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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Aperture 2 Introduction

As shared, we will go through Aperture 2 in what many call post processing work on their images. For this exercise, please shoot in NEF RAW format that we can be on the same page when end results is concerned. JPEG has already been compressed 75% so don't expect post processing to be meaningful for such image format.

Let's begin. Step 1 - update your Aperture to the latest iteration - 2.1.2 if you have not done so. Step 2 - Grant permission to Aperture to import your shots into Aperture the moment you connect your Nikon D90. Note that its a two-step process. Aperture will attempt to grant you an overview of what's in your Nikon D90 but you will need to manually need to hit the import button to really get it in. The tab you will be working with is shown on the right here - Projects, Metadata and Adjustments.

Step 3 - To enhance your image, the most direct way is to simply navigate to the Adjustment tab and start playing with the sliders found on each of the seven key areas
  • Raw fine tuning
  • White balance
  • Exposure
  • Enhance
  • Levels
  • Highlights and shadows
  • Color
This should get you started with some room to experiment and play. Obviously, as your library grows in Aperture, you will begin to manually classify all your images into projects and smart albums. What I really like is how flexible the sorting can be achieved in Aperture but ideally still lacks the auto face-recognition sort introduced in iPhoto '09 (Keynote Macworld 2009) yesterday.

In my future article about Aperture, I would run through what I have learnt about the detailed adjustments you can introduce to your image besides playing with the sliders found in the Adjustment tab. That's where it then gets more interesting.