Image Manipulation and Library Management Software

Is anyone using software to manage their collection of images?

I currently use Apple's Aperture software to manage my portfolio and also to perform basic manipulation such as white balancing when using flash, exposure adjustment, etc.

A friend of mine uses Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop and is really keen on this combination.

I'm considering whether to upgarde to the latest version of Aperture, or to move to Lightroom and Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements).

Any views?

Hi Phil, I was an aperture user, but I have recently switched to Lightroom three. My advise would be, use both in tandem. You can configure the libraries so they both read from the same master location, or as storage is cheap you can use this as a natural back-up. Both systems do most of the processes very well, but both also have features that the other doesn’t which are very useful.
I use both and once you have designed how you want the system to run, really doesn’t take any longer to execute.
Hope this helps

Picasa is my favorite for cataloguing and quick and easy photo manipulation. Also it’s easy to email images and to upload selections to a web-based album that you can share with people (private or public albums). I have many web photo-blog albums that I like to share with friends. I use Photoshop for heavy-duty image “reconstruction”, and for work-based projects. It’s great but not essential for most needs.

Thanks all for the comments so far.

I’ve been using Aperture a little more recently and I’m getting on well with it. Haven’t yet felt the need to move to the latest (version 3) but I may do once I find there’s something I can’t do that is offered in the newer version.

I haven’t yet started using Photoshop or other image manipulation programs, everything I need to do can be done in Aperture - I don’t tend to heavily edit my images anyway. I’m thinking about buying Photoshop Elements 9 - it can be had for around £50 in the UK and will most likely do everything I need at my level.


PS Johnny - the first version I used was v6 in the mid 90s, and it was the first time I had ever used something called a ‘plugin’ which is a common term these days.

I can’t afford Photoshop! However I have discovered Serif Photoplus X4 which I now use. I am still finding my way around it, but the Serif forum is very helpful, and members have posted simple tutorials to complement to Serif tutorials. You can download a free starter version. The upgrade is about 40€. So far I like it very much. No problem with RAW images either. I can now deal with animal green eye, or whatever colour they turn out, and have learned how to build a simple frame using layers and the gradient tool.

A few years ago I would have dismissed you a dinosaur Jonny ;), I am coming to the end of a Professional photographers diploma aimed at film and digital users, only some of the assignments differ for film, It has taken me back to to a greater understanding of what I was trying to achieve 20 years ago when I was a serious amateur B+W film photographer. I take great delight now getting it right in the camera first time rather than taking a series of exposures, I can see digital has made me lazy and in some ways a worse photographer than what I was or could have been. That confession over I still don’t see me going back to film, If I find my P6 again I might have a go! I have always understood the delights of film, seeing the beauty of the print slowly appear in the developer will always be with me. Meanwhile I will concentrate on what I have learnt in the last few months, hopefully relying on post production less and less.

Just looked at Capture NX2 (I use Nikon camera) and have downloaded the free trial version. I like especially the correction brush tool! However the logiciel is way out of my price bracket! So what do people know about freeware such as these: Picture.Net (which I currently use, but find the cloning tool hard work) Gimp, Serif Picture Plus? Picasa is great for some basic things, but so far does not provide the cloning or correction brush, which I need from time to time. Can’t afford Paintshop pro or other similar suites.

Long term Photoshop user here.

I still remember the days when Photoshop scared the hell out of me but now I think 'in Photoshop' while shooting pictures.

Although expensive, the on-line community of Photoshoppers, tutorials and videos available must make it the easiest software to learn.

I have not come accross Gimp. is another free download and is pretty good. I have achieved some good results with it, currently am experimenting with the cloning tool. Takes ages, but again it is possible to render a promising image into something pretty stunning. The tablecloth was black and white, and really detracted from the pretty decoration. Didn’t quite pick up the right shade, but it’s hard to notice.

I use photshop regulaly but it is a bit expensive for some people who unlike me get paid to use it :slight_smile:

Has anyone tried ‘Gimp’ its a free image manipulation software - or Microsoft Picture Manager?

Not sure about Apple based software anymore as I stopped using a Mac some years ago … still a closet fan though.

I’ve always used Photoshop for manipulation from the first version xxx years ago when you had to scan in your negs or trannies but have only kept up to number 7 until I swap my G5 Mac for an Intel processor one so can’t comment on the latest updates. It does all the basics very well and some nifty tricks. It all depends on how much you want ‘interfere’ with the original image.

I’ve used Elements for some years now and it does everything I want. Trying something else requires another learning curve so I’ll stick with what I know. The bottom line is: it’s the programme that suits you that is best.


I like you use Aperture and was considering upgrading , but now have Elements and find it very good.
Good luck.


I use Aperture too, and Photoshop. I’ve never used Lightroom. Do you not like Aperture?


i use photoshop and lightroom, having used photoshop before I started using lightroom I have not really used lightroom to manipulate photos, a friend who is a fan of lightroom reckons you don’t need Photoshop any more.

download the trial version of lightroom and see what you think