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The Future of The Photos Expert is PhotoApps.Expert

PhotoJoseph's picture
February 13, 2015 - 10:00pm

Dear readers,

When the cancellation of Aperture was announced last summer, I quickly made the decision that this site would migrate to support Aperture's replacement, for iOS and OS X. With the expectation of Extensions support in Photos, this seemed like a great option. While we knew from the beginning that Photos 1.0 would not be a replacement for Aperture, hopes and expectations were high that we would quickly gain the missing features if not from Apple itself, then through third party developers utilizing the Extension architecture. became overnight.

Skip forward to today, and we now know that Photos 1.0 is nowhere near an Aperture replacement — which in itself is fine — however we also know that at launch, the critical Extensions capability will not be there. We do not know when it will be there. And given the seemingly simple yet exceedingly important features missing from Photos that would likely not be able to be added through Extensions, it has become apparent to many that Photos is unlikely to replace Aperture for the advanced hobbyists and working professionals. Does that mean it never will? No one can say, and I don't believe Apple itself even really knows. I believe if it did, given the amount of negative feedback from the Aperture community they've received, that they would at least say “yes, by xx date Photos will do everything Aperture did”. But they can't, or won't, and so we can no longer rely on hopes and dreams of what might one day be.

If any of this is news to you, please read yesterday's post “Photos… What It Is, What It Isn't, What It Shall Be” to catch up then come on back here.

So what does that mean for this site? ApertureExpert / The Photos Expert ceased to be a hobby and became a business a long time ago. And the business must survive. I have therefore made the decision that the site will change once again, and change into a form that does not rely on any single manufacturer. Unless the world stops caring about photography, this site will now always have a future.

This site will become PhotoApps.Expert

The new site

PhotoApps.Expert will be a resource for any photography app on any platform; Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and anything else worth talking about. We will focus on the needs of the photographer, not the needs of a corporation. From the hobbyist who never ventures beyond their iPhone and a few cool apps to the working professional who needs to figure out the best way to ingest six cards and a TB of data, organize, edit and deliver to the client, this site will cover it all. That's a huge goal and people smarter than me have failed at expanding businesses that widely. Not to mention that I have a growing photography business of my own to nurture. But I myself need to figure out where to go, and I intend to take you all along with me on that adventure.

I can't do this all myself. Some of you already write for me. I need more of you now. If you use Capture One, Lightroom, or Photo Mechanic, I want to hear from you. Pixelmator, Photoshop, or any other app. Reach out. Let me know. 

I'm working with my web developer to ensure that the design of the site can accommodate such varied information. Posts will have assigned categories based on their apps in addition to their level of complexity (beginner / intermediate / advanced) as it has now. You will be able to instantly filter the site to only show the type of content you're interested in. I may even have custom landing pages for those who only want to hear about, say, Lightroom. We still have a few things to figure out but we've been talking about this possibility for well over a month and have a pretty good idea of what to do.

One thing I'm very excited about is showing how to transition to Lightroom, as I know this will be a very common need. I've been using Lightroom for a couple of months now, and I can certainly see what people have been talking about. Asset management (DAM) leaves a lot to be desired, but the editing tools are fantastic. I don't think the folks at Adobe would mind me saying that I have developed a nice relationship with them since the announcement of Aperture's demise, and they are eager to hear my feedback as an Aperture transition-er. That's not to say that Lightroom is my final destination — I absolutely will also consider the other offerings and share my thoughts with you all. But again this is why I need more writers. I can't do it all, or at least I can't do it all at once :-)

The new partnership

If you listened to TWiP this week, then you already heard this second part. I will be launching a podcast on the TWiP network titled “TWiP Photo Apps” or “This Week in Photo Apps” (still finalizing a few little details). This new podcast will go along perfectly with this new site. It will be a video podcast (audio feed of course available too but video will be a big part of it), and not only will I bring on other photographer guests, but I'll also bring on developers to discuss their projects. That's going to be a very cool part of the show.

The new format

One last significant change is the format for paid content on this site. I've been asked for a long time to consider a subscription model, and that's finally going to happen. The site will continue to operate as it does now, so no worries there — no one will have to pay to read posts, make comments or participate in the forums. But for those who enjoy the paid content, we'll offer a monthly subscription that will include some content for no additional cost (likely as streaming video now that costs have come down on streaming services enough to make it financially viable), and discounts on other downloadable content (like presets, ebooks, and long form training videos). 

The future's so bright…

I'm excited. Very excited. And a little scared. There's a ton of work to do, and I hope I have your support.


Also don’t forget DarkTable. Free!!! Open-source. And pretty good.

It has the ability to do frequency separation editing because it has frequency domain editing with the Equalizer adjustment brick.

Feature list:


Try it out. the price is right. Free!!!

for OS X, BSD, various GNU/Linux and Solaris.


Robert Ke
twitter: rke21

also at:
instagram: rke21
facebook: outdoorphotographynow

Wow. Only dug for 30 minutes and there is a BUNCH in there I already wish other apps did that way. 

(Some also not. The UI text was unreadable initially, had to override it via hidden config file.)

Good luck Joseph on all you do. Am really looking forward to the podcast.

Came across a new app written exclusively for the Mac and was wondering if you are running the beta? Affinity Photo

They also do Designer and Publisher

Congratulations Joseph. I’m glad you made a solid decision to maintain your site. I’ve always relied on your input, and the input of everyone here for my Aperture questions. Looking forward to seeing what your posting, and any new photo tips. 


Steve Benkovich

I wish you all of the best, Joseph, and will gladly continue to follow you onto your next stage of this developing site.  I have learned so much from this site and your books and tutorials.  I made the decision to take a hard look at Lr towards the very beginning of 2015 and used Aperture Exporter (to Lr) as the means to import my Aperture library of photos and to set up my photo file structure, that has evolved over the years following this site and your tutorials, as closely as possible.  I found it superior to Adobe’s transfer mode and recommend that anyone contemplating a move to Lr take a look at it.  I have started using Lr and have customized it to be as close as it can to what I had set up in Aperture but I am using Lr’s Collection and Collections Sets and Smart Collections in place of Folders, Albums and Smart Albums.  It definitely is not as fluid as Aperture but the more I use it and learn from my mistakes the easier it is getting moving through it.  I’ll be curious to see what Lr 6 has in store.  I had already just about given up on Photos when I made my decision to starting Lr in 2015, and this past week of articles by Breen (Macworld), Derrick Story and, finally, you convinced me that I could not afford to wait for Photos to eventually morph into a near Aperture app and it appears that it more than likely won’t. So full speed ahead with Lr for me. I still have Aperture and will keep it until I decide to upgrade to the next OS X that Apple releases and by then Photos should be out and running so at that point I’ll more than likely “move” my Apple Library over to Photos.  Each of the avid followers of this page will have to make a decision as the what system, be it Aperture>Photos, Lr, Capture One, etc, is best for their individual needs.  A site that is dedicated “to the photographer and not the corporation” is something I for one would be deeply interested in following.

As always, all the best,


Florian Cortese

Was curious, Florian, whether or not LR moves not just metadata in the Aperture Exporter but custom metadata as that has been added as well.  I’m looking at possibly switching to LR as well as keeping Aperture for now.

Steve Hadeen

Well, for me it is still sad times, but I’ll follow you in the quest Joseph. I know that I can still use Aperture now with Yosemite, I have never had the upgrade problems that others have had. 

I like your training courses and continue to be a fan, I guess I’ll wait and see what happens, don’t want to jump ship before we even see the iceberg!

Joseph I wish you the best with you deciding to make the name change with a new direction with this site. I think it is a smart move and should do well. Making it open to all types of photo apps opens up a number of posibities.

Joseph, I am confident that your new track will be helpful to many of us. 

Hi Joseph.

I want you to know first of all how much I appreciate your guidance on the vexed question of Apple’s future direction with photography. It was a great thing to have found your tutorial videos for Aperture in the first place – you have a really great teaching style and I am delighted personally at the prospect of your redeveloping this site to meet a  greater variety of photographic needs.

Speaking as a keen amateur, although also as someone increasingly asked to contribute images to my work as well as to voluntary organisations, I am both saddened and perplexed by the way Apple is going with photography. Time to move on, though, clearly and look seriously at the other options for DAM and integrated workflow.

All the best, and thank you – Phil


Wishing you all the best Joseph in this new endeavour!

I am also hoping to see a category on your site for Open Source Alternatives (Photivo, Darktable, RAW Therapee.. to name a few).. 

Keep up the great work!

I’ve been following this site quietly for a number of years and am looking forward to the new direction you are taking, as I need to move on from Aperture over this next year, which is a sad thing because it has been at the heart of my wedding photography business for years and moving to something new will be stressful.

So, your new endeavour seems to follow the path I’ll be following over the coming year or two… good luck

life is never simple

Joseph, needless to say, your help and guidance has made this obsessive hobby of mine fun and personally fulfilling. I view this as your desire and ability to evolve with the undeniable and fast paced changes that will continue to challenge experts and hobbiests. I look forward to these changes and your guidance. Thank you for your commitment.

Wooohooooo!  GREAT news Joseph.  I listen to TWIP weekly and LOVED the announcement.  I always enjoy it when you come on as a co-host and think you are the best of the “Subs” when Frederick is out.  I will be subscribing as soon as the feed is up.  When Frederick announced he was expanding the TWIP network I was hoping you would do a show.

I listened to your advice (and am glad that I did) and waited before rushing into another program when the Aperture news was announced.  As of this weekend with the news I am moving to Lightroom but i KNOW I am going to regret it.  I am an amateur photographer and there is no way I’m paying $10 a month (I would pay $5 a month however).  I purchased LR boxed for $70 and would love it if that holds me for 2 years or so.  I have watched the tut on moving from Aperture to LR but would LOVE to buy a “session” from you on moving from Aperture to LR.  I am cleaning up my library preparing for the move which I expect to do in late Spring once I’ve done all the Lynda Tuts on LR and feel comfortable with it.  Would also love to see you compare and contract LR vs CaptureOne vs Photo Mechanic vs Aperature.

Sure you don’t want to do your first year at TWIP as  ”Life beyond Aperture”…some good stuff to discuss there.

Welcome to TWIP!

I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand upon. I don't do these things to others, and I require the same from them. - John Wayne, from "The Shootist"

Hi Joseph, 

I certainly think you are doing the right thing and you can count me in as a follower and supporter. 

I used Aperture from 1.0, and it was a great program but when Apple announced the demise of Aperture, I decided I would never again put all my photo editing “eggs” into one basket. And I have been working on structuring my workflow accordingly. 

I recently completed exporting my Aperture Managed Library to an external disk in a directory called “Legacy” and I also exported all the edited Aperture versions as TIFFs or JPEGS to that same directory. I had hoped to be able to use Photos to continue to access that information. But the new DAM structure is there now and if Photos doesn’t work for DAM something else will.  

I also started a new Photos directory on that same external drive and all images since mid June 2014 are stored there in an new directory structure that is in depend of the editing program. 

So Im excited to see your change of focus as I believe that more people are going to move away from dedicated programs and look toward multiple programs to solve their DAM and editing needs. I think the subscription model for editing software will grow in popularity. People may subscribe to multiple programs and use them for specific needs. I think the he first to adopt this new paradyne will be the pros and serious hobbyists, and ultimately followed by the everyday users. 

So kudos for deciding on the change in focus! I’m looking forward to the new direction. 

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