I am officially overwhelmed by the comments I have been receiving. The discussions on the last two posts have been great, and some really great points have been brought up. I hope to answer some of your questions when I have the time, and I have already gotten a number of ideas for future posts based on your feedback.
I was glad to see a that many of you caught on to my approach for evaluating the RAW processing abilities of both products. My methods are by no means scientific, and not meant to draw any real conclusions. I’m really just trying to point out how a software package, and all of its variables can influence the outcome of my work. These things are pretty subjective and always evolving as I learn the software and gain experience using it in the field.
Today I would like to talk about the Web Gallery features of Lightroom and Aperture. I realize I am sort of skipping over two modules in Lightroom, but the Web Gallery feature is something I use quite often in my work, and so it is one apsect I am very interested in exploring.
When I first began using Lightroom I was very excited about its Web module. Mostly, I think I was drawn in by the fact that the Web module in LR offered a number of Flash gallery templates. A few of them were pretty nice looking to boot. But after playing with the Web module in LR for a few hours, I realized something that I’m not sure I can get over. I can’t save a gallery. Ok, let me be clear. I CAN export my gallery, and I can even upload it to an FTP site directly from within LR (nice) but the most I can do to save the work I have done is create a preset. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I can’t find any way to save the gallery after spending the time organizing and ordering the shoot.
In Aperture, every Web Gallery is an item that resides inside an Aperture Project. I can have as many web galleries as I want and they can draw on images from any number of Projects. To me this is a really great idea. Not only can I, at any time, go back and work on an old gallery, I can also export that gallery as part of the Aperture Project so that it will migrate to a second computer, or even to a client who uses Aperture.
Now that I have worked my way through many of the modules in LR I have noticed something inherent about Aperture that I really miss. In LR, I must make adjustments to my images in the Develop module–no exceptions. I think a couple of comments touched on this in the last post, but now I am starting to see some of the drawbacks first hand. One thing I really like about Aperture is the ability to make adjustments to images from pretty much anywhere in the program, including while editing a Web Gallery. With Aperture, all I have to do is hit the H key and I can make adjustments to images right there in the contact sheet of a web gallery. This is very useful for making sure all of my images look balanced when displayed together on the galleries index view. I also really like how I can drag and drop images around the web galleries contact sheet to reorder the shoot. I know I can change the order in LR, but it has to be done by moving the images in the filmstrip along the bottom–a minor detail, but something I noticed.
To be fair, I wish that Aperture had a few more themes to choose from for Web Galleries. Flash output would be pretty nice too, but I do appreciate the simple black template. This theme, with the right metadata, makes a quick and dirty web gallery that I am perfectly happy sending to a client for review.
Yesterday I was supposed to shoot some food shots for a local restaurant, but they weren’t available, so hopefully I will be heading over there to work on it today. So, I ended up taking a walk through Portsmouth again and getting some nice evening light photos of the boats and fisherman, as well as a couple of locals. I produced this gallery in a matter of minutes with Aperture and you can see it online here.
Thanks again for all your great (and lengthy) comments on the last post. I am eager to hear your thoughts on the Web Gallery stuff. What works for you? Which is more appealing? Are Flash based galleries mandatory in your workflow? I want to know!