Adjusting my brain into Aperture mode

We are now having increasing amount of light. Actually lots of light. Why I am talking about light in this Aperture posting? Well, obviously light is the most important factor in photography. But that is not the reason in this post. The reason is noise. More light – lower ISO settings – less noise. And that is especially indoors. In the winter time I was forced to use ISO 1600-3200 (even 6400) for indoor shots. I want to use available light, so, not many other possibilities in that department. In the spring and summer ISOs indoors are between 100 and 800 usually. That means that the noise levels are totally acceptable levels with my 5D Mark II and even with my E-P1. So now I can forget Aperture’s poor noise handling and try to learn more Aperture using the shots where the noise is not irritating me.

What I find very cool with Aperture 3 is the possibility to use multiple curves adjustments for a single shot. And especially the possibility to brush them in. You can do this for other adjustment bricks too but I think curves will solve many problems. When you use multiple curves and brush them in, it is like using layers in PS (at least sort of). I have to look these adjustment possibilities more carefully and learn Aperture 3 more in the spring and summer. Nathan Smith has done a nice tutorial about multiple curves and how to brush them in.

Another thing I am starting to like more and more in Aperture when I am using it is its user interface. I have been saying to myself all the time that LRs UI is good enough for me but I have to admit that Aperture’s UI is so much better and more intuitive. I am still needing more time to process a shot in Aperture than in LR but that’s mainly because I have been using LR much longer time. I think when I develop a Aperture workflow which suits my needs, I will be faster with Aperture.

This spring and the coming  summer will be quite decisive for me if I am finally going to choose Aperture 3 over LR 3. During that time I also have to solve the noise thing for the coming autumn when the sun is not so high anymore and the days will be much shorter.


  1. Noise is a significant issue at those high ISO settings. I am curious as to whether the 5dm2 has much noise, even at 6400? I understand if the ep1 does, but I would be suprprised if the 5dm2 does too. Also, is all of your glass f/2.8? The decision between one or the other doesn’t have to be all or nothing, but I think it depends on your desire. If one is better at batch editing and ease of management, then I would use it for that and use the other for fine tuned editing. I know what it’s like to be battling between so many issues with regards to software and such, but it’s a battle worth fighting most of the time since it makes the difference in the long run.

  2. Being an Aperture 3 user myself I totally agree, I get very frustrated at the noise at higher ISO, and get jealous of friend who use LR and it’s superior noise reduction.

    I also find it interesting that you say in the spring and summer you get ISO of 100-800 indoors. I have been paying very close attention to the ISO I use directly using window light, and have noticed that I use 800 by the north window and 200 at the south window, but need 1600 if not directly infront of the window. My home is a townhouse/rowhouse so I only have windows on 2 sides. Are you using 100-800 anywhere in the house? I assume that you have windows on 4 sides.

  3. Thanks! I am now using NeatImage for noise reduction and is workinhg okay. These plug-ins are, however, producing those huge tiff files which I am not fond of. If you know some better noise reduction options, please, let me know.

    What comes to light, yes, we have quite many windows and the spring light is quite extreme here in Finland. So, I am able to use ISO between 100-800. Well, sometimes I have to use higher values. In autumn and winter the situation is of course totally different and then I would like to have a good noise reduction which also preserves details.

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