ON1 Effects 10 FREE!

For a few years now, I've been using ON1 products for my photography. The latest version of their entire collection of apps, ON1 Photo 10, is now a key part of my workflow. The full version includes Browse, Effects, Resize, Portrait, Enhance, and Layers.

But this week, the team at ON1 decided to release a free version of ON1 Effects 10 packed with features. The free version includes a good selection of the effects of the full version.

Here's what they say:

ON1 Effects 10 FREE includes a select number of stackable effects (filters, presets, borders, and textures) from the full version of ON1 Effects 10. In all, over a hundred photo effects are included.

Two of the most popular ON1 filter categories have been added in the latest release. These are the Dynamic Contrast Filter and the HDR Look Filter. New preset categories for Color Grading, Faded and Matte Looks, and Haze Reducing are also available.

Effects 10 FREE includes the ON1 Perfect Brush technology. The edge detection in the Perfect Brush allows users to brush their effect(s) on specific areas of a photo.

The masking tools allow users to selectively mask or paint in effects on parts of photos. Add any effect to or remove it from a specific part of a photo with a simple brush stroke. The set of masking tools are easy to use and perfect for local adjustments, such as brightness, contrast, and detail.

The Filter Stack allows users to combine different effects to create and customize their own looks. Each effect can be applied to its own layer users can adjust and fine-tune.

ON1’s Perfect B&W module is also integrated into Effects 10 FREE, which lets users apply the included filters—including the popular Dynamic Contrast effect—to monochrome photos.

That last one is the killer for me and I can't believe they include it in the free version. ON1’s Perfect B&W module is incredible. If your work includes black and white photography you definitely need to check it out. Highly recommended.

You can get ON1 Effects 10 FREE from here.

Aperture... so long and thanks for all the fish.

I just got the below email from Apple regarding Aperture. Like every other Aperture user out there, I've known about this since it was announced last year. That doesn't make it any less annoying.

I'm disappointed in Apple and upset about this.

Apple has a history of ditching technologies for something they consider better. Remember floppy disks, CD-ROMs, Firewire ports, Adobe Flash, iTools? They even did it with their own operating system when they moved away from OS 9 into OS X. Almost every time, they’ve been right. What came after was better than what we had before.

They did it with Final Cut. But they jumped the gun and shipped the new version to early. We all complained that it was missing features and, for many, the new version just didn’t cut it. Apple realised the mistake and put the previous version up for sale again and acknowledged the problem. They said Final Cut X would get new features soon. Eventually Final Cut X matured and it’s now a great app.

At first, I hoped they wouldn’t make the same mistake with Aperture. Then they announced Photos for Mac and I thought oh no, here we go again. Then I used the beta of Photos for Mac and thought shit, there’s no way this can mature into an app that can replace Aperture.

And that’s where I’m at now. Photos for Mac is pretty and I’m sure my mom will love it. After all, iPhoto is confusing and has only gotten worse over time, so Photos for Mac will be a welcome change.

For Aperture users however, Photos for Mac is both a disappointment and a joke.

What I don’t get is how they thought this was a good idea. It’s one thing to change technologies where the impact is that we have to buy new hardware, but this is messing with peoples photographs.

In moving on from Aperture we will loose data. And that’s just not cool. Shame on Apple for leaving it’s customers in such a predicament.

Apple is wrong this time.

Affinity Photo in Beta

There's been talk of a "Photoshop killer" for ages, but nobody has managed to pull it off.

I think mostly because Photoshop is so many things to so many different people. If you're a photographer, you use and rely on certain features of the application while many others you just ignore or, more often than not, put up with because of the power of the features you do use. Same goes for graphic designers, web designers, illustrators, etc. And that's part of the "problem" with Photoshop. It's become bloated with features for everybody. Not to mention the subscription model.

Pixelmator was heading on the right direction at one point focusing primarily on photographers. Unfortunately it seems in the last couple of versions the new features have been for illustrators/designers or gimmicky Instagram-like filters. It’s an awesome piece of software, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t seem to be the ultimate photographer app (if there can be such a thing).

Acorn is also a great application. It’s just not focused on photographers either.

Affinity Photo seems to want to be that “Photoshop killer” (and I put that in quotes because just writing it makes me cringe, but you get the point). At least going by the video and what I’ve read so far, it looks promising. What’s encouraging is that Serif, the company behind it, already has a vector art and illustration software out there called Affinity Designer, so hopefully there’s no incentive to cram non-photography features into the new app.

I’m downloading the beta now and will give it a go.

What I think Apple stopping development of Aperture means

A few hours ago Apple announced that it would stop development of Aperture (and iPhoto) in favour of the new Photos app they introduced at WWDC earlier this month.

This is what Apple said:

With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture,” said Apple in a statement provided to The Loop. “When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X.

Apple also said there will be at least one final update to Aperture to make it fully compatible with Mac OS X Yosemite, so at the very least we have a little over a year before we have to find an alternative.

As you might expect, I’m a bit torn about this news. Not too long ago, I was hopeful when I wrote my thoughts and wish list for the next version of Aperture. Then, after the WWDC Keynote, I wasn’t so sure and I wrote:

After seeing what they showed developers outside of the keynote, I don't think Aperture is dead. OK, maybe the Aperture we know and love is, but what comes after could be even better. I have no idea what it is, maybe a pro version of the Photos app, maybe it is Aperture 4, maybe something else. As long as it maintains backwards compatibility and doesn't loose any of the asset management power Aperture has, I think it could be good.

Clearly the upcoming Photos app is not Aperture 4.

But I do believe it will be pretty slick. If it does maintain backwards compatibility, then it just might be the evolution of a photography application. Scratch that, it might be the evolution of a photography ecosystem where a single applcation is no longer the right approach.

According to The Verge, Photos will be backwards compatible:

The company also confirmed that when users transition to the new Photos for OS X app, all their albums, folders, keywords and captions will be preserved. Apple also noted that any edits applied to photos will be retained non-destructively, so hopefully the transition won't be too difficult.

The truth is that I have no idea what’s coming. I can only speculate. But think of the history of Aperture and why it exists in the first place. When Apple introduced it, there was nothing like it. We used to manage our photographs in folders on hard drives and maybe used Adobe Bridge to bring some sense to them other than the one dimensional hierarchy the Finder allowed. There were no albums and metadata was limited. And any adjustment we wanted to make needed a destructive trip to Photoshop or similar.

Apple realised this was a problem that needed a solution and they built one. Then Adobe quickly jumped on the train with Lightroom. Today, if you have a sizeable library, you’d be insane to manage you photographs the “old way”.

Fast forward almost 10 years. Today we have multiple devices and we’re used to them being in sync, the cloud is a thing, we take a lot of photos with our iPhones.

Frankly, it’s a mess again.

It makes sense that Apple knows this and is coming up with a solution. In doing so, some things necessarily have to be left behind.

After all, this is the company that decided floppy disks and DVD drives were obsolete before any of us wanted them to be. The one that decided Ethernet and Firewire ports were no longer needed. The one that introduced a brand new product (iPhone) knowing it would canibalise a very profitable product (iPod). The one that decided video editing needed a complete reinvention. Every time, they didn’t look back.

My guess (hope) is that this is what’s happening with digital photography.

To be honest, managing the photos I take with my iPhone has been a headache. Getting them into Aperture is a pain. Photo stream works, but it messes with keywords and I have to manually reorganise them. If I don’t do it often enough I miss some photos and who knows which ones I missed. My Aperture library is so big that it doesn’t fit in my MacBook Pro, so I’ve had to split it in two and merge then regularly. My main library is still in a separate hard drive. It’s not fun and every time I'm dealing with this I think there has to be a better way.

Maybe the new Photos approach is the solution.

So what am I planning to do?

For now, I’ll stick with Aperture until I see what the new Photos is all about. I may eventually end up moving to Lightroom if I’m wrong, but I’m not going to rush into it or make any rash decisions.

UPDATE: Joseph Linaschke at ApertureExpert.com wrote a great article with similar thoughts. He did a much better job at it than I did. Go check it out.

Perfect Photo Suite 8.5 Summer Sale Bundle

It's a bit weird calling it a Summer Sale while I'm freezing down under, but either way, the guys at onOne Software have put together a great deal on Perfect Photo Suite 8.8.

Here's what's included in the bundle:

  • Perfect Photo Suite 8.5: Their amazing photo editor with 8 apps in one. ($129.95)
  • Creative Live Workshop Collection: Over 5 hours of online training workshops on Photoshop and Lightroom. ($116)
  • Endless Summer Preset Pack: 32 summer-stylized presets, including 8 for Perfect Effects, 8 for Lightroom, 8 for Adobe Camera Raw, and 8 for Apple Aperture. ($40)
  • Light & Process eBook by Nicole S. Young: A 205-page ebook with 10 step-by-step photography and post-processing tutorials on Suite 8. ($10)

All this for only $99.95 until June 26.

It's a great offer. I've used the Perfect Photo Suite extensively for years and I love it. You can download a trial and check it out before purchasing. It's worth it and a great companion to Aperture.

onOne Software Perfect Effects 8 FREE!

onOne Software is giving away Perfect Effects 8 Premium Edition for free for a limited time. It's normally $100 and totally worth it. Here's what they say about it:

Through Monday, May 12th, you can get a fully licensed version of the all-new Perfect Effects 8 Premium Edition (Reg $99.95), and it's yours to keep forever! Perfect Effects is just 1 of 8 powerful apps included in Perfect Photo Suite 8 (sold separately). With hundreds of powerful, one-click, fully customizable effects, Perfect Effects 8 makes it easy to bring out the best in your photos.

I regularly use Perfect Photo Suite with Aperture and I think it's awesome. This is a great opportunity to grab a great application for free.

Apple Aperture 4 Wish List (2014)

Aperture 4 Wish List

Like pretty much everybody else that uses Apple's Aperture, I've been waiting and hoping for the release of Aperture 4 for way too long.

Unlike most of the Internet though, I don't think Apple has abandoned it. In fact, I feel pretty confident we'll see Aperture 4 (or X or Pro X or whatever) sometime in the next few months. Of course, this is just speculation on my part. I have zero inside knowledge. However, there are a few things that hint at Aperture still being alive: Apple features Aperture in their website and advertising, they have been hiring people for the Aperture team, and of course there are the book leaks.

Most importantly though, I think Aperture 4 is around the corner because I believe a few pieces needed to fall into place before they could release a new version. Some are done and some are not here yet, but close:

  1. iCloud and Photo Streams - These are key for the next version of Aperture and I don't think they're finished. They need to add back some of the features of MobileMe Gallery and figure out how to support video. They also need to sort out how keywords are treated in Photo Streams.
  2. Unified iPhoto & Aperture Library - This not only provides a seamless upgrade path for iPhoto users, but makes it much easier to build new features and integration across the OS off a common base.
  3. New Mac Pro - A key Mac to promote and use Aperture.
  4. Retina iMac and Displays - Or at least 4k. It looks like this is coming soon.
  5. Powerful iPad and iPhone - I believe Aperture 4 will come with a companion iOS version and the previous gen iOS devices weren't powerful enough. iOS 7 being 64 bit might have something to do with this as well.

Again, I don't know, but I sure hope I'm right.

On the other hand, if I think about it, I don't really need and Aperture 4. Yes, there are a lot of things I'd like to see improved and a few features I'd like added, but non of them are a deal breaker.

Aperture does most of what I need and it does it well. It's still a pleasure to use and I like the fact that I haven't had to relearn new things or pay for upgrades.

The photographer in me is perfectly content with Aperture, but the geek in me wants a shiny new version. Now.

My Aperture 4 Wish List

Over the years I've kept a list of things I'd like to see in Aperture 4. Some are features, some are improvements, some are changes in the way things currently work.

In no particular order, here's my wish list for Aperture 4:

  • Fix Keywords: The way keywords work in Aperture is seriously infuriating. It's a long topic for another post, but if you use Aperture you know what I mean. (BTW, here's how to batch remove a keyword).
  • Pixelmator Compatibility: Aperture cannot read Pixelmator files (pxm) so there's no way to roundtrip a photograph.
  • Ability to assign multiple external editors with different settings.
  • Ability to assign export format for each plugin independently: onOne is happy with PSD files, but with the Nik plugins, some can't work with PSD so you need to use TIFFs. The problem is that Aperture will send files to plugins in whatever filetype you've chosen for the external editor, so you need to go back and forth.
  • Non-destructive plugins: Something like Smart Filters in Photoshop would be great.
  • Project and Image level restore from Vaults: At the moment it's an all or nothing backup.
  • Grouping and naming of adjustments bricks: I'd like to be able to give names to the bricks. Once you have 3 curves you need to open each and look at them to remember what exactly they're doing.
  • Ability to save masks and copy across different bricks: Scott Davenport has a script for that, it's called Aperture Adjustment Brush Mask Lift & Stamp AppleScript. That's awesome, but this should just be built in.
  • Ability to save groups of adjustments as brushes: Imagine you did multiple adjustments to the sky in a photograph and brushed them all in. Wouldn't it be great to save that as a brush so you could just paint in once to another photograph and apply all adjustments at once?
  • Save custom crop sizes: It's incredible that you can't to this. Every single time I have to type in the dimensions for a custom size that I use regularly.
  • Brush flow and pressure sensitivity with Wacom tablets
  • Output sharpening: Sometimes you need a little more sharpening than you can get out of Edge Sharpen.
  • Lens corrections: Adobe really cracked this one and I'd be happy with a similar implementation. Just make it automatic depending on the camera/lens. GoPro lens correction would be awesome. At least add manual perspective correction.
  • Noise reduction: Again, Adobe cracked it. Just copy them.
  • Sync settings across computers with iCloud: It's really annoying when a keyboard shortcut doesn't work because it's a custom one you created on one Mac and not in the other one.
  • Integration with other services: Forget about Flickr (the new version is horrible), give me 500px. And Squarespace somehow.
  • Stitching for panoramas: If the iPhone can do it, why can't Aperture?
  • HDR: I don't want to have to use an external plugin for this.
  • Graduated filters: Another one that Lightroom does great.
  • Film grain emulation: For those of us that like grain so we don't have to rely on plugins or hack it (like my Grain Preset).
  • Adjustment History
  • Ability to add borders on export
  • Watermarks that don't require Photoshop or using a bunch of applications.
  • Larger previews for effects (presets): If you have a big screen, there's no reason to have such a tiny preview.
  • Blending Modes
  • Content Aware Fill: I've never really had the need for this, but it could be useful.
  • Nik's u-point technology or something similar: Most of the time this would work better and faster than brushing. It's genius.
  • Camera Profiles
  • Aperture for iPad: Ideally, I'd like to move entire projects to the iPad to work on while away from my main computer and have them sync seamlessly back to the main library. At the very least, I'd like to be able to do editing on the road (ratings, keywords, flags, labels, albums, etc.) and creating and adding to Photo Streams.

That's my wish list for Aperture 4. I'm not sure these warrant a new version though. Many seem to me like incremental improvements and Apple has added new features in point updates. Still, this is what I hope for the new version.

Did I miss anything?

Introducing a new Aperture Preset: Grain

Aperture Grain Preset

Aperture Grain Preset

The first camera I owned was an old Nikon FM 35mm with a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens. It was a gift from my father when I was 13 or 14 years old. I used that camera for years. It's the reason I fell in love with photography and why I turned a room in my house into a makeshift darkroom. I loved spending countless hours in there developing my own film and printing my photographs.

My favourite film was, and still is, Ilford HP5 Plus 400. It's a black and white film with beautiful grain that tends to create sharp edge contrast. The grain has a certain "punch" to it that I like.

These days, although I still shoot film occasionally and continue to develop it myself, most of my photographic work is digital. Aperture is my main software.

Unfortunately, digital photographs don't have grain. At least not natural-looking grain. At high ISO, what you get is digital noise that in my opinion doesn't look like film grain at all. And most recent cameras are so good that noise is almost non-existent even at ISO of 3200 or higher. In contrast, the grain you get with an ISO 3200 film is too much for most cases.

Of course, there are plugins that simulate film grain. For example, onOne Software and Nik Sofware have Perfect B&W and Silver Efex Pro respectively. Both are designed to convert photographs to black and white and can add natural(ish) looking grain. They both work really well and I use them often.

However, I don't want to put every image through a plugin. It's time consuming and it creates huge TIFF files. I do this for my best photographs, but often I want a quick version done entirely within Aperture.

That's why I created the Aperture Film Grain preset.

It's an Aperture preset (of Effect as they're now called) that emulates the grain of Ilford HP5 Plus 400. I add it as the last step in my post-processing when I feel the photograph could use a little bit of grain.

The Aperture Film Grain preset basically adds a film grain mask using the Dodge and Burn bricks in Aperture so you can adjust the strength to best suit the particular photograph.

I'm releasing it for free. Find out more information and the download link in the Film Grain preset page.

What do the Aperture badges mean?

There are a myriad things you can do to a photograph in Apple's Aperture. A typical workflow may include applying ratings, keywords, location, adjustments, and round-tripping your images to external editors. Then there are albums, stacks, books, light tables, and more. It's easy to loose track of what you've done to and with each photograph.

Fortunately, Aperture makes it easy for you to quickly identify the key things you need to know. It does this by overlaying small symbols in the corners of your photographs called badges.

I get asked often what these badges in Aperture mean, so I've put together the table below to point people to. It shows you the icon for the badge, a description, and the location where this badge will appear.

The badges in Aperture

BADGE DESCRIPTION LOCATION
badge adjustments This means adjustments have been made to the photograph. This badge will appear whenever you add any adjustment from the adjustments tab. It basically lets you know that you've already done something to the image. A version with two sliders is sometimes used. Lower Right
badge keywords This means the photograph has keywords assigned to it. Lower Right
external edit This means the photograph has been edited in an external editor. Whenever you select "Edit with..." and choose an application or a plug-in (ie. Photoshop, Nik, onOne, etc.) Lower Right
badge referenced This means the photograph is referenced. That is, the master file (or original) is not stored within the Aperture library, called managed, but it's somewhere else and Aperture is only referencing it. Lower Right
badge referenced offline This means the photograph is referenced, but the master image is offline. This will happen if you have the masters in an external drive and it's not attached to the computer. Lower Right
badge referenced lost This means Aperture expects the photograph to be referenced, but cannot find the master and it's lost the path to where it is. You may need to re-sync. Lower Right
badge ratings stars This is the rating you've assigned to the photograph. It goes from 1 star to 5 stars. If the photograph is unrated it won't have a badge, and if it's been rejected it'll have an 'X' instead of stars. Lower Left
badge stack This badge tells you the image is part of a stack and how many photographs are contained in the stack. Upper Left
stacks This is also for stacks, but it tells you you're looking at the second image in a stack of 3. It will appear, for example, within a smart album where not all images in the stack are visible. Imagine a smart album where the filter is 3 stars or more. If only the second image in the stack is a 3 star photograph, while the others are 1 star, you'll see this badge. Upper Left
badge low resolution This badge will appear whenever the image resolution is too low for the book or webpage you're trying to create. The badge appears in the image within the book/webpage, not in the thumbnail though. Upper Right
album-pick This badge tells you the photograph is the album's pick. It's useful when you have, for example, a stack of 3 images. One Black & White, one Full Color, one Color Monochrome. If you do 3 albums, one for B&W's, one for color shots, etc, you can "pick" the one that goes into each album from the stack. Upper Centre
book This badge tells you the number of times the photograph has been used within a book, web journal or light table. Upper Right
globe This one doesn't seem to be documented anywhere. I haven't seen it since MobileMe died. The badge is a little globe and it was used for images that came from a MobileMe gallery. For example, if you exported a gallery to MobileMe, then deleted the original image from your Library, and then synced the MobileMe gallery again, Aperture would know the master is missing from the Library and will pull down the jpeg from MobileMe with this badge. Lower Right
badge photostream This one means Aperture downloaded this image from Photo Stream, Facebook or Flickr. Lower Right
“badges This means a location has been assigned to the image. You'll see it in the Places view. Upper Centre
“badges This means the image is part of a RAW + JPEG pair (you imported them together), and this is the RAW version. Lower Right
“badges This means the image is part of a RAW + JPEG pair (you imported them together), and this is the JPEG version. Lower Right
“badges This means the photograph has an audio file attached (some cameras let you record an audio file when you take a photograph) or the file is an audio file. Lower Right
“badges This means the file is a video and not a photograph. Lower Right

Of course, you can also consult the manual, which includes a short description for most of Aperture's badges. It doesn't, however, include them all.

You can also get to the manual from within Aperture itself. Just go to Help > Aperture Help. Unfortunately, the search doesn't work very well here. Searching for "badges" doesn't point me to the right page. But searching for "badge overlays overview" does, which is the title of the page. Very annoying if you ask me.

How to read the badge overlays in Aperture

Let's look at a specific example. The thumbnail below has several badges, can you identify what it's telling you?

Aperture badges

Aperture badges

You can learn multiple things just from looking at the badges in the image above:

  1. I've rated it 4 Stars.
  2. I've edited in an external editor (Nik Plugin).
  3. I've made further adjustments in Aperture.
  4. I've assigned keywords.
  5. It's part of a stack of 4 images.
  6. It's the album pick (for a book).
  7. I've used it once in the book.
  8. I've applied the grey label.

Aperture's badges are a great way to know what you've done to a photograph. I find them immensely helpful as part of my workflow and a huge time saver.

Evernote Essentials PDF

I'm a big fan of Evernote. These days, I use it for almost everything and it has become a big part of my workflow, but that wasn't always the case.

When Evernote first came out, I wasn't sure how to make use of it, or even why. Then I read Brett Kelly's Evernote Essentials PDF.

Evernote Essentials

Evernote Essentials

About Evernote

Evernote is, as Brett himself describes it in the ebook, "a ubiquitous digital notebook which syncs to the web and across all of your devices that can capture, store, and index just about any type of data you can throw at it."

You can pretty much store anything and everything in Evernote. Text notes, images, web clippings, audio, video, pdf files, lists, iWork files, and more can be organised in Evernote.

How I use Evernote

Here are a few examples of what I use it for:

  • Productivity - Store reference material for tasks I need to do.
  • Writing - Keep a list of ideas for articles to write, and the related research.
  • Learning - Take notes, and store reference material, for courses I take. For example, I have a notebook for SCUBA diving and one for Platform University, amongst many others.
  • Reference - Store instructions, how-to's, and assorted tips for things that interest me. Or save web clipping with my own notes (Evernote is awesome for this).
  • Lists - For example, a wines I like, movies to watch, books to read, places to visit.
  • Shopping - Keep info on different products to compare later. For example, I have a notebook right now for a SCUBA dive watch.
  • Keep all my travel documents handy: hotel confirmation emails, tickets, research, lists of places to visit, maps, and more.
  • An extra back up JPEGs of my 5 star photographs.
  • Save my daughter's drawings (a great tip in the Evernote Essentials PDF).

I use it for more than that, but you get the idea. The more you throw at it, the better it gets. Searching for stuff in Evernote is easy and powerful. And all your stuff is available from any device: desktop, smartphone, tablet, and even the web.

The problem with Evernote is that it's so powerful that it's often overwhelming.

Many people don't know where to start. I was one of them. This is where Brett Kelly's ebook can help.

About the author

Brett is arguably the perfect person to write a book on how to use Evernote. Not only has he been using it for over five years, but he clearly knows it pretty well.

In fact, he was hired by Evernote themselves after he wrote the book. That has to be the best endorsement possible.

Evernote Essentials PDF

Evernote Essentials is the definitive guide for Evernote users. It explains everything from how to set up an Evernote account all the way to how to become a power user.

In the ebook, you'll learn how to organise your database (or Evernote Library as I like to think about it). You'll learn how to put stuff in and take it out. How to take advantage of tagging. How to search effectively. Tips on sharing, using reminders, adding metadata, and more.

Brett includes several use cases that show you specific examples of how to use Evernote:

  • Evernote for Travel Junkies.
  • Evernote for Parents.
  • Going Paperless with Evernote
  • Archiving Your Social Media Offerings with Evernote
  • Evernote as Your Personal History Book

In the latest version, Brett also added a few new sections:

  • How he uses Evernote.
  • How to set up a new account.
  • Evernote and Security.

Believe me, the Evernote Essentials pdf is a good investment.

Some people complain about the price, but seriously, it'll save you so much time that you'll be thankful you read it. The ebook is 160 pages packed with valuable content. Plus, when there's an update you get the new version for free.

Recommendation

Evernote Essentials is available as a PDF (the original version), an ePub (for iPad/iPhone), and a .MOBI (for Kindle). You get all version when you purchase it. It's also available directly from the iBookstore.

Whilst the content is the same for all versions, I strongly recommend reading the Evernote Essentials PDF.

The design and formatting are really nice and it's lost in the ePub and .MOBI versions. Plus, you can read it on your iPad and make annotations directly on it as you read it.

This is the best and quickest way to become proficient in Evernote.

I highly recommend the Evernote Essentials PDF. If you don’t agree, Brett offers a 100% money-back guarantee, so there's nothing to loose.

How to open plain text in MindNode Pro

MindNode Pro is an wonderful mind mapping application. There are versions for Mac, iPad and iPhone, and the documents are kept perfectly in sync via iCloud. I use MindNode Pro often for a multitude of things, one of which is to visualise my Aperture keywords.

In fact, a few months ago I started the laborious process of cleaning up my Aperture library (which I haven't finished) because I made some fundamental changes to my workflow. Part of this involved organising the keywords I attach to photographs.

Open plain text in MindNode Pro

At the time, I started a new MindNode Pro document and did a mind map of all the keywords. Once I was happy with the new structure and all the keywords, I exported the mind map as a plain text file and used that to import into Aperture.

MindNode Pro lets you export a mind map as a plain text file. It indents the text to match nodes, so it looks like a simple outline and it's easy to understand. Aperture's keyword list can be imported and exported as plain text as well, and it uses the same indent method to show parent/child relationships, which are effectively the same thing as nodes on a mind map.

Over time, I've added new keywords to Aperture. This weekend I wanted to update the MindNode Pro mind map to match what was in Aperture.

I thought I'd just reverse the process. Export a plain text file from Aperture and import that same plain text file to MindNode Pro.

But to my surprise, MindNode Pro can't import plain text. At least not directly.

What MindNode Pro does accept is pasting indented text directly onto an open document.

It turned out to be fairly simple.

After exporting the plain text file from Aperture, I just opened it in a text editor, selected everything (⌘A), copied (⌘C), went over to a new, empty document in MindNode Pro and pasted (⌘V).

Fix for Apple Aperture 3 green tint error

A while ago I merged multiple different Aperture libraries into a single big one (more on why in another post). It took a long time as some libraries had close to 10,000 photographs, but I now finally have all my photos in one library, which is what I wanted.

The process was relatively easy. However, one big problem I had was that a bunch of my photographs had a green tint over them. It was like a green layer on top of the image, which made it impossible to work with. Some looked like they'd been crossed-processed or something to that effect. Really annoying.

Apple Aperture Green Tint Problem

I tried to fix it by repairing the library, then rebuilding it, then deleting the Aperture preferences file. Nothing seemed to work. So I went to Google to see if others had experienced the green tint problem and if someone had a solution.

The green tint problem seems to be fairly common and it's been discussed quite a bit. There are several threads in the Apple forums. Unfortunately, none of the suggested fixes solved the problem for me.

In my investigation, some images that had the green tint in the thumbnails looked ok in full screen, and some the other way around. The fact that they looked ok sometimes suggested it could be the preview (the jpeg Aperture creates to display the image), so I gave rebuilding all previews a go. And that solved the problem! All my photographs are back to normal.

Here's what I did step by step:

1. Select Photos in the Library section.

That shows you all the photos in your library irrespective of which projects they're on. It's just every singe photo you have.

aperture-green-tint-problem-02.jpg

2. Click on any photo in the viewer and Select All.

This will of course select all your photographs. Now, anything you do from the menu will affect them all.

3. Go to Photos and select Generate Previews.

To see it you need to hold the Option key and the menu item will turn from Update Previews to Generate Previews.

aperture-green-tint-fix.png

4. Wait.

And wait some more. And then keep on waiting. Aperture is generating new previews for all your photographs. To see the progress click on "Processing…" at the bottom or go to Window > Show Activity to open up the Activity window. Depending on the size of your library this step could take a long time, so be warned!

That's it.

I guess you could just select the ones that have the green tint and generate previews for those only, but I found it more time consuming to go through my entire library trying to select the problem ones. I just let it do its thing while I cought up with Breaking Bad, so no problem. Hope that helps those with the same issue.