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Understanding Luminance vs RGB in Auto Levels & Curves, and Assigning Keyboard Shortcuts in Aperture 3

PhotoJoseph's picture
September 30, 2010 - 12:34pm

Aperture 3 is full of fantastic Adjustments that you can apply to your images. It’s also full of fantastic keyboard shortcuts. And better still, you can make your own keyboard shortcuts for nearly any command that you like. But what happens when there’s no command to apply a keyboard shortcut to? Why, you make one, of course!

In this tutorial, we’ll look first at understanding auto Levels and auto Curves, then at creating Adjustment Presets for them, and finally at applying Keyboard Commands (shortcuts) to the lot of them. Let’s get started!

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Finding Adjusted Images in Aperture 3

PhotoJoseph's picture
September 13, 2010 - 9:06pm

Recently in the forums, a user asked about how to find the images in their library that they’d spent time working on already. (The reason in this case was to locate all images from a recent iPhoto conversion that they’d adjusted, so they could get rid of everything else and start over with a new strategy—but maintain the work they’d already done).

One of Aperture core strengths is its searching capabilities. You can search by just about anything in Aperture, and combine search criteria to perform exceedingly precise searches, and even save those as Smart Albums that will update in real-time as your library changes.

In this case, the search criteria is just one option away—Adjustments.

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Importing to Aperture as Referenced—with Drag and Drop

PhotoJoseph's picture
September 11, 2010 - 12:11am
By now you all know that you can drag-and-drop files into Aperture to import them. That imports them as Managed (meaning the master file is stored inside the Aperture Library). But did you know that you can drag-and-drop files into Aperture and have them imported as referenced? It’s a simple trick, and you already know how…
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Aperture Has Tabs—Easily Compare Projects

PhotoJoseph's picture
September 8, 2010 - 3:29am

We’re all familiar with tabs in Safari and Firefox, but did you know that Aperture has tabs, too?

You can not only have stacked tabs, but even better, open two tabs (just two, sorry) side-by-side. All it takes is an option-click.

Here’s a series of commands and results:

Side by Side Tabs

Select a Project. Option-click a second project. You’ll see this:

Option-Click to open two projects in two tabs side-by-side. (click to view screenshot larger)

Once those two tabs are open, you can click in either window to make that “in focus”, then select any other project, and it will load into that tab. Close the tab with the (x) in the tab itself. Also notice that the two tabs can show the images in different sizes.

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From Aperture to SmugMug to Squarespace

PhotoJoseph's picture
August 30, 2010 - 10:12pm

I’ve been a long-time SmugMug user, and have always appreciated the quality of their service. The fact that I can sell prints to clients without having to do anything other than watch my bank account grow, and that when you send a question to their tech support, real people respond — and quickly — makes it a fantastic service. It’s not free, but as they say—you get what you pay for.

There are a couple of plug-ins for Aperture that allow you to upload to SmugMug directly, and I’ve always used ApertureToSmugMug, which was OK… bare-bones, but it worked. My frustration with SmugMug and the plug-in (and this hasn’t changed, as you’ll see in a moment) is that I have to make changes in several places to complete my gallery upload, before it’s ready to share with a client, my blog, or whatever.

SmuginProForAperture

Recently the author of SmuginProForAperture, Richard Laing, contacted me and asked if I’d have a look at his new plug-in. Regrettably I kept shoving the email to the bottom of my inbox, in one those “I know, I know… I will” continuous moments. Today though I needed to upload some images to SmugMug for a client and decided that was a great time to try out Richard’s new plug-in!

In fact, I liked it so much that it quickly earned the coveted Command-S keyboard shortcut in Aperture. Since there is no Save in Aperture, this is the closest thing to “saving” a photo I could think of! And it really is “saving” it, isn’t it… saving it to the cloud.

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A Good Reason For Larger Previews

PhotoJoseph's picture
August 23, 2010 - 4:21pm

I’ve been extolling the virtues of setting preferences for smaller preview images in Aperture 3, and also recommending turning OFF automatic preview generation for many users, for some time now. However Derrick Story, of TheDigitalStory.com has just posted an article related to making slideshows that give a very good reason to use larger previews.

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Several New User Tips!

PhotoJoseph's picture
August 21, 2010 - 4:30am

I’m thrilled to see the new User Tips section starting to gain some traction. Remember, I opened this part of the site so YOU guys can post your own favorite tips on there to share with the world. A pile of ‘em just got posted, so be sure to check those out!

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Using Third Party Backup/Sync Utilities with Aperture 3

PhotoJoseph's picture
August 20, 2010 - 10:30pm

I’d be interested to hear your opinions/experiences on this one. Martyn Greswolde of Greswolde Photography in the UK posted advice to his readers that if you run a backup (on referenced masters) while Aperture is running, not only will it not back up those masters, but it could actually corrupt your backup file. The backup solution he’s using is Chrono Sync.

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A Little Tip for when You Want to Leave Pictures on the Card Between Imports

PhotoJoseph's picture
August 11, 2010 - 5:08am

Usually when I import the photos off a card, I’ll recycle the card right away. That’s assuming that I’ve imported and backed up immediately, or imported to the Drobo at a minimum. But sometimes if I’m on the road and I’m just not shooting that much, I may want to import pictures long before the card is full—and would like to leave the existing photos on the card as an extra backup, at least until I’m back home.

Aperture has a nice “Do not import duplicates” feature in the Import dialog, but as you may have noticed, if you rename Masters on import, then this feature no longer works. It relies on matching file names to detect duplicates—so once you’ve renamed your Masters, there’s no name to match.

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Network Drives (NAS) and Aperture

PhotoJoseph's picture
August 3, 2010 - 6:17pm

I’ve seen this question pop up in the forums before, and recently I had a conversation with a user who had some issues storing their master files on a Time Capsule (which technically would be a NAS drive, or “Network Attached Storage”). The attraction to using a NAS (for anything; not just Aperture) is obvious; simultaneous access to your files from any computer on the network, vs. single-computer access off a hard drive.

I’ve always, without hesitation, recommended against storing anything Aperture related on any kind of NAS. There are many reasons I don’t like this idea.

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*crickets*

PhotoJoseph's picture
August 3, 2010 - 3:26am

Hi folks,

I know it’s seemed quiet on the front page lately, sorry. My summer travel schedule (see last post) has been insane, and the last week is the first I’ve had to catch up. I’ve been on top of all the questions in the forums though, so if you’re looking for recent activity, be sure to peruse there. I have started a few posts for the tips area but haven’t finished them yet; too much going on at once!

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First “User Tips” Posted

PhotoJoseph's picture
July 9, 2010 - 5:13pm

A short while ago I created a new section on this site called User Tips. I’ve seen some great tips and advice flowing through the Forums, but the problem is that most readers don’t go through the entire Forum, and so may be missing some real gems. So I created User Tips as a place for readers like you to post detailed, advanced tips and techniques that you wanted to share.

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Samples of the ApertureExpert’s PresetPack #1 Looks

PhotoJoseph's picture
July 4, 2010 - 3:30am

I realized that other than the few samples in the product description itself, I haven’t shared any other examples of the possible results from my ApertureExpert’s PresetPack #1 Looks adjustment preset pack. On a photo walk today that I led as part of another job I’m doing in Ottawa, I made a few photos that I applied the preset “Desaturated Film Look” to. Here’s one sample; click it to see a few more.

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