As the few people who read this blog know, I’m generally a linux geek. Most of the time I try to compose in the camera and use darktable or rawtherapee to simply fiddle the exposure and or crop things down for publication. Film is a little different — Reatha from Filmsoup puts all the photos onto dropbox and I then download them and process them (from my parallel dropbox account, which gets really full really fast).
However, the work computer is a mac, and there I use lightroom 4. I have no issue about subscribing to things. I do have an issue with internet access, which is patchy in NZ (the number of times I have to physically connect the phone to the laptop when travelling… huge) and thus want the editing software on the computer.
I considered using Apeture, but wanted to know where my photos are on the computer. Iphoto hides everything, and I shoot raw for a reason. Glad I chose LR, because it looks like Apple is taking the competitor away.
What’s happening, I believe, is that Apple is changing everything about how they handle photos. Jim could have as easily wrote “Apple is discontinuing development on iPhoto.” Or iPhoto Stream. Oh, wait, he did.
At the WWDC conference, Apple was mostly forthcoming on what is about to happen: with the roll-out of iOS 8 and MacOS Yosemite, we’re going to get something called iCloud Photos, and the goal is that all your photos are available on all Apple devices in the same way. Edits made in one place are reflected everywhere.
The open question has been “what do you edit with”? That’s been the unclear part, though at the WWDC Apple also introduced the notion that third parties could add features to whatever that was (e.g. plug-ins).
Okay, that screen shot? It’s apparently a screen shot of the unclear part, an application Apple is currently calling Photos. Notice all that stuff down the right side? Look a lot like Aperture’s controls, does it? It certainly doesn’t look like iPhoto’s controls, which are highly limited and not direct. So I’m guessing that the editing abilities in what Apple produces next are going to be close to what we had in Aperture.
It’s the cataloging, key wording, and database aspects of Aperture that are likely to go away. But are they really going away, or are they moving somewhere else? Note one of the thing’s in quotes on The Loop: “When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS.” Hmm. Does that sound like Aperture’s abilities go away completely? Not to me. It sounds like Apple has decided that the database of images and information about them lives in iCloud. Then each device has an “editor” called Photos that interacts with that. And third parties can extend the abilities in Photos.
So I’m not panicking at all. What Jim posted is 100% consistent with the publicly available information about Apple’s next steps, and does not necessarily mean that if you’re using Aperture you’re going to be screwed soon. It very well may mean that we’re getting closer to the workflow that we all want.
Finally, it seems that every Tom (not Thom) Dick and Harry seems compelled to add that this is a wonderful turn of events for Adobe. Really? If all your photos are in iCloud Photos and you’re using Apple’s Photos software with third party plug-ins to work with it, how is that better for Adobe? Lightroom is a monolithic, standalone product that still has a slightly inconvenient relationship with Photoshop.
Well I like my monolithic, standalone products. So much that I have three of them on two OSes. But I want to know the following:
1. Where the raw file is. I generally let Shotwell handle this.
2. Where the edit files are. I want to be able to undo things. I want to have saved versions.
3. Where the published versions are. The versions I uploaded. LR and DT and RT all let you say “put them here”. That is useful.
4. Where I have put them. Ideally, the shots go onto my blog and are then shared from there. To where I want them to go. At present I load them to Flickr or Ipernity or Picasa randomly: I would prefer to be able to choose to use one or the other. Including Facebook: some of the most interesting film stuff, such as the local E6 group, is there.
5. What I share. I really don’t want you all to know all my favourite shooting sites. I want geotags off. I don’t want you to know, at times, precisely what I am carrying (particularly when I’m travelling).
6. When I share. I want to do this on bandwidth I’ve paid for, which means hotel rooms and home — and not down a 4G network and a dollar a MB, or worse.
But the trouble is that everyone is moving this way. Adobe wants to run everything over the web. Now, that may help me get a unified workflow because the device I’m using will not matter… but I stretch HTML 5 pretty far with some of my work already, and it is not that robust.
At least I have physical film backups when I go analog.
In short, I don’t trust the cloud for more than keeping my cellphone backed up. For everything else there are USB drives.