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Overall support of Aperture #1
Mark Alderson's picture
by Mark Alderson
December 6, 2012 - 2:01pm

As I was traveling on business this week, something started bothering me a little, and maybe some of you have the same feelings. Does it bother anybody else that Aperture does not get very much press support? Don't get me wrong, I like Aperture, but there is very little new books or information that comes out on Aperture. I know that we are a smaller community than Lightroom and all the power of Adobe, but are we so small that nobody cares about us?

Thank goodness for this site, we'd be up the creek without a paddle. There isn't much new stuff that focuses on Aperture, and overall that may be Apple's fault, but it is a little disturbing that there isn't any new training material on Aperture available. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about switching (although the price for Lightroom was the same on Cyber Monday), but I would sure like some additional training material.

Sorry for my rant, I've got yo get back on Santa's nice list now!

Mark Alderson's picture
by Mark Alderson
December 9, 2012 - 6:13am

Thanks to all for the discussion here. I’m glad that it didn’t turn out to be a bashing against Aperture or Lightroom. I haven’t used Lightroom, but when ever I watch the training videos from onOne or Nik, most of the instructors are using LR, and to be honest, some of the features look nice. Like I said, I’m not moving to LR for a couple of reasons 1) The Apple environment and 2) learning another program just isn’t in the cards right now. Currently, I don’t use Photoshop, although I do have Elements 10 installed, so the Adobe environment is not critical to me.

I’ll continue to trudge on and wait patiently for good things for the future!

Chris Hoch's picture
by Chris Hoch
December 9, 2012 - 9:46pm

I have been using Lightroom 4 for the past 2 weeks, with the intention of switching however I just can not make the switch.

I do like LR for colour processing their auto enhance seems to make the colours pop a bit better and therefore makes my life slightly easier for adjusting colour, saturation and exposure from the get go.

Their spot healing is so much better, it actually picks a section of the image that is close to the piece you are trying to heal and places it on top. In Aperture, to me, it is as if they are just trying to blur that section of the photo.

Lens Correction, was also a surprise to me and does have an impact on the photo’s, i thought it was a myth.

However, I keep on going back to aperture. The workflow is easier to handle, the slideshow feature is brilliant, the book creation tool is by all means the best and I feel more at home with Aperture.

I think I heard somewhere that one of Apple’s Top Guys is in to his photography and I think if it was not for him then this application would have been mothballed. I hope I am completely wrong about the mothballing and I hope that Apple produce Aperture 4, if they do I will be with some of you guys at the front of the Queue with my wallet open and ready to purchase.

gfsymon's picture
by gfsymon
December 10, 2012 - 8:52am

I don’t think even Apple could be so flippant about an app that they keep investing in it just to please one of their directors. They did famously produce Keynote, just for Steve Jobs’ presentations, but then the pragmatist in them said, ‘we can sell this and make some money’.

But really, why would they not want to continue producing a product which is a significant revenue stream for them? As MS have shown in the past, software can be VERY high profit, especially now, that there is no ‘hard copy’. Maybe you’ve noticed that Apple have lead the way in doing away with CD/DVD/packaged distribution? Nowadays it is, produce once - sell many for almost no increased cost.

For Aperture, there is no longer an upgrade price, so when Aperture 4 comes out, it will replace Aperture 3 in the App Store, selling most likely for the same money and at that point they will rub there hands as they anticipate a short sharp shock of pent-up demand at 80 dollars a pop. How many people are running Aperture? 1, 2, 3 million? (I have no idea). If 250,000 update in the first quarter, that’s 20 million. Photography is the most practiced hobby in the world, second to none. They’d be crazy to drop it. Aperture is currently 13 in the US AppStore, but everything in front of it sells for under 30 dollars.

For people using Logic Pro, they’re in the same position. 2009 was the last major update, however several months ago, the project lead was quoted as saying they are working hard on an update. We can imagine many reasons for Apple’s longer update cycle. Unification with iOS. Huge under-the-hood changes in Lion 10.7 and consolidation in 10.8. iCloud, etc. The really important point is that it is being updated and kept current. It very quickly had retina support. The library structure has been totally changed to make it universal with iPhoto (the same team works on both, so now when they work on one, they work on two). Tim Cook said earlier this year, that they are aware that they have been concentrating on iOS and not been giving the Pro market its full attention and that they are working to change this, notably with a new Mac Pro. Perhaps they will make a splash as they love to do and release Aperture 4 along with the new hardware. As for us Pros … well, we just pray that they don’t dumb it down too much for the amateur market.

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
December 10, 2012 - 5:07pm

“Their spot healing is so much better, it actually picks a section of the image that is close to the piece you are trying to heal and places it on top. In Aperture, to me, it is as if they are just trying to blur that section of the photo.

I have to disagree that the Lr Spot Healing/Cloning Tool is so much better … it’s good, but has many of it’s own limitations.

It works well for what it was designed for … remove sensor dust specks from an image. For retouching of a grander scale, not so much.

It does a wonderful job for seeking out a proper replacement for removing dust from a blue sky for example … it does a much less effective job for any other type of retouching like skin blemishes in portraits … quite often, it will seek out another blemish to “heal” the blemish you desire to remove. And as far as removing a stray hair or a line in skin, it can take more than few dozen clicks to get the job done.

Conversely, the retouching tool in Aperture is actually a brush and can do a wonderful job of true retouching that rivals what can be done in Ps … using the original RAW image and no need to create a derivative file for work in another app.

Where I do think Lr has an advantage is in the Adjustment Brush tool where you can brush in and then adjust Exposure, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Clarity, Sharpness and even a color overlay from a single mask … all of these adjustments can be set plus or minus and apply the desired adjustment using any or all of the settings. Something I wish could easily be done in Aperture … unless there is an easy method for duplicating a brushed mask I am not aware of … ;-)

Chris Hoch's picture
by Chris Hoch
December 11, 2012 - 2:40pm

I have not experienced the blemish replacing blemish issue. I was using it to repair some marks on a carpet where there were tiny bits of dirt and it did a much better job at removing it than aperture.

For ME LightRoom wins the spot healing fight.

gfsymon's picture
by gfsymon
December 6, 2012 - 6:06pm

When Aperture was placed in the App Store and the price reduced significantly, it topped the charts for a long time. It has now slipped to 19th (I just looked). Reviews are polarised. Either people love it and rate it highly, or the like it and rate it low, because they have serious problems with it. Crashes etc. This reflects pretty much what we see here. If you are not geek enough to keep it running, then it becomes a nightmare for many, with the obvious result that they may move away.

However, all that time at the top, or near the top of the App Store means that it is serious revenue for Apple. A cynic might wonder if Apple have been milking the move to the App Store and now that the sales are slipping, they might decide to release a major update.

I note that the iWork apps, which are far older than Aperture, are still topping the charts, but I wonder if Apple may be doing something similar with them.

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
December 6, 2012 - 7:00pm

Part of the problem with the quantity of books, articles or blog postings concerning Aperture … there has been relatively little to write about for quite some time now … authors and bloggers like to invest their time writing about new products, functions and capabilities. Compared to other options, there hasn’t been much in the area of “news” about Aperture to write or discuss. Unless it is the speculation of whether or not there will be a v4. Even though Joseph and a few others have carried on, the topic has become old and stale for others and does not drive readership.

While Apple has done a decent job in maintaining and supporting Aperture 3 since it’s introduction … I doubt you will see much in the area of press activity until there is something significant worth sharing. On this matter … the ball is in Apple’s court … they need to make the next move … and for all concerned, sooner rather than later …

Mark Alderson's picture
by Mark Alderson
December 7, 2012 - 12:51am

Thanks Butch and gfsimon, I still think that something could have been done, but I understsand that there needs to be market before people will spend their time creating. What kind of prompted my post is Kelby’s release of his Lightroom 4 book. Maybe that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, it just indicates that there is a market for Lightroom info.

Oh we’ll, that’s life… One more bridge to build…

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
December 7, 2012 - 1:26am

Mark,

Of course I can’t speak for the rest of the folks out there who make training, but as Grant and Butch alluded to, part of the problem is that there’s nothing new. I’ve created just about as much Aperture training as I can, between the “ApertureExpert’s 15 Tips on File Management in Aperture 3” and “In-Depth Getting Started with Aperture 3” ebooks, the full-length “Work Like a Pro Photographer in Aperture 3—Learn by Video” training course, as well as the piecemeal Live Training videos, I’m pretty well tapped out. I actually (very late) just finished recording an Aperture 3.3 addendum to go along with the Work Like a Pro series, which will hopefully get fast-tracked out and super soon. But at the end of the day… we’ve run out of things to talk about!!

But believe me on this — once Aperture 4/X/whatever does it, suddenly everyone and their brother will be an Aperture trainer/expert. My challenge will be to get my training out immediately, to ensure that all of you lovely devoted readers can buy my training first! :-)

@PhotoJoseph
— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
December 7, 2012 - 1:49am

Indeed … software training and information, like the actual software development, is cyclical … it’s Apple’s fault the current cycle of Aperture has been stretched out for such a lengthy period. In my opinion, this is harming the future of the application unnecessarily and hampering Aperture users who are expecting the next step. Not so much so Aperture keeps up with the competition, but software users are always expecting more … and rightfully so.

Aperture 3 is an outstanding app. Even though some may consider it behind the times compared to Lightroom, it is by far superior in other areas where Lr is very weak. Though with each passing day I hear and read about more folks considering a move to Lr … simply because it does seem more relevant and current. For this reason alone, Apple needs to step up … soon … before they lose too much of their loyal support. For unlike other types of software or OS platforms, there is far too much invested in a library/catalog system. Once you reach a comfort zone, switching back is very unlikely because of the overhead of the task.

I’m at a point where I am still using both apps and am becoming quite leery if either one will add the 2 or 3 features that are missing so I can actually single out one solution and stick with it for all my needs. Event though Lr may boast a version number that is one increment higher than Aperture, It still can’t do all the tasks I need to fulfill. I sincerely hope Apple will make a rapid introduction of the next iteration of Aperture and settle my dilemma.

gfsymon's picture
by gfsymon
December 7, 2012 - 8:11am

What we also need to remember, is that Apple is no longer employing the versioning/numbering that Adobe use. It would not have been hard for Apple to have called Aperture 3.4, Aperture 4.0. A considerable UI change + major ‘under-the-hood’ re-write would have been enough for Adobe to set the wheels rolling in their marketing department. Finding the difference between some versions of PS, is not that easy. 2 ‘features’ is about all they add (and sometimes make me smile as they still play catch-up with Live Picture in CS6. Real-time distortion now (liquify). Wow! … I’ve only used that since 1997. Except I’m doing real-time on >10k pixel images and have been since the beginning). The point I’m making is that Apple’s marketing approach has always been a little more reticent than Adobe’s. My feeling is that they will make a big change when Ap4 appears, but as I said, iWork is still at ‘09, released in ‘08, still topping their charts and ironically updated once again, just yesterday, to take advantage and cater to the newest technologies, just as Aperture has been, so we need to bear in mind that the Aperture we are using today at 3.4.3 is a vastly improved/changed beast compared to to version 3.0.

David Edge's picture
by David Edge
December 8, 2012 - 10:48am

Just be grateful you’re not getting an iTunes 11 - let’s just mess up the user interface without any improvements for users - if the MacWorld review is anything to go by. Or Microsoft changing the UI of Office so much it was easier for me to switch to iWork than learn the new nonsense.

As a photographer first and a fiddler with computers second I’m more than happy for Apple to improve Aperture as and when they have something useful to give us.

d.

d.

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
December 8, 2012 - 12:54pm

David - I don’t think iTunes 11 is all that bad from a UI standpoint, it’s a little different, most all of the usual functionality is there except for cover flow and DJ … what it really does is it finally has performance to live up to current hardware and far less bloated … v11 is far more responsive and snappy all around … even doing backups and updates for iOS devices seems much smoother and quicker … I even like the new mini player … earlier versions of the just didn’t seem to hold up …

Simon - yes we could get into semantics about version numbers … but … you have to agree that even though Apple has been pretty good about supporting v3 … and while I do agree that v3.4.3 is a much different app than v3.0 … it has been nearly three years since it was introduced … there is considerably more that Apple could do to bring it up to speed …

Native FTP function, much better NR, native lens correction, export sharpening, improved watermarking capability and better printing options like print packages are just a few that come to mind that would ease the pain in my workflow. Custom camera calibration capabilities would be a sweet addition as well … but I am not greedy … ;-)

gfsymon's picture
by gfsymon
December 8, 2012 - 1:44pm

Butch,

add layers to your list, so we can composite + my number one gripe, copying and inverting masks between bricks/layers and I’d be as delighted as you to call it 4. :) :)

Grant

David Edge's picture
by David Edge
December 8, 2012 - 6:29pm

Butch

Debloating could be good. Currently I can’t run Aperture and iTunes at the same time as there ain’t enough performance - the music skips. (24” iMac just three years old and maxxed out on memory). However, I think I’ll wait for 11.0.1 at least though and read a few more reviews. I learned my lesson with iOS6 which trashed transit info - the thing I bought the iPhone for.

d.

d.

Charles Putnam's picture
by Charles Putnam
December 8, 2012 - 8:48pm

I’ve gone back and forth (a LOT) on whether or not to switch permanently to LR4 the past few months. Yes, LR4’s Develop module has features I wish Aperture had (better highlight/shadow, lens correction, more presets, custom camera profiles). However, beyond that, LR4 isn’t even close in their Book, Slideshow or even organization to what Aperture can do.

Having recently purchased an iPad, I’ve found that trying to get images to it via LR4 is a pain in the butt. I can use iTunes to import them (which requires exporting images to a separate folder so that iTunes add them), pay $6 a month to use Revel (yeah…I tried it - I’m not that impressed), or use some other convoluted way. Photo Stream works, works well, and I don’t have to pay for it.

As Joseph, Derrick Story and others have noted, if you’re heavily invested in the Mac ecosystem, Aperture is the better choice overall. If you’re in a mixed environment (i.e. having to use Windows), then LR is a better option.

I’ve reached the point where I can wait for Apple to make the changes a lot of us are asking for. And yeah…I do believe they’ll make them. When FCP X was released, it was a disaster - lots of missing features. Apple listened and added back and enhanced those features that the pro’s wanted. I don’t think they’ll make the same mistake on Aperture, they’re taking their time to do it right (personal opinion).

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