Aperture for professional or enthusiastic amateurs photographers

While Aperture is really very good at what it does with organising and storing your photographs, Apple has given it much more functionality that makes it very useful indeed. As with iPhoto you can make changes by applying effects to your photos, but you get a larger range of effects and adjustments with Aperture. Not only are there a wider variety of effects that you can apply, you get access to loads of slider controls and curve controllers that let you take an image from subtle to completely crazy. You can start off with an auto enhance which applies a few standard effects and that by itself can make a huge change from a dull looking picture to something you wouldn’t mind showing to other people. Even when you have added a combination of effects you can still choose more from the list and also fiddle with those sliders to get your image just the way that you want it.

Getting the crops in

While most of us try to get the image just the way that we want to when we frame the image in the camera as we are taking the picture, quite often when you decide to process the photo you can make a simple improvement just by using the crop tool. It might be, simply that you want to take out something on the edges of your photo that only distracts the eye for the viewer by being there. Then again, you might want to completely change the shape of the photo from a rectangle with the ratio of 3:2 and change it so that it is in the 16:9 shape or a square. Often it depends on where you are going to be using the photo, so for example if you are using a photograph in a movie then you will need to go for the 16: 9 rectangle.

You can make the decision to constrain the rectangle to fit the shape that you require or you can also go with the completely free choice that doesn’t fit in with the popular or standard photo shapes. It is very quick to click on one button to change the shape from a landscape shaped to a portrait shape. Often when you are working on the composition of your photograph you need to think about the rule of thirds. You can set up these crops on your photos so that you can see guides for the rule of thirds. This will help you to align the subject within your photo so that you can get the best from the composition.

Adding, subtracting or manipulating a single colour within a photo

You can use the keyboard combination of Control C to add the colour effect to your photo. There is a set of colours that you can choose which will allow you to change the photo within a certain colour range. You might click within the yellow and then use the slider controls to make effects happen to anything that is coloured in yellow in the photo. If you want to be more specific when choosing the colour that you are going to work with, you can use the eyedropper tool to make your choice. You can get help to grab the exact colour that you want to work with, to help you choose you will see a magnified view of the area you are selecting from in a loupe.

ApertureOnce you have selected the colour that you are going to work with and for the moment let’s say it is going to be a green. You can use the slider controls for hue, saturation, luminance and range. When you have green chosen you will be able to change the colour from green in the middle, go left towards yellow or right towards blue. Then you have saturation which is fairly standard in that if you move the slider to the left you will completely de-saturate the colour and make just that part as if it had been shot in black and white. On the other hand if you take the slider to the right, that the colour green will become stronger. Other colours outside the range are not effected. The luminance slider controls the brightness of that particular colour and the range determines how wide a spectrum of green is included in the changes.

Let’s have a look at the advanced settings for the colour adjustment

When you look at the colour adjustment settings in the left-hand sidebar of Aperture you will see that there are three buttons on the top right-hand corner. If you click on the button to the left you will open up the colour adjustment panel that will show all of the colour adjustment sliders for each of the colours that you can work with. So rather than working with one colour at a time in a photo you can fiddle to your hearts content to really make your image come alive. The middle button will take the settings back to the default and then you have a drop-down list on the button in the top right-hand corner where you can add a new adjustment or take away the colour adjustment. If it is something that you think you might use again, you can add what you have created to the default set.

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