January 2009 has really charged out of the gate. At least on the design front. I haven't shot too much this month. Partially because I've been getting my head wrapped around Lightroom and the Lumix GFI.
A few words about the later first: It's a fantastic little camera. It's easily my new everyday carry camera with the 20mm lens on it. This is the closest thing to an heir apparent to my M6 which has been gathering dust for the last year and half. Actually, writing about how long it's been since I've shot film could be another post entirely.
Where was I?
Right. Fantastic camera. My current workflow is Aperture. And that's where digital rangefinder nirvana begins to crumble. The GF1 isn't supported by Aperture. Apple seems to have let Aperture fall by the wayside in the grand scheme of RAW support. That's a bummer. Shoot JPEG you say? If you have a camera that shots RAW there's only a handful os situations that makes shoot JPEG. I shoot RAW almost exclusively. Enter the Lightroom 3 Beta. I thought I'd have a good jump on the learning curve with my experience in Adobe's Creative Suite.
I think some of it is that Aperture had really shaped my view of what to expect out of a photo management application. Apple consistently nails user interface. Aperture is no exception—it really is, at least in my opinion and experience, the better photo management application. This isn't a shortcoming on Adobe's part. It was a conscious decision by Adobe to publish a photo manipulation package for photographers. Comparing them becomes an exercise in apples and broccoli because of this fundamental difference.
But where Adobe appears to be pulling ahead is that they keep rolling out support for new cameras. I have a hard time imaging a technology that's moving faster than digital photography right now. Keeping up with it all is a big deal. If Apple wants to continue touting Aperture as a solution for professional photographers they need to pick up the pace. Personally, I don't need a lightroom. I want to get the shot as close to perfect in camera. Maybe bump the contrast. Maybe push the saturation a tick. That's usually it. But I need RAW support.
I'll eventually adapt to Lightroom's workflow. It obviously works for thousands of people. And for now, I'm not planning on shooting hired work with the GF1. Not yet. So in that regard there's some separation between church and state—rather personal and work. Maybe that's a good thing.
These shots are some of the first I've taken with the GF1 taken over New Year's Eve up in the North Carolina mountains.