One word: Lightroom
I’ve been using a bunch of DAM software over the years, but had settled on a mixture of iView Media Pro and Photoshop to fulfil my digital darkroom needs. As I’ve progressed to outputting substantially more photos recently, I wanted something that would allow me to rapidly process files, handle my DAM needs and also run cross platform.
The two things that killed Aperture for me, rapid and cross platform. My recent investments have gone into lenses and lighting equipment, so am still using my trusty old 12” PowerBook. Not a hope in hell of Aperture running on that, let alone nicely. I travel for work, and am obliged to take my work laptop - a Dell. Again, no dice for Aperture.
My experiences with Lightroom have been largely positive. I’m still shooting mostly Jpgs, and Lightroom will process them using the same controls used for Raw files. It will happily run on all the hardware I own, and is allowing me to stay on Photoshop CS, as I can use Lightroom for Raw processing and then edit DNG files in Photoshop. The main reason I had for upgrading Photoshop was the Adobe Raw plug-in.
Some useful resources:
- Lightroom Getting Started Guide - An absolute must read. This is really the manual that should have shipped with Lightroom
- Inside Adobe Lightroom (rss) - O’Reilly blog with lots of great writers, including recently switched JDD.
- Lightroom Killer Tips - from Matt of the Photoshop Guys, subscribe in iTunes and learn from the experts.
- Flickr integration - not great, but until a proper plug-in ships, a reasonable stop gap.
- The DAM Book - not Lightroom specific, but great for the concepts of Digital Asset Management (ie. how to store your photos).
The next step for me is to actually sort out my own DAM procedures. My archival process is rather ad-hoc. At least I know what I should be doing and have some of the required tools.