Switching to Aperture: First Impressions

I have been a little mysterious in one of my previous post’s about a new acquisition of mine but after using Adobe Lightroom for many years (I used it since version 1) I’m now in the middle of switching to Apple’s Aperture 3.

I have been using it now for a while and still have a little while on the trial period, but to test it I processed my images from last landscape shooting in Norway. So far I’m very much impressed with the software and I’m definitely going to make the switch. It feels just right to me and feels much easier, or better intuitive to work with. I would like to share a few things here which I liked so far.

First thing I noticed was friendly design and intuitive user interface. I tend to ignore the manual of almost every software that I use and prefer to find my way through it myself. This wasn’t at all a problem. It’s of course a RAW-converter and as such it has the controls which you can expect.

In terms of functionality it has almost completely eliminated the urge to go to Photoshop for some finishing touches. With the images that I have processed so far I only needed to take the image to Photoshop to remove some lens-distortion.

Working on an image in full-screen mode is just pure fun in this application. All important tools are accessible via an unobsrusive HUD display. With a large screen I can take full advantage of this option. The list of available tools covers everything that I need for my work on an image. Besides the usual RAW controls I was very happy to find real curves, levels and shadow/highlights controls. Extra bonus is that for example these can be applied to the whole image or simply brushed in or out. Also the possibility to use multiple curves, levels etc. adds to the flexibility to the software.

Besides the editing capabilities I enjoy the integration in the OS. The library is available in all other Mac apps and the images can easily be added to a Pages document for example.

I’m still in the beginning with my use, trying to explore all the possibilities and learning all the necessary shortcuts, but so far this app fits perfect into my workflow, as it also allows editing of videos, which I occasionally add to this blog of mine also. I will have some more findings and things related to Aperture coming up in future posts.

Tuesday Link Special: Things Photography

Despite all the processing that I have coming up (usually I’m slow with that anyway, have still images waiting to be processed from last summer. Not even talking about my friends wedding images….) I put together a few links that I liked and thought you might find interesting.

This week is all about photography again:

For next week I have something special, related to a new acquisition of mine, already in the bag, but until then I hope you enjoyed these links.

Something Big

 As I’m now almost done processing, or better, merging the panoramas (the processing hasn’t even started yet, not even talking about dust-brushing……) I ran into the problem that at least two of them so far simply are so huge, that I have a hard time getting them into a presentable format for the blog. If I post them in the size, or better the composition that I had in mind when I took them, they will look, well, kind of small on the blog.


I have been experimenting with a few different crops, but none of them did even get close to what I wanted to achieve. Less is more they say, but think how much more more will be (I know… shameless Frasier quote)

So I have been debating with myself how to present the image at it’s best and figured out two possibilities: one being a video and the other being an interactive flash thingy. As usual I do have decision issues, so I simply decided to use both. If you want to, you can watch the video right here on the site or go here to see the interactive version in a new window. It’s hosted on Dropbox and I hope this will work. At least it did for me here.

http://svenseebeck.smugmug.com/Other/Video/16867368_JWzC6N#1273602675_wP43kdc-A-LB

I have a few more panoramas to come up, and while most of them are in a postable format some are not. For those I will use the same procedure I guess. As usual I will do a little wrap-up of the trip together with a slideshow/video most likely. I hope this to be ready by next week.

And yes…. sorry for the cheesy background music. Just had to…

My Shots From Norway: A Little Sneak Peek

It has been a wonderful to trip to Norway and we surely had good weather conditions, much better than here in the “south”. Being now back home I of course imported the images from the last days into Lightroom and started to process the panoramic images first. I was very interested in those, as I for the first time used my new Manfrotto panorama head for those.

Photoshop did a fair amount on work on those, and usually it took around 30-45min to get at least one done, without any further editing so far. There’s a lot of work ahead of me now to get all images processed, but so far I’m very pleased with the outcome of the last few days.

I would say, I have roughly twenty to twentyfive keepers amongst those images, considered that I did not take much more images, it is surely a good quota. I couldn’t wait to share a few of those already now, but keep an eye on my photoblog on Friday for the first one to go live.

So, here’s a little sneak peak of what is about to come. Keep in mind, that these are not edited  at all yet, and some of them might change into B&W (okay, one already did) during the post-processing. Also I’m using the chance to test the new slideshow feature here on WordPress at the same time.

Hope you like them so far.

More to come soon.

Day Off

We’re still on the way home and images are waiting to be imported, tagged and edited once we’re actually arriving. Some of those panoramas will take probably quite some time until they’re ready processed. Meaning, no major blog updates for today.

Here are another few iPhone shots, which I believe I haven’t posted yet. I hope I will I post the first image to my photoblog
by the end of the week and maybe a little sneak peak around here in the next days.

More to come tomorrow and thanks a lot for following my blog, and especially my live-blog during the last few days. This kind of broke all visitor records here on my humble blog, which is very flattering :-)

The Road Back Home

The journey back home proceeds as expected. We use the time to drive a little further to the north in beautiful sunlight to explore the scenery for upcoming trips.

As usual the scenery is simply beautiful and I use again the chance to take two panoramas of the mountains along the fjord. Even though it’s bright sunlight at the moment, the blueish quality of the light turns the mountains in the distance blue and together with the calm water the sight has a arctic quality.

It is this moment when we notice a group of what I believe to be whales in the sea. Maybe it was something else, but I will stick to that.

The journey still continues, but here’s a few images from the phone.

Not much more to come…(for now)

The Departure

Now it’s time for our departure. We spent two nights here, but it had been exploring so much of the area around, that it certainly felt a little longer. Again, just in time to sunset, lot’s of clouds showed of yesterday, which of course was nice. Maybe a little too much, but I don’t want be picky :-)

I think I got a few nice images during this trip, but I will have to check that home at the computer, hope they will work out nicely. As usual I didn’t took too many images, something around 25 different compositions I guess including the 5 panoramas. I rarely shoot many pictures and usually it works out well this way.

We’re trying to drive a little different route home and maybe there’s a few images on the way. Let’s see. I might post another entry here once I’m back on 3g connection in Finland. Until then, here’s a few iPhone images from last evening.

The iPhone Photography Saturday: The Norway Editon

As we’re still in Norway, this weeks TiPPS edition is also part of my live-blogging. So I chose a few images that I took during this mornings walk through the city of Tromsö in wonderful sunlight. Looking forward to this evenings landscape photography. So far the conditions are looking very good and I hope it stays this way.

But without further ado, here are the images:

More to come soon…