Yesterday I had the great opportunity to shoot another architectural photo shoot. I shot two residences and earned enough to acquire a copy of Apple Aperture 2.0 and step a bit closer to my first real strobe kit. I’ve been shooting with my one speedlight and renting more when I need them. Yesterday, I rented a pair of genuine dyna-lite strobes, from Samy’s. I’m very grateful to have been able to shoot with those nice lights. I’m sold on strobes!
Additionally, I tested out Aperture 2.0, with their 30 day trial, over the last month. My trial expired a week back, and I was actually sad when it did. Not that I don’t have decent alternative asset management and editing. I have been using a combo Adobe Bridge and Photoshop system. It has worked well for almost a year. Unfortunately, upgrading to Adobe’s Lightroom is really the professional step they want you to make. I trialed Lightroom late last year, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the modular system. I didn’t like how it performed on my slower Mac Mini. I simply didn’t like how it flowed.
I had played with Aperture in version 1.0, and quickly didn’t like it. But I think the biggest killer was that it was dog slow. Then came version 2.0.
The most important change to 2.0 was the speed enhancements. It’s now quite smooth, even on my slower Mac Mini. I can’t afford to upgrade the Mac right now, so a software solution that can effectively operate on it, is more than likely going to get my vote. In the next week or so, I’ll review what I do with Aperture, and show you my workflow. I have noticed that many more people use Aperture than I originally thought. So I’d like to help increase Aperture’s awareness just a bit.
So yesterday, I got it installed and processed the photo shoot with it. Lovely.
Today I woke up to see a big announcement from Apple about Aperture 2.1. What?! No problem, a free upgrade for me. It’s not loaded with a huge number of improvements. However, it is loaded with one massive feature addition. PLUGINS!
Now third party developers can design plugins to assist and enhance the editing within Aperture. Over time, I may not need to load Photoshop at all. I don’t have a problem with Photoshop, but how sweet will it be to only need one clean solution for my photo processing needs. I’ve heard great things about the solutions from Nik Software. Maybe they can be enticed to produce their plugins for Aperture too.
To show us how nice this new plugin system is, Apple included one nice plugin with the update.
“Dodge & Burn Plug-in. A sample plug-in is pre-installed, taking advantage of the Edit API introduced in Aperture 2.0. The plug-in adds brush-based tools for Dodge (Lighten), Burn (Darken), Contrast, Saturation, Sharpen and Blur.”
I was actually poking around the manual last night, looking for dodging and burning. Sweet! I’m real excited about all these new tools and how I’ll get to use them.
StudioLighting.net is reporting that several top notch plugin developers have announced…
Expected additions to Aperture plug-ins include:
• Nik Software’s Viveza plug-in, powered by U Point technology, which provides a powerful, precise and easy way for photographers to selectively control and adjust color and light in their digital images;
• PictureCode’s Noise Ninja plug-in that delivers advanced high ISO noise analysis and reduction;
• Digital Film Tools’ Power Stroke plug-in that features a simple, stroke-based interface to quickly mask and intuitively perform targeted adjustments;
• The Tiffen Company’s Dfx plug-in that provides an expansive suite of creative filters and effects;
• dvGarage’s dpMatte plug-in, which is a high performance chroma key tool for creating seamless composites, and the HDRtoner plug-in that enables the selection of multiple photos to create a single high dynamic range (HDR) image; and
• Image Trends’ plug-ins that include Fisheye-Hemi to quickly and effortlessly correct fisheye lens distortion, ShineOff which automatically removes shine from faces and PearlyWhites that automatically whitens and brightens teeth.
Sweet! I shot over to Nik Software’s page and discovered that they’re already announcing compatibility with Aperture 2.1 in May 2008. (less than 2 months away)