Aperture on a PowerBook, Pt. 2 - Raw Files & CS2

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Derrick Story

Derrick Story
Dec. 05, 2005 07:57 AM

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I spent some time learning Aperture's image editing tools last night. The best way to edit, IMHO, is to go to Full Screen mode and use the Adjustments HUD (HUD is a term in Aperture for Heads Up Display).

Aperture's full screen mode with Browser (far right) and Adjustments HUD.

You have lots of controls that you can apply to your image:

  • Red eye correction
  • Spot and patch
  • Straighten
  • Crop
  • Levels
  • Exposure
  • Highlight and shadows (love this one)
  • White balance
  • Monochrome mixer (this one is cool too!)
  • Sepia tone
  • Noise reduction
  • Sharpen

Your master image is left untouched while you apply corrections. Instead Aperture works with a version of the image. You can have multiple versions from the same master image. And the best part is, Aperture is using metadata to perform this magic, so you're *not* adding tons of Megabytes to your hard drive with each version.

I was disappointed to discover, however, that I can't link directly to Camera Raw for editing my Raw files in Aperture. I can use Photoshop as an external editor, but only in the .PSD or .TIFF format. So if I open a .CR2 file (contained in Aperture) in an "external editor," (Photoshop CS2), then Aperture opens a .PSD version of the file in Photoshop. Once I make my adjustments, the changes are saved back to Aperture (again, leaving the master file untouched).

If I want to work in Camera Raw, I have to export the master .CR2 file out of Aperture, edit in Camera Raw, then import the Photoshop file back into Aperture.

I will say that Aperture's robust image editing tools are quite decent. But to be honest, there I times I want to edit in Camera Raw. It's an environment I like. Possibly, I'm missing something here. If you have more info about this, please post a TalkBack so we can present the most complete picture possible.

More in this series...

Derrick Story is the author of The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers, The Digital Photography Companion, and Digital Photography Hacks, and coauthor of iPhoto: The Missing Manual, with David Pogue. You can follow him on Twitter or visit www.thedigitalstory.com.