Aperture 1.5 is out. Awesome stuff!

Blue Bubbles
Blue Bubbles

Aperture 1.5 shipped on friday. Brilliant update. Wow.

I live on a laptop, a MacBook Pro. As such, my hard drive is a bit constrained. Prior to 1.5, I had moved my Aperture library off to an external hard drive. A bit of a pain to have to carry around and plug in the external drive just to use Aperture.

With 1.5 I can move about 90% of the photos– the master images– in my library off to an external drive, keeping only the most recently taken and most frequently accessed on the internal library. Sweet.

Beyond library management, Aperture adds several new image processing tools that are simply amazing (bearing in mind that “amazing” equates to “even a clueless user like me produced something that I found pleasing with relatively little confusion”).

For example, the two images to the left are a sort of before/after 1.5. The top image takes advantage of the new color adjustment tools and the edge sharpening tools. I took the original photo to try and capture the cell-like nature of the bubbles and I think the new-and-improved image does a much better job of doing exactly that.

Purple Herb Flower
Purple Herb Flower

This is another example of using the individual channel color adjustment tool to improve a photo. In particular, I was able to adjust the colors that were specific to the background to decrease the distraction of the gunk that was behind the flower when I took the shot.

Beyond the new tools, the existing tools within Aperture have been improved. For example, the loupe is far more powerful than before beyond also not getting in the way nearly as much. I really like how I can lock the loupe to one location and then drag it to a new location. It makes fine grained adjustments, especially spot/patch/red-eye editing much easier and more precise.

Neat trick: With the loupe visible and set to “focus on loupe” mode, stick the cursor over some interesting spot in the photo and hold down the ‘`’ (show/hide loupe key). The loupe will slide to that new location. I end up using this all the time as I make adjustments or view images.

Blowing Bubbles

I have no idea if it has been improved, but the “spot” and “patch” tools feel much more responsive and powerful in the 1.5 release. Previously, dealing with spot/patch was just too damned tedious to play with the adjustments enough to actually get a decent result.

The Flickr integration is totally brilliant, too. Thank you, Fraser, for a brilliant bit of engineering, there.

Roger Catching Bubbles
Caught Bubbles

Seriously, the whole release feels faster and I think it is making some of the tools feel more powerful even if they are otherwise unchanged. I am nowhere near a professional photography. I really have little clue what I’m doing beyond futzing around to discover things I like and don’t like. It really feels like Aperture 1.5 is letting me explore more possibilities and better refine my photos.

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2 Responses to “Aperture 1.5 is out. Awesome stuff!”

  1. Charles says:

    I think the new “edge sharpening” tools are a dumbed-down variation of Unsharp Masking. Unfortunately, Unsharp Mask is one of the most difficult tools to master, but it has a huge payoff especially for low resolution web images. There are a few Photoshop plugins that come with pretty good presets for web Unsharp Masking, like Nik Sharpener.

    BTW, here’s a short essay on Unsharp Mask I wrote a few years ago. There are some particularly good essays on Unsharp Mask in the book “Photoshop for Photographers” that really helped me understand it fully.

  2. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » Aperture: The Color Tool says:

    […] A couple of days ago, I blogged about the release of Aperture 1.5 and how I really dig the refinements and performance boost. Using the photos at right as a [macro — hey, I’m a happy flower photographer and I’m not afraid to admit it] example, I was able to use the color tools to refine a photo in ways that I couldn’t before. […]

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