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Aperture

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by HeatherTheVet, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    Scotland
    Heather
    I have downloaded the trial version of Aperture I'm looking forward to lots of photography jiggery-pokery and maybe saving some previous disasters.

    Does anybody have any favourite tools or tricks I should check out? Obviously without giving away all your trade secrets! I'm going to look at all the demo videos again and see if I can work out what I'm supposed to do. Then it's just plenty time at the desk I suppose!
     
  2. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    You're in luck because I know for sure that both Ray and Grant use Aperture and love it! Nicole also uses Aperture. Can't remember if John is using it or not. No doubt we have other members using Aperture, too.

    Ray may still be en route home. Let's see who gets here first!
     
  3. BruPri

    BruPri SC Top Veteran

    699
    May 11, 2011
    Seattle, Washington USA
    Bruce J. Pritchard
    I like the Straighten tool, it auto crops. I also like the Crop tool as you move the frame unlike LR where you move the image under the frame...
     
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Strange that Adobe chose to make the Lightroom crop tool back-to-front with the same tool in Photoshop.
     
  5. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    I'm also an Aperture user, fwiw, though I do heavy lifting in Photoshop.
     
  6. Duane Pandorf

    Duane Pandorf SC Top Veteran

    868
    Apr 25, 2011
    Western NC
    I'm also an Aperture user and along with the Nik software plugins I seldom leave the app.
     
  7. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    Hi heather.

    I am a heavy user of Aperture. Every image I shoot goes through Aperture, as I only shoot RAW. Every image I want to print and every image I want to do HDR ( about 15%) also goes elsewhere but end up back in Aperture. I use no plug-ins but do have a bunch of presets I have made as well as free ones I have downloaded. The power of Aperture becomes apparent when you learn the keyboard shortcuts. Of course you don't have to know them all just the ones you need and that varies with each person. For me the easiest way to get started was to buy one month on Lynda.com and work through the Aperture tutorials. It is a program that gets easier to use and more powerful the longer you use it.

    I never hide my Aperture Secrets, as i am not even sure what are secrets. I don't know people want to know but if you have any general questions ask them here and if you have any specific questions maybe drop me an email.

    Good luck and ask away.
     
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  8. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    Scotland
    Heather
    Thanks for your help chaps. I'm wondering - i've imported some photos for me to play with and see what happens. The originals are safe in iphoto for now. However, if I transfer across to Aperture, is there a folder of originals so that you can play about as much as you like and always know that the original is safe in the bank? Or is there a return to original settings button or something?
    I am rather enjoying it already, I see what you mean about the presets. Very handy indeed.
    I still have the nagging underlying feeling that PP is cheating though!
     
  9. john1027

    john1027 SC Regular

    187
    Jul 11, 2010
    Alexandria, VA
    Heather,

    Aperture, like iPhoto is a non-destructive editor and your edits are made on a duplicated version and your original master image remains intact should you need it at a later time. Aperture is a step up and a little more complicated than iPhoto and there is a bit of a learning curve, but nothing overwhelming. It really comes down to either spending sometime reading about it in a guide book or taking Grant's excellent advice and get a month of Lynda.com or a similar vendor. I have an ongoing monthly subscription with them and find well worth the money. You might also check out Aperture Experts at Store - ApertureExpert.com They have some excellent tutorials you can down load at $2.00 (USD) each, and I think you will find that photographer Joseph Linaschke is an excellent teacher and also shares many of his tips in his forum. You might also consider the Apple Pro Training Series book & DVD entitled "Aperture 3" by Dion Scoppettuolo.

    Just a suggestion, but you might want to also take a look at Lightroom and perhaps try their free trail and see which one suits your needs best. I ended up on the Aperture bandwagon a few years back but sometime wish I had gone the Lightroom route. At this point, I have too much time and effort vested in trying to master Aperture to abandon it and start again although there are some days I think I still might.
     
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  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I used Aperture pretty much exclusively after I got back into photography last year and it served me well. More recently, its pretty much become my catalog organizer and basic raw processor, but I do any heavy lifting that needs to be done in the various Nik plug-ins. I do a lot of black and white and there are a LOT of pretty good Aperture pre-sets available out there in the ether that are very good starting points for B&W processing and will give you some very different looks. Most of them are organized as film emulation modes, but some are just sort of "look" or "effect" oriented. Many are free, some cost a few dollars, but for not much money you can find a zillion pre-sets out there. The non-destructive editing is great in that you can create as many "versions" of an image as you want without affecting the underlying file - the program essentially saves the settings for each version and they're applied to the basic file each time you open the version, but the file itself is unchanged.

    BUT, I ultimately found the Nik plug-ins much more intuitive and useful for both B&W and beyond the basics color processing and I tend to use these now. They essentially creates another entire file to work with for each "version" you create with one of their plug-ins and they're TIFF files, which are HUGE. So you lose some of the really storage-efficient file management when you do this and once you save a file after working in the plug ins you can't UNdo the changes - you can only edit additionally over the top of them. I generally work on an image until I'm satisfied with it, save it as a jpeg and then trash the TIFF file, just to save disk space, but not everyone does it this way. If you decide to redo a file in a plug-in, its easy enough to create another "version" to work on separately, but you just have to remember that each "version" created for use in a plug in creates an entire additional file, whereas if you stay within the friendly confines of Aperture and don't use plug ins, you can try all of the versions you want without adding more than a tiny amount to your storage needs for a given underlying image.

    I'd recommending playing around with Aperture a good bit, maybe do some of the tutorials mentioned, and learn to use it before you get side-tracked with plug-ins. After you feel like you start pushing up against the program's limits, some of the plug-ins are great tools and well worth exploring, but they will tend to change the way you work with the program, so its good to understand its internal logic before you go too far afield.

    Good luck, have fun, etc...

    -Ray
     
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  11. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    I can only talk for RAW files as I have not experience with shoofing in JPEG but I suspect it is the same. Aperture stores all you files not in a bank but a vault and never touches the original version. Yes, Vault that is what they call it. They make two copies of your original a thumbnail and a version and that is what you see. All changes in you image are stored in a side care file that is very small and you can easily step back through the changes if need be. The interesting thing is that the vault is very hard to access, unless you know lots about Macs. The good thing is you can get at them very easily if need them through Aperture. The only way you can loose the originals is if you don't back them up and have a hard drive failure.

    As to restore your image from your Master image just right click on an image and you will be given a number of options amount them are "New Version from Master", "Reset All Adjustments", "Reprocess Master" and "Update from Master". If you need a copy of your original go to Export and export as Master. You can also export your master directly to an external editor as well.

    If you feel that best ignore most of your favourite photographers as almost all of them did PP. Post processing in film days starts with the selection of film paper and chemicals and may even have not end with spotting and the selection of frame and matts. Things like unsharp mask, solarization and posturization was developed in film days, not by Adobe. Purist who cry foul either never worked in a darkroom or have simply forgotten this. For example if you look very carefully at Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother you will notice a thumb has been air brushed out. If you want to see brilliant post processing with stunning preplanning you can do well by studying Eugene Smith and Ansel Adams.
     
  12. jonoslack

    jonoslack SC Veteran

    203
    May 6, 2011
    HI John
    I hate to contradict you, but that isn't quite what Aperture does. It doesn't make a duplicate of the file, all the changes you made are logged in the database of the Aperture library - when you look at the file next time these changes are applied. You can make a number of different 'versions' of a file - but these are simply different sets of database entries, the file is not duplicated.

    If you shell out to Photoshop or Nik software (or most other plugins), then Aperture will make a .tif file first, and this will be saved together with the original. Still, I've almost completely stopped using either PS or Silver Efex Pro - the localised adjustments in Aperture 3 and the excellent black and white converter have pretty much made them redundant.

    By default, your original files are stored in the Aperture Library, but most serious users prefer to keep the files in their own folder structure - apart from knowing where they are, and being able to back them up separately, it means that the Aperture Library itself is much smaller (so that's easier to backup / transfer as well). In this case your files will be referred to as 'referenced' files

    As for the Aperture / Lightroom conundrum, I've re-evaluated the situation three times in the last few years. The killer for me is always the much better clone tool in Aperture (lots of telegraph poles around here), and also the better cataloguing. If you haven't used either of them before, then it's going to take you a very long time to come to a really well balanced judgement as to which works best for you. If I was making the decision right now, I'd certainly go for Aperture - apart from the fact that it works just fine . . . . it's about 1/4 of the price!

    Quite agree about ApertureExpert.com

    I hope this helps
    all the best
     
  13. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    Scotland
    Heather
    This probably isn't the right place for this bit, but I don't get the RAW/JPEG thing. If anyone is able to summarize it without giving me brainfreeze I would appreciate it. What is the difference, why is one "better" than the other? What can I do with RAW that would be different?

    Wide eyed beginner questions.

    I was thinking this morning, most of you are seasoned photographers who are discovering new cameras and how you can do things differently with them, comparing and contrasting. I saved up, bought a camera I fell in love with when trying to buy a birthday present for someone else, and am slowly learning how to use it and what to do with the photos afterwards. So I'm getting there but every now and again I blink and look glaiket before having to go and do more research!
     
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Think of raw as a negative in the sense that its ALL of the information contained in the shot but no decisions have been made yet about how to process it. A jpeg is a file that's been processed from that raw file with various settings applied to make it look a certain way - think of it as a print. Every camera shoots raw, but a lot of cameras immediately convert the file to a jpeg (based on the settings that are built into the camera and some that you can modify) and junk the raw file - these cameras don't offer you the option of a raw file even though the file originated as raw data. So, if you have a camera that allows you to choose which format you want (any reasonably nice camera, basically), if you choose the raw file, you get an unprocessed file and you can make ALL of the processing decisions. If you choose to get a jpeg file, you get a processed file with most of the decisions made already - you can still tweak a jpeg file in an editor, but you don't have anywhere near the latitude or the amount of data available to you that you'd have in the raw file.

    This description makes the process of working with raw files sound cumbersome, but it really isn't with today's soup to nuts software (Aperture and Lightroom being the most popular examples) that will process your raw files for you upon import and save them, giving you the ability to work on them additionally in any way you want. You can modify the settings it uses when it imports the files to make them more to your liking if you're not thrilled with the default settings (which generally try to look reasonably close to the manufacturers jpegs). Importing a huge batch of raw files takes a little bit longer than importing a huge batch of jpegs, but there's not much downside to using raw beyond that. The upside is that if you want to try to pull some detail out of the shadows or push down some of the highlights, change the color saturation or the contrast curves, etc, ALL of the original information is still there to work with. With a jpeg, a lot of the decisions have been made and the extraneous data has been tossed aside (which is why jpeg files are notably smaller than raw files). You still have some ability to tweak jpeg files, but not nearly the control you have with raw. If you work with raw files and Aperture or Lightroom are holding onto your raw files, when you've made all of the edits to them and want to print them or post them on the net, send them to friends, etc, the program THEN exports that version of the image to a jpeg for distribution, but it still holds on to the raw file and all of the data, so you can continue to make changes or new versions of a shot with all of the orignal information intact.

    A lot of camera manufacturers produce really nice out of camera jpegs (with my Fuji X100 they're so nice I can't seem to beat, or even equal, them with my raw processor, so I tend to shoot jpegs with that camera). With most cameras, though, I can do a better job, or a job more to my liking, with a raw file than with a jpeg. If you have no interest in processing your shots beyond what comes out of the camera, there's not much reason to shoot raw (other than the possibility that you might change your mind someday). And shooting jpegs generally allows the camera to write the file to the card more quickly and get on with other operations, in addition to being able to fit FAR more jpeg shots on a given SD card than raw files. OTOH, if you think you even MIGHT want to delve into processing, raw has some real advantages most of the time. And very little downside given how inexpensive storage has become and how fast most modern cameras are...

    I hope this helps as a basic explanation...

    -Ray
     
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  15. jonoslack

    jonoslack SC Veteran

    203
    May 6, 2011
    Ray's explanation is excellent . . . I could put it more straightforwardly though:

    If you are going to use Aperture there are no real disadvantages to shooting RAW - but there are lots of disadvantages shooting jpg.

    So - just shoot RAW, know that you are doing the right thing and forget about it!

    all the best
     
  16. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I basically agree, but violent and nasty and deeply heated debates have run for pages and pages and pages on this very subject, both here and elsewhere. So I figured I'd take the non-denominational approach and offer it up as a choice! :wink:

    -Ray
     
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  17. nursenicole

    nursenicole SC Regular

    53
    Mar 5, 2011
    Boston
    I use Aperture now, after having used Photoshop and Photoshop Elements for many years- definitely a bigger fan of Aperture. Have never used Lightroom though. I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said- I really like Aperture's layout and feel and organization, and although there is a bit of a learning curve, that's true for any program. Have fun with it! :)
     
  18. HeatherTheVet

    HeatherTheVet SC All-Pro

    Apr 23, 2011
    Scotland
    Heather
    Gentlemen you have enlightened me immensely and I am very grateful. I shall have a word with my camera and change to RAW. What does it stand for?

    This photgraphy lark is a great game! Next issue - finding out where on the lens the consistent little black spots are coming from. Every day an adventure!
     
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  19. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I love you Heather!:2thumbs:

    P.S. I believe RAW doesn't stand for anything, but just means unprocessed...sort of like uncooked meat being raw.:biggrin:
     
  20. jonoslack

    jonoslack SC Veteran

    203
    May 6, 2011
    Hah - but surely not here Ray - everyone is so pleasant. I do understand some people's liking of shooting jpg (space, transmitting files etc.). Actually, I'm shooting jpg (+raw) with the EP3 at the moment, it's good for getting one to sharpen up on exposure! I can't wait for Apple to come up with the RAW support though.

    all the best
     
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