When apple released Mac OS 10.10.3 version of Yosemite, the biggest addition was Photos, the successor to the 13-year-old iPhoto. Like many of the changes Apple has introduced to OS X, Photos resembles the same-named app on your iPhone.
The idea behind Photos was to create a seamless environment whether it be on your Mac, iPad, iPhone or on iCloud. The “iCloud Photo Library,” for example, lets you store photographs and videos on Apple’s servers, making them available from any of your iOS or OS X devices, or from other platforms through a browser. iCloud also syncs changes to images, and enables you to share photographs and video with others.
I don’t use Photos for the majority of the pictures I take, and I’ll tell you why. Most of my photography is done using a Nikon DLSR shooting RAW format, for publication on my photography site http://tonyedwardsphoto.com, and I need the editing capabilities and access to metadata. I import into Lightroom, Adobe’s image management and editing software. Apple’s equivalent to Lightroom, Aperture, was also dropped with the introduction of Photos.
Another problem I found with change was that when I needed to do more involved editing of an image, in iPhoto I could just right-click on the picture and from the contextual menu, choose “Open in external editor…Photoshop,” make my edits, save it, then, when I went back to iPhoto, all of the changes I had made in Photoshop were reflected. Photos does not give you that option. I would have to export the image from Photos, import into Photoshop, make my edits, export from Photoshop, then import back into Photos. Not going to happen.
So, Lightroom has become my tool of choice for managing, editing and publishing images. The editing tools built into Lightroom make it so that I rarely need to go into Photoshop anymore. In fact, I feel like it has made me a better photographer. In Lightroom I organize, catalogue, and edit all in the same App. If you’d like to learn more about Lightroom, ask me about tutoring and Service Packs, my special rates for longer term projects.
So for now, I use Lightroom/Photoshop for my DLSR pictures. I also plan to use the Creative Cloud version on Lightroom to see how best to integrate it into my workflow, I’ll keep you posted. I will however, still learn and use Photos for my camera pics, mostly because sharing is so much easier using the iOS. And so that I can help those of you who decide it suits you, but need help getting started! Let’s see where Apple goes with Photos.
Lastly, remember that when you upgrade your Mac to 10.10.3 or higher, Photos will automatically replace iPhoto in your dock. If you launch Photos, it will ask to update your iPhoto Library, then create a new separate library for Photos. Your original iPhoto application and it’s library are not deleted from the Applications folder and you can go back to using iPhoto by simply clicking it’s icon. Keep in mind, though, that Apple will be supplying no updates for iPhoto, so if you want to stick with it, you’re on your own.