MacInTouch Amazon link...

Apple photo software/alternatives

Channels
Apple, Troubleshooting, Products, Questions


I just purchased the Fuji Pro version. I had all sorts of trouble with a Safari browser. Switched to Firefox, and it worked. This might help you, as well.
If you own Capture One, you should see an upgrade option on startup. Use that link, and it should be able to recognize your account. I've been upgrading since something like V7 and have had no problems, other than having to pay for major steps up.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
FYI:
NBC News said:
Facial recognition's 'dirty little secret': Millions of online photos scraped without consent

... “This is the dirty little secret of AI training sets. Researchers often just grab whatever images are available in the wild,” said NYU School of Law professor Jason Schultz.

The latest company to enter this territory was IBM, which in January released a collection of nearly a million photos that were taken from the photo hosting site Flickr and coded to describe the subjects’ appearance. IBM promoted the collection to researchers as a progressive step toward reducing bias in facial recognition.

But some of the photographers whose images were included in IBM’s dataset were surprised and disconcerted when NBC News told them that their photographs had been annotated with details including facial geometry and skin tone and may be used to develop facial recognition algorithms. (NBC News obtained IBM’s dataset from a source after the company declined to share it, saying it could be used only by academic or corporate research groups.)

... Despite IBM’s assurances that Flickr users can opt out of the database, NBC News discovered that it’s almost impossible to get photos removed.
NBC News said:
Millions of people uploaded photos to the Ever app. Then the company used them to develop facial recognition tools.

... Everything about Ever’s branding is warm and fuzzy, about sharing your “best moments” while freeing up space on your phone.

What isn’t obvious on Ever’s website or app — except for a brief reference that was added to the privacy policy after NBC News reached out to the company in April — is that the photos people share are used to train the company’s facial recognition system, and that Ever then offers to sell that technology to private companies, law enforcement and the military.

In other words, what began in 2013 as another cloud storage app has pivoted toward a far more lucrative business known as Ever AI — without telling the app’s millions of users.
 
Last edited:


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I haven't tried it yet, but ON1 Photo RAW looks pretty good, with a ton of features, a 30-day free trial, and a current sale price of $79.99, with a 5-computer license and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

(I'm wondering if its interface and DAM/organizing tools might be more palatable to Aperture fans who don't like Capture One... or its price.)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Don't get me wrong; I've committed to Capture One and only look back to Aperture for old libraries (which I haven't imported to Capture One but may be forced to, once the OS kills Aperture for good). But one of the unnecessary nagging issues with Capture One is the import process. The non-standard way of selecting a destination folder is clunky.
Here's a lot of helpful information about Capture One import and organization (including Lightroom and Aperture mentions/comparisons):

 


Here's a lot of helpful information about Capture One import and organization (including Lightroom and Aperture mentions/comparisons):
I have a fully managed Aperture library over 2TB in size. I don't intend to move it to Capture One. I'll just start from scratch. I've moved Aperture and the library to an older Mac Pro running El Capitan. It will stay safely there.

I have scoured all Capture One's tutorials and have come to the conclusion that although Capture One Pro supports managed catalogues, it's really treated as an afterthought. It is rarely, if ever mentioned and there are no tutorials specifically designed around a managed workflow. I have contacted them about it, so we'll see.

I have worked with Aperture's managed workflow for over 10 years, and it has been absolutely flawless. I have no interest in leaving that type of environment. It's one less thing to worry about.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I have a fully managed Aperture library over 2TB in size. I don't intend to move it to Capture One. I'll just start from scratch. I've moved Aperture and the library to an older Mac Pro running El Capitan. It will stay safely there. I have scoured all Capture One's tutorials and have come to the conclusion that although Capture One Pro supports managed catalogues, it's really treated as an afterthought. It is rarely, if ever mentioned and there are no tutorials specifically designed around a managed workflow. I have contacted them about it, so we'll see. I have worked with Aperture's managed workflow for over 10 years, and it has been absolutely flawless. I have no interest in leaving that type of environment. It's one less thing to worry about.
I had no idea what "managed catalogs" were, but a bit of web searching suggests that it means storing your images inside the catalog database itself, rather than keeping those images in the form of normal files. One issue with that approach is that any corruption of the catalog could destroy your entire image archive (though backups are obviously critical with any approach). Another issue is that you may not have enough space to store a catalog full of images on your internal drive, but using "referenced" image files, instead, lets you store a huge archive of images on an external drive while keeping the catalog on a fast internal drive for better performance. An advantage of the "managed" library, of course, is that it avoids having the catalog get out of sync with the files on disk when you move files around separately from the app e.g. by using the Finder. (Capture One offers a "Synchronize" option to help clean up this sort of problem.)

Capture One does offer a managed file option, though it's not really highlighted in documentation and tutorials.

For what it's worth, here's more about migrating from Aperture:
Capture One User Guide said:
Importing catalogs from Media Pro, Lightroom or Aperture
In addition to the typical workflow of importing image files from various sources, you can use a Capture One Catalog to import previously made catalogs of images from third-party applications. A Capture One Catalog can import Lightroom Catalogs and Aperture Libraries, albeit with some restrictions. Images are not moved or duplicated but referenced in their original location, including any images stored physically inside the Aperture Library.
I see a similar request for this sort of feature from ON1, so you might want to cast your vote there, if Capture One doesn't meet your needs.
ON1 Photo RAW Project said:
Apple Aperture Managed Libraries Conversion Feature for On1 RAW
I would like to recommend that On 1 create a conversion feature in On1 RAW, similar to what Lightroom has, that would convert Aperture Managed Libraries to formats that could be used with On 1 RAW and other programs (.PSD/.TIFF/.JPEG), and retaining the Aperture catalog structure resident in existing user libraries.
 


For what it's worth, here's more about migrating from Aperture:
Thanks, Ric. in my quest to find a replacement for Aperture I have, from time to time, bought copies of On1, Lightroom, Luminar and Pixelmator. I have found them all wanting, usually because of their DAM, if they even have one. As for issues regarding a managed catalogue, my main managed Aperture library was created well over 10 years ago and has worked flawlessly for all that time. It's over 2TB in size and has been moved to ever larger hard drives over the years simply by copying it via the Finder. It currently sits on a 10TB internal hard drive. It is backed up automatically via Time Machine, as well as to two Aperture Vaults, one of which is stored off site.

As for accessing the originals, an Aperture library, just like a managed Capture One Pro catalogue, is a macOS package, which you can option-click to open and navigate. The beauty of a managed library/catalogue is that you can just launch the app and import your images. No need to have a predetermined folder scheme. The app handles everything for you. Capture One will do this, but [I feel it's] "clunkier" and less sophisticated than Aperture.

Finally, my other major complaint with the other photo editors is that they are usually cross-platform, and usually drop all access to the Apple ecosystem. No iCloud, no slideshows with music, or exporting to video. No automatic syncing to other devices, and another biggie, no access to images from within other Apple apps. Even over 4 years after its demise, you can still access all your Aperture images from within the current version of Pages or Keynote!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
My main managed Aperture library... is over 2TB in size and has been moved to ever larger hard drives over the years simply by copying it via the Finder. It currently sits on a 10TB internal hard drive. It is backed up automatically via Time Machine...
Thanks for mentioning that, as it brings up another issue with managed catalogs that grow very large: backup. Constantly backing up changes to a 10TB catalog is quite the challenge, backup-wise, vs. backing up changes to a handful of files in the 10MB range! How big is your backup drive?! (Time Machine local snapshots of such a catalog package would seem to be impossible on an internal SSD, though local snapshots of individual image files and modest SQL databases shouldn't be a problem.)
As for accessing the originals, an Aperture library, just like a managed Capture One Pro catalogue, is a macOS package, which you can option-click to open and navigate.
Thanks, I hadn't realized that, but I now see that a Capture One catalog is a "package" that combines image files stored "within" a managed catalog (package) alongside the catalog's SQLite database. (Is this "package" structure identical on Windows/NTFS, I wonder - does Windows/NTFS even have macOS "packages" or an identical equivalent?)
 


I had no idea what "managed catalogs" were, but a bit of web searching suggests that it means storing your images inside the catalog database itself, rather than keeping those images in the form of normal files. One issue with that approach is that any corruption of the catalog could destroy your entire image archive (though backups are obviously critical with any approach). Another issue is that you may not have enough space to store a catalog full of images on your internal drive, but using "referenced" image files, instead, lets you store a huge archive of images on an external drive while keeping the catalog on a fast internal drive for better performance. An advantage of the "managed" library, of course, is that it avoids having the catalog get out of sync with the files on disk when you move files around separately from the app e.g. by using the Finder. (Capture One offers a "Synchronize" option to help clean up this sort of problem.) Capture One does offer a managed file option, though it's not really highlighted in documentation and tutorials.

For what it's worth, here's more about migrating from Aperture:

I see a similar request for this sort of feature from ON1, so you might want to cast your vote there, if Capture One doesn't meet your needs.
Apple Aperture Managed Libraries Conversion Feature for On1 RAW
The "managed" library option was designed for non-technical users less comfortable with working around the computer's file system who want a one-stop option. Those are also likely users with limited-size libraries that'd work well on a single machine. Any heavy shooter or pro would want referenced libraries. That's where Aperture excelled, with a robust reconnection interface for when systems migrate to new computers, files get backed up, etc. Worked flawlessly. This is also where Capture One can [lose sync, if you] make file/folder moves outside of the program. Short version: don't do it!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
This is also where Capture One can [lose sync, if you] make file/folder moves outside of the program. Short version: don't do it!
As previously mentioned, Capture One Pro has a feature specifically for this problem:
Capture One User Guide said:
Updating a folder
... When changes have been made to a referenced folder outside of the Catalog, for example, when adding images using another application, the Catalog can be updated using the Synchronize Folder option.
 


Thanks for mentioning that, as it brings up another issue with managed catalogs that grow very large: backup. Constantly backing up changes to a 10TB catalog is quite the challenge, backup-wise, vs. backing up changes to a handful of files in the 10MB range! How big is your backup drive?!
Because the Aperture catalog is a package (to the file system and Time Machine, just a special folder with lots of contents), a differential backup is only tracking changes to files and folders within the package. So it's not quite as bad as it sounds - editing one photo doesn't require a full new backup of the entire catalog. That said, editing may cause lots of files to be modified and backed up (preview files of different sizes, etc), so it may not be 'efficient' - depending on how you define efficient.
 
  • appreciate
Reactions: KJM


The "managed" library option was designed for non-technical users less comfortable with working around the computer's file system who want a one-stop option. Those are also likely users with limited-size libraries that'd work well on a single machine. Any heavy shooter or pro would want referenced libraries. That's where Aperture excelled, with a robust reconnection interface for when systems migrate to new computers, files get backed up, etc. Worked flawlessly. This is also where Capture One can [lose sync, if you] make file/folder moves outside of the program. Short version: don't do it!
I'm a pretty technical user, but I'm also extremely short on time, so another benefit of the managed option is increased productivity, as long as I either trust the management software completely (unlikely) and/or make sure I can find the originals if I need to. I use Apple Photos to manage nearly 20,000 pictures and iTunes to manage ~45,000 tracks, but I know where my files are!

As it turns out, though, when I take photos with my Canon 70D, the Canon software is better at correcting the lens characteristics, so I use that to correct for my lens, generate top-quality jpg files from the corrected Canon RAWs (CR2s), and import them into Apple Photos. I would have loved it if that step were not necessary.
 


Thanks for mentioning that, as it brings up another issue with managed catalogs that grow very large: backup. Constantly backing up changes to a 10TB catalog is quite the challenge, backup-wise, vs. backing up changes to a handful of files in the 10MB range! How big is your backup drive?!
Because the Aperture catalog is a package (to the file system and Time Machine, just a special folder with lots of contents), a differential backup is only tracking changes to files and folders within the package. So it's not quite as bad as it sounds - editing one photo doesn't require a full new backup of the entire catalog. That said, editing may cause lots of files to be modified and backed up (preview files of different sizes, etc), so it may not be 'efficient' - depending on how you define efficient.
And I used to use Lotus/IBM Notes for work email, which updated a huge file multiple times an hour. I had to remove that from my Time Machine backups. iTunes and Apple Photos are much more friendly for Time Machine by using packages [with embedded separate] files.
 


A few folks have asked that I share my Capture One import and catalog strategy, so here it is. I figured this out after struggling with its [features/options] - Session? Managed Catalog? Folders? Projects? Albums? ...

I always copy first from the memory card to the destination disk. I usually name by date, hierarchic folders for year (2019), month (05.2019), then date of import (05.30.19 Z7) into which folder go the actual files, to include everything since the last import. I typically add what camera the import was from, and separate by camera source. Then if it's all one topic, I might add that (client, project, etc). I never trust a program to manage the copy function for me, and you can quickly verify successful transfer....

Then in Capture One I set up a Project for the year, then albums within that match the file structure. (You can't put projects within projects, but you can put albums within albums.) When I get to the date album, I have that selected to use as the import folder, then import. After import is done, I assign keywords, make smart albums (to automatically place by keyword), etc.

I then set up an export folder as meets needs, usually somewhere within that hierarchy, as I'd want my exports for client, sharing etc to be in proximity to the originals. Working with export "recipes" is very efficient.

I know this sounds clunky, and maybe there's a better way. Sessions never appealed to me, although it might for pros who like to keep every assignment separate. But it is reliable, consistent and gives me an instant reference to where originals are. None of this is as elegant in my opinion as the late, great Aperture that Apple so stupidly abandoned, but Capture One at least gives quality that surpasses anything else and they keep improving.

In Capture One, Folder is an operation at file-system level. I've noted before that it's easy for the program to lose connection if you move files from the Finder [but] by doing it within the Folder part of Capture One, you can avoid that.

If you're learning Capture One, the Lynda.com tutorials are well done and easy to quickly get up to speed.
 


Constantly backing up changes to a 10TB catalog is quite the challenge, backup-wise ... (Time Machine local snapshots of such a catalog package would seem to be impossible on an internal SSD, though local snapshots of individual image files and modest SQL databases shouldn't be a problem.)
Local snapshots is a scenario where APFS shines. APFS's "clone" feature allows the file system to maintain multiple versions of the file by sharing their common blocks and storing their differences. This allows the system to store these snapshots in a space-efficient manner. (This isn't quite like ZFS's de-duplication, which actively seeks out duplicate blocks to eliminate them. It only kicks in when you make copies of a file – which is what incremental backups require.)

This illustration may help explain:

Of course, that doesn't help with true off-machine backups. Retrospect used to be the bee’s knees for storing and retrieving versions. Probably still good… anyone in the MacInTouch community a current Retrospect user?
 


I know this is slightly off topic, but I have been looking at Synology to use as a local and remote private photo server for my machines and when I'm on the road, and I'm not thrilled with their software. Is it possible to use their Diskstation software without having to run Java or Flash?
Better late than never? Yes. I use an old Synology DS214 and mount its file volumes on my Macs via SMB. I'm not a super heavy user of it though. I was given it by someone who upgraded, so I threw a disk in it and use it for random stuff.
 


Continuing my tale of woe concerning Hasselblad Flextight scanners, all links to pages on the Hasselblad site have disappeared, and ScanDig is reporting they are discontinued:
and

There is no announcement on the Hasselblad site about this, and I have e-mailed a contact at HasselbladBron in the USA asking for confirmation. Perhaps they will finally let Ed Hamrick work his magic on their abandoned scanners, but if not, I'll be relying on older Macs that can run High Sierra.
 


Any heavy shooter or pro would want referenced libraries.
... I'm a professionally trained photographer and am still semi-active. I've always used Aperture's managed library, because I have no interest, or need, to use a self-made, complicated file structure. Aperture is so reliable that I can be completely confident that it will handle everything for me. My library is currently north of 2 TB. It is backed up via Time Machine, as well as 2 Aperture Vaults, one of which is always kept off-site. I have moved the library several times over the almost 15 years I've been using Aperture, with no problems at all. I have also done a test rebuild from one of the vaults on a seperate computer and the rebuild was perfect.... I trust it and have no interest in re-inventing the wheel.
 


As for accessing the originals, an Aperture library, just like a managed Capture One Pro catalogue, is a macOS package, which you can option-click to open and navigate. The beauty of a managed library/catalogue is that you can just launch the app and import your images. No need to have a predetermined folder scheme. The app handles everything for you.
I used to be of the same opinion. I happliy let Aperture manage everything for me. It is an easy way to go about things. Then, my library started weighing in close to, and then more than, 1 TB. The main problem that arose is backups.

Vaults are all well and good (moot now, since I moved away from Aperture). They still, however, place your files on a spinning disc. I don't like spinners as a long-term backup/archive strategy. I prefer optical media (currently using M-disc).

Yes, you can look inside a package, but Aperture's package is not that easy to navigate. The disadvantage of not having your own folder structure is you have to decode Aperture's. It's not simple to track down individual photos. It also does not lend itself to incremental backups to media less than the size of the full library.

With the demise of Aperture, I reluctantly switched to Lightroom at the end of 2018. I still like Aperture better, but it is what it is. When planning the migration, I decided to go with a referenced library. I have found it to have many advantages over a managed library.

I have a folder on a working drive called "Photos." Inside that, I have a folder for each Lightroom catalog (Aperture library) and a folder for each catalog's original images.

When I import photos, I simply place them in a folder with a date name, for example, "2019-05-21" If it is an event, I'll name the image folder more descriptively, e.g. "2019-05 Florida Trip." When a new import folder is added, I open the Lightroom catalog and sync. All the new photos are imported into the catalog.

Each import folder sits inside the catalog's image folder. This ends up looking like the "Masters" folder in an Aperture library but with several advantages:

1. I control the naming convention, making it easier to find things. Lightroom lists everything with the same folder structure/names I create, so it remains consistent inside and outside the DAM. I can go back and rename folders and just need to "sync" inside Lightroom.​
2. This same set can easily be transferred to another DAM in the future (avoiding the migration heasaches I had from Aperture). Just point the other DAM at the parent folder and done. No import/export/migration hassle.​
3. Backups are much easier...​
For example, everything in my 2018 photo folder is backed up to optical disc (among other backup methods). I have those folders with a Finder tag as "burned to disc." I can see at a glance what is burned and what isn't. As new folders are added (new dates imported), I can choose to burn and mark as needed. It's easy to make things fit on a single optical disc. The catalog files (library) are small enough to include on the same disc.

I do like some of the features of Apple Photos and have integrated that into my system. After I cull photos and process them in Lightroom, I export as Jpegs. Those jpegs are then imported into Photos and can be shared among devices and people. This allows me to keep a small "Photos" library without having to pick and choose which photos to sync.

It's definitely a matter of personal preference. The above has worked for me - I only hope I explained it well. It is much simpler than it sounds.
 


I've been a Lightroom user for a number of years, but, like many others, have been somewhat uncomfortable with the subscription model.

I started testing some potential replacements for Lightroom and, after trialing (and discarding) a number of apps, I think I've found one that works well and has a similar-enough interface to give it a solid "thumb's up". It's Alien Skin Exposure X4.

It doesn't use a catalog, so there's no actual "importing" going on. It does support keywording and has an easily understandable workflow using layers. In some ways, it's similar to Luminar (which I do like and use).

Exposure X4 lets you create virtual copies of your photos (a feature Lightroom and very few other apps had until recently).

While Alien Skin doesn't provide any PDF user manual, there are many video tutorials (both official from the company and many more by pros on YouTube). These tutorials give the app a fairly easy learning curve. While there are some migration issues (from Lightroom), these are carefully detailed, and the company actually provides a migration tool that automates the process. The app is abut $100, but they do provide an academic discount for appropriate users.
 


A contact at Hasselblad confirms the Flextight scanners are discontinued but doesn't know when there will be a public announcement. I bet they are hoping to sell off existing inventory first.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Thanks, I hadn't realized that, but I now see that a Capture One catalog is a "package" that combines image files stored "within" a managed catalog (package) alongside the catalog's SQLite database.
Experimenting more with Capture One import, I found that the "managed" catalog option (import "inside catalog") stores files inside the "package" in a folder structure by import time (not photo capture time):

catalogname/Originals/year/month/date/importbatch/file​

For example, an import today of an old photo puts it here:
MyCatalog/Originals/2019/06/22/1/DSC021.jpg​

There is great flexibility in file naming, however, with "tokens" that you can assemble to automatically create your filenames and save as a preset. I'm working on a scheme like this for filename creation when importing:

Filename template:
YYYY-MM-DD_ModelOfCamera​
Result:
2019-03-01_DSC-RX100M3.JPG​
(I'm trying to avoid large numbers of files within a single folder, potentially hurting performance, so lots of small imports instead of one huge import should help mitigate that.)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Experimenting more with Capture One import, I found that the managed catalog option stores original files inside the "package" in a folder structure by import time (not photo capture time).
An alternative approach, where the files are not copied into the catalog "package", but instead into new Finder folders, offers more flexibility for folder organization during import/copy.

(As before, you can define filename templates to automatically name the files based on their metadata.)

There's an additional option during import with this approach: Location Sub Folder Tokens. Using the same kinds of metadata, you can automatically create folders for the files you're "importing" (copying) into a new location while the catalog is being built.

The key here is the backslash character, which creates a new subfolder level.

In my case, I've created an import "preset" like this:

Image Year \ Image Month \ Image Day of Month \ Camera Model

After import, files are organized in folders like this:

TestPhotos/2019/01/13/NIKON_D90/WinterBerries_2019-01-13_NIKON_D90.NEF

But you can create almost any kind of organization and filenaming scheme you like. For instance, you could add ISO or shutter speed in the filename, or a job/event tag, or a rating - anything that's in the files' metadata.
 



I know there are lots of good options out there for image editing - On1, Luminar, etc. My question really pertains more specifically to DAM [Digital Asset Management] usage. I have all my digital images/video in a managed Aperture library, but macOS 10.15 will officially break it, so I have got to either a) not upgrade or b) find a good DAM alternative.

I have the Nik suite of plugins and generally don't do any major heavy lifting with image editing. My wishlist is topped with finding another app that could either use or import my existing Aperture library. I don't mind exporting it first into a referenced file structure, if needed, but was curious if there was anything that could just use it "as is" (other than Apple's Photos app - haven't been overwhelmed with it).

So, that's pretty much it, I need a good DAM to replace Aperture. Thoughts? The idea of the transition makes me a bit queasy... but I suppose this is a good time to cull/keyword my library... sigh....
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... So, that's pretty much it, I need a good DAM to replace Aperture. Thoughts? ...
As discussed above, Capture One has several options for managing media, and it's working well for me in all respects, although some Aperture fans don't appreciate it and have criticized its clunky file-management interface, which could be better but doesn't seem like a critical problem to me.

Capture One is very fast, customizable, fully featured and powerful with tons of options for DAM, and produces outstanding results, but it's pricy and takes a little learning (aided by a good user manual and tutorial resources, and I was able to get up to speed pretty quickly). You can try it out for 30 days free of charge, and there are less expensive versions dedicated to Sony or Fuji cameras, if you don't need support for Nikon, Canon, etc.

I'm sure others will chime in with their favorites, too (e.g. see discussion above about Exposure X4). You might want to take a look at the following utility in the meantime, which could help to migrate to Capture One or other Aperture replacements: Aperture Exporter.
 


I know there are lots of good options out there for image editing - On1, Luminar, etc. My question really pertains more specifically to DAM [Digital Asset Management] usage. I have all my digital images/video in a managed Aperture library, but macOS 10.15 will officially break it, so I have got to either a) not upgrade or b) find a good DAM alternative.
I have the Nik suite of plugins and generally don't do any major heavy lifting with image editing. My wishlist is topped with finding another app that could either use or import my existing Aperture library. I don't mind exporting it first into a referenced file structure, if needed, but was curious if there was anything that could just use it "as is" (other than Apple's Photos app - haven't been overwhelmed with it).
So, that's pretty much it, I need a good DAM to replace Aperture. Thoughts? The idea of the transition makes me a bit queasy... but I suppose this is a good time to cull/keyword my library... sigh....
I moved from Aperture to Lightroom. You can search MacInTouch for the various comments; some love/like Lightroom, some hate it for various reasons. I found it fairly easy to move.

I did try Apple Photos for a while, but the DAM was awful. The DAM in Lightroom is better than it used to be, though I think Aperture is still superior. Keep in mind that Lightroom plus Photoshop is $12 a month, forever.
 


Amazon disclaimer:
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts