Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Bytes - Go Pro! Apple's Aperture 3 gives you mini Movies, better photo organisation and professional pics!

Over the Easter break, I decided to pull out my 8GB SD card and unravel the huge heap of un-filed photos accumulated since Chinese New Year. Sounds familiar? I was happily procrastinating until I recently attended a tutorial introducing Apple's latest add-on - the new Aperture™ 3. The folks from Apple have billed this as the next progressive step to professional photo editing and photo management. I was frankly quite amazed at what the programme could do. 

I have always been a big iPhoto advocate as I use their slideshow feature to organise 'show and tells' of our various travel snaps. I like it mainly because the programme allows you to play a Project along with music so that it entertains as well as tells a story. For me, the frustration has been saving the project onto DVD or CD as it requires me laboriously selecting my favourite projects and then importing those clips to iDVD each time there is a noteworthy event that I want to save. Mac users will note that you can currently only save your project on a DVD or CD when it has been edited using the iDVD programme. 

If like me, you are into making short mini movies that incorporate stills and video (even HD video) then Aperture 3 is a must-have! Whatever you have created can be instantly downloaded into iTunes, then saved onto your iPhone, iPod, Macbook or onto a CD and DVD. 

The process is super simple. Choose from one of the programme's stunning new slideshows and extra themes, weave together still photos and even HD video clips, type in text as you go along to describe each frame, add in audio voice-overs as required, shorten or lengthen your favourite piece of music to fit the project duration and immediately you have your very own home-made movie project. If you are showing a travel adventure and want to wow your audience then GPS code your entire project so your viewers can follow your journey in geographic sequence. Want a hard copy? Select your favourite stills and convert them into beautiful prints or custom-designed hardcover books. Prefer to share them online?  Publish your photos instantly on Facebook and Flickr, right from Aperture 3. Unbridled Joy! 

What makes Aperture 3 different from iPhoto? 

On top of the 200 new features that it introduces, Aperture 3 builds on iPhoto's existing Faces (face recognition) by allowing you to recognise the faces of different people across your entire photo library, detecting them and prompting you to name them. 

In iPhoto, Places lets you explore your photos based on where they were taken and automatically reverse geocodes GPS data into user-friendly locations. In Aperture 3, you can assign locations by dragging-and-dropping photos onto a map or by using location information from GPS enabled cameras, tracking devices or your iPhone® photos. Amazing if you want to show a map of your journey along synched with pictures at each point of the location. See Jim Richardson, National Geographic Photographer example of how to use Aperture 3's  Places function to tag his journey through Nova Scotia  

Finally, Brushes is a completely new tool for adding professional touches to your photos by simply painting image adjustments and effects onto parts of your photo. There are 15 Quick Brushes that perform tasks like Dodge, Burn, Polarize and Blur, without the complexity of layers or masks. Brushes can automatically detect edges in your images to let you apply or remove effects exactly where you want them. There are also dozens of Adjustment Presets that apply a specific style or look to the entire image with just a click and if you are anal about certain 'looks' then create your own custom presets or explore the techniques of other photographers by importing theirs. 

Am working gleefully on my first project now and loving it. Get your 30 Day FREE TRIAL at or buy it at the Apple Store® (, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers at US$199. Existing Aperture users can upgrade their version for only US$99.  

- Elaine


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