Aperture 3 - how to use it, RAW, jpeg and more

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by BBW, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    I'm completely new to Aperture, just bought Aperture 3 about a week ago and am slowly finding my way. Only other "post processing" I've done was of the most minimal sort via iPhoto. Background long ago - I was in color film, long, long ago. Very new to becoming interested in digital from a more serious point of view.

    My main goal is to be able to use my camera, in my case an E-P2, as the best means to an end that I can..and not rely on post processing. However, since I'm not there yet...and I want to be realistic, I knew I'd want to use a software program that I'd feel most at home with - therefore Aperture, even currently without RAW for my particular camera.

    I know that Kevin Paris at facefullofbees.com, and an active member here as well, :biggrin: has created a work around Apple Script for using RAW from the E-P1 and E-P2 and I'm probably going to buy his script from him here: http://facefullofbees.com/. I'll also put in a plug for him because he's got one for the GF1 RAW support, too.:thumbup:

    Although I've gotten some very helpful feedback privately from another member who uses both Aperture and this Apple Script, I thought I'd start off this thread because I can't be the only person around who is interested. I know there are several others including Kevin and my member source who should be able to offer some helpful advice and lend a hand.

    First, I'm going to ask about this RAW conversion Apple Script. Here's what I understand so far, at least what I think I understand:

    The work flow goes something like this: a) Import RAW files to a folder. b) Run them through the script (drag and drop?). c) Drag converted files to Aperture? The files are dropped onto the application and create fine-name_copy.orf in the same folder as the originals. These files are now labeled "E30" rather than E-P1/-P2 in the invisible header and therefore Aperture applies its E30 preset to these files.

    Since this will be the E30, it may or does have some effect sometimes on the color - yes? And that there can be some lens distortions because it doesn't correct for this in RAW but there is a "plug-in" available called "PT-lens"...

    That's about all I think I know about the Apple Script deal for RAW. I'd love to hear from Kevin and everyone else who uses it to see if what I've written matches their experience and if not to explain how it works for them. Please take into consideration that I am a complete neophyte and have no idea if this would put me over the edge or what.:wink:

    Meanwhile, what I do like about this Aperture 3 is its new ability to let me shoot both RAW and jpeg download to iPhoto (I believe) import the jpegs, then select which I want for now in RAW...use the Apple Script or store the RAWs elsewhere for the day that I want the RAW and/or Aperture supports it natively. Thus far, all I've touched are jpegs..haven't even bothered with RAW because I can't use them yet.

    I know many on here are RAW stalwarts and as Don AKA Streetshooter said to me, or something like this: "You can't save a dead jpeg." Sometimes I am lucky enough to get off an exposure that really doesn't need much work...so that's nice.

    Anyway, this is my first post hoping for some Aperture users to get involved. Any and all help will be much appreciated and if there are any others out there, please be my guest to add in your own questions/comments, too.:flowers_2:
     
  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    thanks for the plug :)

    Think you have what my little apps do down fine... they are an interim measure until apple get their act together. They are not fast... can be temperamental at times, but they do solve an immediate problem

    I will declare at the start as a former Apple employee here in Europe I do have a bias towards Aperture... I spent enough time on planes, in hotels and in front of audiences extolling its benefits not to.

    But now I am independent, taking more photos than before, but still using Aperture because to me it still offers the quickest and easiest way to get the shot on my memory card stored, corrected and if good enough... delivered.

    Some people swear by other applications or other workflows, and fine... if it works for you go with it... but nothing for me works better than Aperture.

    Some people on forums like this will swear by one RAW convertor against another. Truth is you cant change the picture you captured...thats fixed... you can use different RAW convertors to interpret that information in different ways, and one may like the look of one convertor against another, but you are never going to get anything that wasn't there, and all the RAW convertors end up changing the same parameters

    Apertures raw conversion is generally regarded as pretty good... which maybe partly explains why they don't instantly release support for the latest cameras... they work on getting the best image.

    My apps do 'fool' Aperture into reading files it doesn't have Apple approved profiles for.

    What are the consequences of this?

    1) Honest answer is I don't know... I don't have an E-30 and I don't know what an E-P1 picture should look like in Aperture... and actually I don't care... what i get is an image on my screen that i can adjust or not to my satisfaction. I am sure there are differences somewhere.. but they don't appear on my radar... I am more concerned with quality of image rather than image quality

    2) Lens correction... OK dirty secret... Olympus, Panasonic and I am guessing every other manufacturer too, save money/increase profit by making a lens that is cheaper to design/construct, and correcting the flaws in software. This correction is written into the RAW file ( you never see it in the JPEG because its fixed in the camera).

    my apps dont read this lens correction data. This is not a big worry to me because i shoot a lot of old legacy lenses and I have only one micro 4/3 lens (17mm). PTlens solves any issues I have on that front.

    My advice right now would be to shoot some RAW +JPEG and learn the Aperture workflow using just the JPEGS. Even though Aperture cant open the RAW files now it will still catalogue them. I would play around with adjustments using the Jpegs to get a feel of what you can do. Remember... Aperture never touches your original file even JPEG. Get you head around the idea of Versions... its key to understanding the power of Aperture.

    OK getting late here

    hope this helps

    K
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    You've helped me a great deal Kevin and I really appreciate your taking the time to make such a detailed and worthwhile response. I'm sure I'll have some questions down the line. Meanwhile, many, many thanks!
     
  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    no problem

    glad to help


    K
     
  5. melv

    melv Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    29
    Jan 3, 2010
    South Yorkshire, UK
    I've had Aperture 3 for only a couple of days. My first impression is that it seems to be slow to process compared with LR2. I also seem to have come across a couple of minor bugs (or is it me?)
     
  6. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Hi

    with the right hardware and software Aperture to me is faster than Lightroom.

    I have not run it on a machine without Snow Leopard or less than 4GB of memory so i don't know its performance on those machines are.


    K
     
  7. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran Charter Member

    807
    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    I also am now using A3. The cataloguing/tagging outputting features are a big improvement. Using brushes and curves is great. A3 has made editing with Photoshop totally unnecessary, which is saying a lot!

    I can't compare it to LR, but vs. A2, I would say that there are a few bugs to work out - mostly for me, it's freezing/slowing dramatically when using Brush changes.

    I have one of the early iMac Core2Duos that max's out at 2GB, which may be the issue for me. Most processes that were available in A2 are faster.

    I use Kevins Script when I need to work in RAW, but that's not so often - JPEGs are quite good in most situations and smaller files means faster processing/lower storage needs. I resort to RAW when the lighting is really challenging.

    Thanks, BB, for starting this thread. Plenty to share.

    BTW, A3 makes outputting to Flickr really easy - and automatically syncs changes to the various 'sets' created.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. peterpix

    peterpix Mu-43 Veteran

    234
    Feb 8, 2010
    So. Maine
    Real Name:
    Peter Randal
    Aperture 3

    Don't have a mft yet, but couldn't one convert the files to DNG, and then process with A3?
     
  9. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    A quick question, my friend is here who is helping me out today...and he was trying to figure where Aperture 3 is storing the images on my computer. When he searched for a image by its filename in the Finder window, it was only found in the backup location that I chose when importing. Is this normal? Is the image embedded somewhere? :confused: Does this matter? I'm trying to understand how the application works...
     
  10. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    hi

    Aperture can store the imported photos either inside the Aperture Library which lives in your Pictures folder, or keep them in any folder you designate. In this later case they are described as being Referenced Masters

    you make that decision at the import stage using the store files popup menu shown in the screenshot below. I think the default is to store in the Aperture Library

    I prefer to keep my own file structure so never store the picture in the Aperture library (it also keeps the library file smaller of course)

    If you have imported files to the Aperture library you can relocate them later to a folder of your choosing by using the Relocate Masters option in the File menu

    Hope this helps

    K
     

    Attached Files:

  11. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Thanks Kevin, so I'm guessing that this is a way to have a plan B way of finding these originals in case something unforeseen happened to the Aperture application?

    Thanks to your answer, we've set it up to store them in the Pictures folder. This is all such a new concept to me that it is going to take me a while to really get my mind around it all, but I am sure I will eventually.

    Thanks so much for your help!

    P.S. I appreciate everyone's posts and hope the conversations can continue.:thumbup:
     
  12. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Helping Aperture work

    I'm also going to add that for the past few days I've been pairing down my unnecessary "stuff" on my hard drive and have freed up much more space. It's amazing what detritus can hide out there.

    I have just put in the order for Snow Leopard - I'm running Leopard right now.

    I have to say from what I've read that it's imperative to have plenty of space for Aperture 3 to work at its optimum, though I'm sure Kevin could add to that. I've tended to be very unsure about deleting or uninstalling some items in the past but am fortunate to have a friend in town who has been helping me out with this.
     
  13. melv

    melv Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    29
    Jan 3, 2010
    South Yorkshire, UK
    BBW, I too have been mercilessly freeing up space on my Mac hard drive; about 100 GB of redundant DXO files actually. Some of these files were about 40 MB in size each! A3 now seems to be running quicker.

    Melv
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    melv

    you have highlighted just why the Aperture way is so much better than the RAW convertor/Photoshop route..no need to create those nasty huge tiff files if you dont want.

    In aperture you get to choose the pics you want to work on quick... without generating any new files.

    It really is the only way to work. It doesnt stop you going back and reprocessing a RAW file with another convertor if you want , nor does it stop you going into photoshop if youfeel you have to

    K
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. melv

    melv Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    29
    Jan 3, 2010
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Hi K

    Yes, a good point made there, just import the RAW files and work on them as and when necessary. Only make copies in JPEG if you want to export them e.g to flickr or as an email attachment. I don't believe compressed RAW files are that much bigger than JPEGs are they?

    Melv
     
  16. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    I just received an email notification - not via Apple but via MacCreate - that there is a new update for Aperture called 3.0.1 which you can access via your Software Updater but you can also read about it here: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2518:2thumbs:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Christilou

    Christilou Mu-43 Top Veteran

    657
    Feb 25, 2010
    Camberley, Surrey
    Aperture

    I am also using Aperture but have not upgraded yet to A3. I know that it does not read the Panasonic RAW files but when I shot in both RAW/JPG together Aperture would not open up either of the files. I have resorted to using Lightroom Beta 3 for the RAWs but its getting messy having so much stuff spread about. This would be a reason for me to trade the GH1 for an EP2 and just use the JPEGs in Aperture at the moment. Although I find Lightroom very good I prefer the feeling of more space in the Aperture windows. This is illogical as I know my screen size doesn't change!
     
  18. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Christilou, welcome to mu-43.com and I'm glad you found your way into this thread, too.:wink:

    Have you read about Kevin Paris's well reviewed work around Apple Script that I mentioned in my first post? Here is his website:http://facefullofbees.com/ Although I haven't read that he has done anything for the GH1, he may well have some helpful input and often stops by here. He's certainly got the background to be able to discuss your options intelligently. So check back here, OK?
     
    • Like Like x 4
  19. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    its my understanding that you need aperture 3 to support the G series cameras. I only could do the support fro the G-F1 because Apple added the support for the G1. The GH1 uses a different sensor for which my workround will probably not work, and anyway Aperture 3 offers support for the GH1


    cheers

    Kevin
     
    • Like Like x 8
  20. Christilou

    Christilou Mu-43 Top Veteran

    657
    Feb 25, 2010
    Camberley, Surrey
    Aperture 3

    It seems that A3 is the way forward but I'm going to have to clean up my Mac too. It is full of downloaded software trials and I'm getting the spinning beachball quite a lot in Aperture. I would be interested to hear if anyone upgrading from Leopard to Snow Leopard found it made much difference to running speeds. I will just have to fork out some money that I would rather spend on my cameras!:wink: