Aperture 3 Portable Genius, Second Edition
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Get the latest tips, facts, and secrets that help you make the most of Aperture 3

Aperture offers a full range of tools to help serious photographers organize and manipulate images and manage workflow. This little guide is packed with hip tips, secrets, and shortcuts that help you get even more functionality from the software. Find out more than you ever knew about vignetting, RAW fine-tuning, Quick Preview mode, Command Editor, and using the integrated iPhoto Browser. Learn new ways to streamline your workflow, get tips on publishing albums online or as customized photo books, and take advantage of many more Genius techniques.

Designed for the Apple enthusiast, this handy, colorful guide is packed with ingenious and innovative tips for getting the most from Aperture 3, and the latest version 3.3 Offers advice on using the new streamlined interface, using advanced RAW image processing, and streamlining workflow with keyboard shortcutsShows how to maximize the effectiveness of vignetting, using Quick Preview mode and Command Editor, and working with the integrated iPhoto BrowserProvides helpful hints on creating web-based albums and print photo books

Aperture 3 Portable Genius, 2nd Edition gives you the professional tips and tricks that help you squeeze all the functionality from this cool software.


Josh Anon is a senior product manager at Lytro, the coauthor of several books, and was a camera & staging artist at Pixar Animation Studios. He is an award-winning still photographer and his images have appeared in a variety of books, magazines, galleries, and more.

Ellen Anon, PhD, is an Apple Certified Trainer in Aperture. She is an accomplished nature photographer, teaches photography, and is the author of several books. Her photos have been showcased in calendars, posters, galleries, magazines, and books.


Acknowledgments v

Introduction xiv

chapter 1

How Do I Get Started with Aperture?

Understanding Why Aperture Is a Key

Part of Your Workflow 4

Seeing the difference between

Aperture and iPhoto 4

Choosing Aperture over Lightroom 5

Working with Aperture’s File Structure 6

Understanding the Aperture

library and where your files live 7

Understanding referenced and

managed files 8

Understanding how images are organized within Aperture 9

Original images 9

Versions 9

Projects 11

Albums 11

Folders 11

Stacks 12

A Brief Tour of Aperture’s Interface 13

Understanding the Inspector, Browser, and Viewer 13

Inspector 14

Browser 17

Viewer 20

Managing files with Projects and Albums 21

Using special built-in views 23

All Projects 23

Faces and Places 24

Photo Stream 24

Aperture Trash 25

Using gestures 25

Basic Customization Options 26

Setting library location and other General preferences 26

Changing appearance preferences 27

Changing default import behavior 28

Modifying preview preferences 29

chapter 2

How Do I Import Images? 30

Importing from a Memory Card, Camera, or Hard Drive 32

Touring the Import panel 32

Using the different views in the Import panel 34

Choosing Import Settings 37

Configuring a destination project for your images 38

Using referenced or managed files 40

Renaming files on import 42

Fixing time zone settings on your images 44

An introduction to presets 45

Setting up and applying a Metadata Preset on import 45

Setting up and applying an Effect Preset on import 48

Configuring what types of files to import 50

Working with RAW+JPEG pairs 51

Running actions automatically after importing 53

Setting up an automatic backup on import 53

Understanding Unified iPhoto and Aperture Libraries 54

Dragging and Dropping Files into Aperture 58

Using Photo Stream 59

chapter 3

What Methods Can I Use to See My Images? 60

Customizing the Interface 62

Rearranging and grouping library items 62

Using Viewer modes 64

Using the Viewer with multiple monitors 65

Using multiple Browsers 66

Showing hot and cold areas of an image 67

Taking a Closer Look 68

Zooming and scrolling in Viewer 68

Using and customizing the Loupe 70

Viewing in Full-Screen Mode 72

Using Browser and Viewer in full-screen mode 73

Working with the filmstrip and toolbar 74

Working with heads-up displays 76

Additional Viewer Options 77

Using Primary Only 77

Using Quick Preview 78

Viewing the original image 79

Configuring and Using Metadata Overlays 80

Switching between RAW+JPEG Originals 82

Working with Referenced Images 83

Identifying and managing referenced images 83

Reconnecting a missing original 84

Relocating referenced originals 85

Converting referenced originals

to managed originals 87

Deleting referenced files 87

Working with Stacks in Browser 88

Creating and Working with a Light Table 90

chapter 4

How Can I Use Metadata to

Organize and Find My Images? 94

Using Ratings to Sort Images 96

Setting ratings 96

Working with rejected images 98

Using Flags and Labels to Further Organize Images 99

Setting flags and labels 99

Customizing label names 101

Using the Info Inspector 102

Switching and customizing metadata views 104

Setting metadata 107

Managing and applying presets 107

Adjusting Date and Time after Import 109

Working with Keywords 110

The Keywords control bar 112

Editing button sets and keywords 113

Keywords library 113

Customizing button sets 115

The Keywords heads-up display 116

Adding Custom Metadata 117

Applying Batch Metadata Changes 117

Using the Batch Change tool 118

Using the Lift and Stamp tool 119

Searching for Images 120

Searching within Browser 120

Creating Smart Albums 122

Searching with stacks 124

Writing IPTC Information to an Original 125

chapter 5

How Do I Use Faces and Places to Categorize My Images? 126

Using Faces 128

Enabling Faces 128

Using the Faces interface 129

Assigning names using Faces 130

Assigning names using the Name button 133

Correcting a name 134

Finding people using Faces 135

Using Places 137

Enabling Places 137

Assigning locations to photos 137

Dragging images onto the map using Places 139

Using the Info Inspector map to assign a location 141

Using the search option in Places to assign a location 142

Creating and assigning custom locations 143

Assigning locations using iPhone GPS information 144

Assigning locations using GPS receivers 146

Assigning location information using Projects view 147

Moving a pin 148

Removing location information from an image 148

Finding images using Places 149

chapter 6

What Tools Can I Use to Make My Images Better? 154

Getting Started with Adjustments 156

Reprocessing originals for Aperture 3.3 or later 156

Setting preferences for making adjustments 158

Making Adjustments 162

Commonalities of all the adjustment bricks 162

Working with the histogram 163

Straightening an image 164

Cropping images 166

Using Auto Enhance 167

Using the adjustment bricks 169

Setting white balance 169

Using the Exposure controls 172

Taking advantage of the Enhance tools 176

Using the Highlights & Shadows adjustments 181

Using Levels 182

Taking advantage of the Color controls 184

Sharpening the image 186

Adjusting the Raw Fine Tuning 187

Taking advantage of Curves 190

Converting an image to black and white 194

Converting an image to a color monochrome or sepia 195

Adding or removing a vignette 196

Removing chromatic aberration 197

Removing noise 198

Using iPhoto Effects 199

Brushing adjustments in or out 200

Using Quick Brushes 202

Using the Retouch Brushes 202

Using the remaining Quick Brushes 204

Creating and Using Effects 211

Using an External Editor 214

Using Third-Party Editing Plug-Ins 215

chapter 7

What Options Do I Have to Create a Physical Copy of My Photos? 218

Color Management 220

Calibrating your monitor 221

Calibrating your printer 222

Soft proofing 222

Using Aperture’s Print Dialog 224

Configuring a standard print 225

Layout and Margins 226

Rendering 227

Image Adjustments 229

Image Options 230

Metadata & Page Options 230

Creating a contact sheet 231

Using built-in custom presets and creating your own 232

Clicking the Print button and its settings 234

Ordering Prints 235

Creating a Book 236

Creating a new book album and picking themes 236

Navigating the Book Layout Editor 238

Placing images and text 239

Adjusting metadata boxes 241

Configuring item options 242

Working with Browser’s extra book features 243

Using maps 244

Switching page styles 247

Adding and removing pages 248

Customizing page layout 248

Editing master pages 250

Printing or ordering your book 251

chapter 8

How Can I Share My Images Digitally? 254

Exporting Originals and Versions of Images 256

Exporting originals 256

Folder and filename options 257

Metadata options 259

Exporting versions 260

Managing Image Export Presets 261

Adding watermarks 263

E-mailing Images 264

Setting Your Desktop Image 265

Creating Slide Shows 265

Creating a new slide show 265

Creating a custom slide show preset 266

Using the Slideshow Editor 267

Arranging a slide show 269

Adjusting the show’s settings 269

Adjusting individual slide settings 270

Adding video clips 273

Adding music 273

Playing and exporting your shows 274

Creating Web Pages 275

Comparing web journals, web pages, and Smart Web Pages 275

Creating and configuring a new web page 277

Creating and configuring a new web journal 280

Facebook 282

Setting up Facebook access within Aperture 282

Publishing images from Aperture to Facebook 283

Managing your Facebook account 284

Flickr 285

Setting up Flickr access within Aperture 285

Publishing images to Flickr 286

Using Other Export Plug-ins 287

chapter 9

How Can I Use Aperture with My HDSLR’s Video Files? 290

How Does Aperture Handle Video Files? 292

Importing Video Files 292

Viewing Video Files 293

Editing a Clip 294

Setting the clip’s poster frame 294

Trimming the clip 295

Exporting a Video Clip 296

Working with Audio Files 296

Importing audio files 296

Playing audio 296

Attaching and detaching audio files 297

Attaching audio files 297

Detaching audio files 298

chapter 10

How Can Aperture Make My

Workflow Smoother? 300

Understanding Badge Meanings 302

Managing Photo Previews 304

Controlling preview preferences 304

Generating previews 305

Previews and stacks 306

Working with Multiple Libraries 306

Switching libraries 306

Moving images between libraries 307

Exporting a library 308

Importing a library 309

Working with multiple computers 310

Controlling Tethered Shooting 311

Configuring a tethering session 312

Running a tethering session 312

Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts 313

Using Aperture with Automator 315

Using Vaults and Backup 319

Using vaults to back up your images 320

Creating a vault 321

Updating a vault 321

Restoring from a vault 322

Deleting a vault 322

Alternate backup strategies 323

Time Machine 323

Other physical storage 324

Online backup 324

Using Aperture’s Database Repair Tools 326