Many photographers that run a more Apple centric system will clearly remember Apple’s digital asset management (DAM) software, Aperture. It was the first program that worked effectively as DAM and a RAW editor in one package. It was soon joined by Adobe Lightroom and together the two revolutionised the post-production workflows of many photographers. Sadly Apple decided to discontinue Aperture in 2015 and it was replaced by the free successor to iPhoto simply called Photos. Today I am going to look at a few things I miss from the days of Aperture when compared to Photos and Lightroom. Of course, Photos is a free program compared to Aperture which cost a decent amount of money. However, it is the only Apple produced dedicated photo app. This from a company that likes to pride itself on the multimedia capabilities of its software/hardware ecosphere. It is all the more galling when you consider that Apple produce well regarded professional software both video (Final Cut Pro X) and music (Logic Pro)
Lack Of Pro File Structure
Like Lightroom, Aperture had an easy to understand structure to its catalog. Unlike default Lightroom, it brought all the files inside one catalog called a library that could then be organised within Aperture into folders and albums. Photos takes a more consumer and cloud-based approach that can sometimes make tracking and organising images difficult. Whilst you can have albums, a lot of the catalog is automatically referenced into date and “memory” based albums. The whole interface is somewhat confusing to more advanced photographers.
Limited Metadata Capabilities
One of the most powerful features of both Lightroom and Aperture is their ability to add metadata to multiple images. When you are key-wording and captioning images, you need the ability to cut and paste specific metadata between similar images. It is a vital part of the workflow. Here Photos reveals its consumer credentials with a clunky metadata interface and no ability to copy data to other images. It also lacks items such as hierarchal keywords and a star rating system.