Aperture 2

I received an email a few days ago from a photographer in San Francisco. He wrote:

Great food coverage. Always fun to read. Just some feedback. I think the images would have more punch with some white balancing. Both Lightroom and Aperture have amazing RAW WB control. Just a thought.

I have generally avoided tweaking photos as I figured I could spend endless time doing so, and it often takes a long time to write a blog entry anyway. Do I really want to spend three times longer just so the pictures on a “music blog” can look a little better? I mean, how much difference could it make?

So I got Aperture 2 and played around a little with it. Below are some examples of the differences a little post-processing can make, and with less than a minute per image.  The images are quite small, but you can see larger versions by clicking on an image.


And after processing in Aperture. Compare the whiteness of the foam on top of the liquid, and the greater detail of the bubbles in the green.


And after Aperture processing:

The above shots didn’t originate as RAW images. (RAW is a minimally-processed image file format. The files are several times larger than a standard JPEG, but they allow for more post-processing in software, as that processing hasn’t already been applied to the image by the camera. Whereas a JPEG from my camera is around 4 MB, a RAW file is around 13 MB.) If an image is shot RAW, you can correct a lot more errors that may have been set-in-stone during JPEG creation — things like overexposure, underexposure, etc.

Here’s one last comparison. First, an image shot RAW.

It’s a cute shot (how could it not be? It’s Loki!), and it looks okay. But with just a little automatic level adjustment in Aperture, you get this:

I always thought Photoshop was a little intimidating, but Aperture 2 is great, powerful enough for what I want to do, it’s a lot cheaper than Photoshop, and it’s pretty easy to use. Me likey.


Nikk says

Is it based on layers like Photoshop is? Can you add text to a picture? I've been missing Photoshop ever since I switched over to Mac in June, and it is too expensive for me to purchase right now just to make a few concert posters here and there, so I am looking for alternatives.

Hope all's well in your world.

John says

It doesn't seem to be based on layers. All changes are made "on the fly" and are non-destructive, so they're rendered in real time, but only really applied when you export an image. I've only been playing with it for a few days, and all I've tried doing is white balance adjustment, level adjustment (I think it's similar to "curves" in Photoshop), and a little touch-up.

I think for what you do, you'd need to use Photoshop. I don't even know that it's possible to add text to an image in Aperture. You should check out the extensive video tutorials online. Aperture, with an educational discount, is $180. I think Photoshop is around $600.

Cathy says

Yeah, I can't find myself paying for Photoshop, either.

Kevin Howlett says

Photoshop hurts my brain. I downloaded a trial of Aperture and the installer told me I could take my Power PC G4 computer and F off.

I have seen the program in action however and I am very anxious to get a new Mac sometime in the future.

Mark S. says

wow- those images look 500 times better.

and for the record, you are the first adult I have ever heard(or type in this case) use the phrase "me likey" :D

Michael Markowski says

We use Aperture at work and it's definitely very user friendly for tweaking photographs. It's not as involved as Photoshop is for graphic designers, but for the photography hobbyist, it has simple, very effective color correction tools.

Will Mego says

Gimp is an open source alternative to Photoshop. If you want a photoshop like tool, but like the cost of *free* better...or are just really poor, as I am, then gimp.org

Travis Taylor says

Loki's eyes always strike me as amazing, they're so blue!


Travis Taylor says

Update 'Yon blog, good sir!


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