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Posts Tagged ‘Aperture 3’

Nikon D300 24-70mm @60mm f/2.8 1/100, ISO 800

[Click on photo to enlarge]

I recently posted about my relationship with Aperture 3, soon after I got a google notification that www.kirjaputiikki.fi had republished my article. Well the link love certainly made me feel great, but the real benefit came when I decided to check out that site again yesterday and found a link to this teeth whitening tutorial. I decided to watch the video even though I though I knew how to whiten teeth in Aperture. However the video showed me how to use multiple adjustment brushes. For example you can have an adjustment brush on the highlights/shadows of the photo, and then get another brush to highlights/shadows with different settings for a different part of the photo.

I find it so ironic that the post about me starting to doubt Aperture 3 actually lead to me finding exactly what I needed to make me love it all over again. I don’t do a lot of converting to black and white, but my frustration with white balance (in this post here) lead me to think that perhaps when I can’t get the colour right, that might be a good time to convert to black and white. The teeth whitening video then inspired me to use a brush to put the colour back into the photo selectively. I know the brushing wasn’t perfect, it was really hard to get right around his messy hair. But a friend of mine inspired me last night to experiment with things I haven’t done before, and to not expect the experiments to be perfect, but to be stepping-stones to greater things. The above photo is exactly that, a first time experiment. Thanks Paul.

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If you are at all into photo processing you have surely heard of the Lightroom vs Aperture debate. Every time there is a new release the debate sparks up again, and people consider switching. I bought my first copy of Aperture 2 shortly after its release date. Lightroom 1.0 hadn’t been on the market as long as Aperture, not to mention it was $100 more, and I didn’t really see that it did a whole lot more than Aperture 2. Since then I have often thought about switching to Lightroom, not because I think it’s a better program, but because it has become the standard. It’s easy to find courses on Lightroom. However I have a relationship of sorts with Aperture, and the idea of all the work involved in such a move seems wrong to me.

As with many new things or relationships, at first you are all in love, and in awe of everything about the person/program. Eventually the euphoria wears off, and you start to see the flaws, some that others tried to point out to you, others that you just find on your own. Eventually I started to see the flaws, at least the flaws in Aperture 2 that bothered me, one of the biggest was that in the metadata the exposure program was listed as a number, and the same number was used for manual, as either aperture or shutter priority (I can’t remember anymore). But the biggest complaint that I had was it didn’t show me the focus point. I could review every photo I had taken and the camera would show me where I had focused, but that information was not communicated to Aperture 2. I can remember complaining to a fellow photographer friend of mine. His only response was that I didn’t really need that information anyway. While I respect his opinion, this time I didn’t care what he thought, this was a huge deal to me.

I finally got Aperture 3 a couple of months ago, and the honeymoon phase started all over again. Aperture 3 had got it right; this time you can simply click on a button, and the focus point is highlighted in red. I have used that feature so many times to check my work, and it has helped me improve my photography. Aperture 3 also lists what exposure program I used, whether fully manual, aperture priority, or shutter priority. It also tells me what white balance the camera was set to.

The honeymoon phase is over now. The white balance metadata is sometimes wrong, and in the last couple of weeks it was wrong under 2 different circumstances. The first time it read “Daylight fluorescent” when really I had used “High temp mercury-vapor”. Today it was wrong again, when the metadata read “Auto White Balance” when I had actually manually preset the white balance. I’m almost sure that my friend would tell me that it really doesn’t matter, in the end it’s about getting the image right, and not what the program says, but I’m upset. If you’ve been following my blog you know that a couple of weeks ago I wrote about my frustrations with white balance. I’m paying attention to what situations the camera’s white balance presets work well in, how auto white balance does work, and when a custom white balance works best. So having accurate information in the metadata helps me, while incorrect information makes it all the more difficult for me, and is just plain bad programming.

While the honeymoon may be over and I’m angry with Aperture 3 right now, I’m sure that once the dust settles and trust is re-established I’ll want to continue this journey with Aperture 3 as my friend, and not want to ditch him for Lightroom. However at this very moment, the idea of changing to Lightroom is floating around in my head.

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