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Author Topic: Talk me in Aperture  (Read 25444 times)
john beardsworth
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« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2008, 01:07:06 PM »
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Who are you quoting?

I largely agree, but 1.5's introduction of referencing was a sensible move away from the iPhoto model.

John
« Last Edit: February 14, 2008, 01:07:20 PM by johnbeardy » Logged

Hellstan
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« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2008, 01:07:44 PM »
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Who are you quoting?

I largely agree, but 1.5's introduction of referencing was a sensible move away from the iPhoto model.

John
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I suppose it's Michael Reichmann…
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2008, 01:18:18 PM »
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Ah, it does sound like his writing style - "which I resoundingly echo" is a very Michaelish phrase.

But he must have been discussing 1.0, because those issues faded away after 1.5 if you abandoned the idea of managed images and the vault. You can mix and match within a single library, using managed for new images, and then moving them to referenced locations once you no longer need them on your workstation.

John
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Steven Draper
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« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2008, 08:52:55 PM »
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With Ap 1 having everything sucked into the database was not what I or most other photographers wanted. However listening to Apples argument there concept made sense in theory. I suppose one of the characters of Apple products, hard or software is that they like designing an item or a way of doing something and then try and convince the world via sharp marketing to be part of the experience - to do things the apple way.

When apple does something we like its great, cool, neat, and we make remarks like why do folks still use MS!! But to enable a company to nudge the creative edge of new products we have to accept that sometimes their vision won't be accepted by the intended user and we will be bit disappointed.

Apple provides a very strong consumer branding and a lot of sales for products are probably based on a feeling of consumer safety, removal of the risk of making a poor choice! However that does not mean it is the best.... Apple software also is so "apple family" orientated that sometimes the user is made to feel a little hassled at using non apple product. Yet while most apple products provide good consumer satisfaction, many pro or serious photographers will be using non apple functions and don't want the sometimes tacky bombardment of apple branding, iweb, .mac, iphoto, itunes, ......

LR is built more around the solid principles of what pro photographers wanted, based on experiences with a variety of other similar programs, and Aperture's arrival probably spurred things on. One could argue it is a bit of a bland interface compared to Aperture, but ultimately it is a tool. Adobe with its portfolio of industry standard software must therefore be a safe bet to be trusted with software such as LR.

But I do see something of a twist.

Adobe will have to decide where the line is between LR and CS. There will be a point where the extra sales of CS from LR uses will turn into a reduction in CS purchases if LR offers too much....

However Aperture is not limited to such restrictions while it is certainly not a replacement for CS, it would be foolish to imagine a world in which Apple would not like a competent rival. This could make Aperture by the time it evolves into version 4 or 5 a very interesting prospect.
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2008, 01:36:40 PM »
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Although I'm using LR, I don't enjoy it much. It feels like a very old product which has got bogged down with over complex and badly organised features. I find it bizarre when the various LR cheerleaders go on about how there are so many different ways to do the same thing in LR - especially as this is what makes Photoshop so daunting. To me it really feels like it was designed by a committee, with no real overall direction, and far too much fluff. I find it unbelievable when LR cheerleaders criticise Aperture for being "sprinkled with buttons" - almost EVERYTHING is a button or a control in LR, and as for the context menus and the secret options, and, well, whatever, LR is certainly NOT a paragon of good User Interface design. The hastily thrown together stacks feature in LR is a dog - why does it have all these arbitrary restrictions ?  The confusing rules about using flags, the opaque collections, etc etc.... Well, at least it gives some justification for the avalanche of "how to" Lightroom books. If it is so intuitive, why is there such a market for these books ?

But.......  the image manipulation features in LR are just brilliant. Targeted adjustments are the best innovation I've seen in years. And the evolved curves and other contrast tools are genuinely brilliant.  And Aperture 2 still has those insane split level controls, a totally pointless, and not very effective reinvention of the wheel.  

So, a clunky UI that supports an excellent image manipulation tool, or a great UI with much better DAM but with so-so image manipulation ?  Stupid question, really.

The real problem is in the nature of these products: the downside to non-destructive editing is that it ties you into the software. Sure, Aperture 5 may be a great product, but I can't imagine it would be good enough bait for people with 5 years work tied in in LR's proprietary edit metadata. Or vice versa.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2008, 01:39:54 PM by drm » Logged

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john beardsworth
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« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2008, 04:12:39 AM »
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"If it is so intuitive, why is there such a market for these books ?"

You've said that before, haven't you? I can just imagine marketing departments throughout Silicon Valley falling over themselves to stuff their ad campaigns with buzzwords like "unintuitive", "add brainpower", "if you need it explained, you're too dumb to use it", "RTFM dude". It's obviously a multi-faceted demand. What's totally intuitive for one person is less so for others, to varying degrees and in differing areas of a program. People want to learn faster, discover best practice or confirm their intuition, slavishly follow some wild-eyed guru, etc etc.

Rather like you I use LR without having much affection for it, not like I think I have for some other programs that I've enjoyed using (Excel, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, iView, Cognos PowerPlay, or even Lotus Improv) but I think you're wrong to characterize LR as "old" or "designed by a committee". I'd argue that at times it's too relentlessly built from the ground up (eg metadata presets and sync excludes keywords, point curve, the xsl-based Web engine), and that there's a very tight, almost stubborn direction behind its modular structure and visual coherence. This is so thoroughly-realized that I think it would be fair to describe the interface with words like rigid, blocky, step-like, and I would have preferred the panels to be floating, dockable palettes like in Dreamweaver, and a less modular structure (the UI designer spent time with Macromedia and with Kai). I agree with your point about stacks, wish flags were global by default and local by preference, but think you're mostly wrong about context menus. "Mostly" because I think Auto Sync should be the default and you shouldn't have to Ctrl/Cmd click to enable it - together the the targeted adjustment tool, this is one of my favourite features in LR.

Turning to Aperture, I'll stand. My first thoughts upon using it were it was like a cross between Extensis Portfolio (the product manager is ex Extensis) and SQL Server Enterprise. Is it really Apple-like, whatever that means? The top toolbar is more Microsoft style, pre Office 2007 (thankfully), but otherwise I find its interface remarkably fiddly with at least 5 styles of little buttons scattered in different areas of the screen. Why for example is the Quick Preview button stuck down at the bottom right corner, or those vault buttons in the bottom left? All those little buttons look like pretty good evidence of changes of design direction and compromise, as do the brushed metal and full screen modules, oops views, and the differences between managed and referenced files (I've never been a fan of projects which obscure the real locations of your files and which are a gaping hole in your "much better DAM" judgement). There is plenty I like about the product - I'm a big fan of smart folders, the loupe, the new Quick Preview - and if it were the only show in town and ran on the PC too, I'd use it, but again without a lot of affection.

As for looking forward, I suppose I go back to the old Ansel Adams nostrum about the negative and the performance. To preserve a rendition, save a TIF, but in 5 years' time you'll print the same negs on different paper, with different developer, with different eyes and sensibilities. It would obviously be ideal if all these programs wrote certain "common" adjustments like WB to XMP, and you'd then see people making *good enough* adjustment translation scripts (better still if both programs were scriptable and you could make them talk). But providing your descriptive metadata is transferable, I'm unconvinced that it matters too much if your editing metadata is locked in.

John
« Last Edit: February 16, 2008, 04:15:31 AM by johnbeardy » Logged

David Mantripp
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« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2008, 03:11:42 AM »
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"If it is so intuitive, why is there such a market for these books ?"

Well that was slightly tongue in cheek... and I've got several of these books myself (I won't name names, to remain impartial :-) ).  But I do think I've got a point, and actually, another strong point of Aperture over LR is (was, maybe, looking at new packaging) the almost retro-like quantity & quality of documentation in came with. LR's help is ok, but the total lack of serious documentation is good enough fuel for a conspiracy theory......

What I really want is iView coupled with an intelligent RAW engine plugin, maybe C1 by default.  This seemed so obvious - I reckon iView & PhaseOne really missed a golden opportunity there. But I suppose it will never happen now.  I want a DAM which accommodates RAW but does not exclude film. Aperture is actually better at that than LR.  I'm probably an edge case.

Finally, I just don't hold with this "Aperture hides photos" bollox.  You know well enough that it does no such thing.  It is trying to abstract the file system concept, which frankly may well turn out to be way ahead of its time. I see no real reason, from a UI design perspective, why we as PC users need to have a mental model of a file system these days. It should be as outmoded as thinking about sectors or tape headers.  I suppose if Microsoft had not screwed up that aspect of Vista, it would be common practice by now.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2008, 04:00:47 AM »
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What I really want is iView coupled with an intelligent RAW engine plugin, maybe C1 by default.  This seemed so obvious - I reckon iView & PhaseOne really missed a golden opportunity there.
Though what I've always wanted too. I'm certain that almost all photographers have things other than photos to manage as part of photographic jobs.

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Finally, I just don't hold with this "Aperture hides photos" bollox.  You know well enough that it does no such thing.  It is trying to abstract the file system concept, which frankly may well turn out to be way ahead of its time. I see no real reason, from a UI design perspective, why we as PC users need to have a mental model of a file system these days. It should be as outmoded as thinking about sectors or tape headers.  I suppose if Microsoft had not screwed up that aspect of Vista, it would be common practice by now.
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Yes, I do indeed. Aperture fans can call it abstracting, but it is equally true to say it obscures your folder structure, just the spin is not quite so positive or persuasive. That's the beauty of Foxspeak.

I think the idea is ahead of its time, at least for most users *. But while I prefer Lightroom's control over real folders, plus abstraction via collection, one could always turn that round to say that it encourages users to adopt poor file management practice - eg [a href=\"http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/lightroom/articles/lir1at_orgsystem.html]here[/url] and here. Helps spice up the authoring market though.

Conspiracy theory? How could you!

John

* Just one specific where abstraction makes life harder than it needs to be. How can you be 100% certain all the photos on Drive X are in Aperture? I've no doubt there are fancier ways to guarantee it (eg automator or script) but AFAICS, in Aperture you'd have to reimport that drive.
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« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2008, 03:26:30 PM »
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Though what I've always wanted too. I'm certain that almost all photographers have things other than photos to manage as part of photographic jobs.
This is my main criticism of LR, if it is to be a real DAM app for photographers, it needs to be able to import all file formats relevent to photography. I may have notes and information about who/what I shot in a text file, an audio clip to add into a slide show etc. Once it does that, only then it will be a true photographer's tool. As it stands now I cannot even do a Collection of images to use in my portfolio as many of them are duo/tritones and LR won't import them even though they are PSDs. Duh!
I've posted thoughts elswhere about how great a programme LR could be if it was less blinkered and restrictive. On one of the Podcasts regarding LR, one of the creators states how LR was designed to solve their specific workflow issues and which led to my mind, to the mistakes like not recognising different file extensions. LR is quite proscriptive in how one should work, a better programme would be one that allowed more varied workflow paradigms as people are very different. That's PS's main strength and not it's main weakness as some would have it.


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Yes, I do indeed. Aperture fans can call it abstracting, but it is equally true to say it obscures your folder structure, just the spin is not quite so positive or persuasive. That's the beauty of Foxspeak.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=175420\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
One should eshcew obfuscation like abstraction.  



DRM - Even if you take the view that Aperture doesn't hide your images, Apple sure make a messy [and meaningless to humans ] folder structure from what I've seen they do in iTunes and iPhoto. Which makes it difficult to leave the product behind as nothing else can understand what the hell is going on, Apple are very, very controling in that respect, iPods+iTunes for example.  I think MS's market controlling pales into insignificance, compared to Apple.
A filing system that is programme and OS independent can be used by any decent software and that is usable all the way into the future, makes far more sense to me. You'll be stuffed when in 15yrs time if say for instance Apple goes under and Aperture, even if still around, is discontinued. And any company no matter how big can go under. Enron, Pan-Am, TWA, United Artists are the first few I can think of. IBM have gone from all powerful to just another company. And Apple could easily founder without Jobs, as so much of Apple's credence is built upon the Cult of Jobs.
So a filing system that is beholden to a specific programme is a very bad long term investment.
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« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2008, 08:31:52 PM »
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You can have what ever filing structure with your folders, that you want in Lightroom. Best doing it outside of LR in a decent file manager.
I file by date+ description[e.g. 2007/2007-12-December/2007-12-25  Xmas day - present opening is the heirachy I use] and add keywords, you can then find stuff via keywords, metadata such as file type or date.
This way of filing is very robust and is very good practice as it will outsurvive all programmes and changes of OSs.

Aren't Collections, LR's version of Smart Albums?

Seems like you haven't really learnt what LR does.
Speaking of learning

Lots of tutorials on Aperture 2 online. Though not that easy to find.
Aperture tutorials
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Collections in Lightroom are crap.  They're truly horrible.  It's just you don't know how bad they are until you've used Aperture.  In Aperture you can define smart albums, based on a large number of criteria, and they are constantly updated.

Lightrooms collections are static (so they're not "smart" in any way), but what REALLY kills me is there's a ton of functionality which is NOT available when you're working in a collection.  I like LR for a lot of things, but what really gets me is that I forget about the modal interface until it KILLS me.  And these are SIMPLE things, like I cannot stack photos in the loupe view -- only in the grid view.  Why?  There are similar things in collections -- I can't recall if it's not possible to keyword when you're in a collection -- there are a few things you CANNOT do and it really is painful.

I switched from Aperture to LR because it's better for editing... and for landscape stuff which is mainly what I do, that was enough.  But for sorting/organizing/etc., my past 1 1/2 years with Aperture really show me the warts that LR has in these areas -- it's grossly immature by comparison to Aperture's "You can do pretty much what you want when you want," and every time I have simple thoughts like "I'm cleaning a dust spot but I just though of a good keyword," I CANNOT do it without totally cheezing my workflow.

Sorry, I just got through sorting through 1600 photos of the Tour of California prologue and I felt a fair bit of pain, as well as accidentally added about 40 photos to a "quick collection" because I clicked the wrong area of the thumbnail in the film strip  
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CatOne
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« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2008, 08:36:58 PM »
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But.......  the image manipulation features in LR are just brilliant. Targeted adjustments are the best innovation I've seen in years. And the evolved curves and other contrast tools are genuinely brilliant.  And Aperture 2 still has those insane split level controls, a totally pointless, and not very effective reinvention of the wheel. 

So, a clunky UI that supports an excellent image manipulation tool, or a great UI with much better DAM but with so-so image manipulation ?  Stupid question, really.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=175092\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Agree on the targeted adjustment tool in LR.  That was *real* innovation, and it makes things markedly better.

Note that Aperture 2 copies this somewhat -- you can now use an eyedropper in the photo and pick a point for which you can edit the HSL values... basically you can do this with 6 points.  It provides very similar functionality to what Lightroom's TAT can do.

As for curves versus levers... no argument there.  I heard some arguments that the levels tools in Aperture were more flexible and the retort was "Well, you could steer a car with levers really well and that may be super precise but then almost nobody could drive a car."  Touche :-)

Agree as well on the trade-offs of image manipulation versus organization.  Aperture is still far ahead of LR on that point.  Here's to hoping that either:

1)  LR 2.0 vastly improves its organizational abilities
2)  Aperture gets the ability to import XMP so I can move back without needing to convert all my photos to DNG so it can get my keywords and ratings (oh, the irony).
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