Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Photo organization and editing on OSX

In response to a friend's Facebook question - can anyone share experiences with Picasa, iPhoto, Aperture, or Other on OSX ? I jotted down the following notes and thought I'd post it hear for those that may be interested.

I have over 50K photo files (JPGs and raw - I shoot in both and try to keep one or the other, but often keep original and edited versions) to manage, so I've tried a few different photo software products on different platforms.

I started off many years ago with Picasa on my PC.  I still think it's a very good product and I recommend it to many people for organization and basic editing needs.  I use it on occasion to post to my Google web albums and it seems to run fine on my Mac computers (Macbook and iMac).  I only use iPhoto occasionally to get albums onto my iPhone.

But I've been using Photoshop Elements now for quite a few years.  Loved it (v6) running on my PC until my library got too big and the PC too slow.  So I moved to an iMac just last year with Photoshop Elements (v9).  But the experience has been less than perfect and has exposed some bugs and different functionality on OSX.  I'm sticking with it and have noticed that one really stupid bug (date changing) has been fixed. Note that I use PS for my raw processing/edits too.

As I wasn't 100% happy with Elements, I tried Aperture and Lightroom.  Lightroom had all the organizing features I was looking for, but you still needed PS Elements or PS CS for edits so the price would be too high.  I played around with Aperture for a little while - it seemed to have everything to needed but all the editing functions were completely different to what I've been learning in PS for many years.  So I dropped it.

Good news is that you can try all these products out with full featured eval versions.  I'm sticking with PS Elements on my iMac, my workflow works well for me and it's not having any consistent problems with my 50k+ library, and the thing I like the most is that PS is still the my common product in the market so you see lots of tips in the mags (although sometimes the features mentioned are only in PS CS).

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