Giving Aperture Another Go

I was given a copy of Apple’s Aperture several years ago, but after trying it out for a while I found it even less intuitive than Adobe’s Creative Suite applications (which aren’t particularly intuitive to begin with) and uninstalled it from my computer. One of the problems is that I found it CPU-intensive, and it wasn’t managing the libraries very speedily. This was before I bought the iMac and was still relying on my now 7-year old PowerBook G4 (running Mac OS 10.4 Tiger), which was buckling under the CPU strain of running Capture NX2, Photoshop, and everything else that is part of my editing workflow. I moved my photo libraries over to Lightroom from iPhoto (a program which I use only for uploading small galleries to MobileMe as there is a 500-photo limit per gallery), and have been using Lightroom the past couple of years to manage the libraries and export photos once they’ve been edited. I didn’t bother with Aperture after I moved full-time to Lightroom.

However, I was reading in a wedding photography forum this weekend that some photographers liked the slideshow features, so I downloaded a trial version of Aperture 3 to see if those features were useful and worth buying the program if that’s all I was going to use it for. I’ve not been making many slideshows lately because I don’t like what’s available in Lightroom or iPhoto and I’ve been searching rather unsuccessfully for software that would give me more control but would integrate with my photo workflow. I’m all for templates but at least let me customize them. There is software out there made specifically for slideshows, but I hadn’t found anything that was reasonably priced or wouldn’t bloat my hard drive. Slideshows are a small part of what I do, so I don’t want to spend a lot of money or time on them.

I made a slideshow in Aperture today for a bride’s parents and so far, so good. Looks like Apple has really improved it the last few years. Because Aperture is an Apple product, it resembles iPhoto — which I’m familiar with, but it’s more advanced. I outgrew iPhoto years ago, but I am still using it in conjunction with MobileMe (Apple servers). I can stop using iPhoto altogether since Aperture also works with MobileMe. The reason why I use MobileMe for small galleries is because it has a faster interface for the end user compared to the web galleries I upload to my server, and it gives the user more control for viewing and zips all the files for download in one shot.

I have also read from users that Aperture handles colours better than Lightroom and I tested that today, too, but with no discernible difference. I’ll have to try it with a larger sample size of photos to see for myself. I’m using a 30-day trial of Aperture, but after using it today I’m pretty sold on adding it to my bundle of software at the end of the trial.