Aperture Tricks – All About Apple Aperture

October 3, 2006

Aperture 1.5 First Impressions

Filed under: Articles, Reviews — Scott @ 2:52 pm

Now that the dust has settled, and I’ve had a few days to use Aperture 1.5, I must say I am impressed. This is a major upgrade to an already good program.

Apple has added more than 20 new features and improved performance. On my MacBookPro, 2GHZ with two gigabytes of RAM, I rarely see the spinning beach ball. I don’t have any fancy test equipment but I can tell you, it’s faster and smoother. This alone will be news that propels the application onto the desks of many photographers.

Other than the basic performance enhancement, Aperture has made great gains in file management, metadata and image adjustments.

One of the first things 1.5 users will have to decide is whether or not they want to use the new image previews. These are not required if you don’t plan to do offline library management, if you don’t want to make slide shows, if you don’t want drag and drop jpeg support and if you don’t care about sharing images with iLife and iWork.

Beware that creating previews takes time. If you automatically create previews for all your new images, you’ll certainly spend some time waiting before you can access a large group of photos that you’re importing. I turned off the automatic previews, deciding that I will apply this feature selectively after I have made my pics.

Aperture makes this easy to do on a project-by-project basis or on an image-by-image basis.

Another cool new feature is the Centered Loupe. Open up the Loupe tool as you normally would. Then press Command-Shift-Tilde and you’ll see the Centered Loupe. You can drag this around the image as you would expect and now expand the Loupe all the way to 1600 percent. There’s a neat pixel map option as well.

The new Edge Sharpen adjustment adds improved luminance-based sharpening with precise control. In earlier versions of Aperture, I was rarely satisfied with the Sharpen took because it sharpened everything. Now, I can use the Edge Sharpen adjustment to sharpen where I need it.

This new tool has three basic controls: intensity, edges and falloff. Intensity controls how much sharpening is applied. Edges controls the area over which the sharpening effect is applied in two percent increments. Falloff is a new concept. Aperture applies edge sharpening in three passes. Falloff is the control that relates to how much sharpening is applied during the multiple application process.

There are too many new features to cover in one post so I’ll continue to update as I go through.

Apple has stepped up big time with Aperture 1.5. The fact that it works faster and smoother, offers new features, now works with any Intel Mac and was provided free of charge, is sufficient to warrant forgiveness for the marketing mistakes Apple made when it announced Aperture last November.

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