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Thread: 'Aperture' overview request

  1. #1
    crisscross's Avatar
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    'Aperture' overview request

    Can one of you Mac guys kindly tell me the approximate limitations of Aperture 2 - Daniel (dasle) , a chance for you perhaps?

    I have the 30 day trial now. It is obviously pretty good on import/conversion and full image enhancements, BUT am I right in thinking it is only capable of small area touch up work on PART of an image.

    Or have I not found the right bits? As far as I am concerned, unless you can work on precisely selected parts of an image without affecting the rest, a prog is a non-starter. So is Aperture in the run against PS and NX2?

    It seems to win hands down over NX2 for spreading bull****, maybe providing serious competion to PS on that side of things....but I have real live & friendly bull up the road on the very rare occasion I might actually want some.

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    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
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    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    Hi Chris, first you have to understand that Aperture is a program to manage your library and make easy post procesing activities.

    The best is that is working over your original RAW files, no conversion needed and non destructive changes, that means, when you don't like something you click undo and voilŠ you get your original picture back.

    What I could recomend you is to get the plug-ins from NIK, the ones I use to make some corrections using filters, or B/W and also selecting parts of an image with Viveza and enhancing the colors or B/W pictures with a part with the original color, etc.

    Here the problem is that creates new files, therefore if you don't like the result you have to choose the original file again and edit with the plug-in.

    When I need layers modification, then under Aperture I select as PSE 6 as external editor.

    Even using Photoshop or NX2 as external editor, you could stil keep Aperture to manage your library. This is, just my opinion, the Aperture's strength.

  3. #3

    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    Chris,

    I have both Aperture and Photoshop CS4.

    My experience has been that Aperture is fantastic at organising a photo library, and it's range of _global_ editting tools is well, somewhat daunting if powerful. Being a big Mac fan, I do feel somewhat compelled to move over to Aperture, but, now I am getting a bit older, I can't quite make the break from PS. Over the years I have learned many _global_ editting tricks for PS, LAB, curves, unsharp mask, toning. I know that Aperture can probably simplify lots of the things I do, but, hell, I *enjoy* doing these things in Photoshop. There's something fun about stacking up loads of adjustment layers and tweaking transparency to get the result you want. Probably Aperture can do it all faster, maybe with just a few of those sliders (if only I knew which ones to use!) If I was editting photos and my time was important, I would compare PS and Aperture on how fast I could achieve the results, and I assume Aperture would win.

    Note that I have not started to talk about making local adjustments to an image. As it happens I don't do a lot of this. I don't think that Aperture can do cloning, which is why Aperture allows you to work with an external editor. (The Aperture user manual talks about using an external editor for compositing operations.)

    Guess if wifey asked me to sell one of these applications to raise some money, I'd have to sell Aperture. I have made some javascript plugins for Bridge to help me with managing metadata, so I am too invested in Adobe.

    HTH,

    Graham

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    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    Thank you Daniel & Graham

    I have now had a chance to do a parallel run (ie Aperture & NX2) on a mist shot from this morning. I think the main lesson learnt is that HAVING to use levels & curves in AP (which I never touch in NX), is that it is sometimes worth it.

    It has got what seems to be quite a good range of clone & patch tools, but the result on a load of sensor dust on a delicate sky although at first it looked impressive in AP, it can't keep up with further tweaks elsewhere and even when re-done generated some extra smudgy clouds in the final. Compared to the Dust Off in NX2 (+D80, no good for Canon, tho of course yours is all collected up anyway).

    I don't think, so far, I am inclined to spend £90 on an organiser when Nikon View is free and I already have GraphicConverter which is infinitely better at organising things so I know where they are too and slipstreaming the OS as if glued. There is also no way a pair of memory guzzlers like AP & NX can be used concurrently.

    Looking at AP (and iWork), I am now also more tolerant of the NX2 interface. I jumped for joy too soon when I moved from 10.4 to 10.5; it is the end of co-ordinated interfaces.

    I think that leaves me 28 days to convert all my old CR2s from 10 months of 350D ownership

    Stacking up layers & transparency sounds a bit like local adjustments by another name Graham?

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    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    Chris,

    I regards Aperture and NX2 as somewhat different, and prefer NX2 for straightforward workflow. I have found a better rendition in NX2 and find it very easy to work with (although Lightroom 2 was even easier)! Aperture 2 for those with Macs is a great solution and with the Nik/Viveza add-ons it is even better.

    Obviously, a lot depends on personal choice and importantly what you have used previously, and whether you try and have a 'one size fits all' or use a combination of software as they all have their special features; the choice of PS CS2/3/4, Aperture, NX2, Lightroom, Phase One/Capture One, etc is a debate that will rumble on.

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    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    Quote Originally Posted by shreds View Post
    Chris,

    I regards Aperture and NX2 as somewhat different, and prefer NX2 for straightforward workflow. I have found a better rendition in NX2 and find it very easy to work with (although Lightroom 2 was even easier)! Aperture 2 for those with Macs is a great solution and with the Nik/Viveza add-ons it is even better.

    Obviously, a lot depends on personal choice and importantly what you have used previously, and whether you try and have a 'one size fits all' or use a combination of software as they all have their special features; the choice of PS CS2/3/4, Aperture, NX2, Lightroom, Phase One/Capture One, etc is a debate that will rumble on.
    I have wanted to get to the bottom of exactly what Aperture is for a while; current dive cos it is on free trial (I see Capture one is too, a great trend in software marketing) & latest version of DPP still won't run on my mac, so 350D CR2s 'orphaned'. I cringe when I see some of my original edits, coinciding with a fashion for very high saturation, but there are usually good images underneath.

    For Nikon camera, I am left in no doubt at all that it is best to use Nikon software start to finish (apart from basic organising- I like to have several browser window open at once for sorting - and one or 2 things NX2 just hasn't got like cut&paste, layer masks, unskew). Would have been nice if Apple had gone the whole hog to a PS alternative, but their idea of 'professional' seems to be helping guys turn 1000 wedding shots into an ordering catalogue by Sunday afternoon. But, for a non-Nikon camera, I would still consider it against Capture one for preview (where Nikon View also no use) and conversion.

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    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
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    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    Hi

    As Graham mentioned, Aperture is a great tool to manage your library and make some changes. I think that Apple supposes that you are really a pro and that you don't have so much time for post-processing, therefore you have to make minimum changes and a lot of sorting.

    I think that, if you have to get a tool now, the prices might help you deciding which software is better. If you're a Nikon user, then you get NX2 for free, however if you're not, then the cheapest option is Aperture and I mean cheap with a big price difference to PS, Capture One, Lightroom, etc.

    I also believe, as Graham wrote, that sometimes we find another product that might cover all our needs, however it's difficult to change habits, therefore I think that it's not so easy to jump from one platform to another without always comparing and miss all the "better" things the other program has.

    Cheers,

    Daniel

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    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    Quote Originally Posted by dasle View Post
    Hi

    If you're a Nikon user, then you get NX2 for free
    Daniel
    Should just clarify that although Capture NX2 has sometimes been bundled with D300 and later, you do normally have to pay after free trial. Transfer & View NX are free, which take care of the transfer from camera and organisation by offering auto re-name and auto-back up etc, then preview and minor tweak & print options. Like Aperture arguably no need to go further for well exposed straightfoward pics. Aperture does have several edit stages more than View.

    As far as organising goes all my RAW images go in folders boringly named nef4000-4500etc, then backed up regualrly to external HDs. Reduced forum jpgs go into classified subject folders (still keeping original file no with suffixes if needed) roughly parallel to pbase galleries, tho I keep far more for reference/record & likewise they get backed up onto HDs. NOTHING ever goes into folders called 'pictures' nor sub-divided by date taken or 0001.

    Although View allows drag-and-drop and rename, for anyone with a mac GraphicConverter is worth considering for subsequent organisation/casual viewing, as you can have any number of browser windows open at once and they create thumbnails of RAW irrespective of camera. It also has most basic tweak-editing functions including excellent 'unskew'. I would never have believed it, but with 4GB of RAM, still have to think more about shutting down some progs, View going 1st, than in old days when one had 256MB
    Last edited by crisscross; 15th January 2009 at 07:57 AM.

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    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
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    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    As far as organising goes all my RAW images go in folders boringly named nef4000-4500etc, then backed up regualrly to external HDs. Reduced forum jpgs go into classified subject folders (still keeping original file no with suffixes if needed) roughly parallel to pbase galleries, tho I keep far more for reference/record & likewise they get backed up onto HDs. NOTHING ever goes into folders called 'pictures' nor sub-divided by date taken or 0001.
    Hi Cris, so why don't you give a 2nd chance to Aperture, it will help you to orginize your library and if you want to ddo changes using you preferred PP program, then you click right click in your mouse then select Edit and then your preferred program as an external editor.

    Then you're having the bost of both worlds, an impressive administration tool and your preferred PP software.

    You could also try Aperture for more than 30 days, uninstalling it at the end of your trial period and then reinstalling it again and request a serial number providing another email address (that might be not so "correct" but could give you a longer trial period, I know it becuase I did it once when my software arrived after the end of my original period of 30 days).

    Cheers

    Daniel

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    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    Quote Originally Posted by dasle View Post
    Hi Cris, so why don't you give a 2nd chance to Aperture

    Cheers Daniel
    I have revisted the precise spot where I got fed up with 350D, DPP, PSE4 and went Nikon 'Full House'. This is admittedly a difficult shot, nearly into the sun and with a the smoke from a bonfire dappling the main part of the scene and a clear day so about 20 miles worth of distance to not lose. At the time I put the original up as a "free for all" on WPF and got a bit of help, but in the end still nothing usable.

    1st image is best I could get then mostly as a 3 zoned layers job in PSE4:
    'Aperture' overview request

    2nd image is best I can get using Aperture only:
    'Aperture' overview request

    3rd image, which I can settle for was converted to tiff in Aperture going roughly as far as normal RAW only adjustments, then continuing in NX2:
    'Aperture' overview request

    I would be happy to put the .CR2 on my own webspace if anyone would like a go!
    Last edited by McQ; 19th February 2010 at 08:25 PM.

  11. #11

    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    Stacking up layers & transparency sounds a bit like local adjustments by another name Graham?
    Um, yeah I suppose if I create a layer mask, I am only affecting part of a layer, so that could be called a local adjustment. What I was really trying to say, though, was that my adjustments are normally curves, or channel mixing, things that affect the whole layer, rather than adjustments you make with the painting-type tools in PS.

    Post the CR2 and I am sure a few of us will have a stab. I'm happy to document all the steps I take. Might be worth you saying in words what your goal is, unless it's obvious from the photo.

    Graham

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    I'll have a crack at it for you Chris if you can point me to the *.CR2.

    Cheers,

    Colin

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    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I'll have a crack at it for you Chris if you can point me to the *.CR2.

    Colin
    Thank you Graham & Colin - I will do this as I am most interested to see what new tricks one can learn from others on a practical project.

    I have been ill, so in a day or two.

    Chris

  14. #14
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    Re: 'Aperture' overview request

    'Challenge pic' posted on new thread, have fun
    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/forums/thread759

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