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View Poll Results: With regards to photo workflow and management apps like Lightroom and Aperture:
I use such programs and they have improved my workflow immensely. 12 63.16%
I do use one of these programs but the benefit has been marginal. 3 15.79%
I tried one of these programs out but it wasn't for me 3 15.79%
I haven't tried any of these programs and have no plans to. 1 5.26%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 15-04-10
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Question Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

I'm curious to find out where people stand when it comes to the concept of non-destructive editing, database-driven, RAW file processing, digital asset management style applications like Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture. Do you already use one of these applications or something similar? Do you even know why many photographers swear by them? Have you dabbled but found these solutions wanting? Here's the poll!

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  #2  
Old 16-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I'm curious to find out where people stand when it comes to the concept of non-destructive editing, database-driven, RAW file processing, digital asset management style applications like Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture. Do you already use one of these applications or something similar? Do you even know why many photographers swear by them? Have you dabbled but found these solutions wanting? Here's the poll!

Ian
I can't understand why no one has responded to this thread yet. I know for a fact there are Lightroom and some Aperture users that use this forum, Heck there are 6 that have voted for the first option in the Poll, but no comments yet.

For my own part, Lightroom has been the biggest advancement in my workflow since I started using digital cameras.

I still come across many though that use Raw and don't seem to appreciate the benefits of using such a program. Maybe its a case of it doing more than they need and therefore don't see the point in shelling out the cash.

My younger brother has just discovered Aperture, it was as though it suddenly clicked with him. He is now looking into the prospect of getting himself a Micro four thirds camera so he can take advantage of the Raw shooting and processing. His current camera a Lumix TZ won't shoot in Raw and is no good in low light, so he seems to see it as the way forward.
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Old 16-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

I think one of the problems with programs like these is that you need to have that 'Oh wow' light bulb experience when it all suddenly clicks as it's so different to the conventional practice of editing each picture separately and individually in something like Photoshop. I recall I had a big problem getting to this stage at first - it really didn't click and then one day the whole concept made sense and I haven't looked back since!

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Old 16-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

I have tried LR and Aperture and if I ask myself the question "what problem do I have that this will solve?" the answer is nothing (although I am willing to be convinced otherwise). I also dislike the approach this type of software takes.

To start with I don't want to import my files. I just want to drop them on an application, have it open, work on them, save and go do something else.

Secondly, I don't need the organisational part since I can make and name folders and drag and drop files. I have been doing this for much longer than these programs have existed and simply have no issue with the process. I don't need any program other then the operating system for that. I can fine my files and they are backed up (including off-site backup).

Third point is that until now Adobe's RAW converter has seemed seriously flawed to me. It just isn't anywhere near as good as DXO (or for some files Bibble or Silkypix). I am using LR3 Beta to reassess the improved RAW converter, but previously is just wasn't anywhere near good enough.

Fourth point is that if I want to do batch editing I can do what I need in Camera Raw, but for most of what I do I need to work on images individually. That brings me to the fact that I can't do what I need without the extra capability of Photoshop. Lightroom is just too lightweight. I need layers almost all the time and layer masks too plus a whole host of other things that are not in LR.

So why would I spend extra money and clutter up my 'puter? I can't think why I would.
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Old 16-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

I am not going into a lot of detail, but I just love Lightroom and am evaluating LR3 beta atm. I think it is fantastic and it is so easy just to pop into CS3 for anything more advanced.

I like the way I don't have to "Save as".

Yes it has improved my workflow.
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Old 18-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

I've tried LR and Aperture from the first betas and they were aimed at someone other than me. I particularly hated Aperture. Then I tried Aperture 3, and, yes, I had an Oh Wow moment, except it was more like OH WOW. I used to catalog in iPhoto of all things and I was reasonably happy with it, but it took a lot of time and didn't do all I wanted. Aperture 3.0 might be missing some things I want, but I've yet to find them. And it's a speed burner on a mere iMac (and the lowest end of the latest batch). I love the way it extracts EXIF data. It shows me the focus distance with some lenses and seems to get it right. I love the many presets, and the way the NIK and OnOne filters work. The Clone stamp effect works differently than that in PS and at first that bothered me, but now I feel the Clone and Repair tools are better than PS4. Ah, I just thought of something missing: DigiMarc which I use on every photo that leaves here for an online destination seems to only work in PS. But going into PS is a click and then a click back. I like the Print command of Aperture better than that of PS and think I get better prints. All my too many photos are now organized in a rational way, and most all are flagged, rated and color coded (I use colors to indicate super high quality (greater than 5 stars, ready to print, and, most important, printed). I can't imagine working without Aperture now. But I'll pick up the PS5 upgrade the day it comes out. Who knows what will happen when I get to really work with that.
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Old 18-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

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Originally Posted by fluffy View Post
I've tried LR and Aperture from the first betas and they were aimed at someone other than me. I particularly hated Aperture. Then I tried Aperture 3, and, yes, I had an Oh Wow moment, except it was more like OH WOW. I used to catalog in iPhoto of all things and I was reasonably happy with it, but it took a lot of time and didn't do all I wanted. Aperture 3.0 might be missing some things I want, but I've yet to find them. And it's a speed burner on a mere iMac (and the lowest end of the latest batch). I love the way it extracts EXIF data. It shows me the focus distance with some lenses and seems to get it right. I love the many presets, and the way the NIK and OnOne filters work. The Clone stamp effect works differently than that in PS and at first that bothered me, but now I feel the Clone and Repair tools are better than PS4. Ah, I just thought of something missing: DigiMarc which I use on every photo that leaves here for an online destination seems to only work in PS. But going into PS is a click and then a click back. I like the Print command of Aperture better than that of PS and think I get better prints. All my too many photos are now organized in a rational way, and most all are flagged, rated and color coded (I use colors to indicate super high quality (greater than 5 stars, ready to print, and, most important, printed). I can't imagine working without Aperture now. But I'll pick up the PS5 upgrade the day it comes out. Who knows what will happen when I get to really work with that.
I am a Lightroom 2 and PS4 user, looked at Bibble, OxO hated both they put files all over the place, irritating. Looked at the Aperture 3, other than the fact its possible to make locations where the picture was taken it has nothing more to offer than Lightroom 2 , looked at LR 3 beta version, for me personally nothing new of interest, so lets see what LR 3 final commercial version will offer.

Like John I do not want the library facility, I have a filing system of my own which works for me, I too would prefer normal access to my images through Lightroom instead of having to load them into the library.
I do though disagree that Lightroom is lightweight, I feel this is missing the point as to what Lightroom is about, its not a substitute for Photoshop but is designed to compliment it. I put up with the importing of images and use it frequently.
In fact I would suggest to Adobe that a version of Photoshop should be offered at a lower price without Bridge & ARC for those wishing to use Lightroom as it will do as much and a lot more than these offer. As it is RAW converter, Exif editing, and rating pictures are all duplicated by using both PS & LR. Better still offer a version of PS integrated with LR instead of Bridge & ARC. Give us users the choice of either package.
Incidentally Adobe are still charging more to download CS5 than to buy the disk, I find this very strange.

Patrick
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Old 18-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

I've tried Silkypix, and really don't like it...........far too clunky for my liking. I have DxO, I like it a lot, especially for its geometric adjustments, noise reduction and general auto adjustments, however its incredibly slow when compared to ACR. I've never really been able to spot any major differences in output quality except perhaps in NR. that I could not sort out by my own input.

However what has struck me with what both John and Patrick have said, is that they don't like the Import and Library elements of Lightroom. For me to Import photos into Lightroom is a non issue. Photographs have to be imported onto the computer one way or another, and doing it via LR is no different than doing it straight into your 'Photos' folder etc. The name given to the folder in LR is no different to that you would do any other way. Any name given in LR is duplicated wherever you put them on your HD. Essentially you are in full control of where your photos are and you have the added benefit of adding whatever tags/keywords you might want, not to mention adding to the exif data with your own copyright info etc. If you can't be bothered with this element of the import, fair enough, don't use it. Far be it from me to tell you how it should be done though
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Old 21-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

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Originally Posted by Autumn View Post
I am not going into a lot of detail, but I just love Lightroom and am evaluating LR3 beta atm. I think it is fantastic and it is so easy just to pop into CS3 for anything more advanced.

I like the way I don't have to "Save as".

Yes it has improved my workflow.
I fully agree with this. I have had LR since it came out and love it. I am also using LR 3.2 at the moment and love the noise reduction in it. I do most of my edits in it bit if I need more then just pop over to cs and its all done. Like the meerkat says "simples"
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Old 21-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

Lightroom can be fully compatible with your own filing system if you prefer; simply use the Add option in Import instead of Copy or Move. The images are added to the catalogue but not moved or copied from the location in the user's preferred filing structure.

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Old 21-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John H. Maw View Post
I have tried LR and Aperture and if I ask myself the question "what problem do I have that this will solve?" the answer is nothing (although I am willing to be convinced otherwise). I also dislike the approach this type of software takes.

To start with I don't want to import my files. I just want to drop them on an application, have it open, work on them, save and go do something else.

Secondly, I don't need the organisational part since I can make and name folders and drag and drop files. I have been doing this for much longer than these programs have existed and simply have no issue with the process. I don't need any program other then the operating system for that. I can fine my files and they are backed up (including off-site backup).

Third point is that until now Adobe's RAW converter has seemed seriously flawed to me. It just isn't anywhere near as good as DXO (or for some files Bibble or Silkypix). I am using LR3 Beta to reassess the improved RAW converter, but previously is just wasn't anywhere near good enough.

Fourth point is that if I want to do batch editing I can do what I need in Camera Raw, but for most of what I do I need to work on images individually. That brings me to the fact that I can't do what I need without the extra capability of Photoshop. Lightroom is just too lightweight. I need layers almost all the time and layer masks too plus a whole host of other things that are not in LR.

So why would I spend extra money and clutter up my 'puter? I can't think why I would.
This was almost exactly what I thought before Lightroom clicked. So let me address your points in turn.

1. Drop an image onto an app, open, edit and save, then close. That's the way we all used to work. It risks the accidental over-writing of original and maybe irreplaceable files and this is virtually impossible with LR. Now there is no need to save an image until it's finished and you don't need to close anything any more. Any image you have worked on will be in the same state that you left it last time you looked at it. You can come back to the same image over and over and not have to look for it.

2. Lightroom is brilliant as an alternative to the OS for organising the storage of your images, but you don't have to give up your familiar practice. Lightroom can add your images to its database without moving or copying them from their original locations if you prefer.

3. RAW conversion quality. In some ways, this was also a niggle of mine. But I now feel that ACR (version 6, which is at the heart of LR3) has come of age. It has long been the fastest RAW processor, especially in LR, and now its output is very refined, especially with the new noise and sharpening algorithms.

4. Edit functionality. LR has acquried some powerful tools over time; spot healing, graduated filters, and the very versatile and powerful adjustment brush. For me, 90% of images require no more than this. For the rest, LR can connect to your preferred editing program if you need layers, and other more intricate edits. No way can LR be fairly accused of being lightweight.

The biggest problem with Lightroom is that it requires you to think differently. That's not ideal when being first acquainted with the program. But perseverance can pay huge dividends.

Ian
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Old 22-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Lightroom can be fully compatible with your own filing system if you prefer; simply use the Add option in Import instead of Copy or Move. The images are added to the catalogue but not moved or copied from the location in the user's preferred filing structure.

Ian
Unfortunately, when I imported my photos into LR on my new laptop, (all 32000 of them), when I looked they were all in date order and not as I had hoped, which is exactly as they are on my pc.

This was a few months ago and I keep putting off doing anything about it.

Would I be able to alter the imported structure to how it is on my pc by using this Add option? If so, I cannot see it in LR2, only in LR3 Beta.

If I can't use this option, other than deleting all these files and reimporting them, is there any other way to reorganise them to be the same as on my PC?
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Old 22-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

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Originally Posted by Autumn View Post
Unfortunately, when I imported my photos into LR on my new laptop, (all 32000 of them), when I looked they were all in date order and not as I had hoped, which is exactly as they are on my pc.

This was a few months ago and I keep putting off doing anything about it.

Would I be able to alter the imported structure to how it is on my pc by using this Add option? If so, I cannot see it in LR2, only in LR3 Beta.

If I can't use this option, other than deleting all these files and reimporting them, is there any other way to reorganise them to be the same as on my PC?
You can find the ADD option in the import dialogue box that pops up when dragging images or folders onto Lightroom 2 when in Library mode.

If you want to reconstruct, then I would probably start with a new catalogue, but all your edits and tags will remain in the old catalogue

I'm not sure if there is a solution to that problem.

Ian
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Old 22-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

I've been meaning to do an easy to follow series on Lightroom for ages, so inspired by this thread, I've made a start, see:

http://dpnow.com/7042.html

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Old 23-04-10
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Re: Aperture and Lightroom style workflow - for or against?

i used to use raw shooter essentials until LR came along. my first impressions of LR were that it did way too much compared to the simple single screen in RSE. *then* i got to start using it properly. in short, it saves me so much time compared to how i used to do things that it's unreal. i never thought i'd use the cataloguing side, but do. never thought i'd use the ratings, but do. etc etc. i will confess to only using the first 2 modules as the other 3 have no use for me, however, the ability to just hold the one file is great. the old workflow would involve holding the original, creating a PSD from it, working on the PSD, writing as a new file.
the ability to apply all / a selection of settings to a block of photos in one hit is great and a huge time saver. the ability to save snapshots of different settings to apply to an image is great, allowing you to hold just one source file, yet create multiple 'versions' from this one file.

given that i take anywhere between 25k-50k images per year, it makes life soooo much simpler.

put simply, LR is the dogs danglies.
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