up in Sausalito for lunch. A quick “Golden Gate Special” sandwich at the Golden Gate Market filled the hunger and then I walked down a block along the waterfront and took these views across the water towards San Francisco.

San Francisco from Sausalito Chris Honeysett has taken a wonderful shot from this same location – but with much better technique (e.g., using a very slow shutter speed to blur the water, shooting from the beach not the boardwalk, and doing it at high tide and in deep fog!)!

I’ve uploaded today’s pictures to Flickr here. The smaller sizes I uploaded naturally look a bit darker than the actual full size shots – but the light today was also challenging – shooting back into the Sun much of the time. I had a -1/3 exposure correction cranked in which also contributed to the darker exposures.

After reviewing and adjusting today’s shots (using Apple Aperture 2.0 which I’m finding works really well for my needs), I decided to spring for the Canon Circular Polarizer for the new lens to help out in the future with this kind of challenging sun-lighting situation.

I look forward to repeating this effort either in the next couple of weeks this year – or maybe we’ll have to wait for stormy season again next year.