Thinking about radically simplifying my DAM/PP... Apple Photos

Generationfourth

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I just got a new iPhone and although I'm disappointed with the camera system I am happy with the quality/convenience balance. I am taking more photos. It actually got me psyched on 'real' cameras and now I have picked up my G9 again. I decided to not be such a purist and I've tried some things to simplify my culling/cataloging/post processing... process. I think my biggest hangup with photography recently is post processing and given that I'm a designer by trade I just don't like editing RAW files anymore because it means more time on the computer. I've tried some things and here is what I came up with:
  1. Shoot raw on the G9, maybe keep jpeg output to card 2 as a backup
  2. do initial 1st cull via playback mode on G9 by starring (fn button shortcuts)
  3. transfer selected Raws to iPhone (via Panasonic image app) or MacBook, which in turn are automatically synced to my 'Photos'/iCloud
  4. Do further culling once viewed on MacBook
  5. do light edits on Apple photos on MacBook, or within Photos app on iOS
  6. Format Card 1 on G9, repeat and be happy
There are many benefits to this and what stands out to me:
  • Combine my 'personal' phone photos with my RAW catalog for ultimate simplicity. Gets rid of: third party DAM/post processing (Lightroom, Capture One etc), get's rid of steps to export and eliminates doubles of jpeg/raw files
  • Transferring from camera to computer is convenient, and safer, as I can do it instantly via phone as long as I have data/wifi it will automatically backup/sync to my photo library. I don't have to wait till I'm home from a trip to unload the edit/files.
  • Apple photos handles all the basic light editing I've been doing recently, and if I do need to do further processing I will have actual RAW files that I can take to LR/PS/C1
And then of course there are the obvious downsides like stressing my iCloud storage, how to import all my edited raw's into apple photos, etc.
But I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions or things to look out for... I'm just thinking out loud here...
 

Bushboy

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Panasonic jpgs are beautiful.
No need to do anything, just shoot and enjoy.
 
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Before I got super serious with photography and ended up switching to Windows I was a heavy Apple Photos user. This was a couple of years before they introduced levels and curves.

Obviously it doesn't has as much power as Lightroom but as a DAM, nothing beats it IMO.

One thing I loved about Apple Photos and hate about Lightroom Classic is the file system. I don't need to know about how photos are stored under the hood. As long as I can manage them through Photos.app that's all I care about.

It's also integrated into iOS and macOS at a level that Lightroom will probably never be.

There was a lot of fanfare when Lightroom CC was announced about its syncing capabilities and Apple users were like pfffffft, Apple's been able to do that for years.
 

Generationfourth

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Panasonic jpgs are beautiful.
No need to do anything, just shoot and enjoy.
That was my first thought: to skip the raw processing entirely. You are correct that Panasonic SOC jpegs are really good, and I was experimenting with using/modifying photo styles. But that greatly slowed down my photographic process because it added another variable I had to think about: output. While shooting I was asking myself: "do I choose between STD, the three different monochrome settings, CineV, Natural or one of my custom settings for all of the above?" What ultimately started happening is I was taking six of the same shot, just different photo styles!

Anyway, I think another way your reply could be interpreted would be using the JPG as a starting out point, rather than the raw which does need some type of processing to get it to the level of Panasonics standard JPG
 
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Generationfourth

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Before I got super serious with photography and ended up switching to Windows I was a heavy Apple Photos user. This was a couple of years before they introduced levels and curves.

Obviously it doesn't has as much power as Lightroom but as a DAM, nothing beats it IMO.

One thing I loved about Apple Photos and hate about Lightroom Classic is the file system. I don't need to know about how photos are stored under the hood. As long as I can manage them through Photos.app that's all I care about.

It's also integrated into iOS and macOS at a level that Lightroom will probably never be.

There was a lot of fanfare when Lightroom CC was announced about its syncing capabilities and Apple users were like pfffffft, Apple's been able to do that for years.
Yes it's been right there under my nose for the past few years and I just ignored it thinking I had to use Lightroom or recently switching and spending $$$$ on Capture one. I didn't even know I could edit a raw file in Apple Photos until a few nights ago... that's how clueless I was. Using Photos solely and forgetting about the whole "these are where my real photographs live" mindset greatly simplifies the process of culling/processing/exporting and all the annoying extraneous files, plugins, and workarounds...

I did experiment on a few raw files and I'm super impressed with Photos capability (on Mac OS, not iOS) and it's streamlined to exactly the light tinkering I need to do on files.
 
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My friend likes to use Apple Photos for his DAM and processing. The thing that drives him nuts is Apple/Olympus's failure to accept ORF files from EM5 III and EM1 III even though these cameras have been out for a year or so. It bugs him so much he's thinking of selling his EM5 III. That is, he likes it so much that he'd sell a non-compatible camera than give up Photos. How's that for devotion? He even uses Photos to create movies and slideshows. I used it to create a video slideshow, with music, for my Dad's memorial service. I wish Apple and Olympus would get together and solve this perplexing gap.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211241
 
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My friend likes to use Apple Photos for his DAM and processing. The thing that drives him nuts is Apple/Olympus's failure to accept ORF files from EM5 III and EM1 III even though these cameras have been out for a year or so. It bugs him so much he's thinking of selling his EM5 III. That is, he likes it so much that he'd sell a non-compatible camera than give up Photos. How's that for devotion? He even uses Photos to create movies and slideshows. I used it to create a video slideshow, with music, for my Dad's memorial service. I wish Apple and Olympus would get together and solve this perplexing gap.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211241
That’s not Apple’s issue. I heard straight from an  engineer that Olympis/JIP have not paid for their RAW files to be included in the OS.

Take your complaint to JIP now.
 
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That’s not Apple’s issue. I heard straight from an  engineer that Olympis/JIP have not paid for their RAW files to be included in the OS.

Take your complaint to JIP now.

Let's all write to JIP. I didn't realize that camera companies had to pay Apple to include their RAW files. Everything costs money, eh?
 

Bushboy

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I’ll take that m5iii! I only shoot jpg anyway. 😊I don’t know what to do with RAW. Ignorance is bliss. I even shoot Olympus default large/normal jpg setting. It is way faster and much smaller than the super fine setting.
When I had the Panasonic, I really loved the vivid setting, it was super for just about everything.
I find the fun in getting out and taking the photo. Processing on the computer is not my idea of fun. Keep it simple be happy.
 
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Let's all write to JIP. I didn't realize that camera companies had to pay Apple to include their RAW files. Everything costs money, eh?

They want their product in the OS and have to be a developer or something like that. They haven’t. It’s a good service  offers, but apparently some companies have real issues with paying developer fees. They argue they are bringing customers to the computer. Nope.
 

wolfie

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I've been using IPhoto and now Apple Photos and it has been ramped up with most of the options possble on a slider except for things like selective sharpening or layers. If I cant fix an image up with Photos then I reckon it's up to me to take a better shot next time.
 

Macroramphosis

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I shoot JPEG too, and edit in Photos. It is vastly improved from iPhoto, and if I need to use layers or masking then I'll move on to Aurora2017, but I don't have the computer or the time to play with RAW.

But that's the joy of being a happy snapper and not a professional. I don't print, don't sell and there's no camera club here anymore. I'd hesitate to even call myself an enthusiast, really. I don't have nearly enough camera gear for that :D
 

Darmok N Jalad

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Apple Photos really does a pretty good job. I found the adjustment sliders to be very good, without “overcooking” things unless you really get heavy handed. The simplicity can be both a pro and a con, but if you’re okay being all-Apple, it makes sharing content super easy. iCloud storage tiers really aren’t too expensive either, and you can store other content there as well (though not everything as well as a general cloud service).
 

PakkyT

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I didn't even know I could edit a raw file in Apple Photos until a few nights ago... [snip]

I did experiment on a few raw files and I'm super impressed with Photos capability (on Mac OS, not iOS) and it's streamlined to exactly the light tinkering I need to do on files.

Ya you could edit raw files directly even back in iPhotos as well. It is very handy. I too find that the light editing of Photos is plenty for most of my needs.

I shoot RAW+JPG but typically only import the RAW files. I do use the app GraphicConverter as my "front end" (as well as the "Back End") of my process to import, rename automatically on import, add geocoding if needed, and then a quick scan through them to cull out the non-keepers. I then prefer to organize my photos into my own generic folder system (I don't use Photos as a DAM). This way I can move my photos library to any system by simply moving the top folder to that system (Mac, Windows, Linux, etc.). This is all pre-Photos.

It is only now that I drag and drop the raw files into Photos (in preferences I have it set to reference the RAWs from my folder structure, not to import them into the Photos library). I then do whatever light editing I want and add keywords. Unfortunately Mac broke the export with Big Sur where exported JPGs files from Photos are now stripped of metadata such as keywords and other things. This has been broken for months and it really pisses me off that Apple seems to not care and subsequent updates pushed to my Mac have not included any fix for this basic function.

Fortunately since I also use GraphicConverter (GC) on the back end of my process to do some additional EXIF/IPTC editing and additions, while it is extra work and a bit of a pain in the arse (required exporting files from Photos TWICE in order to generate both XMP file and JPGs), I can use CG to restore the missing data and add whatever else I want.

So anyway, a warning to you if you are on Big Sur, export JPG from Photos and want to keep things like Keywords and such in the JPG metadata.
 

Generationfourth

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If I cant fix an image up with Photos then I reckon it's up to me to take a better shot next time.
Yes! I had this epiphany also. I can't believe how many hours I've wasted endlessly fiddling with sliders trying to turn "meh" photos into bangers.

Apple Photos really does a pretty good job. I found the adjustment sliders to be very good, without “overcooking” things unless you really get heavy handed. The simplicity can be both a pro and a con, but if you’re okay being all-Apple, it makes sharing content super easy. iCloud storage tiers really aren’t too expensive either, and you can store other content there as well (though not everything as well as a general cloud service).
I have been happily editing in Photos for the past few days and I noticed that the sliders are pretty mellow also. For most photos I'm simply tweaking exposure, contrast, saturation, etc. The purist part of me thought "only light tweaks". Then I said "to hell with it" and started using the "auto" button, though I do dial some of the sliders back a bit according to taste. I really like the filters (gasp!) and the streamlined UI is great for making adjustments in coordination. The raw processing is impressive and it doesn't make my intel MacBook fans kick on unlike LR or Capture 1 when I'm simply using loupe view.

I also love doing BW conversions with either the Black and White sliders, or the three different BW filters. The conversions work really well in tandem with selective color and curves. Much better results than the three monochrome photo styles on my Panasonic, and I don't have to preemptively choose the style while shooting- which was adding too much cognitive load while shooting.
 

Generationfourth

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Ya you could edit raw files directly even back in iPhotos as well. It is very handy. I too find that the light editing of Photos is plenty for most of my needs.

...snip...

So anyway, a warning to you if you are on Big Sur, export JPG from Photos and want to keep things like Keywords and such in the JPG metadata.

I noticed that also! I think I'll stick to raw for now as I'm very happy with the Photos raw processing
 

gjhill

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I have been looking into this also
But
Is there any way to stop all photos subsequently appearing on iPhone?
I don't really want all my current Lightroom catalogue on phone
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I have been looking into this also
But
Is there any way to stop all photos subsequently appearing on iPhone?
I don't really want all my current Lightroom catalogue on phone
The only way would be to not have iCloud photos enabled on the iPhone, and I don’t believe Photos makes a distinction on libraries. You can, however, set the iPhone Photos library to be managed by iCloud, where it won’t download the entire library to your phone, but you will still see low-res versions of all files. If you manipulate an image, it downloads the full version.
 

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