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Samu's Apple pages

Welcome to my Apple pages where I share my experience as Apple user. I don't see no point repeating myself so please read the blog, the first message in the blog explains my reason starting to use Apple etc.

Apple blog

ICC color management on Safari web browser

2006-12-31 6:55 GMT -6

I have been thinking that the colors of web photos are quite mild and yesterday when submitted couple of my own photos to Fred Miranda forum it really hit me: my photos on web were really lacking the punch they had on Apple Aperture's screen. Then for some strange reason I decided to test with Safari web browser and the colors were again like in Apple Aperture!!! Now I have to reconcider again which browser to use, maybe divide the usage: framed pages with Camino and everything else with Safari.

Camino on left, Safari on right
Camino on left, Safari on right

Processing Cyprus photos

2006-12-26 14:55 GMT +2
Generally Aperture was very helpful on sorting and categorizing pictures. I used it for my 2006 November Cyprus holiday pictures (5 days - 1200 photos). The holiday itself was excellent - within 5 days: no computer, almost no mobile phone, no television and no music - just hiking, photographing, good local food with excellent local bier with it. However I have been in pain with processing the images - "how the hell I'm gonna going to categorize and process those 1200 pictures".

On first photography day I had taken 337 pictures (point-and-shoot day, first day there and to make it even worse luggage was still in some another airport so I didn't even have tripod to slow me down...) and after stacking them I ended up 272 pictures. From these 272 pictures 73 pictures were categorized to "4 starts" and 3 pictures were categorized "5 stars". Processing images took about 14 hours, but during that time I also did also a lot of try something then try something else to get familiar with the program also some parts of the workflow were created while processing these pictures. I also have feeling I have to reject some of these images and not publish all of the 76 pictures.

On second Cyprus photography day I had taken 191 pictures. After stacking I had 93 stacks. From these 93 pictures 15 were "4 starts" and one "5 stars". Going through images took about 6 hours.

3rd day I had taken 216 pictures, which did go to 134 stacks. I selected 32 pictures to be "4 starts" and 2 pictures to be "5 stars". Going through images took again about 6 hours with all stitching in PhotoShop etc.

4th day was 197 pictures, which stacked to 41 stacks. All pictures were from Kaledonian falls or the path going there, I had experimented a lot with shutter speeds to capture the motion of water, therefore so few stacks. 17 pictures with "4 stars" and one "5 stars".

5th and last day was 179 pictures, which I was able to stack to 104 stacks. Processing took about 4 hours and there were 20 "4 stars" and two "5 stars".

Processing of the Cypros pictures took whole weekend (very long days) but I'm very happy to the Apple tools and workflow I developed during the weekend. Now I have narrowed to 170 pictures, but I will go and remove all "travel information pictures" etc. and try to get it to 100 pictures or less. UPDATE 2006-12-31: I'm now at 96 photos and I find it really hard to go below that.

Aperture crashes

2006-12-26 14:55 GMT +2
Aperture crashed again with the spot and patch tool and loupe was used again. There were also another crashes regarding loupe usage. Crash also when removing sharpening from RAW and adding Edge sharpening. And then there were few crashes without obvious reason.

Also I had crash when relocating master for a edited photo - this error is systematic. The image is in same stack with two another pictures. I did unstack the images and even that didn't help - very strange. However I can open the image in external editor and the image is OK. Based on this kind of behaviour I think that those people who use the Aperture Library to store their photos are very brave...Actually this was found out to be that I had two edited versions of same file and Aperture could not add "(1)" in the end of filename, instead crashed.

Systematical error in Aperture when trying the export the edited image (the square one) from stack or without stack.

Also had other problems than crashing - the images somehow corrupted and I had to re-start Aperture or whole computer to get rid off the problem.

Random errors with spot and patch tool - display not updating properly.

And even Apple claims that is stable Unix system, they might be partially correct but the GUI (Graphical User Interface) on top of the Unix system is not that stable. Couple times when Aperture crashed also my Mighty Mouse lost it's scroll button and side button assignments to functionalities. Usually I have scroll button assigned Expose and side buttons to Dashboard, but like in picture below these are after crash assigned to Button 3 and Button 4. However sometimes when Aperture crashed also these functionalities stopped working from function keys and the function key functionality is lost until next restart of whole computer even I restore the mouse assignments and they start to work...

Mouse button assignments changed when Aperture crashed

On another hand Adobe PhotoShop CS 3 beta worked very well. Since I have shift lenses I tried the new and improved File -> Automation -> PhotoMerge with very good results for panorama stitching. See example below.

Systematical error in Aperture when trying the export the edited image (the square one) from stack or without stack.

Also I would like to remind that I have in this blog entry list only the negative issues - the truth is that there is no way I could have managed to process same number of photos with my traditional workflow even within double or triple time (this might be the reason why I haven't done any website updates for almost two years now....).

Aperture workflow and settings

2006-12-26 14:55 GMT +2
Initial workflow:
- first stack the stackable images
- give keywords (or do it while stacking)
- if 3rd party lens is used then rename the version name by adding string "_XXX_YYY" where XXX is short name for lens, for example I call Leica Elmarit-R 90mm as L90 and YYY is aperture used when taking photo for example F11
- adjust images, e.g. removing dust specs, making horizons vertical, adjusting colors/whitebalance and cropping (or stiching multiple)
- give ratings
- the presentable pictures within album/project (4 and 5 stars) are optimized to be displayed together (similar pictures) when this is possible

My rating system:
1 star = failed picture
2 stars = technically OK, but subject boring or something similar
3 stars = quite good picture but I'm not willing to put to Many photos ended up to this category also due to multiple stacks had same subject, taken from different angle or with different lens etc.
4 stars = picture - just good enough to be published or image I want otherwise to share in, for example map of hiking trail or similar
5 stars = very good picture (according to me...)

Problem with Apple Aperture keyboard shortcuts

2006-12-21 12:27 GMT +2
I recognized it as very beginnign that Apple has made the shortcuts of the software very Americanized. Later while using software I found out that they have used shortcuts which require to press simultaneusly 3 or 4 keys or which are not possible at all with Finnish keyboard.

Apple Aperture shortcutsApple Aperture shortcuts

Solution: Use two keyboard layouts - one for typing and one for Aperture.
Hot to: System Prefences -> International and "tab" Input Menu. There you have to select U.S. in addition to Finnish. Also check "Show input menu in menu bar. Then change between keyboard layouts can be done from the menu:

Safari problems

2006-12-21 12:27 GMT +2
This far I was quite happy with Safari as web browser but then I found out that it is not able to resize frames. For the web applications I use, this makes practically the browser useless. Example of this behaviour can be seen on this page.

Due to this and other problems I have to abandon Safari even I really liked it. I'll first try Camino since it should be more compact and "mac look-a-like" than Firefox. Camino screenshot below:

of Camino browser

Aperture crashed!

2006-12-21 00:22 GMT +2
I was using loop to magnify the area in which I was doing spot&patch correction. When I had selected the area to copy over with option click the and went back to the place I was fixing Aperture crashed. I send this info to Apple. Hopefully this doesn't happen again.

Screen capture of Aperture crash

Aperture library loaded with 2005 and 2006 photos

2006-12-20 22:00 GMT +2
I have about 100GB of photos from last years (excluding scanned film images). I first decided to just load the 2005 and 2006, specially these most of the photos have not yet been uploaded to my picturebank neither I have ordered paper copies - I actually haven't done anything to the photos yet except saved to hard drive(s).

The subset of images consisted about 11000 images arranged into folders. Folders were named "YYYY-MM-DDx event name" type of where x is a,b,c,d... in order to arrange event happened same day to order in file systems. Majority of images were RAW files from Canon D20 (about 8000) and rest JPEGs from Panasonic 5Mpix point and shoot and other cameras. Also there were couple hundred RAW pictures from Canon D30 and Nikon D70.

Images were located at USB hard drive (Seagate ST90000U2) and the library in my pictures folder. I used option to keep masters in the USB drive and used preview size 1280x1280. I started at 9AM, used laptop also for other tasks like emails and web browsing for half an hout. Then left to office and returned home at 4PM. Then I used laptop again for emails, web browsing, writing documents with TextEdit. Finally the preview creation was ready at 9:30PM

of properties of Aperture Library

During creation of previews laptop got quite hot and the fan made big noise all the time. However processor didn't get warmer than 58°C

macBook purchased

2006-12-21 12:27 GMT +2
First entry to this blog/log. Reason for having this blog is to record my experience migrating from Windows to Apple and experience regarding Apple Aperture as well. Blog will contain majority of the information but I will create sub pages for articles like "Apple Aperture keyboard shortcut problems".

I purchased Apple macBook today to my personal laptop. My main use for it will using it as a my digital darkroom. Main reason to switch from Windows was Apple Aperture since I'm really frustrated to my current workflow provided by Windows tools.

Reader might wonder why I purchased macBook for Apple Aperture and PhotoShop usage. Reason for this is that I'm travelling due to my work over 200 days yearly, and I want to be able to use my laptop on hotels, airports etc. Second question might be why macBook and not macBook pro. Answer to that question is that I have to already carry my work laptop (IBM X41) and most of the time also Canon 20D and some lenses in my laptop bag - so I don't have room for 15" laptop and macBook pro is not available at 13" size.

My macBook configuration when purchased:

Processor:          Intel Core Duo 2 2Ghz
Memory:             2GB
Internal harddrive: 60GB
Accessories:        Wireless Mighty Mouse
Programs:           Apple Aperture

Apple links (Link to parent category)

Mac Forums
Hopeinen Omena (in Finnish)
AUPN Aperture Users Professional Network

2nd, 2006