In answering another post I made reference to my "usual tweaks" in Aperture. Over time I've developed a pretty standard workflow that might be of interest to some. After I import RAW images and identify the ones I want to play with, I tend to do the following with nearly every image.
Adjust Exposure, especially for images with blown highlights, keeping in mind not to dump to much off the left side of the histogram. Make initial coarse adjustments with Contrast, especially if it is a low contrast image Increase Definition (usually to something in the 0.2 - 0.3 range). I really like the effect this gives if not overdone. Modestly increase saturation (to 1.1 or less) -- seems to be needed on a lot of images Turn on the "blinkies" and provisionally set Black Point. (I like to have a bit of real black in most images). If blown highlights are still a problem, work back and forth with Recovery and Highlights to pull them back in to my satisfaction, then turn off the "blinkies". Adjust midrange contrast, either with the Mid Contrast slider or a Curves adjustment. If I haven't cropped or straightened at the outset to correct in-camera composition flaws, this is a good time to explore composition alternatives -- occasionally a severe crop will make me have to go back and re-visit some of the prior adjustments. If I'm still not sure I have what I want, this is where I generate a new Original and try the "Magic Wand" button or a few presets to see if they can teach me anything else about the image..
For many images, this is the end of the road and it really only takes a few minutes. This is also the point where I consider plug-ins -- my three favorites are NIK's Viveza, Color Efex Pro 4, and Silver Efex Pro 2 (for B&W). If the image has blemishes (sensor spots, other things that need to be repaired) I go to Photoshop CS6, but I hardly use it for anything else.
Obviously, for HDR images, I bypass all of this and send the RAW files directly to HDR Efex Pro 2. I usually try to avoid lift-and-stamp cropping prior to HDR processing just to avoid any alignment issues.
So, that's it. I welcome your comments and critiques. Am I missing something really useful that I should add? I'd also love to hear how others approach this.
I run a Preset I made and I run on all my Nikon RAW on import.
It sets Sharpen, Edge Sharpen, Exposure, Enhance all small adjustments of (Definition, Saturation, Vibrancy, Contrast), Highlights & Shadows, Levels.
Things over the years I always find setting on each RAW file that doesn't change really as a Base setting. Being done on Import makes it easy when I need to tweak photos as i go through them. I find this easier for me.
Then I may use some of the NIK Suite Plugins & Viveza too if I want to experiment with an idea.
I actually like Aperture Sharpness better than the NIK Sharpness so I never use that NIK plugin. But I do love Define for Noise. Aperture Noise Reduction I don't find nearly as good as Define. And amazingly the Noise reduction in iPhoto is a lot better than Aperture IMO.
Thanks for the dropbox link, but I could make neither head nor tail of the info format in your link. Maybe easier for forum users here to simply post your approximate raw import fine-tuning settings preset and your image-effects preset in a more analog fashion based on your various brick-slider raw format fine tuning import adjustments and import effects adjustment setting
It's a Folder with the 1 Aperture preset that I used Aperture Export of the preset to Computer Desktop. Put in Folder. Then I Compressed the Folder as zip.
I tested the link, it downloads the zip folder. Double click the downloaded zip, it will unzip and the preset is in folder
What do you get?
>Thanks for the dropbox link, but I could make neither head >nor tail of the info format in your link. Maybe easier for >forum users here to simply post your approximate raw import >fine-tuning settings preset and your image-effects preset in a >more analog fashion based on your various brick-slider raw >format fine tuning import adjustments and import effects >adjustment setting >
I am also very interested in your presets. I am just starting to learn how to process my photos. I have downloaded your information but what program will open your file? Microsoft Word doesn't work and I just get gibberish otherwise. Thanks for your ideas!
Aperture is only for Mac. It is NOT a Windows PC photo application. Mac only.
>I am also very interested in your presets. I am just >starting to learn how to process my photos. I have downloaded >your information but what program will open your file? >Microsoft Word doesn't work and I just get gibberish >otherwise. Thanks for your ideas! > >Marsha > >
They are adjustment presets and will be placed in your adjustment panel along with any other presets that you have loaded. To get them applied as you import, go to the import settings tab on the upper right when you are in an import mode. If you select that tab it unveils a menu list and you can then select effect presets. That will list all of the presets you have and you can choose the one you want.
I will upload the settings as an image so you can see it. Notice that I usually also use metadata presets that include location information, copyright, keywords, etc. This is handy if you tend to shoot in the same location or image (ie. at the zoo, flowers, weather, etc.), but not so useful if you are shooting a lot of different things.
Since I shoot stills and video on the same card and do not want video in my Aperture library I set my import to RAW files only and then unload video into a folder on my desktop to be imported into Final Cut.
If you find yourself adjusting certain images the same way over and over again, save yourself some time and adjust one image the way you want. Select Effect from the Adjustment Tab and at the bottom you will see a Save Preset option. Select that and you can name it whatever you want. I have an Import from Raw and a different Flower preset.