Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Aperture to Lightroom in 2015; now it’s to Lightroom CC/Lightroom Mobile and Photoshop CC

The last full-fat version of Photoshop I used was CS, introduced in 2003. As later editions of Photoshop Elements included more features that I needed than CS I changed to that much cheaper product. In recent years with Aperture and then, instead, Lightroom, I have done very little that could not be done with Aperture or, now, Lightroom (with Nik and other plug-ins), with the occasional use of Photoshop Elements with the plug-in Element+. However, with infrared work I have been worried that the restriction to 8-bit processing was putting jagged gaps in the histogram when Levels were used to tone the pretty flat images that emerge from an IR-converted camera. Secondly, although possible, developing Actions with the help of Elements+ is a hassle compared with Photoshop proper. Because of the 8-bit problem and because I often want to experiment with different colour temperatures before conversion of faux-colour IR images using the channel mixer (or the hue slider in Viveza 2) and, therefore, generate a number of variants as quickly and as automatically as possible, I took the plunge back into the full-version Photoshop world, even though I dislike the software subscription business model. So now I have Lightroom CC (which apart from the import from files bit I like greatly) and Photoshop CC, with Nik Software plugins.

Photoshop CC is, to my delight, brilliant and so much easier to use than the early versions, including CS. The modern algorithms are so good that I have reprocessed some difficult, images scanned from positives, negatives and prints with considerably more success. I have been helped with modern Photoshop by internet tutorials and Martin Evening’s book (a hard copy is much easier to look things up in than a Kindle version).

Having now used Lightroom 6/CC and Photoshop CC, I can see why Apple dropped Aperture. The intellectual and capital investment needed just to keep up (and to work round any problems with intellectual property) must have been so daunting that it was just not worth Apple’s while.

Also, Lightroom Mobile works extremely well, at least to show photographs on an iPad or iPhone (the only way I would want to use it).

The most annoying problem with using Lightroom compared with Aperture, as I have remarked before, is in not being able to import photographs directly from there into Final Cut Pro X. However, I have read of a workaround which I am about to test……..