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Aperture 2.0 Is Not A Professional Application

Published: 19/02/2008
By: larry

I admit it I'm a little biased towards Lightroom since I've used Lightroom since it came out. But since in TWIP #5 Scott Bourne and Alex Linsey were so "ga-ga" over Aperture 2.0 I decided, "OK, I'll keep an open mind and check out the new Aperture 2.0 just released". I downloaded the 60 day trial and decided to give it a fair shake and see how it compared to Lightroom.

The previous versions of Aperture, I hear, were a bit slow and awkward. I can't confirm that since this is the first time I've used Aperture. However, I find the new Aperture 2.0 every bit as fast as Lightroom on my MacBook Pro laptop. The image adjustment and cataloging features seem very comparable to Lightroom. I could easily get used to Aperture if I used it just for cataloging and image adjustment.

Until I got use to using Lighroom's Web module I didn't consider slide show creation to be an essential feature of software like Lightroom and Aperture. But after using Lightroom and seeing how easy it is to create a online slide show to show a client a set of photos I've come to realize it is an essential feature for any professional photographer. Your client is always some place else and the Internet is the only reasonable way to quickly review a set of photos with a client. In real estate photography it's doubly important since you'd like to include a elegant slide show as part of your product for real estate people because they can use the slide show as a virtual tour, linking to the slide show from any number of real estate sites.

So I was naturally anxious to see what kind of slide shows one could create with Aperture 2.0. What a disappointment! You can't automatically create a slide show and put it on ANY site that has FTP access (virtually any web site on the planet) like Lightroom, but with Aperture 2.0 you can ONLY create slide shows on the Apple promoted .Mac site (which is in my opinion a complete toy). At first I was so stunned I was ready to remove Aperture from my laptop and throw in the towel. But since you can get a 60 day trial to .Mac I decide to take a look what kind of slide shows Aperture could create.

Well here they are. My slide show is at: By the way you have absolutely no control of this ugly URL! What is more, anyone looking at this slide show can click on the "My Gallery" button (upper left) and see all the other slide shows I've ever created on .mac. Or if some one would like to they can click on "download" and get a ZIPed file of all the photos from any of the slide shows if they'd like to. When I read the Apple .mac terms of service it appears to me that if you used .mac slide shows as a part of your product you would violate the non-commercial clause of the .mac terms of service.

Conclusion: The Apple .mac site is a rudimentary photo sharing site that works fine for sharing photos of the kids or grand kids but it's not a place to put professional looking results you want to show clients. Apple .Mac is simply not a professional online venue. By integrating Aperture into Apple .Mac it has completely made one of the major essential features of Aperture useless. In my opinion Aperture 2.0 is not usable by professionals for this reason. Unless the professional is willing to for go professional looking slide shows.

14 comments on “Aperture 2.0 Is Not A Professional Application”

  1. "Aperture 2.0 Is Not A Proffessional Application" - and is that professional spelling?

    You can always save the web output to a folder on your desktop or elsewhere, then upload it via FTP to your own web space.

  2. well of course instead of just making 1 click you now have to take those few extra steps that just add a bit of annoyance every single time.

  3. Larry,
    You have a good point about slideshow and/or web site creation. .Mac is garbage. Any "pro" level mac user will say that. However, I wouldn't go as far as to say that makes an application "Pro" level or not. The application is meant for storing, managing and processing images. Site creation in an app like this, be it Aperture or Lightroom is just an afterthought.

    You also need to be aware, if you're not already, that Aperture 2.0 has a full plugin API that should be released to developers soon at which point I think we'll see a plethora of new features both for image processing and probably on the side of site creation.

  4. While your point is well taken and Aperture's slide show limitations are constricting, I agree with others that this weakness doesn't make it a non-professional app. I say this is simply cause for Aperture users to complain to Apple to improve that part of the app. I'm a Lightroom user myself and quite happy with it but competition is a good thing here.

  5. @Michael- Good point, the export plugins add a measure of control to prevent downloading and viewing everything.

    @Gio- I read there is a feature to write slide shows to a folder. I spent some time trying to do that but haven't got it to work yet. This however, removes all the wonderful syncing features and ease of use.

    @Miguel & greg- Yes, of course my blog title exaggerates somewhat. If you don't care about showing your clients your work Aperture is very professional. But who can live with that weakness? You have to be of a mind to use Apple applications, no matter what. It's tantalizingly close to being a wonderful application!

  6. Aperture is a pro app but like LightRoom they both suck at slide shows or professional looking Web sites. In each app they have to be modified in order to feel "pro" in my opinion. That is where both Aperture and LightRoom are weak. I prefer LightRoom over Aperture just for it's image editing capabilities.

    It could also be argued that LR is not a pro app because it doesn't have any sort of backup capabilities - except to back up it's catalog which only backs up changes you've made to your original files.

    I guess it's a very subjective thing and depends on what we individually want in a pro app.


  7. I almost hesitate to ask... But what is the major objection to Adobe Photoshop Elments slide show creator?
    But I have to wonder, what’s all the fuss. Why does anyone need these tools if you subscribe to a great virtual tour provider? Doesn’t whatever you produce need to be linkable not only to the agent’s/brokers website but also to websites like Virtual tour providers make it ultimately linkable. Hard to beat for the price. You do is the photography and upload. They host and distribute the tour. Why look further?

  8. Interesting - I guess four published photo books, 10 years of supporting myself strictly with photography and more than 1000 published photos in books, magazines, web sites and newspapers make me an amateur - but I think Aperture is very much a professional tool. I agree that Lightroom has a better slideshow feature - but that hardly makes Aperture an "amateur" application. And I do care about showing my clients their photos - do it all the time - with great success.

    Lots of pros - like me - understand that the best way to sell images is to show them in person - not on a web site - and with the client sitting next to me - looking at Aperture's slide show on an Apple Cinema Display - I do quite nicely thank you. Exporting your slide show for your clients' review is not always the best way to sell images. In fact - it's almost always the worst thing you can do.

    By the way, if you're going to engage in hyperbole of this type - expect some criticism.

  9. @Scott,
    I appreciate your comments and respect your opinion. Yes, I expected criticism.

    I agree, showing your work to a client is always preferred to doing it on the web. Real estate photographers however are in the situation of doing as many as 15 shoots a week for ~$200 each and delivering all the results of the shoot within 24 hours of the shoot. So it becomes impractical to sit down with each client.

  10. The comments are directed to the headline "Aperture is not a Professional Application" This is not even a matter of opinion nor is it debatable. This is simply not true. Aperture is usued successfully and enthusiastically by a huge number of professional photographers. The slideshow feature is not one that is central to the work of the vast majority of photographers and if needed can easily be found internet based software or second party software.

    I don't think that even Aperture's detractors would declare it is not professional application. It may not be a good one, in someone's opinion ( not mine), but it is a professional application.

  11. Come on Larry, Aperture is very much a professional application. Just because it doesn't meet your exact expectation, doesn't make the program lousy. I haven't found any software that does everything I want, but that reason alone doesn't make the program any less professional! Maybe if you choose your words a little more carefully next time Larry, you won't come across quite so arrogant and all knowing.

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