Apple’s New Photos May Be Much Better Than I First Thought

Posted Jul. 3rd, 2014 by Daniel J. Cox

Apple’s new Photos may be much better than I first thought. Since killing Aperture and iPhoto last Friday, there has been a tremendous amount of discussion about what the future holds for serious photographers using Apple products. I must admit that I was right there with the naysayers about how disappointed I was with Apple discontinuing my favored Digital Asset Management (DAM) program known as Aperture. However, what a difference a week can make. I’m now thinking that as always, Apple may be on to something.

The new face of Apple's Photo program.

The new face of Apple’s Photo program.

Without getting into a lot of details, here’s a link for those who want more, Apple had three different pieces of photo software that all worked and ran differently across their two different operating systems, Mac OSX and iOS. The difficulty of trying to develop and provide updates for three different photo editing programs must be at least part of the reason we saw so few updates for Aperture. To solve this time-consuming problem, Apple is planning to consolidate all aspects of photo editing into one program, built directly into the Mac and iOS operating systems. Additionally, Apple is providing developers unheard access to this new Photo program via PhotoKit and App Extensions architecture. This gives third party developers, what we typically call plugins such as the NIK collection, the ability to write programs that work seamlessly, inside of Photos and do it in a nondestructive way. Not only does this simplify software development for Apple, but it opens the door for endless opportunities for third party developers to provide tools that drop directly into Photos and look and work as if they are actually a part of the new program. No more going out to a third party application/plugin. This new way of thinking about software embraces the world of developers to create programs for Apple that look and feel like it was produced under the Apple umbrella. Apple saves development costs and developers outside of Apple get to use their creativity and passion to build products that work directly within Photos. This sounds like it could be a much better way of going forward and if that turns out to be true, I wouldn’t be surprised because that’s what Apple is known for. Giving us something we didn’t’ even know we want. Time will tell and I’m excited to see where this goes.

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There are 9 comments on this post…
    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 7th, 2015


      Unfortunatel,y I’ve been digesting a huge pile of crow for the past six months. I’ve become convinced Apple has let us all down. I have not met one person, from little old ladies, to sisters, to pros and nonprofessionals alike that have ANYTHING positive to say about Photos. Mostly what everybody I’ve spoken to say about their experience with photos is they at frustrated that it continually try’s to load every Tom Dick and Harry image they have ever shot, many of them they have no interest in loading. My sister was pulling her hair out due to photo stream loading thousands of her teenagers pictures that she had no desire to have cluttering up her phone. The stories of angst go on and on.

      I’ve decided to move on and I’m currently managing all my images with a new program called Mylio and processing when needed in DXO Optics Pro. I have to admit that being forced out of Aperture has opened my eyes to other programs and have been impressed. Especially Mylio for DIgital Assest Managment. Sorry to be the bearer of bad new but such is life. Gone with Aperture is about 25% reduction in enthusiasm for Apple in general. I feel Apple really let a lot of people down.

  1. Daryl L. HunterOn Jun. 22nd, 2015

    I have since gotten Lightroom and love it. It is so much more robust that Aperture was. Aperture was easier to organize in because of Apples gift of “ease of use” but I have worked out a system. Cheers.

  2. Kathy Adams ClarkOn Jul. 7th, 2014

    Dan, we’ve been using Extensis Portfolio as our Digital Asset Manager for 15 years. We have the work of 15 photographers catalogued and can search by five different keywords at one time. Searches include “but not”, “and”, etc so we can really narrow down our requirements. In reality, though, we rarely use that option.

    Images can be stored on the computer, external hard drives, or a server. It doesn’t matter where they are stored. No need for the split catalogues mentioned above in Lightroom.

    Extensis Portfolio used to be $129 for a single user. Extensis did away with that option in 2013 and we can only get the server option now for $999. Ouch!

    I talked with the sales staff at Extensis about keeping the single user option but their business model is aimed at higher-end clients. Sure wish they would go back to the single user, less expensive option. Photographers with larger collections need an option for a professional level DAM besides Lightroom.

    Canto Cumulus is an option, as well. They have also done away with their single user software, though.

    These are options when people outgrow Lightroom’s Library or get tired of Lightroom’s Library. I haven’t let Lightroom touch our image collection.

    I’m curious to see that Apple’s Photos will give. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 7th, 2014

      Kathy, I used to use Extensis as well but ran in to the 150,000 image limit per Catalog. How many photos are you archiving and are you breaking the Catalog into different groups? Never have I liked the idea of breaking the Catalog up since a computers main reason for being is to sift through massive amounts of data all at one time. I just can’t live with a piece meal catalog. I recently spoke to Extenisis about this issues and they informed me the 150,000 image limit is still an issue. Would love to know more about your setup. Thanks for stopping and adding your voice. Hope to see you again sometime soon.

  3. Guy HagemanOn Jul. 5th, 2014

    Daniel, Re your import of 500.000 images into light room. I would be interested to know how you intend to do this from the stand point of, will it be just one catalogue or will you use multiple catalogues? I used to store my images at year at a time in LR but then had some discussion around what would happen if that single catalogue became corrupt? So now I import each shoot into a new catalogue (I also create a back up copy of the images as is the norm). Takes a little getting used to but seems to be working well. I have not heard many horror stories of LR catalogue becoming corrupt (have you?). It just seemed to make sense to hold smaller catalogue files independently. I wonder if anyone else does it this way. I am always open to improvement suggestions ?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 5th, 2014

      Guy, great question and it brings up one of my biggest complaints about workflow software in todays world. That is; software that can not handle truly large collections of images. That problem was the main reason I switched over to Aperture and I was hoping Adobe had fixed this issue. It’s unbelievably common for people to think they need to break their catalog/libraries up to make them run effectively. My answer to that is “Ba Humbug!” Needing to break a large library up, so the computer can run it efficiently, is not necessary with the current Aperture. What’s the use of a computer that can’t sift through massive amounts of data? That’s why we use these darn things. I have no interest in breaking up my library since it’s impossible to search for photos across the entire collection of images. That’s what computers are supposed to do. What’s the benefit of keywords, captioning and all other metadata if you can’t get to ALL of it at the same time? Your comment concerns me that this may still be an issue with Lightroom. Your process of creating separate catalogs/librarys (Aperture calls it a library) for each shoot is exactly as I do in Aperture. That’s considered my “Field Library” which stays on my external Seagate Thunderbolt drive along with the folders of original images. I store this drive off site for protection. I also make a copy of the Aperture Library to a large capacity Drobo in the studio and then Merge this new field library in to my main Desktop library. This gives me several backups across the board for digital originals as well as the original library. The copy of the main desktop Library is also stored off site and held in an Aperture Vault on a different Drobo devise. Thanks for stopping by to add your voice and provide a great question.

  4. Daryl L. HunterOn Jul. 4th, 2014

    Well they better hurry, I am about to buy lightroom. Yes I hate to, but it will be easier for me to teach workshop attendees the more popular, lightroom, Digital Asset Management program. It has been easy to procrastinate on until Apples announcement about throwing us Aperture users under the bus.

    I have already switched to referenced libraries preparing for the switch.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 4th, 2014

      Daryl, I’ve had Lightroom on my computer ever since it came out. Have bought ALL the updates so I’m already there if I need to be. I plan to import my entire 500,000+ image files sometime in the next month to see how it handles that many images. That was the main reason I switched over to Aperture about 4 years ago. At that time Lightroom was absolutely slower than molasses. I’m hoping beyond hope that has improved. If not I have no idea what I’m going to use for the size Library that Aperture handled with aplomb. I think Apple may be on to something however with PhotoKit. One of the issues was always wanting this plugin or that plugin or the program to do something it didn’t. From what I’m hearing about PhotoKit, the door will be wide open for developers big and small to customize Aperture/Photos to their hearts content. This could be a huge plus since a professional version of Photos may not be worth all that Apple would need to develop it when compared to other things they make money at. However, if a small developer can provide a feature that everybody wants, that developer may become wealthy. In theory this is a phenomenal idea. Open the door for the little guys to build amazing features in to Photos that Apple just doesn’t have the time or desire to do. That would be what I call a win/win. But as I mentioned earlier, this is all in “Theory”. Time will tell. I’m going to work with Lightroom as I continue to use Aperture as it is and see what comes of the new Photos. I’m feeling much more encouraged than I did last Friday. Thanks for stopping by to add your voice and I love the fact you’ve singed in with an Avitar. I love knowing the faces of the people who visit. Be well.

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