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Why I am switching to Lightroom from Aperture 2

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Lightroom vs Aperture: I’ve been using Apple’s Aperture for over three years and use it to manage nearly 180,000 images. Today, I am switching to Lightroom. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 24 comments » | Oct 31, 2009 03:56:37

ATI Radeon HD3870 video card upgrade for first-gen Mac Pro

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How much did a video card upgrade affect Aperture performance?

The current video card upgrades at the Apple Store are not compatible with first-generation Mac Pros, which is really unfortunate (I have an old 3GHz Mac Pro that uses 667 MHz DDR2 memory). With the coming reliance of Snow Leopard and apps on Core Image (which uses the GPU for accelerated performance), a fast video card is a must in any modern Mac. Plus, I use Aperture, which is really only usable with a fast video card. (read more »)

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 10 comments » | Jun 10, 2009 21:19:34

Aperture dual monitor setup, I curse you!

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I finally purchased a second monitor and fired up Aperture in dual-monitor mode. It’s too bad dual-monitor support is broken.


8,192,000 pixels of dual suck

My main monitor is a Dell 3008WFP 30″ LCD connected to an ATI Radeon X1900 XT in PCIe Slot-1 (x16 lane width). My second monitor is a Dell 3007FP 30″ LCD connected to an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT in PCi Slot-4 (x8 lane width).

Using Aperture in any secondary display mode resulted in the primary display exhibiting two rendering anomalies:

  1. extreme posterizing in 100% (zoom) view
  2. some images render as black (no image) in the “normal” fit-to-window view

The secondary display content worked fine. Screenshots of the window produced no artifacts, but the rendered display looked terrible. The crap render persisted when I dragged the main Aperture window from the primary display to the secondary display, so it isn’t a monitor or video card issue.

In frustration, I disconnected the second monitor from the NVIDIA card and re-connected it to the second DVI-D port on the ATI Radeon X1900 XT. Everyone seems to work now.

I kept the stupid NVIDIA card just so I could use it with a second monitor. Now, it appears better to have a single card than to attempt to use two.

Come on, Apple! Get your shit together. You only have to deal with, what, 4 video cards drivers on the Mac Pro? You’d think they would work flawlessly.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Aug 2, 2008 00:12:43

Aperture 2 at lightning-fast speed on MacBook Pro

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I recently reconfigured my MacBook Pro (of RAID fame) to use an MTRON MSD 3000 32GB SSD drive as a boot / apps / Aperture database drive, plus my existing 160GB ATA/IDE drive as a second data drive (and overflow application area).

Everything SCREAMS now, and I couldn’t be happier. (read more »)

Scottsdale, AZ | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Feb 20, 2008 22:57:23

Aperture 2 export problem, shadows/highlights

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Using Aperture 2, I exported the wave shot I posted in the last entry, and it came out a large blemish / artifact in the sunball. After some more testing, I discovered that it was an effect of the Shadows adjustment. (read more »)

Waialua, Oahu | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Feb 14, 2008 01:13:28

Aperture import crash – Adobe Camera Raw metadata problem

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(AKA Aperture on Mac OS 10.5 Leopard crashes upon importing certain images) I spent the last two days collecting, anonymizing, and organizing over 1,200 images submitted by various folks to a photography contest that I run. Like last year, my plan was to use Aperture to actually look at and shuffle around the images, but when I attempted to import them by reference, Aperture crashed. When I re-launched Aperture, only a certain number of images had been imported, and successive imports of the remaining images continued to cause Aperture to crash.

I finally isolated some of the images that Aperture refused to import without crashing, and after saving and re-saving them in various combinations, I realized that it was metadata that was causing the crash. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Jan 19, 2008 01:00:19

I is good at computers

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all i was doing was holding down the mouse on the contrast slider!

I’m really good at finding bugs in software. :)

Oh, and that giraffe photo is one of my favorites. I happened to have the wrong lens on my camera when the giraffe in the rear walked by…

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Oct 25, 2007 00:34:11

Why does Aperture keep showing deleted keywords?

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Instead of going to bed at a decent hour, I felt compelled to write about an Aperture keyword issue I discovered a solution to recently. If you’re not an Aperture user, you probably don’t need to continue reading… (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 14 comments » | Sep 5, 2007 02:48:50

Rebuilding corrupted thumbnails in Aperture

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Although I am in general happy with Aperture these days, it has been driving me crazy for the past few days. My usual process of importing images involves dragging a folder or series of images into a project while holding down Command and Option, which triggers an import into the project by reference. I then create albums and drag the newly-imported images into them.

But… if I start adding images to albums too quickly (before the thumbnail creation is done), thumbnail references can become corrupted. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | May 22, 2007 15:44:40

Aperture 1.5.3 update

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Both of my machines are now updating Aperture to 1.5.3 via Software Update. A search at Apple’s website turns up no information about 1.5.3, and I can’t find any mention of the 1.5.3 update on the innernets. Here’s what the update says:

Aperture 1.5.3 addresses issues related to overall reliability and performance in a number of areas, including:
  • Generation of thumbnails for adjusted images
  • Entering and exiting Full Screen mode
  • Working with large sets of keywords in the Keywords HUD
  • Restoring from a vault
Among the specific issues that have been addressed:
  • Previews now update properly when images are sent to an external editor.
  • Leaf Aptus 22 and Aptus 75 images are now imported with the correct orientation.
  • When folders are imported as projects, the folder structure is now correctly preserved when identically named subfolders are included in the hierarchy.
  • Reconnecting referenced images that have been externally edited now works more reliably.
  • Setting the ColorSync profile in the Aperture Print dialog now correctly suppresses color management settings in the Mac OS X Print dialog.

One interesting thing is that my desktop downloaded the update at around 580Kb/sec while my notebook is chugging along at 20-70Kb/sec, with periodic dropouts to 0. That seems wrong.

— UPDATE —

My Mac Pro Quad still takes 10-15 seconds to display thumbnails for 30,200 images. I’m doing a find right now for all files containing “030801″, and it’s already been 45 seconds. I’m still waiting.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Apr 19, 2007 13:27:44

Love-hate relationship with Apple Aperture

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Over the past few months, I’ve made a complete switch to using Aperture as my primary photo-organization and processing platform. On the road, I use a Macbook Pro (loaded with RAM), and Aperture runs at a manageable speed, allowing me to organize, compare, and process images with an efficiency I had been previously unable to achieve. When I’m traveling, I love Aperture.

But at home, Aperture just does not work. Here, I run the program on a fully-loaded Mac Pro with striped disks, — and still, Aperture runs so slowly that it is nearly impossible for me to get anything done. So what’s the difference between the two libraries? My Macbook Pro’s Aperture library doesn’t have many images in it. Typically, it only contains a few thousand at a time; I use it solely as a travel platform, populating and manipulating a few projects until I get home, at which time I export and import them into my main library, which lives on the (much) faster Mac Pro. My main image library (just for travel) has over 50,000 images in it, most of which are RAW files from assorted SLRs producing images ranging from 6 to 16.7 megapixels apiece.

With over 50,000 images in the library, I routinely have to wait 15 seconds to create a new folder, 45 seconds for a right-click menu to show up, 120 seconds when I try to remove some images, etc. I just “picked” an image in a 2-image stack, and it took 30 seconds. Performance is terrible. Most of the time, the processors are not being taxed when I do things like right-click or navigate around, which leads me to believe that the fault is in the SQL Lite database, which doesn’t support simultaneous writes. And don’t even think about trying to do anything simultaneously when Aperture is trying to build previews.

At the moment, I’m trying to find and select 6 high-resolution images for delivery to a book editor. It’s been 10 minutes, and I’m about ready to use file-name searches in the file system to do the job instead (my images are referenced, so I can still do this).

<– To commemorate my recent experiences with Aperture, I made this bastardized animated .gif that encapsulates the Aperture experience when dealing with large libraries. Apple, your Aperture design team needs to be simultaneously congratulated for innovation and smacked across the face for such poor decisions.

Out of desperation, I’m going to give rebuilding the index a try.

UPDATE I rebuilt the Aperture index, and life is much better. Aperture is responding fairly well to complex operations like right-clicking on an image. More later. For now, check out Apple’s new product. :)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Mar 7, 2007 12:03:04
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i hate computers.