Thursday, October 20, 2005

Aperture - Apple's New Photo Program

Henry, my husband had told me ahead of time that Apple was planning a big announcement at this photo conference I was planning to attend. He saw the informational releases Wednesday. Since I have been pretty disappointed with Iphoto at this stage of my photographic development, I was pretty sceptical about a "new" version of Iphoto. In my experience Iphoto was clunky, it did not like the number of photographs I shoot, everything moved so slowly. . . . . .

But when I got to the Exhibition Hall and saw the demonstration of Aperture - I have to say I'm impressed. It works right from your original RAW files without changing your original image (an important thing for some of the contests I enter that require the original!) It seems to work well to help you group your similar shots as well as shots from a given shoot.

My favorite part was the Loupe that is built in. I've been using Graphic Converter to run a slideshow to help me choose my best shots to work on. I usually take a sequence of shots - and then try to find the one that has the sharpest focus as well as the best exposure. With the loupe tool, it is very easy to get close into each shot of a series to find the one with optimal sharpness. You can also set up "Light Tables" with your best images.

The tool to remove those pesky dust specs was also very easy. With photoshop's healing brush, you must first sample an area and then remove the spot. With aperture you just choose the right brush size and click - the spot is gone.

There are built in tools for the RAW conversion - white balance, levels. And it is easy to move your shot over to Photoshop for additional processing or combining images.

I have a newer Mac laptop, so I am assuming it should run quickly on my computer, but I was impressed at how quickly the demonstrator could move from one image to the next - certainly not possible on Iphoto and certainly easier than going through an entire slideshow of shots on Graphic Converter.

With a $500 price tag, I am not rushing out to buy it right now . . . . . but I'm certainly going to go drool more tomorrow.

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