For those Mac users looking for a photo editing program, or considering a change to a new one, this post may be for you.
Apple has discontinued Aperture, their cataloging and editing package, and Adobe has taken Photoshop to the Cloud on a subscription basis. I don’t have any choice about Aperture and choose not to use cloud based software charging my card monthly fees. There is plenty of discussion about the pros and cons of Photoshop Creative Cloud elsewhere on the Net, if you would like to read more.
So, I continue to hobble along with Aperture and Photoshop CS 5.1, while they still function. I test them on my laptop, under any new Apple OS before I install the OS on my desktop where I perform the bulk of my photo editing. I will look for deskbound alternatives that will let me continue to work with my photographs in a way that suits my tastes.
I have been using the onOne Perfect Photo Suite, www.on1.com, for several years on a part-time basis. Now titled “ON1 Photo 10”, I have always liked this set of tools, primarily a set of plugins for both Aperture and Photoshop. They also have a stand alone mode, containing Browse, Enhance, Effects, Portrait, Layers & Resize modules. I have found their product imaginative and capable, although not always intuitive to use. Photo 10 has come a long way, but no one claims it can do everything for the professional digital photographer.
I will also look at a couple of cataloging and basic editing programs that peaked my interest, at least partially because they are “open source”. That means they are free to download and use. The authors request that you participate in some way if you use the program; donations, development or documentation assistance, etc.
digiKam, www.digikam.org, and darktable, www.darktable.org, are the two I am looking at initially, found on www.alternativeto.net as potential substitutes for Aperture. digikam really looks like a Windows 3.0 application, so I will leave it on the shelf unless I can’t find anything else. darktable looks good, if it has the muscle I need.
I will be working with On1 Photo 10 and darktable over the next few months, and reporting back in this blog. If you have any questions about features you would like me to check out, let me know.