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About Andy


I am an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. My photographic safaris allow my travelers to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa ‘s beauty and culture.

Banana Republic recently used my photographs as the cornerstone of their Urban Safari campaign, and my images were seen in all 750 stores around the globe, as well as in their billboards, catalogs and annual report. I was also the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the ‘Wild Places’ category in 2008 and a highly commended in the ‘Creative Visions of Nature’ category in 2007.

I launched Gura Gear in 2008, in an attempt to deliver lightweight camera bags to the market. I was looking for a lightweight camera bag to hold all of my photographic gear, and there was nothing desirable on the market that suited my needs. After spending 2 years with many prototypes, the Gura Gear Kiboko bag was born. More products are now available on the Gura Gear web site.




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Aperture 1.5 vs Lightroom beta 4

Wow. Where do I start?

Now that I have my hardware all setup, I am now digging down deep into both Aperture and Lightroom. There are many things to love about each application, but here are some quick bullet points on where my head is at the moment:

Aperture pluses:

  • Dust spot removal tool built-in

  • Integration with for stock and print sales (HUGE benefit)

  • Very nice video tutorials that ship with the product

  • 'Stacks' and 'versions'

  • Backups to vaults

Aperture minuses:

  • RAW conversion quality close, but not as good as ACR, C1 or Lightroom

  • 24" display a minumum, but a 30" display is ideal. Not easy to work on a small-ish Macbook screen while on-the-go

  • Sluggish importing a large amount of images, even with a MacPro 2.66ghz machine with 5GB of memory and an X1900 graphics card.

  • No ability to hold down option/alt key when working with black points, so I have absolutely no idea what I am clipping out of my image.

  • Backing up to vaults requires managing images inside a library, instead of referencing them elsewhere.

Lightroom beta 4 pluses:

  • Acceptable performance, which should be better with released version in 2007

  • I love the interface

  • RAW conversion tools, as well as output quality, is top notch

  • Workflow takes a 1-2-3 approach

Lightroom beta 4 minuses:

  • Not a released product

  • Modal approach, which means certain tools are not available unless you are in the intended module.

  • Workflow takes a 1-2-3 approach

  • No integration at this time with

  • No spot/dust removal tool in this release (perhaps in final product?)

  • Unclear backup methodology

The pragmatic side of me tells me to adopt Aperture 1.5 as my application of choice, but the emotional side of me tells me to hold out a little longer for Lightroom. I certainly like the interface much better in Lightroom, as well as the RAW conversions. This is a young market at the moment, and these products will only get better with time. I can be convinced to use either product at this time, and it benefits me and my workshop and safari customers to know both of them, so I am going to run parallel for the next few months.

Stay tuned.

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Reader Comments (1)

IP: joshliphoto@gmail.comURL: http://www.joshli.comMy two cents:

When I started using Aperture, I was somewhat frustrated by the interface and seemingly complicated workflow. But after sticking it out for a couple of more weeks, I began to feel more comfortable in the Aperture environment.

You really have work in full-screen mode to harness the power of Aperture. This is probably especially true on a laptop, where you don't have the screen space for all the toolbars.

For the most part, I am in browser mode when I am not in full screen mode. Whenever I have to make edits to an image, I hit "F" and go into full screen mode (I guess I have to confess that I have a 30" Cinema display...).

I truly love the innovation in terms of the loupe, stacks, and versions. The fact that you can make albums and use different "album selects" provide you the flexibility to use a different version of the same image per album. (So imagine if you wanted to have a b&w set and a color set of safari images, and you want to use the same image in both albums...)

For importing images, Aperture is slow when you try to directly import from CF cards; try copying the images onto your HDD first.

For highlight clipping, hit Option + Shift + H. You probably know this already -- and no, it is definitely not as convenient as the Adobe approach...

I think once Aperture improves its Raw conversion capabilities, it will offer professionals a truly unique tool.
December 1, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjoshli

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