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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Mar 23, 2011
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    5
    Photographer turning Pro... software suggestions?
    I'm a former film shooter getting back in the game with digital... I'm planning on getting an iMac and Photoshop...

    Any other suggestions on additional software to use on my iMac?

  2. #2

    Doug b's Avatar
    Member Since
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    How familiar are you with Photoshop and exactly what are your expectations for it in terms of your work flow ? Let's start there. What film camera(s) do you own by the way ? Looking to sell ?

    Doug

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Mar 23, 2011
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    I plan on using Photoshop for post-processing images (color corrections, retouching etc) Also have some collage projects that will be more involved.

    I've never used Lightroom or Apeture but imagine will use one or the other as I get busier. Wondering if there is anything else I should consider to start with.

    I have Canon film cameras and lens that I'm planning on putting on ebay.. are you interested in that equipment? (Its manual focus.. not auto-focus)

  4. #4

    Doug b's Avatar
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    While there are other choices available, some are only going to be useful if you want to go a proprietary route, such as software that is camera brand specific. Non proprietary software is also available such as Lightzone, DxO, Bibble, RawTherapee.

    You'll see most people talking about Lightroom or Aperture though, since those are the most popular of the commercial bunch. Lesser known ones as linked above might be good for what they do, but also likely have fewer engineers (unless we're talking open source) and a much tighter budget.

    Comparing Aperture and Lightroom is where I have the most experience, as well as with Photoshop. The thing about PS, is that it very well may be overkill for a lot of purist photographers. However, if you want to work in a studio setting and process work for an fashion publication and such, then Photoshop is an absolute necessity.

    So far, the things you've mentioned that you'll be using software for all point to being able to use either Aperture or Lightroom alone. I've been using Lightroom almost exclusively for about 3 years, though when I started out, I also tried Aperture, and just didn't like it.

    Aperture has changed in leaps and bounds since then, mostly in terms of being efficient when editing, and as well as adding really nice features. (selective editing with brushes)

    Lately, I've been spending a lot more time with Aperture for the sake of my own education, and because I'm doing a comprehensive review of both it and Lightroom, since they both are at a level now, where it's easier to compare their feature sets. Prior to version 3 of Aperture, I wasn't able to do this because it would constantly hang and force me to shut down. It's SO much better now, thanks to Apple's great efforts, and I really applaud them for keeping at it.

    I do however still like Lightroom better for a few reasons, and will likely not make Aperture my default editing program. I'll list my comparisons and reasons in a bit... I've got to go and help the wife with something first. So, hang in there if you can. I'm sure others will have something to say about this subject as well, and hopefully they'll be able to give good reasons as to why they like what they do. I'm guessing most will say Aperture, since this IS an Apple centric forum, and most here aren't very fond of Adobe for various reasons.

    Doug

  5. #5

    Leukeh's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 21, 2007
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    I have fairly extensive experience in Lightroom and Photoshop. I used Aperture for the period of the trial but didn't really like it...

    Lightroom is fantastic for organising + batch processing a lot of photos in a short amount of time. You could get away with using it exclusively and not having to fork out for Photoshop. That said, if you want to do any advanced editing with layers and such you'll need Photoshop (or similar).

    With my photography work, I use both quite regularly but spend most of my time in Lightroom, only going to Photoshop when necessary. You'll fine that Lightroom can do everything you need as far as colour correction and most retouching, so I would advise you get that (or Aperture) first and then if you find you need more advanced features, get Photoshop.

    I strongly suggest taking advantage of the trials. 30 days is plenty of time to get to know the ins and out of either program.
    Behance Design/Photography Porfolio

  6. #6

    Doug b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leukeh View Post
    I have fairly extensive experience in Lightroom and Photoshop. I used Aperture for the period of the trial but didn't really like it...

    Lightroom is fantastic for organising + batch processing a lot of photos in a short amount of time. You could get away with using it exclusively and not having to fork out for Photoshop. That said, if you want to do any advanced editing with layers and such you'll need Photoshop (or similar).

    With my photography work, I use both quite regularly but spend most of my time in Lightroom, only going to Photoshop when necessary. You'll fine that Lightroom can do everything you need as far as colour correction and most retouching, so I would advise you get that (or Aperture) first and then if you find you need more advanced features, get Photoshop.

    I strongly suggest taking advantage of the trials. 30 days is plenty of time to get to know the ins and out of either program.
    I agree with this. Just remember to do one trial at a time. I find that LR's organization/cataloging features are just that much better than Apertures, which is very important to me. For some reason with Aperture, you can't JUST organize as according to your folder hierarchy. Even though you're able to import an entire folder subcursively, Aperture still wants to use the concept of "projects" and "albums", rather than just use your top folder if it's the only one without sub folders. It's not tragic, but it's a quirk I'd rather not deal with.

    There are other very obvious differences between the two GUI's, and they both have their pro's and cons. But these are things you'd have to experience for yourself over a decent period of time before making any judgments. Ive become proficient with both GUI's and would love to make my own hybrid UI based on both!

    I haven't learned all the shortcuts in Aperture yet, which could be a reason for my next statement, but I'm quickly working on learning about the things I'll need immediate access to in order to make good comparisons between my workflow on both programs. *Statement*: I find that my importing/culling/selection and editing workflow is more fluid and seamless in Lightroom. Aperture offers a lot of options in its processing HUD, but I've found that a lot of said options are a bit redundant and clutter up the interface when they're all present.

    I've seen people say that LR doesn't offer the same options to edit point/tone curves as you'd see in PS or Aperture or Silver Efex Pro, which is absolutely false. I suppose they just don't know how to access it.

    There are more than a few things that LR offers which Aperture doesn't, and really only one thing that Aperture offers that LR doesn't, which I WISH it did, but not sure that it can... This is its selective heal/clone brush. It's non destructive, non pixel level parametric editing done really well. It is able to sample pixels and reproduce them for cloning, yet still does it non destructively. Really awesome. It works with a brush stroke though, no lasso tool here... still very useful though. A lot more so than LR's simple heal/clone circle tool. Heck, even Bibble 5 has better cloning than LR. It's the ONLY single feature I wish that LR had and would make me stupidly happy.

    I think that the issue with LR not being able to achieve this right now is because everything LR does (also parametrically) editing wise, relies on what is able to be done in ACR for the most part. Though I don't recall that ACR has built in spot healing tools ?

    Otherwise, I just right click on my image and open as a smart object in Photoshop and do what ever masking or cloning I need there, if I can't get it in Lr. Opening an image as a smart object in PS from LR enables the image to remain on the non pixel level and stays non destructive, which a lot of people don't know, since Adobe is horrible ad advertising these things.

    More on this later.

    Doug

  7. #7

    kpmedia's Avatar
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    Apr 23, 2009
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    Lightroom. You need LR.
    You can't escape it long-term (I already tried).
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  8. #8


    Member Since
    Mar 06, 2011
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    I also agree with above posters, but I would like to add that it's easier to learn a workflow from the beginning rather than adding programs later. Personally, I use LR and PS. All images get imported into LR for choosing and light editing and then LR will let you import into PS, make more intensive edits and will reimport back into LR with the changes as a second file. This is important for my workflow, since I add my logo and export all images at once. If you have no intention on putting images online, you may not need to go back to LR, but I find it an essential tool.
    Since you are a Canon user, I would suggest sticking with Canon. (That's what I did), but it's not necessary. Just be sure to do a lot of research before purchasing your camera, so that you don't find yourself limited by your gear too early on in your career. It's better to spend a lot of time researching, than a lot of time regretting your purchase.

  9. #9

    MontyMo's Avatar
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    Feb 01, 2011
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    I use LightRoom for 95% of editing. If I need it PhotoShop is just a key stroke away.
    I have tried many,many softwares for cataloging, LightRoom wins!
    If you need training on PS and LR there is a great place for free POD casts.
    Photoshop User TV

    Monty
    15" MacBook Pro

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Dec 11, 2006
    Posts
    242
    another good thing is that all the plug in software for photoshop works in light room too. I actually like corel pro photo x(whatever) too.

    Im recently switched to mac systems from PC so im exctied to try aperture.

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