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WWDC 2014—Follow Along for Photo Related News

Joseph @ThePhotosExpert's picture
June 2, 2014 - 8:35am

While I don’t expect an Aperture announcement (the rumor mill has been far too quiet for that), I do have hopes for something photo related. Be it iPhoto, something core to OS X, or even an iOS connection. I’ll be watching the keynote live and commenting here if we get into anything photo-newsworthy.

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Event is beginning. Standing by for anything of photo interest!

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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Ansel Adams reference! OK it’s a reach but it’s photo related ;-)

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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I had that thought!!

Interesting integration of the loupe in Safari

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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Cloud photo storage. Now we’re getting somewhere.

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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Some pretty advanced image corrections on iOS 8 now

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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“new grounds up photo solution shipping early next year”…

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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Showing photo integration between iOS and OS X is very nice via iCloud. Originals with all adjustments synced seamlessly. Which is all great, however the nod dot “early next year” is a long time away to find out what happens with Aperture. Hopefully we’ll see something in the interim, especially since the cloud features aren’t going to be enough for pro users.

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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So now we know why they’ve probably been silent. Much of what they are demonstrating is consumer related. But as I look at their upcoming Photos app, I realize how powerful that would be on a pro level in Aperture. It could speed up workflow for doing volume work. It could also make complex tools so much easier to understand as you adjust the sliders. 

Agreed, but hopefully you don’t have to use iCloud. Other than the obvious “not everyone has the bandwidth”, 200GB is nothing to a pro photographer. 1TB my be sufficient for a lot of users, but not quite everyone. My library + Originals weigh in around 3.5 or 4 TB.

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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Unless that 200GB is working off of a lower-res stand in. And I wouldn’t mind being able to edit or access on iCloud if I knew I could work with Aperture for the detail work. 

 

He’s talking about full rez but yeah at some point, i.e. more than a year old, could be replaced by a low rez proxy, a-la Lightroom (just in the cloud).

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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No Aperture new version???

IDEMI Photography | www.idemi.nl

Wasn’t expecting that I’m afraid, so no surprise here. But this is the biggest tip of the hat to what’s happening. 2015 though… good lord. 

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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I see the end of both iPhoto and Aperture with this “homogenized” “Photos” app replacing them both.

Aperture users will always need more features, hopefully they will be there.

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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I don’t think so. Otherwise you wouldn’t have seen the time and effort invested in the new Mac Pro. Or the updated Logic and FCP. Aperture is the last piece. They’re just getting Aperture ready for a really big splash. Looking at the timelines of Logic and FCP, probably June or July for the next big release. More to come in 2015.

But we also need a good road solution. That’s unique to photography compared to most audio and video approaches to production. Something for quick fixes that then roll in to the Aperture library back home off of the cloud. 

I’m *very* happy to see iOS / iCloud integration, don’t get me wrong. It’s what I have been hoping for (and predicted). But the nod to 2015 scares me. It’s been nearly five years since Aperture 3.0 was released. That pushes it to six. We’ve lost countless users and without some kind of recognition to pro users and their needs, we’ll lose more. 

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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This is basically plugins for iOS. So, Google’s Nik suite for example could show up in Aperture, iPhoto and iOS, presumably with non-destructive editing, which would be huge. Interesting.

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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Frankly, I don’t care about Photos… I’d like to see at least something in the Aperture arena. I don’t see why long overdue processing and image editing enhancements to Aperture can’t be added quickly as they shouldn’t have anything to do with what iCloud integration is about. I fear that existing Aperture users are going to flee the platform in large numbers if nothing is announced soon. 

We’ve lost many already Christian, there’s no denying that. And I agree; we don’t need to wait for all these iCloud type features and a full rewrite. Sounds great, but give us the tools that Lightroom users have had for years in the interim.

-Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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I think many of us will agree with you on this one, Joseph.

 

Florian Cortese<br>
www.fotosbyflorian.com

I’m will purchase a new Mac by the end of the year and with no more substantive commitments from Apple than this I’m almost certainly out and into Lightroom or Capture One.

Aperture 1.0 was a phenomenal release, ground breaking stuff that blew adobe out of the water but the 3.0 ish rot that has set in appalling - if they don’t want to service the “pro” market anymore as software vendors anymore that’s fine - but they need to come clean about it.

All of us should drop a note to Tim Cook and see if we can get any kind of response …

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Andrew Mumford

How does one “drop a note” to Tim Cook or Apple, for that matter?  It might be worthwhile getting a huge “message appeal” drive underway!

Florian Cortese<br>
www.fotosbyflorian.com

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Andrew Mumford

It will be interesting to see what 2015 brings and the new “photos app” I don’t believe he said “apps” though and that has to be on purpose.  So I dont think there will be 2.  ’t reminded me of the MacPro release and the foreshadowing done there.  We did get a new MacPro, but it wasn’t what everyone expected.  I think this new “photo app” will be something we might not expect.  I believe he would have singled out “Aperture” if it was called that though.  Time will tell however and I will keep using Aperture until we find out what new program we will be getting.

 

 

What was presented today just didn’t feel even close to “pro” to me. One of the reasons that I continue to use Aperture is that it has, in my mind, better library management than Lightroom. What we were shown was a library that uses the iOS library model and that is not suitable for a pro photographer.

The level and instant nature of the cloud integration might be the indication to me as to whether or not Aperture has a future. Since Photos is a complete rewrite, clearly a new Aperture needs to be, too. So, if investment is made to the bolt this new cloud integration into Aperture, I will regard that as the end of the long term Aperture roadmap.

If they don’t make the investment and a new version of Aperture doesn’t follow within a few months of Photos, then I’d also regard that as the end of the long term Aperture roadmap. So, I think for me I’ve got another year of using Aperture. If by the end of WWDC 2015 I’m not hearing about a new version of Aperture, it will be time to reluctantly move on.

The trouble is that what Aperture needs most is more “editing features” not iCloud integration - The percentage of pro or part time photographers out there who want to use iCloud as a means to interact with there target audience is close to “0.00” imho.

What Aperture users need most are tools to allow them to finish or get closer to a final product without leaving the app. Core feature’s like adjustment layers, masking, stuff that removes the need to dive into an image editing app or plugin to accomplish something that can be done easily in other apps.

If you were to compile a “feature list” across Aperture, Lightroom & Capture One - I can see no way that if I was purchasing today I could justify choosing Aperture.

I can’t see how even at $79, they can attract any new “pro” or “semi-pro” customers just the “frustrated” with iPhoto enthusiast who thinks Aperture will make life easier for them, (it won’t), and I think that’s proven by the explosion of Aperture Library and other low level file system issues on this sight since they dropped the price.

Don’t get me wrong - for 90% of what Aperture “does” - it “does” it by far the best - it just no longer “does” enough compared to it’s competition.

 

—–

“So, if investment is made to the bolt this new cloud integration into Aperture, I will regard that as the end of the long term Aperture roadmap.”

—–

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Andrew Mumford

It’s that 90% bit that still keeps me here. I shoot sport, particularly ice hockey. I can shoot 400 RAW images in a period and within three minutes of putting my memory card into the reader, I can have an image selected, edited, exported and uploaded to the team’s website with a period summary. In Lightroom, I’d genuinely struggle to do that in the 15 minute break between the periods.

So, feature-wise, Aperture is still going to be my go-to product. However, I need confirmation that there is going to be a decent level of support for the product going forward. It’s a tool to support a business. We need a level of confidence that it is going to continue to do that. I don’t want to be adding more and more images into a product when I know that I will need to change product in the near future.

The photo integration (including editing) between the iOS and Mac Photos app that was demo’d is similar to how Lr5 and Lr Mobile (‘cept you have to have a Creative Cloud subscription for Lr and LrM to work together).

Heck…the Aperture features page still references iOS5.  Apple really needs to get off their butt and at least update that - or remove the reference altogether.

FWIW, I’ve e-mailed Mr. Cook several times - no response.  I’m at a point where Aperture is going to get sent to the backburner until it gets updated…or dies a slow death.

And the LR & LR Mobile integration was more of a response to Phase Ones Capture Pilot imo - just sayin …

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Andrew Mumford

Look, we all want a new Aperture. I find that my desire is not because it doesn’t do what I need it to do today but rather I want the typical amazingly cool Apple wizardry they somehow pull off.

We should’t look to WWDC for news about Aperture. It’s a developers conference. It’s in the name. The mission today was to tell the story about the OS, the iOS, and the tools the developers need to make software for those environments. That’s it. So we get hints of some really cool things we’ll likely see worked into Aperture somehow. We’re just not going to hear about Aperture itself. It wouldn’t make sense to unless Apple was not on target. 

I live with regular paid updates in LR and Photoshop. Most of my subscription dollars have gone toward bug fixes. I find the ground breaking “new” features they do offer are usually handled better by the solutions of third party vendors. At least I’m not paying monthly fees for the Aperture upgrades I’ve received over the past months. 

I do expect that we’ll see a version change in June or July. I’ve seen enough in Apple job postings and in the future directions of both the OS and iOS to be a lot more relaxed than I was a year ago. It will come. I personally don’t care if I’m the last person in the world using it when it does. Like last year, I’ll open up my feed some morning and see that we suddenly have a new release. The long rumored  to be “dead” Logic Pro did that last summer. It will amaze and delight me. Then I’ll start looking for the next Aperture version later that afternoon. That’s human nature.

Until then, I’m still putting Aperture through a ton of production work every day. It does the job I need it to do efficiently. That did not change today. We’ll see where the future takes us.

 

The problem is, iPhoto and Aperture are two sides of the same coin, really different wrappers over the same code base. So if iPhoto’s being rewritten from scratch - and that’s what I took away from the keynote - the legacy code base is dead, and we won’t see a new version of Aperture till at least Photos arrives in 2015, if ever.

That might be true. If it is, then 2015 will be amazing. Aperture works very well now. But we’re all part of a community that is sometimes more fixated on the tools than the content. There are days I’d be happier with an older version of Photoshop than the buggier and “up to date” CC version I have to use daily now. 

I personally don’t think we are “fixated” on anything - the point is simple - looking at LR5 in front of me …

I can “re-develop” and apply any of the following “RAW decode” only parameters in as many separate adjustments that I have time and horsepower for…

  1. White Balance
  2. Exposure
  3. Contrast
  4. Highlights
  5. Shadows
  6. Sharpness
  7. Noise
  8. Moire
  9. Defringe

and to do that I can use a …

  1. Pressure Sensitive Brush
  2. Parametric Gradient
  3. Parametric Radial Gradient

This allows me / anyone to get much closer to a finished product without roundtripping or plugins.

I just don’t think you can argue that say applying two or more exposure settings to a Landscape image in order to get the sky & cloud exposure you want is a “fixation”

Similarly if you do any kind of Architectural work you want the lens distortion profile right there in the application - that’s where they belong - right at the end of the de-bayering algorithm working in floating point linear color space.

If you’re happy roundtripping via painfully slow 16bpp Tiffs to get this done then have at it but consider this and this is where a lot of the potential has been squandered …

Adobe won’t add layers or more flexible masking with feathering and blurring etc, to LR - they can’t without disrupting their PS user base.

Apple could easily add that and more, (paths, content aware fill, etc) and in the process create the RAW processing / Image editing hybrid that most photographers would fall over themselves too get into.

A fair number of us thought when 1.0 was released that this where things were headed and to see the program languish as it has for many years with only minor compatability and easy to implement “feature” improvements just rubs people the wrong way.

Apple has the “workflow” pipeline right - but they need to fix / finish the adjustment tools in order for this to be a viable product going forward.

My Tuppence

 

“… But we’re all part of a community that is sometimes more fixated on the tools than the content …”

---
Andrew Mumford

And being a mirrorless guy, I wonder why all of the rest of you are still using DSLRs. Didn’t anybody tell you that old mirror box contraption of yours is a thing of the past?  Time to panic and dump Canon, right? ;)

Hi Joseph and all,

I’m not the only one analyzing Apple’s statements while waiting to understand the fate of Aperture. I want it to live because I love it and I use it every day. Also because I’m invested in the proprietary non-destructive workflow like everyone using Aperture… It’s easy to switch moving forward, it’s another story to handle the past work more smartly than JPGs… Some say Aperture misses many features and is dead but for me they confuse the lack of a major update in the version number (and maybe a black themed redesign…), with a supposed terrible lack of features. I disagree. Sure I could use perspective correction from time to time, and lens aberration correction, but that is a little bit fluff , not photography to me (even worse: noise removal, who cares?). It’s harder but work with your lighting and tilt-shift and you’ll get better results… I’m being voluntarily pushy here to make my point :-) Secondly the benefits of the current Aperture 3.5.1 are still amazing, and it’s been further improved by RAW updates and OSX updates. So for me the status today isn’t bad at all, the problem is on the confidence level and that’s exactly why, I believe, Apple has broken the trail of silence Monday, and here are the good signs I see:

1/ History of updating Aperture
Although bumpy, look at what Wikipedia says. Aperture was never abandonned. Also: 3.5.1 is very different than 3.0, it has been updated dramatically! Add to this RAW + OSX + Mac Pro updates which ALL touch Aperture somehow (like Time Machine learning to play well with Aperture, just an example). People don’t realize: Aperture has been massively updated all it’s life. But yes, cahotically and without a public roadmap and that’s scary so many have jumped ships. I stay.

2/ Recent slowdown in Aperture updates
People also don’t realize this: yes it’s incredible but Apple doesn’t have unlimited resources. It’s stunning what they produce (see WWDC, they even created a new language…). As a result they choose priorities, and yes money matters but for me the slowdown shows either 1/ Aperture will be killed and if so I hope Apple will have the decency to offer a migration path to some good tools including iPhoto (that would freeze your non-destructive workflow for Aperture specific edits for sure) but I sooo don’t see that happen. or 2/ Apple regroups efforts to put out the demanded Aperture X/4 which is my bet, see more points below on why.

3/ Photography in the world and at Apple
I never saw photogrtaphy being SO talked about, so many pictures shot, so many people get into it, Canon sells more and more bodies & lenses (I’m sure it’s the same for Nikon) and look at the fantastic innovations pushed all over also by Sony, Fuji, etc. The market is SIZZLING for photography! Not to mention iPhone, that ALWAYS gets a camera update with new models, the Pro Apps always put forward by Apple including Aperture and including with the Mac Pro efforts. Apple insists on photography so heavily (including on artists & influencial people mentionned for the 30th birthday of the Mac) that it can’t be something they prepare to ignore or dumb up with just a Photo App for Mac.

4/ Amateur / Pro Apps
There’s music: Garage Band / Logic, there’s video: iMovie / Final Cut, then there’s photography: iPhoto / Aperture. Then for iOS you have very potent but subtly limited apps for each of the 3: Garage Band, iMovie, iPhoto. You notice how iOS also has ‘Photos’ which serves the purpose of consuming photography via albums, faces, places, photo streams, sharing etc etc. and that’s unique to photos due to their large number. Bringing this to the Mac makes sense for the same reason of easier consumption, no? I know my wife would prefer this over swifting thru my Aperture! I don’t see this as a detriment to Aperture on the Mac. Now sure, it’s bound to replace iPhoto on the Mac for consumption and easy edits, so I think the duo iPhoto/Aperture on the Mac is converting to Photos / TBD. But looking at the efforts invested by Apple on music & video, why not make the 3rd Pro App too with the same “X” and black look redesign that everybody likes? Photo for me will sell more apps than music or video, I’d bet my shirt on this. AND Apple wants to associate itself with influencial artists & personalities, photography sure is on the list for me. Count the number of times you see the word ‘photo’ on apple.com.

5/ Merge of library format + Photos in the Cloud
First, Apple discretely moved its peons forward on this: before you know it Photos & iPhoto on iOS on one hand, and iPhoto & Aperture on the Mac on the other hand ALL interoperate and use the SAME non-destructive editing format with previews. Not to mention ALL their services support RAW files perfectly day 1 (iOS, iCloud, OSX). All of the above is easy to test. Yes iOS Photo or iPhoto edits show up as a brick in Aperture and all arrives automatically via iCloud Photo Stream!! RAW+non-destructive editing in a common format = the future for proper photo handling. If you notice Apple is exactly NOT dumbing things down (they could try on push stupid JPGs all around for instance) but rather, have patiently taught proper non-destrucitve handling to ALL their platforms. Interesting, no? And now at the WWDC guess whaaaat: after opening up iCloud to act as a drive, they also want all your library in there. That is EXACTLY 1/ what Adobe did just faster and 2/ WHAT I WANT and coincidently 3/ it’ll make Apple money by selling Aperture + drive space (I know I will buy that). This will allow the dream workflow we all will deeply enjoy: ubiquitous library access, DAM working (organizing/sorting your library), editing, publishing/sharing. Even if precise editing features such as brushing or some other stuff might be limited on some device form factors (like iPhone) it’d remain extraordinirally potent to have everything with you at all times and DAM even in the bathroom! Yehaaaaa!

6/ Talking future
When is the last time Apple told publicly what some future plans were? It’s ultra rare! They did it to give us a sign. Why care to say & show something otherwise? Apple wants money and I’m GLAD to give them plenty so they give me incredible tools that are a breeze to use so we can express our art instead of attending to the glitches of a computer. Let’s tell them we still want Aperture, in the Cloud, on any device and, yeah, with a couple extra features what the heck. And yeah maybe the new Aperture is an addendum to Photos I don’t care if it works well and is easy to use, 2 areas of excellence for Apple. But all that is baloney compared to the importance of working in the cloud which I prognose is what’s truly coming.

Sincerely my thoughts open for your comments. No haters. Respect. Yes I know I see what I want Apple to do, so it could be a mirage, but you tell me where I’m wrong.

Davy

 

PS: another positive point as seen in comments above: yes iOS8 has Extensibility and interestingly Apple demoed this with a photo plug-in. :-)

Davy B

There are many logical and reasonable thoughts in your post and they do hold some hope. It can be argued if Aperture has got many big updates in the past two years. But what can’t be denied is that Apple hasn’t been promoting Aperture for many years now. Look at what Adobe does. They are constantly creating waves about products. People keep talking about Lightroom. There’s nothing remotely close to this kind of product support for Aperture on Apple’s part. I think Apple doesn’t only need a huge update, they also need a photography celebrity to say Aperture in about every public statement they make. They need an Aperture evangelist. Or more than one, if they truly want to gain market share.

Apple rarely uses external endorsement of its product such as a stable of pros. The whole evangelist concept has been gone for a long, long time. Their Apple Store products specialists are their down home stars now. That is why the ads were so successful, and how they helped propel Apple into the top tier of companies…ever. pros didn’t tell you how to get routine photography done; the local Genius did. In the the mall.

Advanced pixel-level editing is tough because it strongly veers into Photoshop territory. Ditto for very high-end photo manipulations which has an audience in the low tens of thousands. These markets are much smaller than many think. The vast majority of DSLR sales go to people for whom even iPhoto is complicated.

I suspect Apple prefers not to be LR Lite and engage users who pixel peep and tweak all setting on lots of photos. That has never been Apple’s focus. They are about an efficient common denominator user experience and of sharing, not editing, photos. I doubt we will ever see Aperture approach LR’s editing set. Those will be left to higher-end apps tapping into a core library. I do think Aperture will continue to exists as a DAM and interface between editing apps, the underlying photo manipulation system we saw in the Keynote, and iCloud. The concept of a DAM for both photos and videos that can be selectively synced with iCloud is appealing. The current iCloud/Media Manager/iTunes/Image Capture/iPhoto/Aperture structure is complicated and bizarre with many dead-ends and weird concepts,like Photo Sharing (and why does everyone want to instantly see every photo on your iPhone?).

The one truly innovation thing from Apple in photography in 3 years has been iOS’s iPhoto journals. The mix of photos, videos, text, and contextual widgets blended into a structured narrative is terrific work. Sadly, it is in its own little silo. So vested users have no idea, as with iWeb and MobileMe Galleries, where their work should end up for the long haul. It’s like Apple creates ways for people to make photo albums, and then takes those albums away from users after a few years. Hopefully Apple is cluing into this because I suspect (and an Apple Store employee has told me so) that they field a huge, staggering number of Genius Bar and support queries about photo and video management. I perceive this is a major driver behind a unified photo  and video experience based on the iCloud Photo Library structure. Apple support needs to point people to one place, not manage all these dead-ends that have been experiments using customers. The MacOS system of media management has become an all too-real Hydra.

As for Adobe, I suspect their revenue stream is drying up as advanced as LR is. CC is about maintaining a very high-level feature set only via subscription because the boxed set and serial versioning system has diminishing revenues compared to development costs. In the end, LR will move to subscription (as iCloud appears to be doing) and be in the same place in CC as Photoshop. That’s the only way Adobe can keep the lights on. As higher-end camera sales decline in a maturing market, LR sales will flag. To keep revenues going, look to a CC subscription shift for LR within 36 months.

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