Aperture 2.0 On Track To Be Ideal Real Estate Photography Application

May 19th, 2008

Recently I was listening to the TWIP podcast where Alex Lindsay (a plug in developer), Fred Johnson (Lightroom product manager) and Richard Harrington (author of Aperture 2.0 Apple Pro: Training Series) were discussing the new plug-in architecture in Aperture 2.0 and how the design philosophy of Aperture is different than Lightroom. The discussion turned on some lights for me about the probability of ever having a plug-in for Lightroom that would correct barrel distortion and converging verticals:

  1. Lightroom still does not have a plug-in SDK (System Developers Kit). It has an export SDK but no plug-in SDK. This is largely a result of the philosophy underlying Lightroom that all modifications must be “nondestructive” and “reversible”. This philosophy makes the job of building a lens-distortion filter for Lightroom like the one built into Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, difficult or near impossible.
  2. Aperture 2.0 has a plug-in SDK that allows 3rd party developers to make Aperture plug-ins to do anything to the image and stack the modified image back with the original image.

Why should you care? Because both Lightroom and Aperture are ever so close to being the only application a beginning real estate photographer would ever need. The missing piece is that Lens distortion filter in PS and PSE. If either application had that small bit of functionality it would me the ideal real estate photography application.

After listening to the TWIP podcast I did some research into the kind of plug-ins are available for Aperture. The one that immediately caught my eye as Fisheye-Hemi by Image Trends. This plug-in already does the same sort of thing that the Lens-Distortion filter I want in Aperture or Lightroom.

I purchased a copy of Aperture 2.1 and I’m going to be following Aperture developments more closely.

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7 Responses to “Aperture 2.0 On Track To Be Ideal Real Estate Photography Application”

  • Larry,

    Thanks for the Fisheye-Hemi info because I saw the PS plug-in has been updated from the version I’m using and downloaded it. It was a “Hot Pick” in the NAPP reviews section of PhotoShopUser magazine a while back and works pretty good. Mostly I use it in the smaller bedrooms and baths where it allows me to show 3.5 walls to provide what I call maximum visual data. Once you get used to the slight bowing where the walls meet the ceiling, the rest is proportioned the way they should be (beds, windows, etc).

    Thanks for keeping us updated on these things.


  • LensFix is another plugin that could be valuable for us RE photographers.

  • If your workflow involves Adobe Photoshop (and if not, why not?!!!), then the issue of distortions becomes a mute one.
    There is a Plug-in called PT Lens that is one of the best around.
    PT Lens can automatically correct for known distortions in your lens, as it reads the image EXIF data, so it knows what body & lens you shot the image with.

    I gave Lightroom the arse recently, in favour of Capture NX.
    The quality of my finished images has taken a significant leap forward.

    I have been meaning to try DxOptics, and I might as well give Aperture a look as well. It will be interesting to see if either of these applications can render a Nikon RAW image better than the appalling job LightRoom does of it.

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  • I find DxO Optics Pro the best solution as a can batch process all my RAW files in one go and this corrects distortion etc and exports all my images to tif, DMG or JPEG or all three in separate folders whilst I do something else. The vignetting correction seems perfect on the Sigma 10-20mm and is way better than Lightroom

  • @Phil – I get a lot of feedback that DxO saves time with it’s ability to do lens correction in batch mode.

  • Yes, I wish it had been available for my old S2 Pro and lens combo a few years earlier. With DxO, I set up one photo with the settings I want and click on Copy Setting, then select all the other images and click Paste Setting. I then run through any that need white balance correction with the browser window and adjust as an additional setting and copy/paste again to those affected images, then run the batch process for the whole lot

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