I hate my Couch or how to chose the right software!

Yes, I hate it with a passion!170125 - Leica IIIa (Pinhole) - Ilford HP5 - 012.jpg

Those last two weeks I’ve been spending my days between the bed and the couch. Speaking of a choice here! Before the surgery I had a number of great scenarios in my head… At last having time for myself, at last being able to think about the answer to life, the universe and everything… (42’s the answer!).

Nope, boredom’s the real answer!

It’s not that I don’t move around. It’s just very slow and cumbersome on the crutches…. and a bit painfull still.

Sure I had time to do some things. I moved from my 2015 iMac (my son inherited it for his music work) back to my old trusted 2010 Mac Mini. Got it to run quite well for such an ‘outdated’ machine.

In fact, call me a Fanboy, but I am very much at ease with Macs. My first iMac I bought in 2006 was sold only last year. It still worked for my daughter (sort of) and I guess it still works for the new owner. Call that longevity!

OK, back to the Mac Mini. In my former post I warned about the new Lightroom CC and said I’d stick with the tools that come for free with every Mac… Photos. In fact, Photos has grown since it’s debut in 2015, replacing both iPhotos and Aperture and trying to walk the thin line between both softwares. Today it’s a very capable tool for photography and offers all the settings I use. And it’s supposed to rid me of the tiresome task of managing the thousands of photos on my hard drive, all the time keeping them safe.

Before, I worked with Lightroom CC, the old one, the one that’s now called Lightroom Classic CC (go figure…) and managed my files in it’s catalog. One thing I never got my head around is the fact that Lightroom has a file structure it imports, but if you want to use it to it’s full power you’ll have to assign your photos to so called collections too…. Why?

I used to save all my film scans to a strict file structure, ordered by scanned date. All the files are named with that date, the camera the photo was shot on and the film used.

Makes for very long names but I can tell them apart easily.170901 - Olympus XA2 -Fuji Superia 200 (30)

A week ago, after saying bye to Lightroom, I moved all my stuff to Photos. Or tried to!

Just let me go into the ‘moving’ part of this. I had an Adobe subscription that went until march next year. Trying to cancel it, Adobe wanted 50% of the monthly dues…. Now I’m mostly honest, but I found a way around. As I had changed my subscription to the new Lightroom CC plan, I was able to cancel it within the first 14 days… at now cost! Just a word to those who might listen!

Ok, how went my move to Photos? Badly at first. I exported my finished Lightroom photos (I can always re-scan the negatives and start from a pristine original), and imported them to Photos. Of course Photos refused at first to sync the lot to the cloud for several days. And my iCloud Photo Library contained lots of photos already so it has become a tangled mess of duplicates and triplicates… Hate that!

So at first I went back to Lightroom Classic CC. Then I tried to rid my Apple iCloud Library of all it’s contents but as soon as I deleted them on one compuer, that computer was repopulated again. At least Lightroom CC has an option to totally clean out the online library from their web based version.

Took me three days… and I succeeded! At last I had a clean, empty iCloud Photo Library. But that was much too complicated for my taste. I then imported my Photos and here I am up and running with Apple Photos.

Now I have all three options installed, Apple Photos, Lightroom Classic CC and Lightroom CC and I’ll have to make a choice.

Just a word for those who can’t conceive to upload their assets to the cloud. I consider it as a nice convenient way to keep my files safe, while all the same backing up massively and regularly my hard drives! I don’t really share the fear of giving up my privacy. If I did I would no longer go out and expose myself to all those CCD cameras they set up for our safety. And who would want to take my photos anyways?

It’s all about convenience. I use an iPhone and like it. It has a gorgeous camera and is always with me. And I am able to have the photos I take with it on my computer at once.

I love film, but not so much as to step away from all the good things technology brought us.

For me it comes down to the feel I have for a software, same as with my cameras! I tried AcDsee (the Mac beta) and didn’d like it – the ‘like factor’ happens in the first seconds I use it, strangely. And by the way it’s way slower than Lightroom or Photos. Same with Luminar…. beatiful, intuitive and adaptable but slooooooow.170706 - Canon AE-1 - Ilford FP4 (11)

As for the cost of the software, with Apple you get it for free…. ahem, at the cost of a much more expensive computers. But those machines, in my honest opinion, last much longer than Windows machines and work much more reliably! Believe me, I used PCs for many years,even built my own and was always fidgeting with the systems. Not so with Macs! (Fanboy speaking 😉 ).

Lightroom comes with a subscription scheme, about 10€ a month for CC with 1Tb of online storage, 24€ for Classic CC and CC and Photoshop… That’s 120€ or even 288€ a year. You can get a lot of terabytes of hard drives for that money! And you are hopelessy enslaved to them. Sure, but as long as the product is first rate! And you won’t have to buy updates yearly! And any updates won’t have to wait for a new iteration to be released. As soon as it’s ready they can launch it.

All three options I am trying to sort out now use the cloud! Lightroom CC and Apple’s Photos upload the original files (even the RAW files in Lightroom’s case) to the cloud, both with the option to keep the originals on your hard drive or just smaller previews. If it’s previews the original will be downloaded each time you edit a photo. Of couse the softwares keep a good number of the full size files you most access on your disk to speed up the stuff.

What’s more, in the case of Lightroom CC if ever you don’t have an internet connection, you just edit the local preview and the original file is updated as soon as you are connected…. automatically.

Lightroom Classic CC does not upload the orginals to the cloud but only small preview, if you choose so. These previews are used on your phone or tablet. It’s the more local contestant of the lot.

To be honest, all three, even the pared down Lightroom CC offer all and more of the editing tools I need! So what it finally comes down to is ease of use (for my old head) and speed on my older machine. That’s for me an important factor as I’m always a bit cash strapped and don’t believe I’ll ever be able to always buy up to date systems (that’s a hardware-based subscription scheme I think).

Now let’s start with Apple’s Photos.

Apple Photo’s ‘catalogue’, clean, polished, not very flexible!

It’s free! Good point, though nothing’s free in this world. It’s got all the tools I need in it’s latest version and the files are promptly uploaded and distributed to my other devices. And that is the greatest advantage of Photos, it’s integration into the Apple ecosystem. Everything works great together. Sharing with family members, with Facebook, WordPress or even dreaded Instagram is just a click away.

Speed is very much acceptable. Moving the adjustment sliders is perhaps a tiny bit laggy on my 2010 Mac Mini but totally acceptable. Imagining it on an up to date computer would be totally OK.

The ‘development’ interface takea a moment to show up completely on screen though!

Photos dev
The development interface, clean, well made and complete, no problems here!

OK, that’s said, now let’s move on to…. yes, Lightroom Classic CC (the old one).

Much more complex layout but sooo configurable!

Takes a bit longer to load, but as soon as the interface is there, everything works nearly instantaneously.

Import functionality easily beats Apple’s Photos, as well as the display possibilities. Though it’s a bit overloaded to my taste.

The thing I detest is the separation of the Folders and Collections. Want to upload files? You’ll have to put them in a collection and allow sharing for each individial album. Complex… yes, but flexible! Unlike Apple where it’s all or nothing, Lightroom CC let’s you chose!

LR dev
Oh my, so many options, sliders, presets and more… too much? Or just right?

Lots of possibilities, and the reactions to the slider movements is immediate! Here Adobe did improve the new version a lot, compared to the former Lightroom CC 6.

I’m happy I have been working with Lighroom for nearly two years now as it takes a lot of time to find your way around it’s interface and tools. But when you got it, it just works. You certainly won’t need everything but if ever you need it, it’s just there!

On to the third contender in my personnal photo manipulation challenge. The new Lightroom CC. I finally got it to import my library correctly!

Beautiful! Clean! Pure! And all new!

Can’t do it any cleaner! It has the right hints to tell it’s still Lightroom but it’s all new and sleek. Not very configurable, but all you need is there. Import is quite easy, export is something else. Sharing works just with Facebook and… that’s it! For the moment. Remember, this is just a 1.0 version and I guess much good is about to come.

And of course you can ‘save to…’. But that’s not much in the way of exporting files. If you want to share to WordPress or Instagram you’ll have to use the mobile version of Lightroom on your phone or tablet. In fact, Lightroom CC looks almost exactly like it’s sibling for the iPad!

The developing interface is equally clean.

CC dev
Can’t do it cleaner!

This looks very basic but you can in fact open more adjustments by clicking the small triangles next to most settings. And it’s FAST! As in blazingly fast!

I will not go into the speed for opening files as I had to upload the originals. They have to download each time to my computer. But this is only because I do not have the space on my computer to have 3 copies of my photo folders, one for each program. I guess if I had the files stored locally, which is easily possible, it would be very fast. At least if I access a photo it stays on my hard drive and opens very fast. You can configure the amount of space Lightroom CC uses on your disk.

Reaction to slider movements is at least as speedy as in Lightroom Classic CC.

All three make backing up your files quite easy. Lightroom CC uses a cryptic Folder that contains your originals, Photos has a Library files you can back up easily. Lightrom Classic CC has the old folder structure and it’s catalog with all the adjustmemts which is easy to back uo too.

The only one that allows you total control over your files though is Lightroom Classic CC!

Which one to chose? I have about 10 days to decide. I took out a subscription for Lightroom Photography plan which I can cancel with a total refund.

Apple’s Photos – free, reasonably fast, all I need and perfect integration.

Lightroom Classic CC – powerful, fast, less integrated and of course subscription-based.

Lightroom CC – faster, leaner, beautiful, 100% online and subscription-based too.

One more advantage of the Adobe solutions: if ever I don’t want to spend a premium on a new Apple computer and have to go back to Windows (aaaaargghhh the idea, but it might hapen), I’ll just have to install Lightroom and continue working. No such solution for Apple Photos!

I’ll keep you updated on the way I’ll go and I’m open to all suggestions.

Only I don’t want to try out lots of other software, so please no further suggestions. Chosing between three is hard enough.

Thanks for being here!

4 thoughts on “I hate my Couch or how to chose the right software!

Add yours

  1. I thought post processing was putting your exposed film in an envelope and sending it away. A few days later you receive your prints and backups (negatives). As for cataloguing can you ask Sully please?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For someone who I know loves the simplicity of film cameras, this all sounds awfully complicated…

    Does Apple’s Photos import RAW files? Can you import/use/save presets like in LightRoom. The only features I really use in LR are import, presets (minor tweaking of exposure and contrast sometimes, not much else) and export to JPEG. If Apple Photos does all this I could be tempted…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MacOS has a built-in raw converter that’s not bad. But Photos can’t do presets (yet).

      Too bad Apple stopped supporting Aperture years ago. Way better, nicer and faster than Lightroom.


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