Controlled Vocabularies ptii

continued from part i

Several years have passed since writing the essay on controlled vocabularies so it is probably worth taking another look and see how things have progressed in that time.

Apple considerably improved Aperture with version 3 to a point where I could actually use it but then they suddenly abandoned it completely. I had grown to like some of the things it could do and Adobe on the other hand, had seemed to lose interest in Lightroom. During this time I had also ventured into medium format and found the options for processing those files to be somewhat different. Hasselblad’s Phocus was good at processing but hopeless at keywording whereas Phase One were still trying to work out what to do with Media Pro after acquiring it from Microsoft after they in turn took it on from iView Media Pro. Very few applications could read the native Hasselblad files including Phases’ Capture One. It was a difficult time and required several additional stages in the digital workflow before the final images ended up once again in Lightroom for keywording. I did like using Capture One however and found it handled the files from my newly acquired Fuji X100 beautifully, but it was hopelessly inadequate at hierarchical keywording at that time, so for a while, I was using several applications once again.

Then things started to evolve and mature, with more options becoming available. Capture One matured to the point where I could use it instead of Lightroom, not just for processing but for cataloguing as well. I loved the way I could use it for tethered capture in the studio, then process and keyword all in one application and found the results were fantastic. There was more control and greater dynamic range, especially with the Fuji files, so I stuck with it despite a period of instability where it kept crashing.

When Adobe announced Lightroom was going to a subscription model I initially baulked and instead upgraded Capture One. This proved a good move as it had now stabilised and become much more refined, I had also become more familiar with it, although the keywording could still be a bit flaky at times but with perseverance, I imported all of my Lightroom keywords and did a manual re-order where needed. I now had a keyword library that worked the way I wanted it to.

It might seem silly after all that, to then try out the Lightroom CC option but I had a good offer for a year’s subscription and was intrigued by Lightroom Mobile. Whilst it was an interesting experience and in some ways enjoyable, as the year has just finished I have just cancelled my subscription and am sticking with Capture One ProLightroom Mobile has it’s uses but for me personally, it is not of much use – I’d rather have more control to process my images on a large, colour-managed screen in my own time, than fiddle about trying to do it on a phone or tablet ‘on the go’. Others will find it advantageous I’m sure but it isn’t for me. I did a number of tests comparing results of using both on the same set of images and Capture One consistently produced the best results, every time. 

I’ll still keep my stand-alone copy of Lightroom installed for a while but its Capture One I use on a daily basis.

Updated 2019

I continue to use Capture One Pro for processing all of my images and those of all of my clients, as the results are simply unmatched by anything else. Later versions of Lightroom and even Photoshop, I find mostly unusable – I keep a copy of CS4 for those odd occasions when I might it but otherwise I will continue to use Capture One Pro for all cataloguing and processing.

I have found Affinity Photo to produce excellent results for those instances where further development is needed so hardly ever need to use Photoshop now. It also works on mobile devices if needed. Adobe seems to be pushing their subscription model quite aggressively now and rumours suggest that the earlier versions of their Creative Studio apps will no longer work after the next OS update. That is a shame as I have been a big Adobe user in the past but if that happens, I will just free up some space on my internal hard drive.