I tend to take about 500 photos a month – so processing these and keeping up with the flow is pretty time-consuming and labour intensive. I’ve used a number of apps to help with this, including ThumbsPlus, iView (recently bought by Microsoft and rebranded as Microsoft Exression Media), and lately Apple’s Aperture.
Each of these has strong and weak points, but here’s an interesting observation – I tended to use ThumbsPlus and iView simply as image catalog and web processing applications, where-as I tend to actually use Aperture to IMPROVE the images. From simple things like cropping, to more advanced features such as changing colour, adjusting highlights and shadows, and sharpening, Aperture really helps make the photos have a lot more impact.
On the other hand, it has not been so simple to get into the Aperture “flow” (where the heck should I store the images (should they be managed?)), importing sucks and some aspects of the program are downright ugly – like the web gallery templates. All the templates suck, and they are really difficult to customize (and I’m expert with HTML and CSS!). Also, the app is horribly slow at creating web galleries. Like 3 minutes for 6 pictures (on a MacBookPro core 2 duo!). I keep hoping Apple will release an updated version of Aperture with some fixes in these areas.
On the plus side, Aperture’s helping me produce the best images I’ve ever shot…