The personal blog of Sven Seebeck

Switching to Aperture: First Impressions

I have been a little mysterious in one of my previous post’s about a new acquisition of mine but after using Adobe Lightroom for many years (I used it since version 1) I’m now in the middle of switching to Apple’s Aperture 3.

I have been using it now for a while and still have a little while on the trial period, but to test it I processed my images from last landscape shooting in Norway. So far I’m very much impressed with the software and I’m definitely going to make the switch. It feels just right to me and feels much easier, or better intuitive to work with. I would like to share a few things here which I liked so far.

First thing I noticed was friendly design and intuitive user interface. I tend to ignore the manual of almost every software that I use and prefer to find my way through it myself. This wasn’t at all a problem. It’s of course a RAW-converter and as such it has the controls which you can expect.

In terms of functionality it has almost completely eliminated the urge to go to Photoshop for some finishing touches. With the images that I have processed so far I only needed to take the image to Photoshop to remove some lens-distortion.

Working on an image in full-screen mode is just pure fun in this application. All important tools are accessible via an unobsrusive HUD display. With a large screen I can take full advantage of this option. The list of available tools covers everything that I need for my work on an image. Besides the usual RAW controls I was very happy to find real curves, levels and shadow/highlights controls. Extra bonus is that for example these can be applied to the whole image or simply brushed in or out. Also the possibility to use multiple curves, levels etc. adds to the flexibility to the software.

Besides the editing capabilities I enjoy the integration in the OS. The library is available in all other Mac apps and the images can easily be added to a Pages document for example.

I’m still in the beginning with my use, trying to explore all the possibilities and learning all the necessary shortcuts, but so far this app fits perfect into my workflow, as it also allows editing of videos, which I occasionally add to this blog of mine also. I will have some more findings and things related to Aperture coming up in future posts.