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WWDC 2014 and the future of Aperture, iPhoto and Photos

PhotoJoseph's picture
June 2, 2014 - 1:17pm

The WWDC 2014 keynote is over (watch it here), and there were several references to the world of photography, but unfortunately nothing about Aperture directly (or iPhoto, for what that's worth). If you want to watch the photos section, skip to 73:25 to get started. And if you want to see the comments already made on the live-blog of the keynote, head here.

So, what did we learn?

“Every photo you take. On all your devices.”

The major takeaway was that through Mac OS X Yosemite and iOS 8, we will see a new iCloud photo storage feature, allowing us to access and edit far more photos than we can see on a single iOS device today—up to 1TB of them. You can see the pricing tiers (at least up to 200GB) in the screenshot below.

Up to 1TB cloud photo storage available

1TB is a lot of storage, but it's not enough for everyone. I have around 3.5 or 4TB of data between my Aperture library and all the originals. How excessive data will be handled wasn't mentioned, although one presumes that you could just pay for what storage you wanted, and somehow tag projects or time spans that should be available in iCloud. 

The editing controls shown were not only non-destructive, and syncing via iCloud, but also much more advanced than anything we've seen in iOS before. The basic “Light” slider is actually made up of brightness, contrast, exposure, highlights and shadows—adjustments we all know and love, here controlled intelligently with a single “Light” slider, and also accessible individually. It's admittedly very nice.

These adjustments are far more advanced than what we’re used to in iOS

Other than a cool search demo, and showing an image crop synchronizing from an iPad to an iPhone, there wasn't much else on display. 

We saw photo adjustments synchronized between an iPad and iPhone via iCloud

Then finally, the only real mention of what's coming in the future was this reference…

“We are working on a new grounds-up photo solution for the Mac built with iCloud in mind” […] “…shipping early next year”

That sentence sums up what we now know about the future of photo apps on the Mac. The demo that proceeded that statement didn't look  like an iPhoto or Aperture app, but basically just a clone of the iOS Photos app, running on OS X. Maybe that's the future of iPhoto, although I'm sure things like cards and calendars and books will still be there. I believe what we saw running on OS X Yosemite today was just a technology demo, simply to show iCloud syncing, and not any indicator of what iPhoto or Aperture will look like.

EDIT: Maybe not; I missed this screenshot before. This makes it look much more robust, so perhaps this is the future of iPhoto/Aperture:

Is this the future of iPhoto and Aperture?

There's no place for Photos and iPhoto on OS X (or iOS for that matter, if you're going to put this much capability into Photos), so either Photos is the new iPhoto, or it'll be rebranded before launch. 

We also saw what looks to be a very nice new plug-in type architecture for iOS called “Extensibility” where developers can make their app accessible from the Photos app. The screenshot below from a demo that starts around 88:25 shows a “photo filter” accessing the apps VSCOCam and Waterlogue. 

Accessing third-party apps from within the Photos app on iOS is a very nice development

There are two huge questions here though that weren't addressed. First, is this non-destrucive? If so, like with the built-in adjustments, we could presumably open that photo and re-edit it later. That seems logical since there was no save or export step in the demo, and there's no way Apple would just overwrite your original photo. There could be a “revert” feature, but hopefully the adjustments are stored non-destrucively, and can be re-edited later on, on this or another device. And the second point is OS X functionality. If this “Extensibility” is, er, extended to OS X, then we're talking about a whole new plug-in architecture for the future photo app ecosystem.


So what about that date? “Early next year” is 2015. Are we going to see a new Aperture before then, giving us the features we've been gagging for for years now? Will we see an iPhoto and iPhoto Pro type of workflow? What about our existing libraries; you can't make a future version of Aperture that just throws away the last decade of work (Aperture 1.0 was released in 2005), so even if the simplified iOS-type workflow is the future, our existing photos can't be left behind.

Apple Aperture Apple Photos for iOS Apple Photos for macOS
macOS iOS

After viewing the entire keynote for a third time … I think many are confusing the issue with the thinking that a new OS X Photos app will be a replacement for Aperture may be overthinking the situation. We must keep in mind, WWDC is a developer conference … not a end-user gathering who have advanced photo-centric interests. What was offered was material focusing on tools those developers could employ to advance their work and how their efforts could benefit the entire Apple system.

We have to recall the “Photos” presentation was during the discussion of iOS 8 … and began by capability of sharing images across all devices that were captured using iOS devices … then bringing the mobile flavor of that system for organization and basic editing to laptops and desktops.

I do not think this is proof positive of the death knell of Aperture … nor do I think it is encouraging definitive information that Aperture is safe and sound. I don’t think we can discern anything with any level of confidence about Aperture’s future from what was offered yesterday.

Every time I use Final Cut Pro X (which is daily) I feel a bit confident that Apple will offer up a similar advancement for Aperture … though I grow increasingly impatient and anxious with each passing day that offers no definitive news on the matter.

Since Tim Cook did admit “I do read you emails,” to the developers at WWDC … I am committing myself to a daily letter writing campaign to his inbox … the letters will be polite, concise and sincere … until such time he responds …

You know if we take a step back from all this conversation about Aperture, things look “scary” for everyone.

Yes, interest in photography is bigger than ever but my memory from a recent industry analysis was that the DSLR market was actually softening. Canon sales were way off their mark and that spooked them. Younger couples don’t necessarily buy that expensive first DSLR at Costco when they have a baby. Their phone is more convenient and they are now satisfied with the results. Plus it is still easier to get them online than a DSLR.

I think Adobe itself realized that things were shifting when they rebranded Lightroom as Photoshop Lightroom. They are desperately trying to stay relevant and the renaming of LR and subscription services are part of that. Generationally, I see a group of young adults entering into the industry that do not have the loyalty to the Adobe brand that we saw even five years ago. They’re used to cheap apps that seem to do the job just fine. You look what they pack into Pixelmator right now for $15-30 and you realize that it is a much more demanding market to survive in than it used to be.

So as pros, we’ll always use tools that are a level above the consumer. That is a given in any industry. But our industry will also be guided and shaped by a group of younger incoming pros that grew up with phones as their first cameras and smart and cheap apps that can easily do what we used to pay hundreds of dollars for not that long ago. 

So it is going to be a bumpy ride for anyone using any application over the next five years. Hope you all like thrill rides… ;)

ummmm … the name or “branding” for Lightroom has always been Adobe Photoshop Lightroom since the day v1 was released … they did not change it …

Secondly … sales of DSLR cameras have not stalled or reduced because young couples are no longer purchasing them when their family grows … sales are stagnant because the technology has grown to the point where new models no longer instantly relegate the previous model to obsolescence because the new model is so superior. Finally, sanity has returned that we no longer need to replace a perfectly functioning tool simply because a new model was introduced.

You’re right. They rebranded it for the official v1 release. But it was originally branded as just “Lightroom.”…

And I wasn’t referring to replacement. I was referring to new buyers. But your point gets at the same thing. When we have Droid and iPhone cameras that rival most of the capabilities of digital cameras from 5-7 years ago AND they are already linked in for a new generation that loves instant sharing AND those devices have affordable apps that are easy to access for 90% of the processing they might want to do, buying a DSLR that they never take off Auto is not as compelling as it once was. 

What’s important is the size of the market for pro apps. Nothing to do with the fact many younger people have moved from point & shoots to their smart phone. What I see is just the opposite, some migrated to mirrorless, for a variety of reasons, and the market for more capable PP apps has grown with it.

I take little out of WWDC beyond yet another approach for the twitter crowd to share their photographic skills. What I’ve seen in the past few years is a disjointed mess from Apple. Aristophanes did a good job of summarizing it, though he missed some, its even more a pigs breakfast. Where Apple will go from here is anyone’s guess, including those in charge at Apple judging from their recent photo oriented products.

That lack of a clear vision, is what’s bothering many, if not all, of us. Where do we go if Aperture will no longer be developed? Open an Aperture library in iPhoto and you will quickly see that’s hardly a migration path. Assuming iPhoto will even be around, my bet, not a chance after seeing the Photo app. Beyond iPhoto, its losing non-destructive edits and keywords. Basically, start fresh with another app and hope Aperture will run in the next version of OSX. Again, not a given judging by Apple’s recent behavior.

I’ve already cut my 50,000 image Aperture library in half, exported most to tiff and moved from managed to referenced. While I have yet to find a decent replacement for Aperture’s DAM, I suspect I may not have a choice to make in the not too distant future. Fortunately, I cull big time and the <10% of the images I would re-edit will likely come out just as good, if not better, and take a fraction of the time to complete with LR’s editing module. Ugly, poor DAM relative to Aperture but life moves on.

I’ve blogged (well, kinda) about it here.


A terrific inventive and poignant piece of writing, Russell.

Here’s hoping for a cure soon, although I fear the disease will inevitably evolve a new virulency in response.


Thanks for the kind words, Walter.


Oh gosh. I’m surely not in the Photography Big Leagues like many of the denizens herein (and to whom I look for advice), but I do depend on Aperture, having spent a few years finally becoming familiar with a complex and powerful program. I hear/read folks bitching that Aperture is long in the tooth (Gruber ruthlessly mines these quotes). For me and I imagine a lot of others, Aperture does the job; and there are dozens of features under the hood that would likely speed my work I haven’t even touched.

I use Aperture to support my book projects and my newspaper column with a work flow that is fine-tuned and also uses Applescript.I don’t look forward to photo handling being dumbed down, and I don’t want to edit pix on my iPhone, either. Who seriously thinks that’s a good idea? Really, Apple? edit a photo for publication on iOS? Really?

And Lightroom? Yea, it’s very capable. It is a seriously worthy competitor, but the idea of renting software just bothers me too much. Can’t go there. Adobe’s model feels like Amazon’s treatment of publishers they don’t like: we are the king. Get in line.

I’ve been left at the altar before (can you spell iWeb? Ok, consumer product, same principle).

OTOH, I do look forward, not backward; show me whatcha got, Apple!

What does any new photo platform need to keep in order to preserve our Aperture investments in DAM? Start a list:


Extended EXIF





RAW import settings

Edit a photo for publication on iOS? Really?

Yes :) - why not? Most of the time we publish to the web anyway. Facebook, some Blog-Post whatever - I do actually see editing on an iPad or even iPhone as a useful possiblity. Perhaps its even just another crop - or some stronger sharpening when using a photo in very downscaled size. Other things would not be editing but entering keywords and ratings. Even experimentation with photo filters, and overlays with your pictures on an iOS device can be a very nice thing. So I'm actually looking forward in solutions which make me have flexible access to my photos even on the small devices I've nearly always with me.

The concept of the home PC as the digital darkroom is fading fast as our media and documents are increasingly networked beyond the confines of said, costly, darkroom. Remember: most of the world has embraced mobile devices in place of a home or office PC. If you are a camera maker, relying on your market to have this pre-existing home PC digital darkroom set-up is both parasitic and anachronistic. This will apply to large sensor camera output, video, and iOS device inputs. Yes, Mac sales are good, but being tied to the armchair to edit and enjoy photography is a hobby as work for the vast majority of photographers. The whole “workflow” concept is something of a turn-off to sales and appreciation of photography. I think we are seeing Apple’s focus turn to the flow with as little work as possible.

Apple’s intent appears to be photos everywhere justifying a multi-device consumer which drives Apple’s sale paradigm. I hope means Aperture everywhere. What gets lost? I suspect high-end, pixel-level editing and camera-specific adjustments like lens profiles. What gets kept? Hopefully an outstanding, integrated DAM (video, text, and widgets a la iPhoto journals) and a persistent, outstanding cloud presence.

Wow - got some developer info about how photo extensions will work. I can't share that here, but let me just say - this is a dream coming true.

What a tease.  Trade secrecy or why ever not? You can tell we are desperate for reassurance.


As things stand Aperture libraries are either ‘Managed’ or ‘Referenced’ or a combination. This iCloud manoeuvre opens up a possibility of introducing a third option.  

Imagine a situation where one has all three optimised in such a way, for example, that the Managed images are the current crop local to a particular Mac, that the Referenced images are the archived and perhaps less frequently visited projects, and that ‘Clouded’ images are a collection that one might maintain for images that are either so live that one needs access at any time or from anywhere - even, if necessary, via iOS or another app. Away with the travelling external HDD, dropbox et al.  And away with proper holidays away from work …

With that third option, this could be a fantastic development.  Without it, I feel it could be frustrating managing the iCloud storage.


I checked the terms for this year and it really seems discussing prerelease info is now allowed. So I can share more: Photo Edit Extensions as they are specified up to now for iOS actually really are non destructive and can be programmed to read, modify, remove and add adjustments. They are part of a bigger Extension API which is shared between iOS and Mac. While Photo Edit Extension are not there yet for 10.10 I guess they will come with the in 2015. There is really a lot of cool stuff for developers: JavaScript ist now a first class alternative to AppleScript for automation. Safari for Mac and iOS use a common extension framework. And certainly much more to find in the next days.

I have to admit, I was pretty amazed that I could just plug my D800 into my iPad Air, and iPhoto was able to ingest the full quality RAW images. With an iCloud solution automatically connected to that, and someone back in a production office able to get those same full quality RAWs right away in the new Aperture-equivilent software, that makes for an interesting prospect.

Just listened to one of my regular podcasts and Bart Busschots had some interesting things to say about Aperture The Pod cast is Mac Roundtable and the item can be found at 1:09:50 where Bart goes on to say, I have put it in my words, that what is happening with the photo apps could be a good thing. If Apple are working on the next photo solution, which they say they are to be released in 2015, you would need you IOS app and your OSX app to talk to one another. So with the various point updates in Aperture it has been getting us ready for the cloud. Making one library file that can be accessed by both the Pro and the consumer. Now that the library is in the cloud that now gives Apple the opportunity to build a proper pro app one that has IOS and OSX access.

Don’t know if anyone has thought of this angle but ever the optimist there could be some truth in it. 


I agree this is the likeliest rationale for such a long delay between major updates as it speaks to the core Library structure.

Also suspect is Apple’s usual reluctance to build every tweak into a product one might find elsewhere, like in Lightroom. Call it MS Officeitis and bloatware. Looking at iLife, the Pro apps, and especially the iWork programs Apple is paring down, not adding up. So I suspect a new Aperture revision will avoid the built-in functions LR has and be substantially different in its approach, focusing on Library, shared resources, and DAM.

At least that is what I hope.

Perhaps I’m stuck in a time warp because I’m still pretty happy with v3.4.5.  Add Perfect Photo Suite 8 & Photoshop and there’s not much I’m looking for.  I rely on Aperture for it’s great cataloging & vault features (books & calendars too).  I use it for simple edits, otherwise I round trip it to my supporting cast.  With OnOne continuously updating their software I don’t feel I’m missing out.  That said, I’m sure Apple will roll out some terrific new features and workflows when they finally update the program.

Early on, my major RAW editor was LightZone. It really stressed non-destructive editing at a time before it was truly fashionable. LightZone was by the now defunct LightCrafts but is being offered as open source. The last I heard, LZ’s creator Fabio Riccardi is now at Apple in the iOS unit. Now I have no information at all about what Mr. Riccardi is up to these days but I have to believe that some of that cool  ”Light” wizardry that Federighi was demonstrating is part of his contribution. It reminds me so much of the easy “Relight” tool built into LightZone. If so, I can’t wait until we see more. LightZone was ahead of its time and it couldn’t survive squashed between Adobe and Apple. But like, Aperture, its a tool that keeps the work of processing fun. 

Check out Session 514 - “Advances in Core Image” from the WWDC 2014, it can be viewed here:

Arround 33 minutes into the session they start to talk about new RAW features in OS X. Including Lens corrections (or rather the option of turning off lens corrections for compact cameras…) and advanced noise corrections!

They also mention that it is used for “Aperture, iPhoto, Photos”, so they mention iPhoto and Photos seperately.. and still mention Aperture.

oh very nice find indeed!

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

Jeff - very good find on that WWDC session.  It does appear that the CIRAWFilter has been totally updated and will appear in not only the new Photos for Mac app, but most liikely also updates to iPhoto and Aperture also.

Great find ?Jeff?!

Around 39:15 they are demonstrating a new “Raw Expose” app with controls like lens correction, advanced noise reduction, exposure, highlights & shadows, and boost. Looks like a beta of a new “Raw Fine Tuning” brick! The NR example looks fantastic!

How this is rolled into Apeture, iphoto, photos, or whatever they call it remains to be seen.

I now have full faith that those of us who stayed loyal to Aperture are about to be rewarded. Even if all the other image adjustment and asset management tools stay the same, this, coupled with new cloud storage/sharing options and 3rd party “extensibility” will bring Aperture at least on par with LR, and still the better asset manager.

My only fear is that Apple does away with already existing selective adjustments and advanced metadata options to simplify things for the average consumer, but I think this would be silly, and extremely unlikely. More likely, Apple will offer “basic” and “advanced” UI’s within one “Photos” app, or detailed controls will just be hidden in subdirectories under broad adjustments like “Light” which we saw demonstrated at WWDC.

I had been really stressed, and really considering a move to LR until Jeff found this gold. THANK YOU!!!

This are normally just demo apps which get used to demonstrate framework features - definitely nothing “beta” but more like tech demos. But you're right - essentially the demo shows what could be possible in a future Aperture RAW fine-tuning brick. Highlights & Shadows will likely stay like it is now. Generally I found the demonstrated features quite similar to what we have now. Highlights & Shadows works the same now and the NR didn't look too different to what they have reached in the last point releases - with one difference: In the demo there were dedicated sliders for luminance and chroma-noise. It could be that they now expose those in RAW fine-tuning.

Btw. what is the App in the Dock with the dark black lens? Could that be the new Aperture?

No problem :)

@Charles Putnam: my name is not Jeff, its Arne.

The one thing I noted on the Photos for Mac demo was that the highlight/shadow sliders included both positive and negative adjustments.  i.e. the zero point was in the center and you could go either way - add or subtract from those adjustments.

Check out “Introducing the Photos Framework” at 35 min 29 sec. There they discuss the underpinnings for how editing of photos works within the framework. Also check out the 43 min mark where they go into the Photo Editing Extensions. What it clearly shown is that adjustments, both built-in and those provided by something you develop, are stored in the library. Combine that with the new Extensions framework and Core Image and CIRawFilter changes, and you can see the building blocks for allowing third-party tools to insert their filters in the linear and non-linear transformation chain, have their adjustments stored in the library, that all of these are non-destructive, and that these adjustments are “resumable edits” meaning you can change them at any time in the future.

This has enormous implications for Apple’s own Photos app and for third-party tools like Perfect Photo Suite, Topaz, Nik, etc. And the APIs for these are the same across iOS and OS X Yosemite, making it much easier for these companies to provide their tools on both platforms.

This rocks!

“Every photo you take. On all your devices.”

A couple of months ago, despairing at yet again running out of disc space, I spent a lot of trouble and effort moving my referenced original files to a wireless hard disc. A few days later I spent a lot of trouble and effort moving them back. Aperture had vitally stopped responding.

It might be great for iPhone photos, but will any Aperture users want to keep their photos in the cloud?

Anaxagoras, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Anaxagoras, You absolutely cannot compare a network filesystem with a dedicated custom network protocol like iCloud. The clients can request smaller representations of an asset for preview. The protocol can store and hold RAW files locally and only sync changes,

You may not “need” to keep them in iCloud. I’ve been using the iCloud Journals tool (as a web journal, very nice tool for those who have not looked into it) in iPhoto for iOS. Been 3 years now. I don’t keep all that much on it as iCloud looses the images. Trying to depend on iCloud to provide image access has not been much of a success for me and I recently stopped using it. The photos are gone. At least they no longer show up in my space used.

You will very likely continue to run out of disk space, or not need any at all.

I agree with Floyd Summerhayes. I have tried Lightroom and it is a good programme. Even though I am Mac through and through, the delay, and the fact that the next iteration will be iCloud based is pushing me to alternatives, such as Capture One.


how is the iCloud thing pushing you? AFAIU it is only needed if you actually want to transparently share your photos between all you devices. What we actually know so far is, that “iCloud” will be able to handle more photos and in a more flexible way than today - but that doesn't mean that there will be no option to store and edit photos locally.

I think it definitely is a good idea to wait and look how this all unfolds over the next months.

If it will be possible to store locally that might be different but remember how iTunes intiially did not allow this?

Allow what?

We are talking here about photos often created by the people themselves not about buying music or movies do we? ;)

Look at iOS: The photos are stored on the device itself and get synchronized to iCloud. A pure network access would be expensive (time and money) and slow. They even already mentioned that it will be possible to “hold only part of the photos locally” - which in extension means that it is possible to hold photos locally. This is perhaps indeed a bit similar to iTunes Match where you have your whole music library available per iCloud and you can just download albums by click to store them on the device. It could just be that in future you will be able to “publish” albums which syncs them to the cloud and you can just look at them on demand or by downloading them. So there may not be that “iCloud” section anymore in Aperture but just a “flag” on any project/album if it is published.

I was referring to iTunes with Mavericks initially only allowing synching of devices via iCloud and not allowing local network synching. I wish to store all my own images on a device over which I have total control, and for which I am not beholden to a third party however benign they might be.

How do we know “the next iteration will be iCloud based” … is a fact?

Yes, the functionality of how photos can be shared across devices will be much more iCloud centric and indicates improved ease of use … that in no way should be mistaken for understanding that any new iteration of Aperture will be strictly and solely in “the cloud” …

Do you really think after initially offering Aperture as a managed library only  system to then open it up to allow for a referenced library system, Apple would repeat that error in judgement once more and force users to only have a cloud based library? 

I think we are reading way too much into tea leaves. We are relying too much on conjecture that very little of which is based upon actual fact. The interpretations of which seem to be wider than the scope of a full UN assembly 

Much in the same way Adobe failed to really explain how Creative Cloud was actually going to work (without a doubt, the biggest marketing blunder so far in the 21st century) … the absence of any definitive information on the the future of Aperture is creating a lot of unnecessary and uncertain “guesses” of how this is all going to unfold.

Much of the information we have seen this week was from WWDC … a convention gathering for third party developers and the new tools that will be available in the next round of releases for Xcode, OS X and iOS … 

Last I checked, Aperture has not been coded by third party developers. It has been developed in-house by Apple employees. I doubt that will change going forward. Any conclusions made based upon info from what has been shared at WWDC is really based upon insufficient and inconclusive information. Analyzing dock icons to the Nth degree is hardly going to shed any additional light on the matter. That icon is proof of nothing. Either for or against there future of Aperture.

The only way we are going to clear this cloud of uncertainty (pun very intended) and remove all the doubt is for someone at Apple to finally stand up and share what the plan is. They don’t need to be specific if need be … but they owe we loyal users at least some indication of their intentions so that we don’t have to guess any longer.

Hi Butch

I do not know any facts about Aperture’s future I am merely putting in my two penneth about what I would want, and hope Apple might take a humble user’s views into consideration. Aperture is great for managing images and projects, and, as someone else pointed out, for 80% or more of my images I use the programme for limited adjustments. I am a photographer, who wants full control over his images, that is all. If I can have that then whatever extra they might add, such as iCloud storage and access, for whoever needs or wants it, is fine by me as long as it is a choice.

I do agree with you that some indication of Apple’s intentions in this regard would be useful.

The truth about Aperture is that as is, it’s good enough. It would be nice to have real noise reduction and H&S that matched Lightroom’s muscle, but I do just fine with it 80% of the time. The other 20% ends up in a plugin or in LR.

Photos is good enough for iPhone and iPad shooters IMO. I don’t see how it would be seamless with for DSLR shooters. Aperture has much room for improvement but if we are waiting for Aperture to change our images, there’s something wrong with us.

Aperture was never designed for iOS device input and neither was Final Cut. Call it a pro app or whatever, Apple will not assume that its cloud services for photos will depend on a strict iOS device input stream. How many Apple employees use higher-end cameras? A lot, I bet. That means Apple cannot ignore the RAW to iCloud dynamic.

I doubt that once video is thrown in there is not going to be a persistent all-iCloud library. Rather a system where users can choose which images go into which display systems. Th best structure I have seen so far is the iOS iPad iPhoto journals.

Apple has been experimenting with iCloud photos and videos in an erratic manner as I outlined earlier. Photo Streams is an all-in structure which is patently ridiculous. Fire that guy. Photo Sharing is better but so rigidly linear managing it is impossible. Then they aded iPhoto journals. We already had Aperture web pages.

So far all development on Aperture appears to have been stalled by how to proper integrate iCloud.

Also, everyone needs to keep in mind video is a huge part of this. Photo Sharing has the ability to stream 5 minute videos which is a huge effort. I think the 2 large data centres Apple has been finishing are a big part of the delay, and a lot of that has been dialling in the video issue. Apple is so big now that if they go live on any service through an OS release they require massive capacity to meet demand. They learned a lesson with MobileMe.

Trust my 5TB+ of photographs which represents the main focus of my professional life to iCloud? What a joke.

Push and pull 36MB+ RAW images and 100GB+ multi-layered PSD files (which are all integrated into my Aperture libraries) to and from iCloud? What a joke.

I guess those Hollywood editors working on the next $100million blockbuster should trade in their shiny black MacPro’s and learn how to use iMovie on their iPad?

Come on Apple, do the right thing. Support the professionals who are creating the content that the rest of your users find so compelling!!!

"There is nothing worse than a sharp photograph of a fuzzy concept." Ansel Adams

Matthew, your last paragraph is compelling but frankly I don’t think that simply because there are high-end users is enough for Apple to suspend its most U of all SPs - that it never reveals before it is ready.

So we are left wondering and sometimes worrying but as has been said often what exists is pretty bloody good. There are plenty of wishes, of course there are, and some of them would be improvements. But if it ain’t broke …

As for your earlier paragraphs: Of course it is not a joke; it would be absurd and that is not going to happen.  Think about the implications for a moment: Who would be expected to pay for the enormous data storage and transport costs of such a system? Apple? Of course not. Photographers who actively do not trust it, clearly do not need it and avowedly do not want it? I don’t think so.

Thus it will not come to pass in that form and it is hyperbole to suggest that Apple would do anything as extreme as to drive people away from their ecosystem - especially the professionals who are creating the content that the rest of their users find so compelling.

However there will be nothing to prevent those same professionals riding on the iCloud roller-coaster with the rest. There are bound to be some innovative ways to work, rest and play by piggy-backing on that one.

I favour a third option to the ‘Managed’ or ‘Referenced’ images. Preferably not called ‘iClouded’


In full agreement Walter…

“I favor a third option to the ‘Managed’ or ‘Referenced’ images. Preferably not called ‘iClouded’”  

…I tried to see where I was going but it was too iCloudy…

…A new lighting modifier: iCloudy! - Light so soft you can’t find it (when its working that is…)

…I was trying to get some clarity around my editing, but I was tired and became iCloudy…

(apologies in advance…  back to work…)

"There is nothing worse than a sharp photograph of a fuzzy concept." Ansel Adams

Looking at the WWDC Easter Egg, would that be enough? 

I mean if noise reduction were improved and we were given the ability to control the application of lens corrections, would we be happy?

I don’t think I would, completely. I also want perspective correction (à la PTLens) and I also would like Aperture to allow editing with more external editors at one time so I don’t have to write scripts to round trip images if I happen to have CS6 as my external editor in Preferences. As well as the NR, they’re my main wants, maybe even needs.

I don’t think I’m alone but I suspect that NR and a bit of lens jiggery-pokery would be enough for many.


Politically, Adobe’s policy since the Macromediocre infection has been that their apps are the platform, and the operating system under them is commoditised. I wouldn’t count it as a given that Adobe will participate in this new paradigm of any app being able to work as a plugin to any other app, if it means their products have more utility on the Mac than on Windows. You may find you still have to destructively roundtrip to edit your photos in Photoshop.

“I mean if noise reduction were improved and we were given the ability to control the application of lens corrections, would we be happy?”

I wouldn’t … there are a hundred or more probably less important improvements/additions that Aperture and it’s users could benefit from.

Lift and Stamp is an archaic and convoluted process that could easily be streamlined.

Proper watermarking with more user control without resorting to third party plugins.

Proper user controlled native FTP export.

The most glaring issue in my opinion … brush in a mask once, use it for multiple adjustment bricks. Why should we still have to draw in the same mask multiple times? For goodness sake … it’s 2014!

These and many more issues that have existed for years without any improvement is what is so concerning about the absence of a meaningful update to Aperture.

Sure, Aperture is a very formidable RAW workflow option, but it is in no way where it should be at this point in time. It not only could be more. It should be more. I am more  willing to compensate Apple in a significant manner should they address my concerns.

Which is why it is quite puzzling why Apple have delayed such an offering for so long.

I would also be quite happy with improved scriptability (AppleScript, and the new Javascript scripting in Yosemite..). I would mostly like reading out histograms/image data and applying adjustments, not just predefined presets as is currently the case.. You can not even create new presets via scripting.

I encourage everyone to view the WWDC 2014 videos on CoreImage, CloudKit and Photos Library. If you carefully think through the potential that these offer, I think you will see a more clear vision of where Apple is taking their ecosystem.

I think Apple has no desire to host your enormous raw files in iCloud. I think they do desire to host RGB representations of them, and I think they do desire to let you to manipulate the adjustments and metadata from any device and have those changes be reflected back in your master Photos Library on whatever computer it happens to reside at the time.

It's a tough nut to crack. If you don't host the RAW files, then you're not really editing the RAW file, and subtle adjustments made on you iOS device, if that's only editing a JPEG proxy, may look different once viewed on the Mac. (Screen color calibration differences aside, of course!!). So yeah perhaps the RAW gets MOVED, not synced, to your OS X system, and a JPEG proxy, perhaps even low resolution, is left behind. Enough to see, do iOS-level edits, and share.

Of course it's all speculation… but at least we finally have something new to speculate about ;-)

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