Mac the Shutterbug

Digital photography has revolutionized the photography industry. I remember when, for most people, learning about photography primarily centered on learning the craft up to the point of removing the film from the camera and sending it in to get it processed. Sure, I dabbled in black and white film developing and photo printing in the early 80’s, but anything other than black and white print film was beyond my capacity to deal with myself. Now, thanks to digital cameras, computers, and specialized software, photographers have a whole other facet of photography to enjoy learning and mastering.

Using a Mac really makes the computing side of photography a treat. It’s no secret to Mac owners that OS X is far more conducive to getting things done as opposed to playing high priest to keep the computer running, as is often the case with Windows machines. That’s not fanboy hyperbole — I spent years primarily using Windows machines, and it really hit me not long after returning to the Mac that I was spending a lot less time maintaining the machine and much more time just using it.

One of the other reasons that Macs are a great choice for photographers is software choice. Like the new Photoshop CS5? It runs natively in 64-bit on the Mac. Like Adobe Lightroom? It’s there too. But while those programs are also available for Windows users, Mac owners have the option of using Apple’s superb Aperture photo editing and management software. Aperture 3 was released early this year and is a huge upgrade in terms of image editing flexibility and capabilities. For more casual photographers, iPhoto is great for basic editing, photo library management, and photo sharing, and it comes with every Mac.

If you like to put photos on flickr, there are also a ton of great third party applications for the Mac that make managing your photos and viewing photos from your contacts and groups easy. Two of my favorites are Flickery and Viewfinder.

There are also great photo sharing options for Mac owners. MobileMe provides photo album functionality that works well for basic photo sharing, and there are great applications like MemoryMiner that make organizing photos and creating and sharing meaningful photo slideshows on the web both fun and easy. Apple’s Aperture 3 also includes the ability to create beautiful slideshows.

Mainly, from a photographer’s standpoint, the focus should be on effectively managing and digitally processing photos. The Mac is good about getting out of the way and letting that happen.

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