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A New Dawn for Aperture Training

PhotoJoseph's picture
January 22, 2011 - 8:35am

Hi Folks, Joseph here, your friendly ApertureExpert…

I had an idea last night that had loads of time to bounce around my brain on a long drive and longer flight, and I want to pose it to the hive mind to see what you think. I make no bones that this is a mild rip-off of Chase Jarvis’s amazing createLIVE idea, but different enough that I can admit it’s a spawn of his brainchild :)

Here’s what I’m thinking…

  • Bi-weekly-ish online Aperture training classes that you can watch LIVE, for FREE (streaming, of course)
  • The dates and times will NOT be regular, because I want different people in different time zones with different schedules to be able to attend. It sucks when there’s something that you really want to do but can’t because you’re at work or otherwise indisposed that hour every week. I’d announce them as far in advance as possible, and for those that follow my @travel_junkie twitter account and know that I’m constantly moving, you’ll understand that there may be a week notice at times, there may be an hournotice at others.
  • Number of viewers to the live event may or may not be limited—I really haven’t gotten that far in how the tech works. If it’s limited, it’ll only be for technical or financial reasons, NOT because I want to artificially constrain it.
  • Viewers would be in a chat room able to discuss the class and post questions LIVE. Because I couldn’t reasonably keep up with a ton of questions flying at me from all angles, I’d have someone else monitoring the chat and filtering the best questions to me. I don’t want a lot of dead air while I try to find questions to answer, so I think this concept works well.
  • Each lesson would be an hour in length. Unless I find that’s too exhausting, ‘cause it’ll just be me talking, but most people know that I can wax poetically for much longer than that :)
  • Each lesson will be limited to a specific topic, and I’m thinking that initially, I’ll go through all of Aperture from import to output, one step at a time. That could take months. It’s a big app. But there are a lot of new Aperture users due to this fantastic price drop in the App Store, and I want to appeal to them as well as to the long-time faithful. Instead of doing a bunch of “basic” classes and other “advanced”, I’ll spend an hour for example on the import window. And if I need more time, I’ll do another one. And so on. When that’s done, we’ll see what people want to hear next.

So that’s the LIVE event…

But what about those who can’t attend, and how am I gonna make a profit? Because this isn’t a charity, after all :)

  • The stream would be available for download as soon as possible after the show, for a fee. These will be an hour or so long, and I will NOT edit them after the broadcast (other than add a head or tail onto them I suppose). To make this as simple as possible (making it more likely for me to be able to do this), it’ll go online as rough as it was broadcast. Because there won’t be a bunch of polishing afterwards, it’ll go up fast and it’ll go up cheap.
  • I’m thinking that the re-broadcast would be available for a couple of bucks. $2, $3, something like that. Sound fair? Again I need to see what this will cost me to do, and figure out how to do this and be realistic about it.

What else?

  • When I tweeted this earlier today, I got a lot of “yeah do it!” responses, and also some cool suggestions like guests hosts, user-submitted video questions, and more. I love the ideas, and keep ‘em coming. There’s no telling where this will go.
  • Of course this could be an abject failure, and that’s OK too. Only one way to find out :)

What do you think? Chime in below, share your thoughts in the comments, I wanna hear what you think. Would you buy the video afterwards? Is this a good idea?

-Joseph @ApertureExpert

Apple Aperture

I think it sounds like a great idea. I would do my best to listen live and would purchase the download if I missed it. For that price I would probably do the download even if I saw the whole thing live!

joseph, perhaps you could dual-track it by making an “Aperture Fundamentals” series, starting at importing as you said, but also an advanced series, so veteran users don’t have to wait through all the basic lessons before seeing some of the real nerdy stuff =)

I’m thinking every session is basic through advanced. I’d aim to keep every session as interesting to all levels as possible. But you may be right and I may need to carve out some just-basic and some just-advanced. Part of the problem however is that “advanced” is often a matter of one’s opinion of their own abilities. I’ve never taught a session at any level where I didn’t have to cover some basics to ensure an even starting point.

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I like the idea, think it would great.

I am new to Aperture and love this idea. A great way for me to get some real practical training! Great idea!

Yup, I would totally do this! Either live streaming or buy the download!

Great idea.

Something I’d like to see is a deep dive into bookmaking and slideshows among others. I watched those sections on Derrick Story’s training on but he only had time to cover the basics. I find myself having to struggle learning the finer points as I work.


It would be a very useful enterprise and I would hope you try to do it. My only reservation would be your suggested notification being a short as one hour, that would not help building a following. A way to try to make it pay might be to have a subscription fee for the recorded version as well as one time sales.
Good luck and crank one out see how it feels.

I think it’s a great idea. I really like the fact that it won’t be at a regular time, especially with different time zones to consider, etc. I’d be more inclined to buy if I had a chance to see it first.

Chris Connors, Lambertville NJ

Great idea. I second the idea of a subscription option.

I would definitely be watching. And a few dollars for the downloads is a bargain. Jump in!

I would love it. But i am more interessted in the creative part. I know already where the sliders are and what is the difference between mangaged and referenced library. I will pay 5 to 10 bucks, if it`s really a over the top session and inspiring. If you only pay for what you really need, THAT would be different. Think different, maybe you should start with a little teaser, some before/after examples. Show us, what this app is capable of, show us the Photoshop side, how to get rid of Photoshop. Nobody would argue about Aperture`s great file managment, but there is much more to learn. The goal must be to spent less time in front of the computer and more time shooting what you love. One last tip. Be honest to your audience when it comes to system requirements and performance issues of Aperture 3. It is so boring to read all these blog and forum comments, starting with ” I finally switched to lR3, because of spinball blah,blah,blah…”. You need some horsepower with Aperture 3.
So far, i`ve read every word in this blog. I know you can dot it.


I think this a great idea and look forward to seeing what you come up with. I also agree with Frank on the memory issue and if you thinking of upgrading to Apeture 3
Do not pay any attention to the minimum memory requirements, tripple it and Apeture works very well.

Sounds a very good idea. I have attended a similar sort of thing at Izzy Video which was very well attended. I think time for a questions and answer session at the end is almost a must. If the whole thing is recorded and made available for later review as well as allowing the people who couldn’t attend chance to see it, then all the better.

Yes, this would be wonderful. I like the idea of a subscription, too.


Great plan. Go for it. I am all in.

Wonderful idea! I would definitely be interested since I feel like there’s a lot of potential in Aperture that I have yet to explore. I tend to get much more out of video tutorials so this would be right up my alley. A subscription model might be the way to go, depending of course on the price and the rate of new material.

I’m excited by this prospect and the chance to take my Aperture knowledge to the next level. Thanks again for being so generous with your Aperture Expertise.


I like this idea and appreciate your willingness to pass on the expert advice. There is always a good feeling when you finally realize the ‘right way’ to do something. This would be a great support to my ongoing first attempt at running a photography workshop.

I think it is a great idea…at that price, I would download even if I was able to see it live. Having these sessions at my disposal when I needed them would be very beneficial for me educationally!

I’m all-in, too. I’d certainly try to participate in the live events but would also likely buy the series at the price point you mentioned. What a great expanding and long-term resource this could be!


Great idea, I would be more than willing to pay a buck or two per session. Pay for the parts that I want to learn.

I agree with the others that this may work well. You might want to check out how someone in another field has done something very similar and has had success selling his subscriptions. Matt Petrowski does this with the FileMaker application, His website is:

I don’t have the bandwidth to watch them live but downloading them afterwards would certainly be great. Are you going to do them through your site, or through iTunes, etc.?

Daniel, sales will be handled through this site. iTunes doesn’t have a way for independents like me to sell video content. I can publish free podcasts, but not content for sale. Of course I *could* develop an iPhone app and sell content through that… jus’ sayin’ ;)

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

Love love love the idea!

And I second several other’s suggestion to focus as much as on the sliders and settings as the creativity (before A3 and during A3 usage - i.e. what can I do on a shoot that would be different and allow me some creative options when I get back to A3?)

For a Flickr-like $25/year, I’d sign up in a heartbeat. I’d pay $40/year if I could download them to my iPad to watch in bed or on a plane.

I think the mix of questions/consulting/lessons is the crucial balance here. Too many times, a lesson takes 53 minutes of a 60 minute session, then the questions that come in are…. uh… unhelpful. If you can design a session to focus on 30% functional lesson, 30% creative lesson pivoting off that tech, then a remaining 40 minutes of discussion, that’d be great!

This is a great idea. I would definitly spend the 2/3 bucks for the download!


I love the idea and I would love to encourage you to pursue this! I’m wondering why you can’t manage a paid subscription idea in iTunes so the videos would all download automatically and I can watch at my convenience and sync to my iPad. This is done with my screencastsonline subscription and it makes it much more convenient and one less thing I have to remember to search out. Being able to buy select videos would be fine but I don’t mind getting a slight discount in return for signing on for a long period of time. That way I’ll watch what I need and go back and refer to what I’m ready for later.

I would make efforts to be online when you do this LIVE but, especially with an irregular schedule, it is more likely that I’d miss more than I could attend.

There used to be a couple good Aperture podcasts but they have all disappeared, as far as I can tell. There is a big hole, ready for you to fill!

Thanks—I’m ready!!

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