Aperture 3 to Lightroom 4 Transition

Fossil Butte National Monument Photo | Ricoh GXR-M, Leica Summicron 35mm v2
Fossil Butte National Monument | Ricoh GXR-M, Leica Summicron 35mm v2

I’ve been a long time user of Apple’s flagship photography program Aperture. When I began shooting digitally I started with Nikon’s D100 and later upgraded to the D200. I shot mostly in Nikon’s NEF Raw format and I have been very happy with how Aperture handled Nikon’s NEF files. Apple actually has many Nikon camera profiles for reading these unique files.

When I began using the Ricoh GRDIII and now the Ricoh GXR I realized that Ricoh’s Raw image format was saved in camera as a DNG file. (This is Adobe’s publicly available archival format for the raw files generated by digital cameras.) When I was shooting with my Nikons I was familiar with Adobe’s DNG technology and had toyed with the idea of converting all my NEF files to the format but decided not to due to the time and effort involved.

Now I have a camera that saves to that format in the camera. Wonderful. One step in the digital photographer’s workflow solved. Even though Apple’s Aperture does read Ricoh’s DNG file Apple’s Raw converter does not have a specific Ricoh camera profile customized like they do for most of the other top name cameras one can buy.

Up until the last Aperture update, I was having a difficult time with Aperture’s White Balance in correcting many of my images. But it is not up to par with Adobe’s Lightroom. It took more time than what I should have been spending on each individual image. I even bought a couple different sized white balance cards by WhiBal. Its a wonderful product and does work as long as you have it somewhere in one of your photos that you can later use the White Balance tool. I guess if I took more time in preparation I could do a custom white balance reading off the card while in the field too.

A couple other issues I began to have with Aperture were some of the options it was missing that Adobe’s Lightroom includes. Of course there are work arounds in Aperture but it meant leaving Aperture to make it work for my work flow. A couple of these items are Watermarks and Lens Corrections. I don’t often need to correct for lens problems but it would be nice when you need to fix the architectural photographs where you need to correct for perspective. Aperture does not have the option. Adobe also includes many unique lens models as part of the Lens Correction brick that can fix your specific lens automatically.

But the watermark issue also required one to use a third party app to easily make and save your uploaded files with a watermark. Adobe has this built-in.

It will take me some time to get acquainted with the way Adobe has their interface laid out, the different custom key strokes and the library file differences.

To help with that I bought Scott Kelby’s latest book, “Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers”. I purchased my copy through Amazon and received it before heading out this week to work. I’ve already read through most of the book and so far its made my initial fray into this transition pretty easy. For other Aperture users who may be interested in making the transition here’s 10 things Scott Kelby would tell new Lightroom Users.

I’ve begun by ingesting my almost 4,000 images I captured the last few months that I captured during our trip out west. So far I’ve been very happy the results. The above image, taken at Fossil Butte National Monument, was all done in LR, a color image converted to B&W.

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

3 thoughts on “Aperture 3 to Lightroom 4 Transition

  1. Duane,It’s good to read your post. The book that’s a must have for LR is….http://www.lightroomqueen.com/
    I use the PDF version and keep it open on my desktop while working in LR. Any questions you have, she explains the answer and then some. It’s the single most important manual for the program.

    I read all your travel post and looked forward to the next. You produced a good body of work,,,,
    If I can help out, you know how to get in touch…


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