My Apple Aperture Conspiracy


“Obviously, since Scott's in bed with Adobe, there's no way he'd give Apple's Aperture a fair audition.” –Trevor Carpenter

“…what about Apple's Aperture? I don't see how you can just ignore it when writing this kind of article. If you do, I begin to wonder if you're simply being paid by Adobe? I understand the whole corporate sponsor thing, but I'd love to see you write about Aperture. It's definitely a player in this space.” –Mike Fullerton

Ya know what’s nice? Waking up in the morning, and reading comments like these, which were posted yesterday as comments here on my blog. It really starts your day off right.

My post yesterday was addressing a comment I read on an evaluation form, from a Photoshop World Conference attendee. This attendee didn’t ask me about Aperture (he was a PC user anyway, and Aperture is a Mac-only product); he asked the difference between Camera Raw, The Bridge, and Lightroom.

I thought that answering his question publicly, might help some other people who had the same question, but clearly what I was doing was just perpetuating my secret conspiracy against Aperture; the same Aperture I wrote about on Monday in my “Top Five of Everything” where I listed other applications which I use, which included Aperture; the same Aperture I wrote about in February after the 2.0 update was released, where I wrote:

“I haven't had a chance to play with the new version yet, (I hope to this week), but the improvements look pretty substantial and the initial feedback I've seen from existing Aperture users has been very positive.”

Adobe almost made me return my monthly corporate payoff check for writing that. ;-)

So, is this a cleverly orchestrated conspiracy against a program I readily admit that I use, or perhaps is the reason I didn’t mention Aperture in my post one or more of these:

  • (a) I don’t know much about Aperture. The only thing I do in Aperture is print books. I export my photos from Lightroom as JPEGs; I import them into Aperture, layout my book, and hit the Send button. That is the extent of what I do in Aperture, so I can’t pass myself off as an “Aperture expert” and anything I say about Aperture beyond printing books would be just a guess. I’ve played around with Aperture, and it seems to have some very cool features, but honestly, I just don’t know enough about it.
  • (b) This is the Photoshop Insider blog created for people who already use either Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Lightroom, or both. It’s not a digital imaging blog.
  • (c) Aperture was totally irrelevant to the question I was asked (especially since he’s a PC user).

I haven’t written a comparison of Lightroom vs. Aperture because selling Lightroom isn’t my job—that’s Adobe’s job. My job is teaching Lightroom to people who already own Lightroom (though the fact that I teach and write books on Lightroom pretty much tells you where I stand). Besides, I’m not the guy you want doing a side-by-side comparison of the two; I am totally biased; I’ve already made my choice; I’m a Lightroom user–plain and simple.

I don’t want to take anything away from Aperture, because I know a lot of Mac users really like it, and I think that’s great, but I use Lightroom, so don’t look for much Aperture coverage here. In the same vein, I’m a Nikon shooter, so don’t expect a lot of Sony or Olympus camera coverage here either, even though I’m sure both make perfectly fine cameras. It’s not an indictment of any of them; they’re just not what I use.

I hope that helps folks who post mean-spirited accusations about me understand where I’m coming from in this whole “Lightroom vs. Aperture” conspiracy theory. :)

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