Choosing Apple Aperture over Adobe Lightroom wasn’t easy. After all, Lightroom is the industry standard with vastly larger market share, a bigger and more vibrant user community, and better integration with Photoshop CS4 should I ever need it.
So why did I go with Aperture?
Simple – free education.
See, I was reading article after article comparing Aperture and Lightroom. I was trying to compare ease-of-use and editing tools and plug-in capabilities, and it was making me dizzy – kind of like when I was going through Canon vs. Nikon mode.
But at the end of the day, Apple offered me one thing that Adobe didn’t – free training. Besides the normal Aperture workshop, Apple offers what it calls Pro Labs – four classes totaling 8 hours of training on Aperture. I’ve gone through the first two classes and my instructor has done a fantastic job of emphasizing the basics of navigating the program and properly organizing one’s photo library.
My workflow has gotten incredibly fast just because of some basic keyboard shortcuts I learned. I have no doubt that I’ll make up the eight hours I spent on the class is increased productivity in no time at all.
Apple also offers Pro Labs for Final Cut Pro and Logic and I may take them for fun when I have time.
Also, it didn’t hurt that Aperture is cheaper than Lightroom, and since I’ve gone Mac permanently, I don’t need Lightroom’s dual-platform compatibility. If I ever do get to the point where I need Photoshop, I can set up Photoshop as an external editor in Aperture. But given Aperture 3’s new and powerful editing tools, I doubt I’ll ever need to.
I feel strongly that it’s not the software you use, but how well you learn to use what you have. Between my Apple training and my own fiddling around, I’ve figured out how to do just about everything I need photo-wise within Aperture. My photos are now well-organized and easy to find, I have a perfectly, adequate editing suite, and Apple support.
Can’t get much better than that!