Aperture features: 03 Enhancing

Aperture does not have the powerful image-manipulation tools of a program like Photoshop, but it can still do a good job of enhancing and perfecting your images from a photographic point of view. The Adjustments panel offers a collection of tools for straightening images, adjusting the curves, optimising the dynamic range of RAW files, adjusting the white balance and removing sensor spots and other blemishes. You can convert images into black and white, apply toning effects, carry out subtle colour modifications and produce vignette effects.

Aperture also has quite powerful localised adjustment tools for modifying specific areas of the image rather than the whole thing. These are non-destructive too, so you can change these later if you need to.

Aperture Adjustment tools

This effect was created using separate curves adjustments applied to the sky the the buildings.

The ability to work with external editors means you can open an image with Photoshop or Elements from within Aperture, edit it and save the result, and the new picture will appear alongside the original in the Aperture library. You can also use plug-ins like those in the Google Nik Collection or OnOne Perfect Photo Suite 8.

Aperture uses ‘stacking’ to keep related photos together. When you use an external plug-in or editor, the edited image is stacked with the original. You can also stack related images manually, such as a series of shots in a continuous sequence, or variations on a portrait photograph. Stacks can be collapsed to show only the stack ‘pick’, or top image, or expanded to show all the photos in the stack.

Aperture stacking tools

Aperture can stack related images together. The number in the top left corner (1) shows the number of photos in the stack – you can click this number to expand or collapse the stack. The tick icon (2) indicates the stack ‘pick’ – the picture shown when the stack is collapsed. Images in a stack (3) are surrounded by a darker grey rectangle.