December Meeting: Lightroom vs. Aperture

Megan Snider

Posted December 19, 2011 in: Meetings 

An epic battle began Saturday, Dec. 17 as Guy and Jeff provided points of view on two different software platforms: Aperture vs. Lightroom.

JeffBefore talk turned to computer comparisons, President Guy Stephens gave an update on our Solomons Island exhibit. Seven members submitted photos for our winter exhibit, now on display, and we?re already planning ahead to our spring display. Possible photo subjects include kick-off to a spring, wine festivals and art shows (March-May). Take a peek at your archives and look for shots you?d be happy to submit for display. Submission deadline is February.

We?re moving right along on our exhibit at the College of Southern Maryland! Fourteen members submitted more than 125 photos for consideration. Twenty photos will be framed and matted at the college in two displays: Southern Maryland in black and white, and a collection from dawn to night. Photos are currently being judged by the board and, if chosen, photographers will be notified by the end of this month. Guy?s goal is to get the exhibit up in January and would be grateful for volunteers to help get everything displayed.

Treasurer Bonnie Bryant gave an update on our club?s finances and announced we now have 33 paid members. We?re growing all the time!

Regarding elections for our 2012 season, the results are in: Guy Stephens will remain as president; Jeff Smallwood stays as vice president; Bonnie remains treasurer; and Lisa Snider will come in as secretary, replacing Megan for the coming year. The board will meet soon to discuss our calendar and possible photo trip and topic ideas, so feel free to email Guy with any ideas or tips on improving future meetings.


Jeff kicked off the discussion by talking about Lightroom, a photo editing program that complements changes made in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements but does not inherently replace either one. ?Lightroom allows users to make non-destructive edits,? Jeff said, meaning the edits are not saved over your original photo files and can be undone at any time.

To get started in Lightroom, import photos to your Lightroom Library. Your options upon import are add, copy or move photos into the program. ?Add? is a way of making Lightroom aware of where photos are on your computer, and copy and move are just as they sound. Your Lightroom Library is a way to easily view your catalog of photos and can also be a way to tag and organize them, too.

The real power of Lightroom comes under the program?s ?Develop? tab. This is your digital darkroom ? the place where you can adjust all sorts of settings, add special effects and enhance the shots you?ve taken. When you?re satisfied with the new look of your pictures, you export them from Lightroom and save them however you choose as a new file. Your original photo files remain unchanged and intact.

In Aperture, an Apple-based program, Guy explained the ways the program can be used to refine images, showcase photography and manage your photo libraries. ?The software is designed to be simple but powerful,? he said.

Though similar to Lightroom, Aperture uses different management tools. The Library is where things are organized, and the adjustments are where changes are made.

Guy?s personal workflow includes importing his photos and immediately doing some cropping. He then adjusts a photo?s histogram until he?s happy with the outcome. Guy also showed the many ways Aperture can be used to create slideshows or photo books, and how the software is compatible with plug-ins that allow you to post your photos quickly to platforms like Flickr or Facebook. Lightroom utilizes similar technology, too.

Coming in January, we?ll be planning our next photo trip ? if you have any ideas for great shooting locations, drop Guy .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Be on the look-out for a message from him regarding trip plans. This month we shared photos from our December assignment, Flash. Our assignment for January will be JOY, interpreted however you choose.

Have a wonderful holiday, and see you in the new year!

About Megan Snider - Megan Snider is an amateur photographer from Waldorf, Md., who started taking photos after receiving a point-and-shoot camera just days before she left on an Italian vacation. Growing up in front of the lens, she now shares her passion for photography with her mother, Lisa, who is never without her Canon.


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