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Aperture and photoshop #1
Graham Hodge's picture
by Graham Hodge
February 21, 2011 - 7:35am

I've never been really clever with Photoshop but I was having a discussion about it with my son who is a professional photographer in Denmark.

He uses it all the time for adjusting skin tones etc.

My question is, do I need PS or is Aperture considered capable of doing all that is needed in photo editing (at least for the non-professional)?

I think Aperture is all I need, but other opinions welcomed.

Taking Pics in Tassie

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
February 23, 2011 - 1:33am


I suppose I could go digging and find this answer, but if you know offhand please share—with Photoshop Elements, do you get the same retouching tools (clone, heal, etc.) that you have in full Photoshop?

-Joseph @ApertureExpert

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
February 23, 2011 - 12:31pm

Photoshop elements had those features back in version 6 - the last version I’ve used before I upgraded to CS4 and then CS5. I’m sure they are much improved now with version 9. Sometimes Adobe even puts some features in Elements before CS.


James Stevens's picture
by James Stevens
February 21, 2011 - 8:32am

You might want to consider just getting Portrait Professional. I use it for portraits and find it to be superior to anything I’ve tried. PS is a big, complicated, expensive program and I find I just don’t need all that stuff. The great thing about Aperture is you can download your RAW files into it, then use external editors like Portrait Pro or Topaz or whatever, without having to get into PS. Good luck.

Jaimie Harris's picture
by Jaimie Harris
February 21, 2011 - 8:19pm

I believe that most of the stuff you would want to do is possible in Aperture alone. If you wish to do more adjustments then try the various plug-ins or consider Photoshop Elements or Pixelator.
The trick is to get it right in the camera and I am still trying to do this on a regular basis :-)
James is right about the full PS, it is a massive, complex tool that requires dedication to master and you still won’t need half of it.

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
February 22, 2011 - 7:36am


I would agree with James and Jaimie—Photoshop is a fantastic tool, but seriously big and complicated (not to mention expensive).

I own Portrait Professional, but honestly have found that I barely use it anymore. I find the corrections, while remarkable, are too “airbrushed” looking. I’d rather shoot the model with better make-up and in more flattering light. But of course, that’s just my opinion.

Don’t forget that you do have skin smoothing tools in Aperture that can work quite well to minimize wrinkles. The retouching tool is great for blemishes, and you can dodge and burn shadows and highlights away.

About the only time I go to Photoshop (which I do own, but it’s the older version) is for big retouching jobs like replacing/removing objects from the scene. Photoshop is pretty friggin’ amazing for that sort of thing.

good luck,
-Joseph @ApertureExpert

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
February 22, 2011 - 9:09am

Pixelmator is an inexpensive option that is available now in the new Mac App Store for $30US. That is if you’ve upgraded to MacOS X 10.6.6 or later. Supposedly that is a temporary price reduction from the normal $60 so get it while it’s hot.

Photoshop Elements 9 is going for just under $80US at Amazon as of this moment. It will do 99% of what most amateur photographers would use it for as compared to Photoshop CS5.

I have CS5 and only use it on 1% or less of my photos. The rest is all Aperture.


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