My darling husband has finally been broken down by my deep sighs and tantrums at the slow response and complete pain in the buttness of my 15″ Macbook Pro for anything to do with my photography. It can’t run photoshop effectively, it can’t run aperture and iPhoto just ain’t up to scratch (and is also really slow and painful), so now I’m the very proud owner of a shiny new 24″ iMac *much jumping and bouncing* . Basically you might say I’m pretty happy right now. I’ve actually had the new iMac since Saturday afternoon, 4 days in total, and my entire world seems shiny and bright and fast. I have 2 gig RAM and 300 gig hard drive and a 2.4 GHz Intel core 2 duo processor, running Leopard. I am finaly able to process my photos again, I’m once more excited about photography, in fact it’s the last thing I think about when I go to sleep and the first thing I think about when I wake up, I’ve REALLY missed that.
So, I have installed Photoshop CS3, because I really do prefer to use it for all my editing, I’m familiar with how it works, I love layers and it’s a good application (well derr, you don’t become a market leader if you suck). However, when it comes to organising my photos and previewing them I don’t like to use photoshop at all, so I decided to go hunting for a better system for sorting, rating, arranging and previewing my photos. I have used Lightroom when it first came out, I thought it was ok, but wasn’t really convinced by it so I decided to try Aperture 2 this time round.
Aperture 2 is actually really decent, I had a real grumble at it when I first tried to import some photos from a disk because it just kept crashing, after a bit of research on line I discovered that Aperture can’t handle the existence of certain file types when importing, rather then just ignoring something it doesn’t know, it crashes. In this case I had some movies, shot with the same camera, in the file with my photos. I opened finder, copied the photos onto my desktop and retried the import. This might sound like a pain but one of the things I like about Aperture’s import is that you can tell it to do a wide range of things at this stage including telling it to either copy the files or move the files, so in this case I told it to move the photos from my desktop into a new folder in the Pictures directory. Too easy.
Issues I’m having with the import feature however are:
- it doesn’t recognise subfolders in a directory, so if I tell it to import from a directory called “Summer 07” and that directory has a few subdirectories such as “Beach House”, “Kids” and “Seagulls” then it will ignore those folders, I’m also unable to select multiple directories to import from. It’s not too much of a pain since you can do multiple imports at once, but since I’m moving all these photos into one project then I’d like to be able to do it all in one swoop.
- I’m still finding the settings a little confusing. When I started importing, I figured I’d select where the photos are coming from, what project I wanted them to go into, what subfolder names I wanted (such as dividing everything by date) and changing the file name if I wanted, well this all happens, sort of. When I look at the project in Aperture I see all my newly imported pictures, but, if I open finder I find that the new subfolders are in the main directory, not in the own little directory. Now this is probably a fault of my own and once I figure out what I’m doing wrong I can fix it, I hope. But I shouldn’t have to, a well made user interface should be clear and logical to the point that a child could understand it.
So things that are great in the file sorting are the ability to create projects with subfolders, (albums and smart albums), great, that makes it easy to sort items within a project (such as the Summer 07 example). But apparently once something is in one particular project, you can’t reference it in a new project. What I mean by this, for me, is that I take a lot of photos of flowers, I take photos of flowers and plants when ever I go out with my camera. These flower photos for me are part of the experience of that particular shoot and so when I go to Bethals beach for the day, then I want to create a folder called Beathals beach, are join today’s shoot into a previously created folder of shots from Beathals beach, I also want to be able to have another project called Flowers and have this subdivided by type of flower, year, month, location, season etc. I guess what I’m really after is some serious tagging abilities that don’t just take into account one project but my entire photography catalogue.
For the most part though I really like Aperture 2, it’s fast, pretty easy to navigate, I can view all my photos, rate them, delete them, sort them and then drag them into photoshop to really get down to work on them. It’s a great addition to my workflow. There are loads of things that could probably make it “better” but I’d rather have it exactly how it is now then risk it becoming really over bloated.