Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Heavy going with Aperture

Today I used, for the first time, Aperture 3 for importing the LX5 photographs, reviewing them, and making some adjustments. I even took some LX5 RAW photographs to see how it works.

I noticed right away that RAW isn't so easy after all, even though Aperture imported the files perfectly. The problem is how to get the results look as fine as the JPEG files from the LX5. I saved one preset which seemed promising, but still it wasn't satisfactory.

There is nothing like the LX5 film modes to be used in Aperture. Maybe someone would have useful presets for Aperture, modeled after the "nostalgic" film mode?

Another thing was that I shot those RAW files at ISO 400, to see whether the noise is better managed within Aperture. Problem was, there were a lot of textures in the photographs, and I couldn't see much noise at all. I gues I have to try some other subjects or higher ISO next.

By the way, I did some adjustments to the JPEG files as well in Aperture, to see what the results look like. Two of the above photographs are such, can you guess which?

Aperture seems to be quite a beast; many things are very, very different compared to iPhoto. Also, speed is an issue, as Aperture uses much more memory than iPhoto, and occasionally slows down a lot. On the other hand, there are things in which using Aperture is much faster than iPhoto.

Also, Aperture seems to cope well with getting rid of unneeded photographs, contrary to iPhoto which kept hiding them inside iPhoto Library. I guess there is no longer need to worry about running out of disk space any day soon.

And finally, I'm very pleased with Aperture pricing at App Store: 63 euro is not a bad price - and you can install Aperture on multiple computers which you own or control. Quite a deal!

Well, maybe one more thing. Do you know what are the best sources for learning Aperture for a smooth workflow, minimizing the time at the computer? And no fancy special effects either for me, preferably a "realistic" approach?


Uora said...

The birches and the pond?

ssp said...

Have you tried Lightroom as well? When I tried Aperture (quite a while ago) I found it incredibly sluggish and Lightroom offered a much more pleasant experience compared to that.

Juha Haataja said...

@Uora: I meant the two photographs depicting mainly texture: Fuzzy and Green. I think that by "the pond" you ment Green, so there you were right.

@ssp: Well, in the beginning Aperture was really, really slow, but now it has been speeding up - apparently it has digested the photographs and that took quite a while. Sometimes it does lock up - but on the other hand, it often allows to work on photographs while it is processing in the background. That is good.

The four-year-old iMac is probably quite modest hardware for running Aperture 3, though. I have found out that quitting Firefox, another memory hog, speeds up Aperture a lot.

Kirjaputiikki Friend said...

You will maybe find answers to your question from the articles of my web site There are hundreds of links to Aperture related articles.

The good preset bundle for your use could be the one of Gian Guido Zurli's at

I've added a link to the post of yours into my site, too. The opinions of newcomers are always fresh and interesting.

Juha Haataja said...

@Kirjaputiikki: Thanks for the help - and you do have a lot of material collected!

Andreas said...

I love #3. It's incredibly hobsonesque, but in an entirely positive way. It's a picture I would be proud to have taken.

You know, at times I try to make images as you make them, and I always fail miserably. There is some lightness and some implicitness in your pictures of plants and seemingly non-picturesque landscapes, that is nothing short of breathtaking.

Juha Haataja said...

@Andreas: Thanks! I think everyone has their own way to discover.

Mark Hobson's photographs are in a class of their own. Sometimes I get the feeling I understand how it was done, but then he pulls out something completely new, and I just can't help but wonder.

And sometimes his writing seem a bit, well, arrogant, but after thinking about it I must admit that often he just states how things are. He sees, and it is like the lazy-looking skill of the wild tiger, capturing prey.