Apple Pro Training Series: Apertureby Peachpit Press, Orlando Luna
The only Apple-certified guide to Aperture, Apple's revolutionary application for managing, editing, and archiving digital photographs! This comprehensive book-DVD combo starts with the basics of image management and takes you step by step all the way through Aperture's powerful photo-editing, image-retouching, proofing, publishing, and archiving features. It delivers comprehensive training-the equivalent of a two-day course-in one project-based book. You'll learn time-saving techniques for sorting, ranking, and organizing images for use in different jobs, and effective ways to display images for client review, apply metadata, keep your online portfolio up to date automatically, color-manage your workflow from input to final print, and much more. Real-world exercises feature professional photography from a variety of genres, including fashion, sports, wedding, commercial, and portraiture. All the files you need to complete the exercises are included on the DVD.
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I was given the opportunity to review this book by an acquaintance, and I am very glad for the opportunity. It has totally changed the way I approach my digital workflow. My previous workflow started with a folder for each year, containing a folder for each month. Inside the monthly folders were still other folders for each shoot. I would download my digital RAW files in the root of each shoot folder. Then I would create 3 separate subfolders inside each shoot folder, (1) alt (for altered ), (2) fin (for final), and (3) out (for output). I would place the various iterations of each file in these directories for retrieval and sorting. I would open each RAW file in Nikon Capture and evaluate the shot. Then I would make any necessary alteration and save the required output files, whether for web, print, or archive. Sometimes the images would be opened in Photoshop for further work, and saved back to the same directory structure. This worked fairly well, but it was a very slow process. Finding images weeks, months, and years later was very difficult without going into each directory and looking through the saved files. Now I keep all of my files in the Aperture program, and it allows me to save all of the iterations side-by-side. Even those alterations made in Photoshop are saved as 'versions' of my original digital file. It has cut my workflow time down significantly, but even more important, it has allowed me to keep track of all of the versions of my files together, making the finding and printing of previous files manageable. I started my review of the Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture book in only my spare time - literally 3 hours per day. I would usually take an hour before my work day, and hour at lunch, and an hour in the evening, after the kids were in bed. I spent 2 weeks going through the book, and I am extremely pleased with the results. The DVD that accompanies the book is stocked with sample pictures that are used throughout the book, and they really help solidify the examples and ingrain the workflow and features of Aperture. There were several features that I really liked about the book. Since I am a 'learn by doing' kind of person, I appreciated the classroom style of the book. First, each chapter had a list of objectives, including an estimate of how much time each step would take. This was perfect for me, as I was going through the book in my spare time. If I saw that the next chapter would take 75 minutes, I would allow for this time in my next session. This worked out extremely well for me, and allowed for a very organized, paced, and effective learning environment. The book started out with some basic navigation items, screen shots, screen layouts, and keyboard shortcuts. The book did an exceptional job of outlining the various keyboard shortcuts (and there are a *LOT* of them), that really make using Aperture quick. Assigning ratings, keywords, photo comparisons, etc. can all be done through keyboard shortcuts. If you are using Aperture, but don't know about the keyboard shortcuts, I guarantee a quick review will reduce your process time by at least half. I remember going through these chapters thinking 'This isn't what I need. I need the stuff on analyzing pictures...'. However, I've come to understand that Aperture's power is really in image management, evaluation, and basic image adjustments. I do my basic 'developing' in Aperture (white balance, exposure, levels, brightness, etc.), and the majority of my 'post processing' (black and white conversions, vignetting, framing, etc.) in Photoshop. Once you understand the basics of Aperture, the book gets you started with organization and the use of keywords. This is the part of the book that I really liked. Lessons and images used in early parts of the book are re-used and re-confirmed in later lessons. While you might be tempted to skip these parts to get to the image manipulation sections, DON'T. One
As you would expect from an ¿Apple Pro Training Series¿, this book and DVD combination is superb. It explains so many things which are not obvious when you open Aperture. which may even remain hidden without this book. There are 12 main heading lessons in all, with each lesson containing up to another 12 sub lessons. Lessons 1 to 7 covering the Basics and 8 to 12 Advanced Features. Download the contents of the DVD to your Mac and follow along with the lessons in the book. Everything falls so simply into place, everything from downloading, importing images from various media, rating, projects, adjustments, RAW, archiving, etc. etc. The book is beautifully laid out and illustrated making it an easy and pleasurable learning experience. Superb!