Aperture vs. Lightroom

Just a few reasons I prefer Aperture 3 to Lightroom 4…

While I have taken pictures for years, I am very new to photography.  I only picked up my first semi-serious camera a year ago.  That being said, I fell in love with it and have put some time in to trying to learn a few things.  It took me several months to get reliably out of Auto Mode.  This post is not for those of you who have Photoshop experience.  I have none and can’t make any comments in that regard.  But, being a beginner in photography and photo editing, I thought this might help a few of you decide between (if you’re looking) two of the basic photo editing software choices.

Andrew Christie 2012

Almost every computer will have some form of software or another to help  you manage and even make basic changes to your photos (ie. cropping, red-eye removal, resizing etc.); some of you may want a few more options.  The two I have used over the last 8 or 9 months have been Lightroom 4 and Aperture 3.  About 6 months ago I switched from Blackberry to iPhone and haven’t looked back.  Apples software is, as most of you know, incredibly easy to use.  Once I’d made that switch I knew it wouldn’t be long before I had to take the plunge and go Mac.  Everyone knows, once you go Mac…

So, after getting myself somewhat accustomed to using Lightroom 4 for my basic edits and storage I had to make a choice.  I loved my new Macs and the Aperture software isn’t expensive, so I went for it.  What a difference!  Now, I know that a lot of you prefer Lightroom and you can certainly install it on Macs, but for me (a complete noob) Aperture 3 was an awakening.  I’ve only been using it since the end of August, and not much, I haven’t been traveling.  It was SO easy to use.  Everything just made sense.

The Lightroom retouch tools, even after watching several tutorials, just never gave me the best results.  Aperture, although I’m still playing with it, gave me useable results right away.  There was almost no learning curve.  Here are a few examples of what I have been able to do so far.

Andrew Christie 2012

Before – This was shot in Yellowstone, through an obviously brutal windshield. I loved the light, and am enjoying playing around with editing – so I gave it a shot. It took a bit of time, but the results are below…

Andrew Christie 2012

After. It, to me, feels like there is no windshield at all. I was even able to soften the edges of some of the harsh lines created by light on the glass.

Andrew Christie 2012

This was just me messing around when I first installed Aperture 3. Although it’s an amateur job, it gives you an idea of what can be accomplished. I’m fairly certain that just over a month later, I could do a much better job.

After – I felt there was too much going on in the background, so decided to try and remove it.

Organizing your photos couldn’t be simpler.  The library system works great, and again, is so easy to use.  Not only that, as a bit of a traveler, I switch between a home computer and laptop.  Aperture 3 allows you to take all or some of your library on the road with you, make edits, add photos and then when you get home – you can merge your libraries!  Amazing.

Most of us are not graphic designers or professional photographers.  We will not have a need for Photoshop.  Many of us, though, would like to be able to store our photos confidently and occasionally make edits and improvements.  So, for those of you considering a switch to Apple, consider Aperture – especially if you’re a beginner.  And for those of you on Mac already and not having a great experience with Lightroom, think about giving Aperture 3 a try…

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