Lightroom- I call Lightroom the simplified Photoshop. Still with hundreds of options, Lightroom is built for photographers who need to work with a large collection of images and need efficiency. Lightroom was built with a great work flow and the ability to apply simple edits quickly. Lightroom is more straight forward and has less of a learning curve than Photoshop, which is good for casual shooters. Lightroom is really a photo library, a post-processing tool, and a print and web gallery maker all in one. So is this the right software for you? If you have a large library that needs to be edited quickly (and also in detail), then this is right for you. But it really isn't Photoshop or Lightroom, both have their own advantages and shortcomings and many photographers have both for specific uses.
Aperture- Aperture is another program designed for fast work flow. Aperture is a blazingly quick software that allows for general edits on your images, and provides the user with numerous brushes for specific edits. One of the cooler features of Aperture is faces and places. It allows the photographer to tag a subject, and the program (with relative success) identifies other images of the person and compiles it in a folder. Places, allows for images to be placed on a world map, so the photographs can be organized by location. One shortcoming of Aperture is the inability to edit individual pixels. So is this the right software for you? First you must note this program only runs on a Mac computer. Also if your using iPhoto, Aperture is a needed upgrade if you want to seriously edit and organize your images. But for a shooter who needs to efficiently make high-quality alterations, this is ideal.