Just a bit of a heads up before you start reading this post. This is a fairly long post and it is rather techy and based on photo software and all that. If you want pretty photos then skip to the bottom and if you want more "personal story" type things then come back for the following posts.
Wow its been awhile since I blogged, but that is not for a lack of being busy. In fact I was working behind the scenes, if you will, on some changes that affect this site, blog, my photography (past and present) and my life in general. In a way I guess you can say that I, along with many other things in my life, were getting a new coat of paint.
So lets start with laying a couple things out there and explaining my absence. First was the announcement that Apple is discontinuing Aperture. It was my goto tool for all things photography related and its still a wonderful piece of software. I was initially shocked that Apple decided to stop development on it but also glad in a way. I held on to the idea that Aperture was NOT going anywhere and that Apple would make a better, more powerful version and all us Aperture fans would rejoice. That is not what happened, BUT they did at least tell us straight up that no more development would happen so we could move forward while making an informed decision on what to do. For that I am glad as it in some ways "gave me permission" to move on without guilt of abandoning the software that I promoted so much. From this point forward I am using Lightroom (something I thought I would never say) until such time that something possible better comes out. Aperture still works and will be supported by Apple but with no more development I can not validate using it moving forward. Some might argue that that is a poor excuse to move on, but simply put I am ready for the change and want (and like) the opportunity that I have been presented.
I would also like to add that I feel satisfied with my years of using Aperture but can also see that it was time to move on. The apple ecosystem of photos was a huge mess with iPhoto libraries, Aperture libraries, iPhoto on the iPad, iPhone photo libraries, and all the iCloud photo stuff. We don't know for sure what will come out of Apple when its all said and done, but I can see that all of the things I listed above really added a lot of baggage and confusion when you looked at it all together. Wiping the slate clean, as it were, and building a more modern, unified and consistent base for all future photography seems (to me) to be a good thing to do. Sometimes old buildings have to be knocked down and abandoned to build newer ones that promote a cleaner and more efficient ecosystem. I am looking forward to the changes that are coming and I have already began the process of preparing for it.
So on on to the topic of Lightroom and my second topic in general. Yes, I have "jumped ship" if you will, and moved to Lightroom. It was bitter sweet doing so as it came with a lot of apprehension, but also some excitement to learn new things and use new tools (I love learning!). Overall my experience with Lightroom has been fine with some obvious learning curves involved. Aperture and Lightroom are really not that different when it comes down to it so a LOT of what I already knew carried over and I am feeling pretty comfortable using the software. There is of coarse some differences that I don't care for (mostly user interface stuff, but I am working through that). All-in-all I am moving forward at a good clip, learning a lot, and really streamlining my photo libraries and organization skills.
The next thing I want to cover that is also Aperture/Lightroom related is the photos themselves. The software is how we manage and edit the photos in general, but you have to have the photos to start with. I have a LOT of photos.. and when I say a lot I mean a LLLOOOOTTTTT!!! I have been moving my photos over from Aperture to Lightroom and in doing so It has given me the opportunity to really look at what I have shot in the last 13 years. A lot of what I was keeping was crap and I was really surprised to the amount of that I was holding on to. So as I went through each year of photos I was cleaning house and really culling my images down to the photos that had any meaning to me at all. It has been a wonderful feeling deleting 40,000 images at at time and seeing all the gems, and ONLY the gems displayed. I started with over 58,000 photos (from 2003-2012 only) and have made it down to just under 26,000 photos SO FAR! Because I am thinning my libraries down so much it is allowing me to revisit older images that I have not seen in a LONG time and also see just much my photography has changed (and in some cases not changed) as well as allowing me to reprocess some photos using newer tools and technology.
If there was every an argument to shoot RAW all the time and keep such "large" files then this would have to be on top of the list. I have been re-processing some older images and it has been great fun to put a new coat of paint on them. There are details I was unable to get before and that I am seeing now, different looks I am able to accomplish and simply a LOT more options and fine-tuning available to me.
Changing software/organization directions has been the main big time suck for me lately, but I am more then half way through it and really happy with the results I am getting from the change. Its a lot of work, but in the end I am learning a lot not only about the software, but also about why I love photography, the specific things I like about photos and the things that I look for when I make my own photos. All of this adds up to the changes that I will be taking about with myself and my future photography endeavors. That is something that I will be covering in the next part of this post so look for Part 2 coming shortly, but until then enjoy these photos from 2007 with a new coat of paint.