This large male elephant seal was basking in the sun in the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery at San Simeon in the Coastal Highway, California. This guy seemed to be in pretty good shape for the beach
I found this old yellow brick house during Open House Helsinki (http://www.openhousehelsinki.fi) walk yesterday. Strong colors and angles invited me to take many photographs even though the light was overcast. This city has lots of treasure for photographers if you persist in finding it.
OpenHouseHelsinki is arranged once a year and is a nice way of learning about usually closed areas of Helsinki.
Hot weather has been with us all summer, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite, Willits, here in Finland.
Captured this sea of Coke bottles at a small carnival in Willits Frontier Days in California.
It was like a dream from summers gone by, a dream from simpler days. So near but not reachable.
On the FHRA American car show this beautifully restored Ford Thunderbird was shown.
It must be spring as car fever steps in.
After a really long wait Apple finally released a major version of Aperture, their professional photo management software. It has 200+ new features – a lot. Here are my first impressions after a few days of use as a hobbyist.
I have a 700+ gigabyte photo database mostly stored as managed database but with two years worth of pictures stored in reference, there are something like 50-60.000 pictures stored altogether. Each of the pictures has several keywords. The last 20 -30 000 pictures have been taken in RAW. I am running this on two year old Mac Pro 2.66 with 9 GB memory and ATI HD4870 running 2 24″ monitors. Mac OS X 10.6.2. All the drives are fast internal SATA drives.
The upgrade took overnight and did not require major amounts of extra diskspace. The face detection took more than a day for 48000 faces of which it recognized only a thousand – very poor result as large proportion of the faces were about the same people. Face search is quite quick.
Aperture recognized the few pictures which had GPS information nicely. The interface for handling geotagged pictures is very intuitive.
On the whole upgrade went without a hitch but would definitely recommend making good backup beforehand.
User interface feels even smoother than in Aperture 2. This is one of the major points for using Aperture. I have tried Lightroom (all releases) and it just feels clunkier.
I really like the new workflow when handling pictures. When you edit a picture it is automatically made the pick so just methodically going thru your latest shoot suddenly is much smoother. Labels make it easy and much faster to create a set of pictures for different audiences. Earlier you needed to create a special keyword for achieving the same purpose. Altogether these with the presets make it possible to take faster a first cut of the pictures to show.
Presets are very useful way of doing multiple adjustments quickly. There are already a few presets created by Sara France for MacCreate that are quite nice: http://premium.maccreate.com/2010/02/09/aperture-3-presets-pack-volume-1/ You can of course create your own.
You can paint many if not most of the adjustments to pictures with brushes. Brushes are non destructive so you can go back and change the adjustments easily.
One of the most missed tools have been the Curves for Aperture. This gives you the ability to fine tune the image a lot more than could be done with levels earlier on.
Most of the external plugins are 32 bit so cannot be used without tricks. FlickrExport has already a beta out that works like a charm. Did not try Aperture’s own Flickr export. Eagerly waiting for Nik Software to update their plugins as I have all of them. Would be nice if these were available as non destructible brushes but that might be too much to wish for at this stage.
Overall the new version feels slightly more responsive than the old one after the face detection has been completed. There are still some but very few cases where inexplicably the beach ball just spins for a long period of time.
Speed seems to vary. Quite often it is noticeably faster than in Aperture 2. Autoenhance preset for a 10mb RAW takes a fraction of a second. Select a project and the pictures come almost immediately. Select a smart folder where you retrieve from the whole library varies from a fraction of a second to several seconds. Most often seems to be around a second.
Browsing in browse mode from 10mb RAW pictures with almost smallest size of picture selected scrolls quite nicely, bottom most row starts to draw when eye gets to middle of the screen. When you select a picture levels graph updates in around a second, more often under a second. In Aperture 2 this took longer.
When adjusting the picture levels by dragging the points no delays or almost no delays, this is slightly faster than Aperture 2 in my machine. In the earlier versions pictures which had been cropped or had been straightened caused delays – have not really looked into this so far.
Synchronization to the AppleTV worked like a charm after updating the AppleTV software. Sync to iPhone also works well.
Some small things:
- Creating a smart folder with labels is not as intuitive as it should be – somehow the buttons selection is not really visible in the smart folder menu.
- Cropping has changed the default – grid is now by default visible when doing the crop.
So far Aperture 3 has been robust, no crashes but let’s see how it goes when trying out more of the features.
I am very satisfied so far with the upgrade in my environment
Spotted these two majestic Pelicans practicing formation flying at Monastery Beach just south of Carmel in the Coastal Highway in California.
If you drive down the highway reserve plenty of time to stop at the beaches and traverse the paths to coast.
Took a few hours and several spaces to explore until I got the shot I wanted