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William Beem
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Very nice. Congratulations on winning both categories. People like that edgy lighting stuff.
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Which is "better" is somewhat subjective. I think there are more people who are teaching others how to use Adobe products than some of the competitors, so there's a perception that a lot more people are singing the praises of Lightroom 2. For example, I've been reviewing the Lightroom In Depth courses on KelbyTraining.com. I figured that would be a good way to see if I truly want to switch from Aperture to Lightroom. I've discovered that there are some things that Lightroom does much better than Aperture, some things they both do about the same, and some things that Aperture does much better than Lightroom. Ultimately, the things that I think Lightroom does better than Aperture are features I can already support with my Photoshop CS4 integration. So for most of the features, I'm better off staying with Aperture/Photoshop. One of the things I expected Lightroom to do much better was image adjustments. To be sure, it has selective adjustments that Aperture lacks. However, most of the stuff can be handled equally well in both products. Either product can work well with external hard drives. I think Aperture has an advantage in managing images, though. Both are capable of handling your images by Reference. Essentially, that means you put your photos in folders and the program builds a catalog that tells itself where to find those images. If the external drive isn't plugged in, both products will show you a thumbnail or preview image and indicate that the master is offline. That's pretty much a wash. However, Aperture offers a database option called a Managed library. It's just a SQL Lite database, but all of your images and metadata are inside. That database lets Aperture offer functions for managing the images that are lacking in Lightroom. For example, a backup in Lightroom just backs up the Catalog that tells Lightroom where to find your images. It does not backup the images at all. You have to handle that manually. In Aperture, you can create a Vault (or several) and just click a button to backup all of that information. You can also automate that process with Automator or AppleScript, if you like. I also like that Aperture gives you more screen real estate to see your photos instead of panels on both sides. The previous version of Aperture was like what you see with Lightroom now, and the tabbed user interface is just so much nicer. Also, a full screen view of your photos in Aperture is larger than what Lightroom calls full screen. Another seemingly innocuous benefit is that you aren't limited to modules. Even if you are working on building a web album, you can still edit your photos. You may be putting together an album or book (something you can't do in Lightroom) and see two images beside each other. Then you decide they should be Black & White. Fine, you can change it right there. With Lightroom, you have to exit that module and go back to the Develop module. It forces you to follow Adobe's idea of how to work, rather than allowing you to develop your own. Adobe provides a structure, and that's good for those who have no clue. At least, until you decide it doesn't work for you. It's been over 18 months since the last major update of Aperture, so I think it's due for some new features. I sincerely expect and hope that Apple will take some cues from Adobe to improve in areas light localized adjustments.
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I've used Aperture since before Lightroom came out. Lately, I've been wondering if I'd be better served with Lightroom. I've come to the conclusion that I'd have more photo-editing options with Lightroom, but the management and output support is greater in Aperture. Since I have Photoshop CS4, I'm not lacking for abilities to edit my images. Each product has abilities that surpass the other. I've decided to wait until version of Aperture appears before deciding to make a switch or not. Having gone through some Lightroom training on KelbyTraining.com, I'm impressed with the photo editing properties there, but it also reminded me of the image management features lacking in Lightroom that I prefer in Aperture.
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