More thoughts on 2012 Lightroom and Aperture upgrades

Or ‘You can’t teach an old dog to do new tricks’?

I know that almost everyone has praised the new Develop module of Lightroom, but I have really found it much more difficult to use than the old one, at least to give me the control I want over my images! Yes, the terminology on the old version was confusing at times, but the new system, and the standard order of making adjustments, just does not work as well for me. The thing I really wanted to see upgraded was how fill light worked, so that the transition could be altered – I always found that with the old version the effect was too broad, and when I only wanted to open up the darker shadows it would open up mid-tones and lighter tones as well. Of course curves are available, and offer lots of control, but I always thought that the fill light effect involved rather more than a simple one or two point curve adjustment.

I used Lightroom (the original Beta) long before I used Aperture (I was a Mac and PC user, but Aperture was quite expensive back then), and that probably colours my views, but Lightroom has always seemed to fit better with how I think, and my workflow (this is of course a very individual issue, so YMMV). However, I always found that Aperture seemed to give me more convenient and effective control over difficult tones than Lightroom, notably in the equivalent of fill light. Tragically the latest revision to Aperture has dumbed this down, and removed that control! Thank goodness that there is a way of restoring the old adjustment, even if it has to be activated for each individual image. All the images from today (Photo Diary for 2 January 2013) have benefited from being processed in Aperture, but with the legacy adjustments of both colour temperature and fine-tuning of fill light etc.

I can accept the need for companies to sell more product in order to make more profit, and this may involve responding to the mass market needs, but I’d like to think that the more specialist users (please understand I’m not knocking the wider, non-geek, market, just appealing on behalf of enthusiasts who don’t mind spending more time and effort on something they are fanatical about) to be supported.

About Mike Hessey

I'm a BOF (Boring Old Fellow) and MOS (Miserable Old Soul) whose main interests are photography, cycling, walking and computers. Regrettably recent problems with my legs, back and heart have reduced the cycling and walking.
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