With all of the recent buzz about Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and its release today, the big question is how it compares to Apple Aperture. In tandem with Micah Walter on the Inside Aperture website I will be conducting a comparison of the two programs and how they stack up for my workflow. I’ll just say upfront that my purpose is not to bash either of these pieces of software. They are both incredibly powerful and a cut above the rest of the RAW processing and image editing software programs on the market today.
For the next ten days, I will work with both Lightroom and Aperture to work up images from a recent stock shoot and draw conclusions as I compare how each program deals with a variety of workflow topics. I don’t intend this to be a definitive comparison - just my thoughts on what works for me. I will post a few extra blogs this week as I work with both programs and present a wrap up article with my conclusions which will be published on the Inside Lightroom website on February 28th.
Just to give you a little background, for the last year I have been using Lightroom quite a bit and it is currently the heart of my workflow. I have worked with Aperture a little but I must admit I don’t know it nearly as well as I do Lightroom. My initial impression of Aperture is that it seems overly complex when compared to Lightroom. The user interface for Lightroom is very intuitive and easy to use, especially coming from a Photoshop and Adobe Camera RAW workflow. By comparison, Aperture seems a little clunky because a lot of the interface seems to be buried in drop down menus but mostly because I just haven’t spent as much time learning how to use the software. I’ll admit I am biased towards Lightroom, but I’ll try to overcome that and make a solid comparison with Aperture.
One thing to keep in mind as I compare these two programs is the type of images I shoot and the number of images I have to edit and process. I tend to shoot a large number of images (anywhere from 300 to 2,000 per day or per photo shoot) and I end up processing about 20 to 25% of those images. Since I photograph adventure sports, I usually have a lot of sequences shot at 5 or even 8 frames per second. For photographers that don’t produce such a high volume of images then my analysis and workflow may be a bit skewed for your workflow.
As I go through and process my latest stock shoot of 800+ images I will be looking at quite a few different aspects of each program including the following:
Importing Images and adding Metadata
Image Editing: Ranking and Rating Images, Stacking and Versions
Creating Web Galleries
Final processed image quality comparison
This should be a fun week and I am looking forward to getting started on the comparison. I hope you’ll check in regularly, and I look forward to reading your comments.
Adios, Michael Clark