Friday, March 27, 2015

Adventure with (late) Apple Aperture

Post-treatment with Apple Aperture

Following the breaking news that Apple will cease the updating of their Aperture photo software, I was really disappointed considering the good services that I have experimented over the years in using it.

I must add that I am not really fond of most other photo editing software that are far more related to graphic designers or “photo painters” as I like to call them.

Post treatment in photography is a subject of long controversy and this is not a new theme. It began right from the start of this form of art expression.

Even if I really appreciate certain works done by “photo creators” I do have a more classical view in doing and showing photographic work. And it starts by pre-visualisation of your picture reality and transposition as near as possible on the media of presentation. That can be seen as a modern translation of the Ansel Adams precepts exposed in his books “The camera”, “The film” and “The print”.

But enough philosophy and more on photography!

What I love in using Aperture is the way fundamental picture parameters are presented and can be altered. Everything is based on the normal language of photographers. For example all the exposure factors are simply listed in a very friendly user way. Exploring the possibilities is easy.

Jpeg versus Raw

This is big debate since the beginning of digital photography. Suffice to say that all your raw files will need to be converted in jpeg files to allow you rapid sharing of your pictures. And that can be a bit annoying in term of delay. But the best results will be obtained by starting with raw files. Lastly the raw files are greater space consumers into your memory card and system.

Personally I use raw files in very rare occasions.

Enhancing your pictures

As a start, many pictures need to be fine tune to correct small disparities from the original light and framing conditions. Redressing the horizon line and choosing a different frame cropping can be the first steps. Correcting the color temperature of the overall picture can be the next step. I am not really fond to use the tint correction but it may save some really off-color pictures.


Redressing and cropping
Original Picture Taken
Exposure is a fundamental. Exposure correction will apply for the overall rendering light distribution. The luminosity option can be used but result are often destructive of the details contained in high and low light so you have to be precautious.  Working with the high and low light detail correction option can be mandatory to recover good information in these areas. I suggest increasing just a little bit the contrast setting to give punch to your result.


Croping and Color Temperature

Original





Redressing, Cropping, Enhancing High-Light Details




Original




















The others fine-tuning setting may be suited for particular needs on your picture. It is just a matter of experimentation. My only suggestion is to keep it simple by using one correction at a time and evaluate the result. Depending of your expectation and the way your picture-taking equipment behave, you will find a personal combination of settings that will be frequently used.



Black and White Effect (moderate contrast)
Strong transformation

There are a lot of special effects that can be applied to your pictures. For myself I love to transform color images in black and white by using the different types of filters available. If you found that the color rendition is distractive you may try these options.

“Painting” with Aperture can be done with relatively ease if you invest a bit in learning to do so. Dodging and burning image areas are a classical way to enhance your picture. You can copy part of your image and reproduce it on another part. I use this option to salvage some portraits mainly by removing distracting object or person from the original image. Again it need a bit of learning.



Special "Retro" Effect


There is also an assortment of “special” effects that will alter more severely your picture mostly in the range of classical photography rendering. That can be interesting if you are using your image on a particular illustrating context like anniversary or typical event. The more you will find applications for your photos the more you will be motivated to do photography and post process the results.


This short presentation of certain applications of Aperture has been done as an incitation for using it. My only hope is that Apple will develop its new iPhoto application in retaining most of the aspect of the present Aperture.



Portrait Extract with Background Removed and Replaced.