Apple Release Aperture 2.1 Update

Apple have released Aperture Version 2.1, a free update which includes an Apple developed plug-in. The plug-in is Dodge & Burn, a tool which adds brushed based tools to lighten or darken, affect contrast and saturation and that can sharpen or blur. Apple will be working with third-party plug-in developers to expand the capabilities with more plug-ins. Visit the Aperture page at Apple

Apple Update Aperture To Version 2.1

Apple have indicated that the 2.1 update "addresses issues related to performance and overall stability." The update also fixes a number of "minor" issues, including Upgrading libraries from earlier versions of Aperture, Publishing .Mac Web Gallery albums, Preview generation and deletion, Creating and ordering books, Appearance of metadata overlays in the Browser, Filmstrip, and on light tables, Watermarking of emailed photos, Highlight Hot and Cold Areas

It also fixes a number of other minor issues, some involving the following areas: Loupe, Smart Albums, Straighten Tool, Filmstrip, Drag and drop import, Thumbnail generation, Import window and Export plug-in reliability. The update is covered in detail here.

Apple Releases Aperture 2

Apple have released Aperture 2 with over 100 new features ... these features include the following new features; User Interface, RAW Image Quality, Compare and Select Tools, Workflow improvements, new Image Processing Tools, Photo Management tools, Print and Web Publishing and AppleScript improvements. The full list and details of improvements can be found at the new features page at Apples' Aperture section on their site. There have been some notable improvements with support for tethered shooting, enhanced imports and image tuning capabilites and a few features taken out of the pages of Lightroom, Apple have even reduced the price to £110 plus VAT. Owners of previous versions can upgrade to Aperture 2 for £55 plus VAT.

Apple Release Aperture 1.5.3 Update

Apple released an update to Aperture, their Digital Photographers production workflow solution. Aperture version 1.5.3 includes improvement for the software’s overall reliability and performance. According to Apple, key additions and improvements include:

The Generation of thumbnails for adjusted images
Entering and exiting Full Screen mode
Working with large sets of keywords in the Keywords HUD
Restoring from a vault...

Among the specific issues that have been addressed:
Previews now update properly when images are sent to an external editor.- Leaf Aptus 22 and Aptus 75 images are now imported with the correct orientation.
When folders are imported as projects, the folder structure is now correctly preserved when identically named subfolders are included in the hierarchy.
Reconnecting referenced images that have been externally edited now works more reliably.
Setting the ColorSync profile in the Aperture Print dialog now correctly suppresses color management settings in the Mac OS X Print dialog.

Visit Apple for more information and to download the update.

Lightzone Discounted For Lightroom, Aperture & iPhoto Users

The title just about says it all, Lightcrafts have decided to discount their cool photo editing system for users of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and Apples Aperture and iPhoto Software. LightZone Basic and LightZone 2.0 can be downloaded at LightCrafts.com. LightZone Basic is available at an introductory price of $99.95 for Lightroom and Aperture users until June 30, 2007. LightZone 2.0 is offered at $249.95.

New Releases From Lightroom and Photomatix

Lightcrafts have released Lightzone Version 2.3, which centres on integration with Lightroom, Aperture and iPhoto. One of the best new features is the new black and white tool which has a number of enhancements over the old tool and also retains luminosity values independant of any filters used. I'm not certain how this works but I'll look into it for more clarification. For more info visit lightcrafts.com

Photomatix have released Version 2.4 of their HDRI Pro tool. Form more info visit http://www.hdrsoft.com/ ... The update includes a numbers of improvements and bug fixes.

OS X 10.4.9 Update Adds New RAW Support To Aperture.

Apple have included a slew of improvements and additions to OS-X which adds the following support to Aperture:

Adds support for the RAW image formats of these third-party cameras: Leaf Aptus 17, Leaf Aptus 22, Leaf Aptus 65, Leaf Aptus 75, Leaf Valeo 11, Leaf Valeo 17, Leaf Valeo 22, Leica Digilux 3, Nikon D40, Pentax K10D, Pentax K110D, Pentax K100D, Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1, Samsung GX-1L.
Improved Spot & Patch results: The update contains changes to Core Image that improve the visual correctness of images using Spot & Patch adjustment.
Reduces issues of temporary "black" Viewer: Mac OS X 10.4.9 addresses several issues that could cause the Viewer to temporarily turn black when displaying adjusted images.
GPS metadata is preserved when image versions are exported.
Incorporates all RAW file format compatibility and other imaging issues originally addressed in Digital Camera RAW Support Update 1.0.1. This update improved RAW file format compatibility for the Canon Digital Rebel XTi / 400D / Kiss X Digital, Nikon D80, and Pentax *ist DS. It also addressed the following issues: Handling of large Canon RAW files (.CRW); DNG compatibility on Intel-based Macs; Lines sometimes appearing in images exported from Aperture.
Visit Apple for more information, the Mac OS X 10.4.9 update is available via the operating system's Software Update mechanism, or as standalone updaters for Intel and PowerPC computers.

Raw Workflow from Capture to Archives

Review by Mario Georgiou, February 2007
Authors: Philip Andrews, Yvonne Butler and Joe Farace
Publisher: Focal Press/Elsevier
304 pages
ISBN: 0-240-80752-9
US$39.95 - £24.99 GBP

Raw Workflow - Front Cover
Raw Workflow deals with one of the most important issues affecting Digital Photographers today. Most digital cameras today are capable of recording images in Jpg, however being a lossy format it is far from desirable for use by imageers and professional photographers. Some cameras even support recording to TIF, however the format of choice is actually the cameras native format - RAW. RAW data of course varies from camera to camera and as a result there are many flavours to choose from. Nikons NEF, Canons CRW and so on... there has even been an attempt to standardize the data by Adobe, DNG.

As a result of this, the photographer is spoilt for choice, especially when it comes to selecting a preferred format. RAW is ideal because it is somewhat equivalent to the film negative. There is however one distinction, and that is, that you can effectively reprocess the original data over and over again.

This book from Focal press attempts to clarify the issues photographers have to deal with on a day to day basis. As with many of the books from this imprint, it is well laid out, and easy to follow and has a nice combination of technical content, easy to follow illustrations and excellent writing.

It starts with the basics and builds from there. The first three chapters deal with describing what RAW is, as well as covering the technical issues of shooting in RAW and handling the resulting files.

Subsequent chapters take an extremely brief look at the different flavours of RAW converters and tools. The book then focuses on native converters and then moves on to Photoshop Elements, Adobe Camera Raw and its use with Photoshop and Bridge. Adobes Lightroom and Apples Exposure are then featured with an in-depth look at their relative merits.

RAW Workflow is completed by then covering the concepts of asset management, file storage and archiving. The Glossary at the end of this book is excellent and ads to an already excellent volume. Overall, I enjoyed the read. It is one of the best books on this subject and has something for readers of all experience levels.

Cons: No coverage of Linux based solutions. Some of the third party applications are touched upon too briefly.
Pros: Nicely laid out. Easy to read. Excellent coverage of the issues.

Raw Workflow is an excellent publication which is well laid out, richly illustrated and easy to read. It has something for users of all levels and is a solid book for the user who wants an introduction to the issues surrounding RAW based image handling and processing. Highly Recommended.