What are you guys using for photo editing on mac?

I’ve got an M1 and I already have pixelmator pro which I bought when it was like 50% off. I really like it as a photo editor but TBH now I realize I need library support, that would make things soo much nicer. I don’t want to get into Adobe. Luminar?

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I stay away from Adobe, but Luminar AI is pretty nice if you’re looking for quick edits. Frankly between Apple’s Photos, Pixelmator Pro, and Affinity Photo you probably have everything you need.


What do you create your libraries in? Just Apple photos? I’m shooting on both my iPhone and a Sony a6000 camera right now. And affinity is paid right?

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I use affinity photo

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@Leo I would love to stay away from Adobe but I haven’t yet found a good replacement for Lightroom (which is what I use), not to mention the nightmare of migrating my current 400GB of images away while keeping the non-destructive edits have made there.

So I suffer with the slow performance of Lightroom and pay adobe every month for the privilege.


The last straw for me was when I couldn’t install Photoshop or Lightroom because I had formatted my Mac with case-sensitive APFS. Apparently Adobe’s software assumes that Filename is the same as FILENAME. Ugh. I’m not reformatting my Mac just to use Lightroom.

I use Photos as my Catalog - it’s free, works fine, and it’s both iPad, iPhone, and macOS.


And there are some great non Adobe tools available! I use Affinity Photo

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I remember that rant:) Sadly Adobe is not alone is assuming case insensitive filesystems.

I just want decent Lightroom performance…

Luminar 4 is what I’m using.

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Not Mac, any more. But I use CaptureOne for cataloguing and Affinity Photo and Luminar 4 for editing and retouching.

All have Mac versions. Luminar was on Humble Bundle in December, but unfortunately the deal has finished.

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CaptureOne only for cataloging?

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Sorry, yes, like Lightroom, I do some retouching there. Heavy lifting is then done in Affinity or Luminar - Affinity is supported directly from within CaptureOne.

What’s your workflow if you’re importing from an actual camera other than iPhone? I’m just not familiar with how exactly to import photos into Photos so just wondering if it’s a very manual process for you or you have some fancy way to do it? I have a Sony camera and it seems like the app isn’t made for M1 yet, so right now I have to copy everything from SD card to my drive.

Here’s a question. If using Apple Photos and something like Affinity, if I perform and “Edit with” from Apple Photos, edit my photo, save and go back to Photos, are those edits now permanent? Ie I can’t undo once the edit is done and it’s saved back into Photos?

I also use luminar alongside a custom script based on exiftool for cataloguing.

The custom script is used across platforms, Linux and Mac. It works fine :sunglasses:

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I’d really like something to organise my photos with tags. I really wish Luminar had tagging. The only kind of organisation that does not rely on folder structure are albums, which can be rather cumbersome.

Adobe Bridge is okay, but it does not show the edits on my raw images I made in Luminar 4.

Plus I really hate all the Creative Cloud stuff Adobe insists on installing.

I don’t use it exclusively, but Capture One is nice. Affinity is nice, but I don’t know about it cataloging images long term.

And I’m speaking from a Win10 perspective. Sorry. Just realized MacOS was the question

That’s alright both of those are on macOS.

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I’m surprised that in the five plus years since Apple announced the end of Aperture there hasn’t been a clear third party replacement emerge. There seem to be a dozen partial replacements, but the opportunity is still there to just replicate Aperture.