Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Aperture 2.0

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Although the main core of my workflow has drifted back to MediaPro, I still tinker with Aperture and Lightroom. I’ve stopped importing my DNG files into them but, somewhat perversely, I do still import my finished derivative files. This lets me play with things like slideshows and book generation without worrying about the conversion issues for my DNG files (in the case of Aperture).

As Apple release Aperture 2.0 this morning, I thought I’d download the trial version and play with it. There was a new feature (out of the 100 they list) that brought a smile to my face:

Reconnect override

Aperture 2 lets you “force-reconnect” images in the Managed Referenced Files window. Reconnecting to master images on a different drive is normally restricted to files that match in name, size, or date. If for any reason these attributes change in a way that makes normal reconnection impossible, you can hold down the Option key to force Aperture to reconnect to your masters.

Woo! This fixes a particularly stoopid gotcha in Aperture 1.5 – if you import images as referenced masters and then modify the metadata in the referenced master (say, using MediaPro to sync back a change), Aperture refuses to re-connect to the modified file. This is particularly frustrating and rendered Aperture useless for maintaining a shadow library of images that had externally managed files. At least now, I can force Aperture to reconnect against it’s better judgement.

Another new feature is long overdue too.

Duplicate detection on import

Click the new “Do not import duplicates” checkbox in the Import window, and Aperture suppresses the import of images already in the library.

That’s right. Aperture finally will do duplicate checking. Even better, the duplicate option shows up in the Import Automator action. I’m sure neither of these additions will get much press as they’re not that sexy but they really make a difference to the usability of Aperture. The eye candy is nice (and the simplified interface is an improvement) but it’s the small stuff like this that matters.

So a big “thank you!” to the Aperture development team for these additions.


Monday, September 17th, 2007

Every photographer I’ve met has a photographic skill they know lags well behind the rest of their skillset. Me? It’s flash photography. In short, I suck. I was reminded of this a few weeks back when I shot some portraits for a friend. Nothing fancy but awkward lighting. We managed to salvage a few shots but it could have been so much better.

I’ve never been comfortable using flashes and have usually hated the results that I’ve gotten from them. In fact, I’ve gone to ridiculous lengths not to use a flash when it would have made my life so much easier. I’ve played with larger, studio flash setups from time to time (and been happier with the results) but they’re just not practical for a lot of the photography I find myself doing.

However, I stumbled across a website a few weeks ago that totally changed my outlook on this black art. Strobist is dedicated to flash photography using lightweight, very portable equipment. After reading through the Strobist 101 section and looking at the results, I was completely sold.

If you’re a flash-o-phobe like me, I strongly recommend checking out the Strobist website and Flickr photostream. Hopefully you’ll have the same “ding!” bell go off that I did…

Lightroom and contact sheets

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

I saw this post on the Inside Lightroom blog and replied to it about using Lightroom to generate PDF contact sheets and thought I’d mention a bit more about it.


Workflow 3.0

Friday, July 13th, 2007


At the start of 2006, I posted about the workflow I was using for processing images. As you can imagine, it’s changed significantly over the last 18 months as tools like Lightroom, Aperture, Bridge and Photoshop CS3 have appeared. As folks still seem to look at the Workflow 2.0 post I wrote, I thought it was time to update with what I was currently doing.