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Aperture is Dead. Long Live Photos!

PhotoJoseph's picture
June 27, 2014 - 9:00pm

I received an official call from Apple PR this morning about the future of Aperture. My phone, twitter and Messages have been ringing off the hook since the announcement was publicly made. But I wanted to take some time to really think this through before shouting from the rooftops. So here we go.

On the surface, it doesn't seem like good news, but there's a lot more to this than a few lines of text. First, the official words.

“With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture. When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X.” — Apple, Inc.

In short, Aperture as we know it is dead. So let's take a step back and figure out what this really means, because obviously photography is far from unimportant to Apple. There are more questions than answers now than ever before, and I'll try to come up with all the right questions and all my best answers. Call this interpretation, speculation, or clairvoyance — but here's how I'm reading into this.

Why? Why Photos 1 and not Aperture 4?

Before we can look to the future, let's look at the past. Aperture itself has been around since 2005; nearly a decade. And of course it started being written well before that, so we are talking about 10+ year old code. The cloud, the iPhone, and pocket sized digital cameras that surpass the quality of film not only didn't exist, but were barely a twinkle in Steve Jobs' or any technologist's eye. Aperture is a photo editing and management tool written for users used to an old school workflow. Go on a shoot. Sit down to edit. Share when you're done. But that's not the world we live in anymore. Today we want to shoot, share immediately with a cool effect, edit on an iPad, sit down at your 4k display and get serious, pick up the iPad and show off what you've done, mix, repeat. We want our devices, our libraries, our experience integrated and seamless. This simply can not happen with Aperture as it is today.

This is a case of evolution vs revolution. Apple could continue to evolve Aperture, and to be honest I wish they had—in 2011, 2012, 2013. But now it's too late. Now it's time to focus on the future. The next generation of photos architecture. The revolution. We saw this in the WWDC 2014 keynote. We saw Photos in iCloud. We saw seamless integration between an iOS device and the desktop. We saw a glimpse of features that clearly couldn't exist in Aperture. We saw the future.

Everything could be based on PhotoKit. It is now for iOS, but that same thing could happen in OS X. That would mean seamless integration between iOS and OS X, and unheard of third party developer access. We saw the new raw processing engine with lens correction and phenomenal noise reduction, for example, in WWDC sessions. All the groundwork is in place for an amazing experience.

For those of you who edit video, you'll remember the transition from Final Cut Pro to Final Cut Pro X. It sucked. Big time. And frankly, Apple handled the PR of that poorly. Major features were missing, the software was buggy as hell, and yet Apple told the Pro market that it was time to move. After some serious backlash they relented, and re-relesed Final Cut Pro 7 for the existing users, so they could wait for FCP X to mature. And mature it has. Today, Final Cut Pro X is an amazing piece of software. Apple isn't making that mistake with Aperture. But it doesn't change the fact that it's time to move on.

For a happier look at the migration path, look at iWork — Pages, Keynote and Numbers. Great apps that were developed long before iOS, and once iOS came out, new versions of those apps showed up there. Lots of feature parity, lots of feature disparity. The more the iOS versions advanced, the more inferior the OS X versions felt. Until finally, Apple threw away the old apps, and released all new versions that were based on the same new code. At first, all the features of the old iWork weren't there. But Apple worked relentlessly and continued to update the software (free updates, by the way) and today those apps are fantastic. And more to the point, they are virtually identical across platforms (except for font support. Don't get me started on font support). 

Now, it's the third time for this to happen. To your photos. And it has begun.

Will version 1 have all the features of Aperture 3?

Very unlikely. Apple has stated that users will be able to migrate their existing libraries. They have also stated that there will be at least one maintenance release to ensure that Aperture is fully compatible with OS X Yosemite. Put those together, and it tell us that just because you can migrate, doesn't necessarily mean that you should. Since they say that you can however, that has to mean that any existing effects and metadata will be intact. I just wouldn't necessarily expect to be able to edit them in version 1. As evolves however, at some point you should have all the same features — and of course a ton of new ones.

When should I migrate to Photos?

It's too soon to tell that now, but I'd wager that iPhoto and beginner Aperture users will be able to migrate immediately, while more advanced Aperture users may want to wait for another version or two. Since Aperture will continue to be supported at minimum for OS X Yosemite, personally I think version 1 will be fun to play with, and probably start a new library with. Maybe not for pro work, but I'll use it where I can. The integration between iOS and OS X will be too sweet to ignore. And as long as it has the “open in editor” feature, I can always use Photoshop and plug-ins for anything Photos can't do. Then as progresses, once the legacy Aperture is no longer needed, I'd migrate my entire library. It'll take time, but it won't stop me from doing my job. And I think it'll be worth the wait.

I'm a pro—I don't need iOS iCloud iPad iShare

No? That's OK, I still enjoy shooting film, too. But for the rest of the world that has gone digital, this is happening. You may not be posting your client shoots to Instagram, but your clients are getting more demanding. Wanting on-site reviews. Remote reviews! Fast turnaround to their never-ending change requests. High resolution images delivered to prepress and small ones for their Facebook page. All these iFeatures will come in handy. 

What if OS X was more like iOS from a developer standpoint?

OK, now let's have some fun. Think about your iPhone or iPad for a minute. You shoot or import or download a photo, and where does it go? To the Photos app. That' a super simple app today, but we already know that's changing. OK.

Now, think about all the other third party photo apps on your iPhone. Where do they get their photos from? Photos app. Where do they put them when you're done editing them? Photos app. Some have their own storage as well, but thats only for one reason — to maintain non-destructive edit-ability. Even iPhoto for iOS works that way.

Now, look at iOS 8. We already know that iOS 8 elevates third party apps to the same level as Apple apps. They can access the same library in the same way that native apps can. So that whole “store it in your own app” issue should go away.

What does that mean? Simply put, that Photos is a single storage location for all your pictures, regardless of what app you choose to edit them with. Pretty cool, right?

Now for the big reveal.

Consider the possibilities

Extrapolate that to OS X. What if OS X worked the same way? What if Photos for OS X was built on PhotoKit, and what if PhotoKit was integrated into the OS itself. What if third party apps on OS X could access your photo library the same way that iOS apps can (and will be able to in iOS 8)?

Suddenly you have an ecosystem where the library is the hub. No more one-time, stuck-with-it-forever decision if you should use Aperture or Lightroom or Bridge or anything else. stores your photos and allows some level of editing. Future Nik plugins apps access that same library. Future Lightroom accesses the same Library (!!). Future Photo Mechanic. MacPhun, onOne, Alien Skin… name your app, name your plugin. In this utopian future, all apps have the same access to all photos. PhotoKit could make that possible.

Now that's cool. All this on a photo library based in the cloud.

1TB isn't enough for me

We saw in WWDC that Apple will have pricing plans for iCloud up to 1TB, which we've already observed isn't enough. But that's an easy problem to solve. So don't worry about that. I think by the time you're ready to move your entire 5TB Aperture library to Photos, there will be an iCloud option available to you.

Sounds great, but eff this, I'm outta here!

Undoubtedly Apple will lose some users to Lightroom. That's inevitable, and I'm not going to say “they'll be back!”. But they probably will :-) As before, for most of us diehard Aperture users, we've added plugins or other apps to enhance the Aperture experience to do everything Lightroom does, and more. There's no reason for that to change. At least now, finally, we can see the future, and we don't need a crystal ball to do it. 

What does this mean for

Well, a name change at minimum :-) Any suggestions? I'm serious… I looked at but it's owned and is being held anonymously. I'm open to suggestions, because the future of this site will be awesome. I will be able to write about not only a single app and it's plugins, but any OS X or iOS app that connects to the Photos architecture. I smell growth.

Now, go make some photos

We can chat and comment and speculate and pontificate endlessly about this, but at the end of the day, if you're not out shooting, none of this matters. So stop reading, and go make some pretty pictures. And dream big about the future. Because it's coming, and it'll be awesome.


I've responded to the many comments here in a new post, “Comment Follow-up on the Demise of Aperture”. Please read that before commenting here. Thanks!

Official Apple image of Photos on OS X YosemiteOfficial Apple image of Photos on OS X Yosemite
Apple Aperture Apple Photos for macOS

Hey James
Well disregarding the condescending and combative remarks from your post ( oops - that was your whole post ! ) I welcome you to wait.
I think 56 years of experience with Apple informs my decision. They don’y care about software sure base, idiot - this is going down the tubes with everything else thats content generating ( because they don’t make money on it ) Get your head out the sand.
I own the stock - hate the company ethics towards loyal advocates - they could care less.
Rock on Fanboy.

Wombat // Photography

I’ve been able to calm down a little after the initial shock and disappointment.  The issue that I’m still having is that Apple made the announcement about getting rid of Aperture and iPhoto but has given very little information on Photos other than the iCloud sync.  Yes Aperture will still work for the next year but if Photos app isn’t going to give me what I’m looking for I’d like to start the transition over to LR now.  Since they are so secret about everything I (we) are left in limbo about what we should do.  I might have to run both until it is released just in case.  I’m usually okay with Apple’s secrecy but right now it is really ticking me off because they have already said new Photo app won’t be released until 2015.

I’m also thinking that because of this announcement Nik and other plug in manufacturers will stop supporting Aperture too. If Nik comes out with a new version of say HDR Efex then I doubt it will release with an Aperture version.  

Another part of me wonders if the 6 month future release time frame was done so that plug in programers could create new version for new Photos app and not get questioned on why they didn’t come out with Aperture version of anything released in next 6 months. Nik seems to be working hard on new versions of software lately.

I wish they would slowly release some information about Photos so that we aren’t left wondering what we should do.  Something keeps making me wonder why they are announcing now that they are no longer developing. They never announce things that far in advance.   

I’m afraid we may be partially responsible for this announcement. How many times have I read on this forum and others that we should all essentially badger Apple into telling us what they have planned for Aperture - well, now we know. I’m as guilty as anyone - I sent those emails to Tim Cook and the other usual suspects. Granted, it’s not the answer anyone wanted but there is no doubt now, we know exactly what Apple has in mind for Aperture.

Like you - I wish I knew more about Photos but I’m not a developer and I do not have an NDA with Apple so there is little chance I will know all that much all that soon. Frustrating? You bet! But I do know one thing. Business like nature abhors a vacuum. If NIK isn’t busy writing plug-ins for Photos you can darn well bet someone is! This could be the beginning of a great new era for photographers. I would never tell anyone else what to do but I know that I am happy to wait for Apple’s “next great thing” in photo editing. Frankly I can’t wait to see what come next!

Apple’s first party apps usually have no NDAs because they are solely developed in-house and vetted using Apple employees.

The likeliest reason why Photos will released about 6 months after Yosemite is to get Yosemite down pat before they add one the system’s biggest resource hogs complete with all new code.

Thanks for that! It’s obvious you know much more about this than I do - could you hazard a guess about when third party developers might get their hands on Photos to start developing additions - or would that depend more on access to PhotoKit?

Thank You.

Apple does contact the usual suspects early enough. This is why one often sees first third party apps and stuff from formerly unknown things finished for Apple’s keynotes.

I’ll add to my earlier note on this. I  am more convinced upon further reflection that Apple is not only making a significant error, but is acting rudderless. The more I read the terse PR flack statement that just said because we’ll have the Cloud so no more Aperture, it was clear this was a poorly executed move. That statement made everyone freak, because it was tone deaf. That’s what PR flacks are supposed to be good at.

And it goes beyond mere professional photographers. Everyone who is dependent on pro apps knows or will shortly, and will feel the ground shake beneath their feet, thinking, “Am I next?” Especially on the heels of the FCP X fiasco, which Apple is only now recovering from. 

It’s bad enough that Aperture was already suffering dumbing-down of key professional features (like the expanded options in Highlights/Shadows, which at least you could override with a preset from an image processed by an earlier version). The blithe optimism that somehow it will all work out and we don’t really need to do precision adjustments anyway that I’m seeing a lot of is, frankly, denial about what is clearly coming down the tracks. They don’t give a rats ass about professionals, and as I said before, that is the same error that led Kodak down the path to oblivion.

It’s clear that Apple is inexorably abandoning the professional market across the platform. They are so gaga with iOS and cloud and content delivery as their cash cow that those who really depend on the tools for their livelihood are simply uninteresting to the Cupertino crowd now. 

OK it’s possible that the rush of bad publicity will bring about a correction, which did happen with FCP X. It certainly hasn’t with the iWork suite, which has lost so much basic functionality and made the Office suite look good — a remarkable accomplishment in itself.

Regardless, why go through the brand-wounding exercise of making crappy decisions when it’s not that difficult to keep doing what made the company and its extraordinary brand loyalty possible? The answer: bad management. 

If they don’t care about pro users then why call so many to personally tell them about Aperture development? If they didn’t give a darn about them why bother?
They specifically mention lens correction in WWDC sessions. What was the last iPhone photo you took that made you think “man I wish I had lens correction for this”
I’m not pretending to know what Apple is thinking just that things don’t seem to add up in my head. Of course like others I’ve been wrong about Apple before.

That’s a good question. Why send out a bone-headed PR release then start calling key players that are your most important evangelists? It’s indicative of a poorly executed process, and contradictory at its core. 

I simply don’t believe that the development costs of maintaining a pro app are that heinous to Apple with its immense cash reserves and cash flow from the mass market. It’s just that they really don’t care that much to support the professionals that have made the brand synonymous with user-friendly excellence. That is an inescapable conclusion from recent experience, of which the professional photography branch is only the latest and most conclusive evidence. 

I’m truly sorry for Joseph and others who have worked so hard to help build a community around the Aperture platform. They have been shoved under the bus as much if not more than pros who have spent years and hundreds of thousands of images committed to working in Aperture. 

Not sure I would describe it as bone-headed, but that is matter of opinion and you are certainly entitled to yours.  

I’m guessing part of the problem is that with Apple’s obsession with secrecy there is only so much that they can say.  Honestly I’m just surprised they said anything.  They are not known for letting users (advanced or everyday) know software has become end of life. They typically just stop selling it and or pull it from web site.  Another strange question is why are they still selling it?  The last time I checked Aperture was still for sale in the App store.  I would have thought that would have been pulled as soon as news was released.

I was sorry for Joseph too but I heard him and Derek Story on this week in photo podcast and neither of them seemed that worried.  Seemed excited for what was to come so why shouldn’t I be.  I have a lot less on the line than they do. (I’m not a pro, just advanced amateur).  Obviously those feelings will be different for everyone.

It is really hard to speculate on Photos app because we really don’t know much of anything about it other than Apple is seemingly putting a lot of time and energy behind it.  Hopefully it will be released in a beta earlier so that some information can trickle out about it.

Both Joseph and Darrick have multiple revenue streams and are very good at finding or adapting to other business opportunities.  That’s probably what they do best.

I would be excited if I was them.  I’m pretty sure that the Aperture revenue stream was a shrinking pie these last few years with a dwindling number of users.  However now that Apple has stated where the future lies they have the potential and established branding to attract all of the potential new users of the Photos app.  For them this is great news!  In fact I would wager that for most on this list it will eventually be good news.  We just aren’t there yet.  :)

Can you define exactly which podcast ? Can´t seem to find it …..

Thanks in advance :-)

Kenny it was the newest TWIP podcast.  You can only find it in Youtube right now.  It gets released as a podcast on Friday (might be in G+ as well).  Search for TWIP # 367 in youtube

found it, thanks :-)

here here Craig. Well said.

Wombat // Photography

If you are getting notifications and want to stop them, you have full control over your comment subscriptions under the “Me” menu. Changes may take five to ten minutes or more to propagate as the messages are queued and sent in batches. If you post again, I believe you may be automatically re-subscribed; I’m honestly not sure. This system was designed for posts with a handful of comments, not the 300+ it has now. This isn’t TechCrunch, for cryin’ out loud ;-)

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I show as unsubscribed for this comment, but still receive email messages. Possibly a glitch in the site?

Scott Stuart

My mind keeps racing on this so I wanted to throw a couple of things out. First is with a new program Apple can force us to purchase plug ins through App Store. They get 30% of an entire aftermarket that they get nothing from now. I know that was a duh thought. My second one is a pie in sky idea but…… What if they offered a “pro” version upgrade. Same app with just more functionality. Think of what they did on OS with server versions. Talk about easy upgrade for users. If it is built off of same library architecture I would think it would easier than supporting two totally different apps.
As some of the other posters have said Apple seems to be putting a lot behind the scenes work into photo editing. The official statement was that they weren’t going to support Aperture anymore, not that they weren’t going to provide a solution to pros. If you no longer care about supporting your pro photographer base why bother calling so many of them personally to tell them about Aperture going away. Why not just send out press release and call it a day. I don’t know how many they called but it seemed to be a several.
I think I just talked myself into waiting until photos is released before I make any changes.

sorry about dup post

Someone made the prescient comment that apple is moving from Finder and hierarchal navigation to search based contextual associations. True and good. Only problem: Spotlight has been tasked within Mavericks for this , and has shown itself to be incompetent at the task. From Mail to Finder operations, and certainly within Aperture, the smallest operations sometimes drag the machine to a crawl. Processor usage spikes (with heat and battery discharge) as mds, Finder,and MDS Stores try to catch up. For a minute sometimes. Simple Finder file moves may take over a minute as “preparing to move files.” sits on screen for agonizing moments until finally what used to take a second or less snaps into awareness. This is unacceptable, but it’s what the same iOS centric engineers are trying to impose on Unix and it’s not ready for prime time. 

I’ve just read through the most recent 100-odd comments. I’m sure I’ve missed some. One particularly poignant one I’ll respond to tomorrow after some sleep. But in the meantime… BEHAVE YOURSELVES, PEOPLE! C’mon folks, let’s be civil. Name calling is unnecessary. We have different opinions and some of us are VERY passionate, to a fault. Remember… it’s just software. Yes, this may be a major inconvenience to a lot of us. Myself included! But guess what; no software lasts forever. No company lasts forever. Workflows change, we adapt or move on (or don’t). Was Bill Frakes, with 1,000,000 slides in his archives, pissed off that a digital solution came along and he *had* to scan all his photos and import and keyword and organize them? Hell no. Nothing made him do that. He chose to, but he didn’t have to. No one is forcing anyone to do anything here. Your current solution will continue to work just fine for a very, very long time. Want to squeeze a decade out of Aperture 3? I’m sure you can, if that’s what you want. No one will ever force you to upgrade the computer you are running Aperture on today. No-touchy, and all will be fine—if that’s what you want. Back to the passion and name calling. Be nice to each-other. No matter what happens, just remember… it’s just software. It’s photography. We make pictures. Yes many of us make a living doing it, but as one comment I saw (thank god not here) read , “Apple is killing my business”. Sorry, but no, Apple is not. No one signed a contract with you guaranteeing that things would stay this way, forever. Major evolution doesn’t come without a cost. Did we learn nothing from X-Men?! (sorry). Anyway, seriously. Behave. Be nice. Stop the mud slinging or I’ll shut down comments, which would be tragic because I think there’s a lot of valid conversation here. Keep it civiil. And if you can’t say something nice… say nothing at all. Like your momma taught you, if you have nothing nice to say…

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Here here Joseph.  Talking of mother’s.  Mine always said that if you get into bad language, swearing and name calling then you have lost the argument.

I don’t actually think there is an argument, just passion mixed with uncertainty.


With your analysis of the screenshot from WWDC 2014, I think you did an excellent job.  You showed that there is every reason to trust that Photos will be a worthy replacement for Aperture - and some.   Someone else said that perhaps Photos is the Aperture 4 we all desired. I for one and happy to give Apple the time to bring out a product that meets most of my needs.

There is an old saying  ’don’t make a decision until you have to’ and I’m content to wait and see.   The little research I have conducted has reassured me that if I do ever want to move away from Aperture (or Photos eventually) then there are very creditable alternatives to Adobe LR, which I would never do.

I’ll stick with Aperture, continue to enjoy my photography and look forward to your training videos on Photos in the future.

I wish all fellow Aperture users well in these exciting times.  We’ve never had it so good! :-))


I think the discussion has been pretty civil, but maybe just because some of the other forums in which I partake are considerably worse…

Anyway, I recall back when WWDC was on and I made a suggestion that perhaps Aperture was delayed because it was going to be re-written in Swift. I was roundly shouted down but when you think about it, I think this is exactly what’s happened. If Photos was named Aperture, we would have a brand new app, likely written in the new language, it will lack some old features but will leave the way open for the future. This is pretty much the exact path taken by Apple for Final Cut, iMovie, Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Only the name has changed…

I’m still concerned as my workflow is so refined in Aperture, but I’m keen to see what they come up with. The brief views in the WWDC videos showed basic commands backed by more complex, detailed adjustments. If that’s the case, it may just be that everything is going to be OK.

On the marketing and announcement, I think it could have been handled better but I think I can see their strategy. They want users to know they can keep using Aperture for the foreseeable future and there is a new option coming. I think it was important to do this with Adobe pushing hard to get people subscribed. Once people move to the subs model they will feel pretty locked in and Apple have lost them. By updating Aperture for Yosemite, current users know they have at least 18 months before they start to think about changing. By then both Yosemite and Photos will have revealed a lot more and will, hopefully, be a viable alternative to signing up for the cloud. If not, I still have that current version of Capture One Pro at the ready.


Can you explain Swift in a few sentences (to a non-engineer)? I understand it’s a new or at least modified programming language, from what I gather it’s easier or quicker to write in, and I see there’s some kind of real time preview of what you code. Is the same language used for iOS and OS X? Does Swift make it easier to write an app for both platforms?

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I hope you don’t mind me answering the question: Swift is an easier to learn and more modern language, that can replace Objective-C in any iOS or Mac OS X project. Objective-C is a somewhat obscure mix of the very lowlevel language “C” and a very dynamic object oriented Extension inspired by Smalltalk (from Xerox Parc). Cocoa makes heavy use of the dynamic object oriented features of Objective-C. The language has a quite unusual syntax though and the C-Part of the language is cumbersome to many developers. So Swift is a new language which fully supports the “Objective” Part, introducing a nicer syntax and many new cool features making the life of programmers easier. You can mix Swift and Objective-C in your projects, so it is actually very easy to adopt it. While it is quite possible that Apple uses Swift in new projects like Photos - there would have been absolutely no problem to use it in Aperture too. Just “rewriting” an Application in Swift would not necessarily bring any plusses. The point of the keynote - that Swift can be faster than Objective C is only partially true - thats not so easy to tell. Currently there are common cases which are slower than Objective-C, but that is a matter of compiler optimization and learning the right programming patterns. The absolutely main point of Swift is programmer productivity and easier learnability.

Jochen thanks, you did a nice job of explaining. I agree they could have built Swift code into Aperture but I’d guess there would be less overall benefit in trying to add a nice, new, modern language into such a large legacy code base. Historically Apple have been willing to start from a clean slate and I think this is what they’re doing. 

It will invariably lead to short term pain, missing features, bugs, migration issues etc, but will probably develop into a nice bit of kit.  We have at least 18 months more before Aperture goes away and far longer if we don’t all upgrade to whatever comes after Yosemite. My hope would be they would have something stable and feature worthy by then.

I have betas of Yosemite and Xcode here but haven’t had a chance to even look at them yet although the introductory manuals make the syntax look far more like a scripting language. I would love to know what current apps are written in it - from the time frame of when it was developed it wouldn’t surprise me if the new iWork apps are. Quite possibly the new iOS apps too but I’m completely guessing.

1. Why didn’t those that were called by Apple ask them to expand? Will new cameras be supported for the next 12 months? Seems an obvious question to me. I am sure we could all think of many more relevant questions!

2. Trust in Apple or indeed any large corporation including Adobe has now dissolved completely. They are utterly untrustworthy!

3. To believe that Apple is on the cusp of producing a ground breaking photography management system is at best naive! They have been trying for years! Their first attempt at Aperture has been described by those involved at the time as pathetic! The 1.0 version of Aperture was hopeless.

4. The recent shambles of FCP, iWork, iCloud, Mail, Podcast App, Siri, Maps is testimony to how efficient Apple really are! Does anyone really believe they can suddenly get something good at the first attempt?

5. Apple do not care a fig for the Pro’s! It is beyond my comprehension that anyone could believe that! The evidence is all around.

6. On receipt of my new D810’s, Aperture will then become unusable! Yes my other cameras are supported but not the latest ones! That is an intolerable position for any pro to be in! Apple care? BS!

7. The only thing I can do is change to LR! That pains me! The ui is beyond awful, & I dislike Adobe. But I have to stabilise my workflow soonest! Again thanks Apple!

I remember the dark years with Apple on their knees. All the pro’s were loyal kept them going. It was actually a good era in many ways!

How times change!

It is my understanding that Raw decoder is at OS level not within Aperture or iPhoto so they could still be updated for new cameras as they would need to have that available for new app anyway.

Everyone has to decide if their cup is half full or half empty.  None of us knows the answers to any of your questions or concerns.  Agreeably that is the most frustrating part. 

I generally avoid replying directly to these comments but this one is so misinformed that I feel I have to respond, if only to slow the spread of misinformation.

  1. When Apple PR calls, it's not a Q&A session to ask any question you can possibly think of. They are limited in what they can say. I asked a LOT of questions. Many of those answers are built into my original post. Many questions were met with “I'll have to get back to you”, which likely means “no comment”. But the easy answer to your question is that RAW support was moved into the OS a long, long time ago. Apple doesn't write RAW support for Aperture, it writes it for the OS. This won't change, and we will continue to see Camera RAW Updates as long as OS X is around. Your new camera is safe.
  2. Why is Apple untrustworthy? Did they lie to you? Did they ever promise to you that Aperture would be developed well into 2014, 2015, 2020, 2050, the year 3000? Of course not. They never even promised a 4.0 update. We all want to believe that our investment is permanent, but nothing lasts forever. Besides, you make it sound like Apple deleted your photo library from your Mac. Everything you own today still works the same as it did last Friday before 9am. And with proper care and feeding, you could maintain that Mac and OS and Aperture for many, many years to come. 
  3. Eh, say what? I was part of the Aperture 1.0 team. Hopeless? Pathetic? Goodness. It was groundbreaking. Revolutionary. Introduced a way to work with RAW files that simply didn't exist before. We didn't make a 1.0 app, we made a 1.0 workflow. The world of digital photography CHANGED the day we released Aperture 1.0. Was it flawless? Hell no. But it grew and evolved and gained features. Just like Photos will. Ask anyone who knows both Lightroom and Aperture. Lr's DAM is hopeless. Virtually nonexistent. Aperture's is way, way better. Perfect? For some, frankly, yes it is. For everyone? No, of course not. But it's damn solid and that's one area I trust Apple to get right. They are building off a decade of knowledge and experience, and adding in the future knowledge of where Apple hardware and software is going; knowledge that only Apple has.
  4. No one said Photos 1.0 will be perfect. Quite the contrary, I recommended in my first article that Photos 1.0 will likely NOT be good enough for many Aperture users. But it'll get there, and no one is rushing you into Photos. You've got until fall 2015, when Yosemite is presumably replaced, at minimum, to use Aperture with full functionality. Apple has committed to that. And after that, you can continue to use the same Mac and OS and Aperture for years to come; just don't upgrade the OS. Simple enough. George R.R. Martin writes Game of Thrones on Wordstar 4.0 on a dedicated DOS machine. You don't hear him complaining that Wordstar wasn't upgraded. He uses it because it does the job and he likes it and doesn't want to use anything else. You can do the same.
  5. So, Final Cut Pro X isn't for the Pros? New Logic Pro isn't? Then there's that shiny new Mac Pro. What's that for, really fast email? Last I checked, that's a pretty rockin' pro machine. Apple may pay more attention to the other 99% of it's users than it does to the 1% of pros, but somehow that seems logical to me.
  6. I know I already answered this, but your D810 will be supported when Digital Camera RAW is updated to support it. It doesn't need an Aperture update. Never has, never will. Intolerable, I know.
  7. Did your workflow suddenly become destabilized? NOTHING HAS CHANGED since 9am last Friday. In fact, if anything, your workflow is MORE stable because you know that nothing will change in Aperture. Ever. So if it's stability you crave, you've got it.

I hope I have satisfactorily responded to your concerns. 

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Good post :-)

Although I am in the process of slowly moving to LR, that was an excellent post. 

Actually you haven’t, in fact your desperate slightly aggressive tone wreaks of desperation & a “vested interest”!!!

1. I know full well RAW data is updated in the OS! I am supposed to believe that Apple will? Clearly there is no guarantee!

2. Are you a fool, naive or desperate? Apple trustworthy? As I said and note you ignored my point, just look at the state of iWork, Siri, Maps, iCloud, iTunes & The Podcast App to see why you should not trust Apple! Your desperation was clearly apparent when you waxed lyrical about the huge updates for iWork! Clearly you are joking when you state I should consider running Aperture on an old OS, possibly not supported! Are you nuts? It’s not running Aperture, what about all the other Apps? What about security etc. etc.

3. FCP was an unmitigated disaster losing many thousands of Pros to Adobe! They never came back! FCP was a killer App when first released. But just look at the fiasco of FCPX! Embarrassing! It is improving but what a huge cost. What a loss of credibility! I own a Mac Pro. Your real point?

4. So now you rewrite history! Aperture1 was an absolute disaster! Pro’s took one look and ran! Slow, clunky, appalling tools and seemingly no idea of what was required! Apple really were clueless at this stage iro digital photography. Was it Jeff Schewe who wrote very scathingly about Apple’s pathetic knowledge base iro digital photography? Obviously being on the team you will say it was a huge success! Fact was it was a disaster, Aperture never really recovered from! End of!

5. No my workflow has not destabilised! However there is now absolutely no point whatsoever in delaying a move to Lightroom. Hang around & wait for another Apple flop? Really? It is simply nonsensical to delay, and I suspect I am not alone with this thought. Seemingly Adobe are very pleased with the take up! I no more trust Adobe than Apple, but at least Lightroom is under constant development.

I used Aperture every day for years, hoping for some major improvements etc. I love the ui. Some features are better than LR. But, you know what, LR leaves it for dead in so many areas!

Had Apple been straight, kept us informed & developed Aperture that would have been great! Fact is they hung us out to dry! Their press statement was a superb example of obfuscation as I have seen! Again embarrassing, but sadly they knew exactly what they were doing!

I hope photos is an excellent App! You know what, I am confident it won’t be for years & I doubt if it will come close to becoming a fully featured App for professional photographers.

Get real, time to go, sadly!

I can understand why you wish to hang on to any crumb! After all you have a vested interest with your business! Your post wreaked of desperation and was plane to see. That was a disappointment! What will we hear next I wonder? Professional Photography in States is booming, wedding photogs are stacked out with work? Detroit is fine, work booming, or the US debt is not really $17 Trillion & you will have it paid off soon?

Yes sure, everything is cool!

Off to continue the drudge of exporting to LR!


Oh well… there's not much else for me to say.

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Eat a Snickers dude. I guess the one positive to come out of your move to LR is there won’t be any need for further Aperture commentary from you :)

I get a kick out of posts like this.

1. Given how it losing money and has proposed a massive shift to healthcare, there’s no guarantee Nikon will be around either.

2. There is no guarantee about LR, for the same reasons. In fact, Adobe has been perhaps the most pilloried company recently for the CC concept.

3. The brouhaha over FCP X was typical of a few loudmouths. Many talked but quite a bit fewer actually walked.

4. Aperture 1.0 was OK. Not great but that’s the par for a lot of v.1.0 programs.

5. When Adobe forces all LR users to CC, then you will hear howls. The blunt reality is the high-end photographic tool market is eensy weeny in the bigger scheme of things. Apple is probably wanting the power users with their enormous libraries full of photos that will never, ever be seen again to go somewhere else. Apple has probably realized that the relentless accumulation of photos has created an archival disaster and they want to get out of that business to focus moron being a sharing service.

The problem power users have is they see features like lens profiles, and advanced HDR and they think that if Aperture had this the user base would grow. No. That’s not what happens in software. The more features you add the more each feature becomes burden to the developers and all the other users who do NOT want that function. It’s screen real estate or bloated manuals or program overhead imposed on them.

LR is an example of old school bloatware which everyone is moving away from just as they are moving away from desktop computing. Adobe saw this with Photoshop which had so “professionalized” itself it was pricing out almost the entire amateur and student markets, killing revenues. LR is not far behind.

Here is  quote from Nikon’s D5300 on lie literature:


Share stunning images

A new level of connectivity

With built-in Wi-Fi and GPS*, the D5300 is the first in an exciting new generation of connected Nikon D-SLRs. Wirelessly connect to D5300 with your smartphone or tablet,* then browse the photos on D5300’s memory card, import your favorites and instantly email them, text them or post them online. While connected, your smart device can also act as a remote monitor for the D5300. See what the camera sees and even fire the shutter—perfect for group shots and self portraits! When traveling, built-in GPS geotags all of your shots. Create exciting travel journals, find nearby Points of Interest and easily share your location data when posting photos on Facebook or Flickr.

Front and centre is wi-fi and iOS functionality. Not only that, but there are direct links to the Apple and Google app stores right on Nikon’s website:…

Not a single mention of Adobe………anywhere.

Hint: the camera makers a themselves are beginning to bypass the desktop PC home darkroom crowd. Only bandwidth prevents the D810 from going that route and that’s next generation.

Apple’s photo app will likely be scalable, like the iOS promise. You will get OS-level image parameters and a basic Photos app as the main container. You can then customize your experience using inexpensive extensible apps all within a strict, non-destructive preservation and backup environment. There will be optional cloud functionality, also with on-destructive RAW file preservation, with reasonable bandwidth and storage limits.

Third party editing will NOT be a monolithic piece of do-all software on an irregular upgrade cycle. That model is dying.

“Not a single mention of Adobe………anywhere.”

True, no mention on the D5300 page. But not not true ………anywhere.

Nikon is sponsoring the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops (Adobe Lightroom Intensive: Organizing and Enhancing Your Images). In fact, of the 26 workshops listed that Nikon is sponsoring, FIVE are specifically for Adobe products. As opposed to ZERO for Apple Aperture and ZERO for Apple Photos.


Anaxagoras, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Well, in all fairness the complete list of Santa Fe Workshop sponsors includes; Nikon, BH Photo, Epson, National Geographic, and… Adobe.

I’m just sayin’

Sponsoring is simply getting a corporate logo. What do you think Apple needs to pay when  probably 75% of the participants flash open their MacBooks and reveal the Apple logo ad nauseum?

Adobe depends far more on Apple, than Apple depends on Adobe (which is to say, not really at all).

I haven’t looked at the breakdown of where Adobe makes money, but I would be surprised if they couldn’t make a pretty good go of it without ANY sales of Mac products and totally PC based.  

It wasn’t too long ago they got pretty close to that and their were rumors of them totally dropping the Mac line.  I think that would be more difficult today, but not much more.  

Nick - nice post. Very well contained. This is the last straw with me as far as Apple and ‘professional’ software. Been screwed one too many times.
Kim, if you represent the majority on this board by your rebuttal ‘eat a Snickers dude’ - I’m happy to go.

Wombat // Photography

“Professional” is a marketing term. If you got all the people in the world who made money from photography as a full time job and had them as a single market to make the most awesome DAM and pixel-level editor just for them, their revenues could not float 10% of Adobe’s costs to do so. You need 90% of a market of wannabes to even get to a non-profit status.

The running joke is that digital cameras sell more hard drives than there are photos sold worldwide.

When I hear the term “Professional” I am instantly taken back to an era of “Professional” film stocks. There was a time when every Tom, Dick, and Mary suddenly decided they just had to have the magic edge of “Pro Films” even if they didn’t understand exactly what made them professional. It was a real hair pulling time for my friends that owned camera stores. Good times!

To me this all boils down to tools. Cameras, lenses, tripods, lighting, film, and software - all tools. Find a toolset that works for you and off you go. But the world changes. I can’t count the number of films, papers, developers, lenses, cameras, and software that have come and gone during my lifetime. It happens. In this world the only constant you can depend on is… Change.

Yeah, I should have added a smiley as clearly the humour was lost on you.

You’re blowing up over past history and trying to shoot down people who have an optimistic view. You’ve already said you’re moving to LR so why the angst against people who might not share the same opinion? Some people prefer to wait and make INFORMED decisions based on what is actually released. You can speculate all you like about how bad it’s going to be but at the end of the day it is just speculation. You can also feel victimised by how bad Apple have treated you but maybe things would look better if you tried to look to where we’re headed and not we’re we’ve been.

I have also used Aperture since V1 and didn’t mind it. I’m in no hurry to move anywhere given we know Aperture will be supported throughout Yosemite which hasn’t even been released out of beta. There is at least 18 months before anyone needs to decide anything and there would be virtually no issue extending that out to 3 year.

Like I said, eat a snickers dude :)  I’m not happy with the decision to drop Aperture either but throwing your toys out of the cot isn’t going to make you, or anyone else, feel better. 

Here here Kim. A nice, calm and rational post. ;-))


Wow you are a really caustic and negative individual. I started with Aperture 1.0 and frankly I don’t recall it being a disaster, rather it was something nobody else was doing at that time, it was cutting edge.

Im sorry that Apple’s change in plans has upset you so much. I suggest you look into anti-depressives, I hear they can help with this negativity syndrome you are burdened with.

Dear oh dear Nick. Have you considered anger management classes?


Now, now folks… please let's behave. I truly don't want to shut this thread down. 

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I apologise to Nick for making personal remarks. I disobeyed my own posting rule of always staying objective and not making personal remarks.
What I really mean is that anger can get in the way of clear thinking and judgement and lead to decisions made in haste and regretted at leisure.


Joseph – Excellent commentary. Your points are really well taken and I intend to follow your suggestions.  As for a new name for ApertureExpert, how about ApplePhotosExpert .com if it’s available?  To me just using Photos (as in PhotosExpert or PhotosMaestro, or whatever) is too generic.  The name - Photos - is good for Apple because it’s so simple & direct, but it doesn’t work in the abstract because it will never feel like a brand by itself, like Aperture did (or for that matter like Lightroom or even Photoshop do).  

Given the collective meltdown and running for the woods, can I suggest the site be renamed, “”?

By the way, last month I blogged about DAMSI (Digital Asset Management Software Indecision). Well it’s now an epidemic

On a serious note, and to quote John Cleese’s character in Clockwork, “It’s not the despair, it’s the hope I can’t stand”.

What we’re being given are graduated dosages of truth. It’s not Aperture’s demise per se that’s the problem, it’s the lack of solid information on how good a replacement will be.

So I’m left wondering whether I should invest any more time in Aperture, just in case isn’t what I/we hope.




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