ShootDotEdit is the only post-processing company to offer a fully integrated workflow for Apple’s Aperture professional photo editing software. Recently, ShootDotEdit hosted a webinar with Sara France outlining the finer points of Aperture and how to use it in conjunction with ShootDotEdit. Sara, on top of being an amazing wedding photographer, is an Aperture expert, sitting on the Apple Advisory Panel for Aperture. In addition, she designed the ShootDotEdit Workflow available for download. She shared her Top 5 Aperture tips below.
1 – Referenced vs. Managed Libraries
Whether to choose a referenced library or a managed library is a hotly contested issue within the Aperture community. Sara explains how a referenced library is created: by choosing to store files “in their current location” when importing images into Aperture. A managed library is created by choosing to store images “in the Aperture library.”
Sara highly recommends using referenced files both for ease of use and overall speed. She recommends using a referenced library when working with images that are to be sent to ShootDotEdit for color correction. When you package a referenced library and the corresponding previews for submittal, you can choose to include the high resolution files separately. Then, when ShootDotEdit has completed the color corrections, the library and the previews are sent back to you without the large image files. This saves you time on the return download. Then, utilizing the merge feature in Aperture helps you to sync up your high resolution images on your system with the returned library and preview from ShootDotEdit in almost one click.
Sara further offers her recommendations and preferences of using a referenced library in the webinar. If you currently use a managed library, she also does a great job of showing you how to work with a managed library to get the images out and over to ShootDotEdit. Sara also explores how to change a managed library into a referenced library and vice-versa.
2 – Merging Images in Aperture
As long as you have not changed the file names of the images since your submittal, the merge feature can be done in just a few steps. Sara explains that after downloading and opening the ShootDotEdit library, a dialogue box will appear, asking to connect the previews to the actual images. By selecting all of the preview files and matching them to their original high resolution files stored on your system, Aperture will do the rest of the work to merge the libraries together! The ShootDotEdit library with the color corrections will then be available for you to view and modify.
Related: ShootDotEdit is the only place for Aperture Users
Be sure to check out this section of the webinar to see a merge in action. If you happened to go in and make some changes while the library was out for post-processing with ShootDotEdit, Sara gives some great advice on what to do if a pop-up box appears asking you to choose your edits or the ones made by ShootDotEdit.
3 – Using Smart Albums to customize a Template for your Aperture Libraries
Aperture allows you to modify existing templates and duplicate them for use in every job you do. Sara recommends first downloading the ShootDotEdit Aperture Library template and using that as a starting point for your own customized library template. Using Smart Albums, you can build custom albums that auto populate when you mark images with any combination of flags, stars, or rating. A great example Sara uses is this: create a Smart Album called “Featured” and then set it to populate with any images that you rate as 1 star or above. Smart Albums can even use tags or EXIF data to build custom collections of images based on your wants. By customizing these Smart Albums and adding them to the ShootDotEdit library template, you can customize a robust structure to use in your workflow over and over again.
4 – Adding your adjustments over ShootDotEdit’s Custom Color Correction
Once you have received your color corrected images back from ShootDotEdit and merged them into your library, Sara recommends adding your signature style on top of the ShootDotEdit changes for your featured images. Sara believes in the 90/10 model of outsourcing: let ShootDotEdit do 90% of the work, knowing that Aperture will allow you to do the final 10%, the important personal touches. The possibilities are truly endless, allowing your style to shine through.
5 – HotKeys & Shortcuts
A valuable tip for all Aperture users: Sara reveals how her favorite shortcuts and hotkeys make her more efficient at culling and editing in Aperture. She even recommends customizing hotkeys, allowing you to create your own unique workflow. This can allow you to work as fast as your own shortcuts will allow!
She also offers her custom shortcut keys with purchase of her extensive Aperture 101 class with Creative Live. We recommend watching her Creative Live class if you need more Aperture exposure beyond the great tips she offers in our one hour ShootDotEdit webinar.
Bonus – Time Syncing
Of course, we couldn’t leave it at just five. Sara recommends using a Smart Album to time sync multiple cameras quickly and easily prior to doing any culling or editing! This is a great thing to learn if you have more than one shooter at an event and need to sync everyone together. You can filter by the camera’s serial numbers and then sync during one special moment. (Sara recommends the kiss at the end of the wedding ceremony, since it is the point where all cameras should be aimed at the same place at the same time.)
Related: Sara France’s Aperture 101 Creative Live class
This is only a short list of the many tidbits of information presented by Sara France. Whether you are a seasoned Aperture user with a set workflow looking to speed up your editing or new to Aperture and looking to start fresh, Sara has something for everyone to learn.
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