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Yoda On Aperture Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

2 July 2014

Seeing the world through the eyes of an eleven-year-old Star Wars aficionado for a few days gave us a fresh perspective on recent events. At the George Lukas' Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio, we ran across a fountain devoted to Yoda. In our drought-striken state, it was nice to see the water flowing.

Yoda. Flows the water, Padawan, even in drought.

We snapped this image in the late afternoon, the sun in front of us and dropping down, photobombing the shot. We suspect that was the idea behind putting the fountain there. Sometimes the truth, like the light, is harsh. Hard to face eye to eye.

"Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future," Yoda tells us.

We have been thinking of that as Apple let slip it had no further plans for iPhoto and Aperture but would be focused on its new Photos application. iPhoto users didn't mind much but Aperture users have been understandably upset over the news.

It isn't at all clear right now -- it's difficult to see -- if they have in fact been abandoned. And that's what matters.

No single photographer or studio or enthusiast can sit down and write an application like Aperture or Lightroom. We are all dependent on larger organizations with many more resources to build that infrastructure for the way we handle our digital images.

And we do have a legitimate expectation that when we have invested years building our image collection with their tool that they will not take a vote one day and move on to something else. There is a moral obligation to support the users that have supported you.

Not to say things don't end.

But when they do, a graceful exit is required. Apple's assertion that there will be a migration path for iPhoto and Aperture users should have been that graceful exit but burying it in a one paragraph statement didn't quite cut it.

Apple does promise, however, that "users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X." The import of that may be lost on iPhoto users but Aperture users know it means they won't lose the Raw edits recorded in the Aperture database rather than in an XMP or DNG file.

But as Joseph Linaschke at ApertureExport put it in Aperture is Dead. Long Live Photos! and his Comment Follow-up on the Demise of Aperture, the tools won't be the same:

Will you be able to re-edit every slider? Possibly not and certainly not in the beginning. But let's say, as an example, that you've edited a photo in Aperture that includes Highlights & Shadows. You migrate to Photos and let's say there is no H&S tool there yet. Or, there's a different one; i.e. it's mixed in with something else, has different sliders, whatever. You will be able to turn off your existing H&S and turn it back on. You'll be able to delete it and replace it with the new H&S tool and re-do that edit. It's plausible though that you may not be able to adjust the sliders you had previously set. So -- off, on or start over.

Lightroom users have seen three different process engines featuring different controls in the lifespan of that product. The evolution, introduced with public betas, has been ongoing and -- from our perspective -- easy to manage. We look forward to new versions because they make our images better with less work.

Aperture users have not had an update in years. And so the transition is disruptive. We found Apple's neglect of Aperture telling. And while there is some comfort in using the same product for years, standing still in this era is how you get run over.

"Always in motion is the future," as Yoda put it.

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