Photo Editing with Aperture

Aperture allows you to easily view and work with your images onscreen. It provides easy-to-use tools and controls, as well as efficient methods for rating images, searching for images, and comparing and adjusting images.

Viewing and Working with Images

To work with your images, you select a project in the Library inspector and Aperture displays that project’s images in the Browser. You use the Browser to review, organize, and select images. You can display the Browser only or display the Browser and a Viewer that shows images in detail.

When you select a thumbnail image in the Browser, the image appears in the Viewer.

Figure. Thumbail image selected in the Browser and a detailed view of the image appearing in the Viewer.

The Browser can display your images as thumbnails arranged as a row in a filmstrip or as a grid of thumbnails appearing in rows and columns. You can click an individual image to select it, and a white border appears around the image. To quickly move to and select other images, press the arrow keys. You can drag images to rearrange them in the Browser, or drag them into different projects or albums. You can also display your images as a list of files.

If you want to work with your images in detail, you can view them in Full Screen view.

Figure. Full Screen view showing the toolbar and the filmstrip.

To see images in Full Screen view, press F. Press F again to exit Full Screen view.

In Full Screen view, you can change the display of images to show single images, three images, or up to twelve images at once. You can also set Full Screen view to show your images in three modes: Viewer, Browser, and Projects. Viewer mode displays your images at high resolution, allowing you to work with an image in fine detail while applying complex image adjustments. Browser mode is similar to the Browser in the Aperture main window, in that it provides controls for searching for and sorting thumbnail images. To switch between the Full Screen view Viewer mode and Browser mode, press V.

Figure. Full Screen view set to Browser mode.

While in Browser mode, you can enter Projects mode by clicking the Projects button at the top-left corner of the screen. Projects mode provides the same controls as the Projects view in the Aperture main window, but the thumbnail images representing projects are placed over a solid background. To view the thumbnails for a project in Browser mode, double-click the project’s thumbnail image.

Displaying your images clearly and accurately is a pivotal function of Aperture. Aperture allows you to take advantage of the latest display technology and view and work with your images in Full Screen view and on multiple displays.

Using Aperture with two displays is ideal for creating a large workspace. You can easily compare and adjust images, play slideshows, and present the best of your photos at optimal size during client reviews.

For more information about using Full Screen view, see Viewing Images in Full Screen View.

Using Multi-Touch Trackpad Gestures with Aperture

If your portable computer has a Multi-Touch trackpad, you can use Multi-Touch trackpad gestures when working with Aperture. For example, when working with images in the Browser, you can use the rotate gesture to rotate images and the swipe gesture to select a different image. In addition to using the standard trackpad gestures used with Mac portable computers, you can also use Multi-Touch trackpad gestures with the following Aperture features.

Feature
Multi-Touch trackpad gestures
Browser in grid view
  • Use the pinch gesture to change the size of thumbnails in the Browser.

  • Use the rotate gesture to rotate the image beneath the pointer.

  • Use the swipe gesture to select a different image.

Browser in list view
  • Use the pinch gesture to change the size of thumbnails in the Browser.

  • Use the swipe gesture to select a different image.

Browser in filmstrip view (Split View layout) and filmstrip in Full Screen view (Viewer mode)
  • Use the pinch gesture to change the size of thumbnails in the Browser or the filmstrip.

  • Use the rotate gesture to rotate the image beneath the pointer.

  • Use the swipe gesture to select a different image.

Viewer and Full Screen view (Viewer mode)
  • Use the pinch gesture to zoom in to and out of the image.

  • Use the rotate gesture to rotate the image beneath the pointer.

  • Use the swipe gesture to select a different image when “Scroll to navigate photos in the Viewer” is selected in the General pane of the Preferences window.

    For more information about the General pane of the Preferences window, see General Preferences. For more information about the swipe gesture, see Mac Help.

Faces
  • Use the pinch gesture to change the size of the snapshots.

Places
  • Use two-finger scrolling to zoom in to and out of the map.

Light Table
  • Use the pinch gesture to zoom in to or out of the Light Table or to change the size of the image beneath the pointer.

Book Layout Editor
  • Use the pinch gesture to zoom in to or out of the selected page or resize the object beneath the pointer on the page. (The Edit Layout button must be selected to resize objects on the page.)

  • Use the rotate gesture to rotate objects. You can also hold down the Shift key as you use the rotate gesture to restrict rotation to 15-degree increments.

  • Use the swipe gesture to change pages.

Slideshows
  • Use the swipe gesture to display the next or previous slide during a slideshow.

Loupe tool
  • Use the pinch gesture to change the Loupe size. (As with previous versions of Aperture, you can also use the scroll gesture to change the Loupe magnification.)

Crop tool
  • Use the pinch gesture to modify an existing crop selection and change its size.

Straighten tool
  • Use the rotate gesture to change the amount of image rotation.

Print dialog (Preview area)
  • Use the pinch gesture to zoom in to or out of the image displayed in the Preview area of the Print dialog.

For more information about working with a Multi-Touch trackpad, see Mac Help.

Working with Heads-Up Displays

To work efficiently in Aperture, you can use floating windows of controls called heads-up displays (HUDs) to modify images. For example, when you view images in Aperture in Full Screen view, you can open an Inspector HUD to adjust your images. Holding down the Shift key while performing an adjustment temporarily hides the Inspector HUD, giving you an unobstructed view of your image as you adjust it.

Figure. Full Screen view showing the Inspector HUD.

As you work on your images, you can position HUDs anywhere on the screen and use them to make changes. For example, Aperture provides a Keywords HUD that you can use to quickly assign keywords to your images. To assign a keyword, you simply drag it from the Keywords HUD to the image.

Figure. Full Screen view showing the Keywords HUD and a keyword being dragged from the HUD to the image.

Working with Inspectors

Aperture provides a Library inspector for organizing your photos, audio clips, and video clips; an Adjustments inspector for applying adjustments; and a Metadata inspector that allows you to review metadata and assign it to your images. You can show or hide each inspector by clicking the appropriate tab at the top of the Inspector pane or pressing the W key. Showing the inspectors is as easy as pressing the I key.

Figure. Aperture main window showing the Metadata inspector.

Rating Images with Aperture

You can rate images as you review them in the Viewer, in the Browser, and in the Full Screen view Viewer and Browser modes. By selecting an image and pressing a number key from 0 to 5, you can quickly give the image a rating from one to five stars (with five stars being the highest, or Select, rating). You can also rate an image as rejected by pressing the 9 key. Image ratings appear as easy-to-read overlays on the image. Controls for assigning ratings also appear in the Metadata inspector and the control bar, if you prefer to use them.

Figure. Image selection with image ratings displayed as overlays.

Once images are rated, you can have Aperture display only images of a certain rating, so you can focus on a particular group of images. For more information about rating your images, see Rating Images.

Finding and Displaying Images with the Filter HUD

You can use the Filter HUD to search for and display only certain photos in a project or album. Click the Filter HUD button beside the search field in the Browser, and the Filter HUD appears. In the Filter HUD, you can specify a combination of search criteria to locate the photos you want to work with.

Figure. Aperture main window showing the Filter HUD button and the Browser's Filter HUD.

You can enter any search criteria to display specific images. You can also display images based on rating, color label, date when shot, keywords, applied adjustments, flagged status, or import group. After you specify the search criteria, Aperture displays only those images that match the criteria and hides the rest. For more information about searching for images, see Searching for and Displaying Images.

Comparing Photos

Aperture allows you to carefully compare images. You select a “compare” image, and Aperture displays it for comparison against other images in a selection.

Figure. Aperture main window showing the Viewer set to compare images.

While comparing images, you can rate the selected images or make adjustments to them. For example, you might use the comparison method to make final selections of the best images in a series. Or, you might compare two versions of an image and make adjustments.

Stacking Images

Photographers frequently work with large selections of images. To help you work efficiently with a series of shots, such as bracketed shots or shots taken in quick succession, Aperture can automatically stack related shots. You can also select and manually stack related shots yourself and review them for a “pick,” the image that you intend to use.

Figure. Open stack showing the images in the stack, with the pick image on the left.

Once photos are in a stack, you can work with the stack as if it were a single image instead of many individual photos. A stack appears as a series of linked photos in the Browser. The pick of the stack appears on the left with a Stack button. You can drag an image in the stack into the pick position. By clicking the Stack button, you can close the stack so that only the pick image appears. You can then work with the single pick image without the encumbrance of the other stacked photos. You can expand a stack to see all its images whenever you like.

Figure. Closed stack showing the pick image.

Working with stacks can greatly increase the efficiency of reviewing large collections of photos. For more information about working with stacks of images, see Stacking Images and Making Picks.

Assigning Keywords to Images

For any photographer who needs a means to easily locate specific images among thousands, the careful assignment of keywords is critical. Applying keywords is also required if you plan to sell images to image libraries, such as iStockphoto or Getty Images.

You can use Aperture to assign keywords to images using standard IPTC fields (the standard metadata fields defined by the International Press Telecommunications Council). You can also select images and assign keywords that you define.

You can display images in the Viewer with their version names and any assigned keywords appearing on or below the image.

Figure. Image showing keywords and metadata displayed on an overlay.

The Keywords HUD lists all the keyword categories and keywords that you define. For example, if you shoot weddings, you might create a wedding category with specific keywords that include Candid, Ceremony, Guests, and so on.

Figure. Keywords HUD showing individual keywords and keyword categories.

You can apply a keyword directly to a selected image or group of images by dragging it from the Keywords HUD to the selection in the Viewer or Browser.

You can also show keyword controls in the control bar at the bottom of the Aperture main window by choosing Window > Show Keyword Controls.

Figure. Keyword controls in the control bar.

Using these simple controls, you can display different categories of keywords and easily apply those keywords with a quick click or keystroke.

Your Aperture keyword scheme can ensure comprehensive accessibility to your images and even help with the management of your copyrights, usage rights, and sales. For more information about assigning keywords, see Applying Keywords to Images.

Organizing Photos of People with Faces

As your library of images grows, it’s difficult to keep track of who’s in each image. Instead of meticulously adding keywords to each image to identify the people in it, you can use Faces, the face detection and face recognition technology included in Aperture, to identify and track people throughout all the images in your library. All you have to do to get started is select an image with a person in it, click the Name button in the toolbar, and assign the face a name; Aperture then automatically locates other suggested images of that person in your library.

Figure. Face label appearing on an image in the Viewer, showing that a face has been assigned a name.

People to whom you’ve assigned names are represented by snapshots in Faces view, which is accessed by selecting Faces in the Library inspector or selecting an item in the Library inspector and then clicking the Faces button in the toolbar. Selecting Faces in the Library inspector displays the faces of all the people in images in the library who have been assigned names. Selecting an item in the Library inspector and then clicking the Faces button in the toolbar displays the faces of all the people in the images in that selected item.

Figure. Faces view showing snapshots of people with assigned names in an item selected in the Library inspector.

You can view all of the images in your library in which a person appears by double-clicking the person’s snapshot in Faces view. All the confirmed images of the person appear in the Faces browser. Aperture compares this face with other faces in your library and then offers suggested matches for you to confirm or reject. As you confirm suggested images, the images move up to the group of confirmed images above.

Figure. Faces browser showing a confirmed image and suggested images of a person in an item selected in the Library inspector.

For more information about identifying people in your images using Faces, see Organizing Images with Faces.

Locating Your Images on a Map with Places

In Aperture, you can use Places to organize your images by the locations where they were taken. If you have a GPS-enabled digital camera or iPhone, Aperture categorizes the images by location and converts the GPS location tags to place names, such as Vancouver, Canada. You can explore where your images were shot using the Places view.

Figure. Places view showing the locations of images in an item selected in the Library inspector.

If your images were not captured with a GPS-enabled camera or iPhone, you can manually enter location information for single photos or entire projects. Add locations to your photos by typing the name of a place, entering an address, placing a pin on the map, or dragging images to a specific location on the map. Then, when you want to find photos you shot in New York City or the Grand Canyon, just type the place name in the search field.

For more information about using Places to organize your images by location, see Locating and Organizing Images with Places.

Automatically Grouping Images with Smart Albums

Photographers often need an easy way of regrouping and presenting images based on the needs of a client or project. For example, a corporate client might call to request images of a general location or subject, such as wildlife, to be included with future collateral. Aperture allows you to make selections from across the entire library of images and group them in Smart Albums, which are albums that can be dynamically generated based on search criteria you specify.

Aperture comes with a selection of predefined Smart Albums set up in the library. For example, there are Smart Albums that gather all your select images, all images taken in the last week, and all images taken in the last month. When you click the Library Albums disclosure triangle, you see the list of Smart Albums created for you. Select a Smart Album to see its contents in the Browser.

Figure. Projects inspector showing the library's Smart Albums.

Although a Smart Album appears similar to the other projects or albums in the Library inspector, the contents of the album are specified by search criteria. You don’t import masters or versions into a Smart Album. You use the Smart Settings HUD (similar to the Filter HUD) to specify the image keywords or other criteria that identify the images you want, and image versions automatically appear in the album. By adjusting the search criteria, you change the contents of the Smart Album.

For example, after creating a new Smart Album in the Library inspector, you might specify that you want any image that has the keyword My family and the location Yosemite assigned to it, along with a rating of five stars.

Aperture searches across the library and displays all the five-star images of your family on vacation in Yosemite National Park. If you’re planning another trip with your family to Yosemite, any images that match the Smart Album’s search criteria will be added automatically to the Smart Album in the future.

Figure. Smart Settings HUD showing search criteria for a Smart Album.

You can work with the images in the Smart Album just as you can with images in any other album.

You can make Smart Albums that gather images from across the entire library or from within a specific project only. When you no longer need a Smart Album, you can delete it, and the contents of the library remain the same (the Smart Album’s images are not deleted from the library). For more information about using Smart Albums, see Grouping Images with Smart Albums.