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Drew K

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  1. I’ve actually made the switch from LR to C1P. A couple of extra points ... C1P has a migration tool, which’ll import your LR catalogs, together with keywords, colour & rating tags. This was, actually, really impressive. You can customise your workspace, so you could (for example) create a toolbar tab containing the navigator, colour tag & ratings as well as keywords and the filter tool. Masking and layers are relatively new to C1P, but they’re gaining in usability in each release. These are ‘flattened’ before opening in Affinity, but it’s great to be able to vary the clarity on different areas in portraits. I did try OnOne, but it created lots of sidebar files (more than one per image), which really slowed down my cloud backup (although I’m not keen on sidecars in any case). Defrag your drive when you do big imports, or you’ll get app aborts.
  2. Yes - and this would be even more useful for my desktop workflow (I can't walk around with my desktop machine). I could set all files saving and closing, and go & make a cuppa. Thanks, Drew
  3. It's a fair distinction (and it intrigued me). There are ( I suspect) more fundamental differences than just the users' occupation. What most people are looking for (in the Aperture / Lightroom "DAM" context) is a way for creators (and yes, mostly photographers) to manage the workflow of their images, from RAW ingestion to output. In my workflow, editing has three phases : RAW processing, detailed editing and colour grading / toning. I only used LR for the first of those. The DAM side - for me - is to keep track of the images in the process; I use it to upload proof images, record the clients' selections, manage the stages of the editing process, and output the processed files. There may be gaps between these stages, so I want to be able to pick up where I left off. I want to find the image easily and quickly, if I decide to share it to Instagram a month after editing. Other photographers - in other genres - will have different processes, but any of these apps will cover 90% of most photographers' needs, from enthusiast to professional. Most of us are one-man bands. Importantly (and I suspect this applies to most users) they're all my images - my assets, and the app site on my machine. A publisher/studio asset management system (the beasts I think you referred to) would, I suspect, be on a whole different scale, especially as all publishable media forms would eventually need to be embraced (including audio and video) and web platforms - not just 'print' media. Third parties may have an interest in some of those assets, in which case you'd want metadata recording the licence/royalty terms, including (potentially) by-lines, cast lists and licence expiry dates. There may be contractual, regulatory or ethical restrictions on the asset usage. As an extreme example, think of the copyright clearances now needed for samples on recorded music. Records may need to be kept of where and when the asset has been published - what happens if you get a takedown notice for an image that's been shared on several different platforms ? If you're a larger business, you might want an API to take feeds from - or send them to - other systems (a sales system, or royalty payments, for example - or music/video streaming volumes and income). And you'd need development support trained to configure and implement them. A commercial studio might want to link to job management statistics, or workload/issue completion projections. Because of the interaction within the team (copywriters / editors), this would be designed as a multiuser application, so you need to be able to book assets in and out (a bit like GitHub). You might want messaging or approval functionality. Some of team members might work remotely (typically, from home). Most importantly (because of the above), it would be a complex database application, applicable to niche vertical markets, rather than to retail customers. Because it's such a radically different development, there would be little synergy with Affinity's existing software and people assets - meaning a different software toolkit, and a different set of skills to maintain and support. All of which is really outside Affinity's existing business and pricing model - and the reality is that there aren't as many 'enthusiast' publishers as photographers - although the growth of on-line magazine platforms (Kavyar & Issuu, for example) is making it much more accessible. So there's probably a niche, but the trick would be building it for the right price.
  4. Yup. LR has a massive installed user base (and a huge preset industry) so that's the low-hanging fruit - the biggest market, and (I suspect) the most vulnerable to Affinity's pricing model. I think Capture is probably now best-of-breed, but (let's face it) it's priced for pro users. As a result, I've made the switch to Capture One. I needed to make the change, and figured any Affinity offering would be in beta for months. I'd previously tried Capture at version 9, but there were too many gaps. They've now introduced catalogs (as opposed to sessions) and recognise PSD files - thinking back, those were the main showstoppers for me. Those are sorted now, and I'm settling in with it (the decision was eased by Capture offering a 40% discount for this month). Digressing a bit ... I've just downloaded Publisher, Photo has upgraded, and I've tried out Studio Link. It's mind-blowing. Many congrats to Affinity on delivering this. And (I think) to try to spec DAM functionality without taking on board the possibilities of this technology is to miss a massive trick. But it raises another point. Does Affinity focus its resources on a DAM (basically a database) for its existing user base, or does it concentrate on the media manipulation capability to produce (for example) video & audio editors?
  5. My most immediate requirement is for a DAM to replace Lightroom. I''m running Photoshop and Lightroom on old purchased versions on a Mac. Given Apple's stated intention of withdrawing support for 32-bit apps, I need to replace Lightroom (I'm happy with Affinity Photo) as a priority. I'd be happy to pay a reasonable monthly sub for editing software (if I need Photoshop). But I hate the idea of my edited images being held to ransom, as is the case with a subscription-based DAM - I can't stop paying (whatever the price) if I want access to my images. I'm willing to sacrifice the latest bells-and-whistles functionality for this security (I guess I can pay for an upgrade - as I did with Lightroom - if it adds value) so I'm tending towards Picktorial atm. RAW processing would be useful, but isn't necessary - there are functional alternatives out there. I rarely use local adjustments. 'Round tripping' to external editors, picking up the adjusted images, is essential for me. As well as basic editing, I use Nik Efex and potentially others) for different versions. As is a flexible batch export process (print, FTP, etc.). Being able to create presets for repetitive tasks is important. I'm not particularly bothered about slideshow or book printing (Publisher is pretty good for that ). Generating a web page is a very 90's thing now - most sites use scripted code generators (for so many reasons) rather than reading flat HTML files. I'm a bit of a hoarder, so I've a lot of images, not all in their filesystem folder structures. Many are infrequently accessed, but I still want them catalogued / accessible. They cover a number of genres (wildlife, events, people, music gigs), and I use keywording/tagging a lot (not least for remembering who is in the shot, or creatives who contributed). Each genre will have its own set of tags, so it's much easier each has its own catalogue, so lists don't get clogged and unwieldy. I like Lightroom's catalogue systems because I can restrict the view to the relevant bits. I wouldn't have a problem with all images in a single database (providing it's performant), if it has the ability to slice by a different view for each genre. I'd prefer this to constant hard-disk reads. I use Lightroom's colour coding to drive my workflow - 'yellow' is selected for edit, 'green' is work-in-progress, 'blue' is complete, toned, and ready to share. I sometimes use 'purple' for versions cropped to print dimensions. I also use Lightroom's flags, and I use stacking a lot to keep different versions together. I use collections to pull together images used for different portfolio sites, but also to drive workflow (I set them up for my 'to do' lists of images to be edited). The important bit (for me) I like hierarchies / taxonomies. I'd like more (e.g. to group images for a specific shoot or project) - it would actually be easier if keywords could be applied at that level. Ideally, I'd like custom, context-specific / genre-specific taxonomies which could be optionally output as keywords. To explain a bit more ... for wildlife, I'd like to be able to log the species (binomen and common name - literally the Linnaen taxonomy). For my Scuba photos, I'd like to record a dive reference, which can lookup my dive log database (which has temperature, depth, location name and equipment). For gigs, I'd like a record of the band, and for fashion shoots I'd want designer / model / MUA etc. There used to be a LR plugin called "LR Transporter" which would let you output XML files from Lightroom, alongside the image export. Some years ago, I built my website to interpret that data, which drove the site formatting & display (I've attached a page to show how this worked). So I think that output in json or XML would be useful. A bonus would be if each taxonomy entry had multiple attribute fields, so I could record the model's agency (a taxonomy in itself) , portfolio site and Instagram handle, for instance - which would make things easier when posting an image with credits.
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