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Author Topic: Adjusting "Camera to Print" workflows to Aperture  (Read 5608 times)
benInMA
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« on: February 24, 2009, 02:07:49 PM »
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I recently bought "Camera to Print" and found it immensely educational.

I have been using Aperture since before Lightroom shipped, sometimes I feel like this was a mistake, but in any case I feel
like I should stick with Aperture.

I am curious how others have adapted the workflow in these videos to Aperture.   (I have a 5D and print on a Canon i9900)

Basically what I have come up with:

1. Continue to organize/select/develop/archive the raw files in Aperture
2. Reduce all the sharpening in the "RAW Fine Tuning in Aperture"
3. <Question here - how exactly do you "optimally process" an ETTR RAW file in Aperture
4. Export to a 16-bit TIFF in the ProPhotoRGB space, open in Photoshop
5. USM 20%, 50 radius, 0 threshold   "Punch"
6. Capture sharpen, Print sharpen, soft proof, adjust, etc.. as per the videos in Photoshop.

My questions mostly pertain to how the adjustments in Aperture match up versus Lightroom/ACR.

For example, with Aperture 2.0 there is the "definition" slider.   Is this the same thing as the "Clarity" slider in Lightroom?   (Increases midrange contrast without effecting shadows/highlights)   If so that would allow me to eliminate the USM20%/50r/0 step right?

Also what is the best way to darken an image that has been shot with ETTR?   In the video, the black level is used rather then the exposure slider.  Aperture also has both of these sliders.   I am working with the black level slider to remap the shows for now, and the recovery & possibly highlights sliders, even though there are many different ways to adjust this.  (Exposure, Black Level, Brightness, Highlights/Shadows, etc..)

Has anyone seen definitive answers from Apple and/or experimented with what adjustments in Aperture generate the cleanest results from an ETTR raw file?

I have found the quality of documentation in Aperture 2.0 appears to have dropped from where it was with 1.x.   I notice they are now putting videos on the web site, but they are very simple/high level without any real depth.

Prior to watching the videos I had been doing 99% of my processing/printing in Aperture directly and exporting directly from Aperture.. but I've come to believe (especially with regards to output sharpening) that Aperture is leaving a lot on the table.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2009, 02:11:49 PM by benInMA » Logged
Richard Marcellus
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 09:27:20 PM »
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My general workflow is like this:

1. Import/organize/select/keyword/archive images using Aperture
2. Use "RAW Fine Tuning" for Capture Sharpening and develop raw images using Aperture's non-destructive tools
3. Depending on the image I use various Aperture "destructive" plug-ins (Nik plugin suite, Apple's dodge and burn, Neat Image)
4. Infrequently, I will use Photoshop for more elaborate editing/cloning/compositing with a 16bit file sent from Aperture
5. Photoshop for Output sharpening using Photokit Sharpener with a 16bit file
6. Soft-proofing, final adjustments in Photoshop for images that I want to print
7. For printing I use the ImagePrint RIP to an Epson printer.
8. All Photoshop files go back into Aperture as .tif for management
9. I use Aperture for slide shows and web galleries. I am also experimenting with iMovie for slide shows

I use the Definition slider in Aperture for Local Contrast Enhancement (rather than using wide radius USM in Photoshop). As best as I can tell, this is Aperture's equivalent to Clarity. If I want to paint in this sort of effect selectively, I will use Photoshop or do something with control points with a Nik plug-in.

With ETTR I find that different methods of normalizing the exposure give different results.
1. If I want to the shadows to be dark I will use the black point slider.
2. If I want to keep the shadows opened up, but tone down the highlights, I may use the exposure slider and/or highlight slider.
3. If I want to keep the extremes, but adjust the overall lightness of the midtones, I will use the brightness slider.
What I normally end up with is tweaks to 1, 2 and 3 or just go to levels and set the black and white points then tweak the darks, mids and brights with the three central controls.

For my images, I generally like them a bit high key (bright) with a full tonal range including detail in the shadows, so I don't clip the blacks much.

Regards,

Richard

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David Mantripp
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2009, 07:50:44 AM »
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I agree with Richard - I don't see any reason to turn off sharpening in RAW fine tuning. In any case it is very, very subtle. I also use Aperture's edge sharpening for tuning capture sharpening. It is also pretty subtle. It is quite hard to over-sharpen in Aperture, except in print sharpening.  Side by side, I can't see any significant difference in printing to A2 directly from Aperture, using print sharpening, or going via Photoshop / Pixel Genius.  Possibly you might with a strong magnifying glass, but what would the point of that be ?

One tool I _think_ is unique to Aperture is Boost / Hue Boost - juggling this and recovery / black point is a great way to extract maximum dynamic range from a shot.
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David Mantripp
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