April 2, 2008

 Days since Apple’s release of Aperture 2.1 with its new-found support for plug-ins from third-party developers, Adobe has hit back with the release of a free public beta of its in-development professional photography application, Photoshop Lightroom 2.0.

Photographers are being invited to download and use a 30-day limited time version of the software. Customers who already own a registered copy of Lightroom will be able to use the beta software until August 31.

Key features within the upgrade include dual-monitor support, localised dodge and burn tools and – and it’s a big and – support for 64-bit computing on Mac OS X and Vista.

Additional improvements include a redesigned and easier to navigate layout in the Library module and a new Smart Collections feature which helps users find images matching criteria such as stat-rating, keyword or various other forms of metadata.

Get it here.

 

 

February 12, 2008

You know how Leopard 10.5.2 introduced new ways of handling RAW files?  Well once you have that going (don’t upgrade if you use linotype),  Apple has some more goodness for you…in the form of Lightroom competin’ Aperture 2Free trial and…exciting press release:

Major Upgrade Features Improved Interface, Faster Browsing & Enhanced Image Processing

CUPERTINO, California—February 12, 2008—Apple® today introduced Aperture™ 2, the next major release of its groundbreaking photo editing and management software with over 100 new features that make it faster, easier to use and more powerful. With a streamlined user interface and entirely new image processing engine, Aperture 2 also introduces new imaging tools for highlight recovery, color vibrancy, local contrast definition, soft-edged retouching, vignetting and RAW fine-tuning, and lets users directly post their portfolios on the .Mac Web Gallery* for viewing on the web, iPhone™, iPod® touch and Apple TV®. At a new low price of $199, anyone can easily organize, edit and publish photos like a pro.

“Many of the most respected photographers on assignment all over the world trust Aperture to organize, edit and deliver their images,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Product Marketing. “With its simpler interface and lower price, anyone can take full advantage of Aperture’s power.”

“At the end of the day, it’s all about the quality of the image,” said Sports Illustrated contributing photographer David Bergman. “Even before I begin making adjustments, Aperture’s new RAW processing gives me better images with more visible detail and better color rendering than any other program I’ve tested.”

“I used to have so much stress about post-production on a shoot, having to juggle multiple applications to make sure they all worked,” said Bob Davis, PDN Top Knots Wedding Photographer 2007. “With Aperture that’s no longer a factor. I can do everything all in one application.”

Featuring a new, easier user interface designed to be more intuitive and accessible, Aperture 2 now lets users navigate between Viewer and Browser modes with a single key command. Screen real estate is maximized for images with an all-in-one heads up display that allows users to toggle between library, metadata and adjustment controls in a single tabbed inspector. The All Projects view, modeled after iPhoto’s Events view, provides a poster photo for every project and the ability to quickly skim through the photos inside, and the integrated iPhoto® Browser offers direct access to all the events and images in the iPhoto library.

Performance has been enhanced in Aperture 2 so it’s faster to import, browse and search large volumes of images. Embedded previews let photographers caption, keyword and rate images as they are being imported, and with the ability to export images in the background, photographers can continue working while images are processed to JPEG, TIFF, PNG and PSD file formats. Quick Preview allows users to browse RAW images in rapid succession without having to wait for files to load, and the Aperture library database has been re-architected to provide fast project switching and near instantaneous search results, even when working with extremely large libraries of 500,000 images or more.

Aperture 2 delivers powerful new imaging tools for getting the most out of each photograph. Apple’s next-generation RAW image processing is at the core of Aperture 2 offering uncompromising image quality and precision controls that let users fine-tune the image profile for each of their cameras. New tools for improving and enhancing images include Recovery for pulling back “blown” highlights, Vibrancy for selectively boosting saturation without adversely affecting skin tones, Definition, which offers local contrast for adding clarity to images, Vignette & Devignette filters for providing professional visual effects and a true soft-edged Repair and Retouch brush for quickly and easily removing blemishes, cleaning up sensor dust and cloning away problem areas.

Aperture 2 works seamlessly with Mac OS® X, iLife®, iWork™, .Mac and Apple print products, so any image in the Aperture library can be accessed directly from within other applications, such as iMovie®, Keynote® and Pages®, and even from within Leopard™ Mail. Now with .Mac Web Gallery support, Aperture users can publish their photos once to view them on the web, iPhone, iPod touch and Apple TV. Books in Aperture 2 feature new theme designs, layout tools, customized dust jackets (including full-bleed) and foil stamped covers.

Pricing & Availability
Aperture 2 is available immediately for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. Owners of previous versions of Aperture can upgrade to Aperture 2 for just $99 (US). Full system requirements and more information on Aperture 2 can be found at www.apple.com/aperture.

* The .Mac service is available to persons aged 13 and older. Annual membership fee and Internet access required. Terms and conditions apply.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.

Press Contacts:
Christine Wilhelmy
Apple
cwilhelmy@apple.com
(408) 974-9730

Anuj Nayar
Apple
anuj@apple.com
(408) 974-8388

July 20

History will remember the early 21st Century as a turning point for photography — the point at which mainstream photos transitioned from chemical to digital, thereby becoming “print optional” for the first time. Although digital photography has taken small annual steps for 20 years, those steps have collectively evolved early, uselessly low-resolution digital cameras into superior alternatives to their film-based predecessors. Even the tiny cameras built into iPhones take much better-quality photos than Kodaks and Polaroids, and more of them, too: the days of 12-, 24-, or 36-exposure film cartridges and fading exposures are long gone, replaced by all but infinite burst-mode photos that can live on your computer forever.

But some photos deserve a more prominent display in your home than a vault in your computer’s photo library. Apple has known this since the dawn of digital photography. Since iPhoto launched in 2002, Apple has offered photo and book printing services, a feature later added to Aperture and OS X Photos. Yet even though CanonSony, and Nikon have introduced high- and ultra-high-resolution cameras capable of creating huge prints, Apple hasn’t updated its apps with new large-format print options. That’s where this How-To series comes in.

It’s possible to use Photos to create large paper prints, but there’s a lot of exciting large-format photo printing work being done now with other materials, including metal, glass, and canvas. Part 1 of this How-To guide looked at large-format metal prints, and Part 2 looked at canvas and glass prints, with tips on composing large-format images. This third and final part looks at several additional options: turning your photos into hand-painted art, printing on brushed silver aluminum, and large-format “behind acrylic glass” photo printing. Each is different from the prior prints we covered, and one is the most beautiful large photo-to-wall art process I’ve yet seen…

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July 17

Apple introduced a new iPod touch on Wednesday as we expected after selling nearly the same model for almost three years, and today iFixit has shared its routine teardown to grade the device’s ability to be repaired and catalog exactly what’s inside Apple’s newest iOS device.

While the exterior of the new iPod touch remains largely the same aside from new color options and the removal of the Loop camera strap, the teardown does confirm the RAM upgrade caught in benchmarks earlier this week and a slightly larger battery than the previous model… expand full story

July 13

Your digital photos were never intended to remain trapped on your computer’s hard drive. Apple’s original 2002 version of iPhoto proudly included physical book and photo printing services, adding new books and various types of cards every 2-3 years. Since early digital cameras took low-resolution photos, Apple’s services focused primarily on small prints. But over the past decade, cameras have really evolved: there are now 36-Megapixel Nikons42-Megapixel Sonys, and 50-Megapixel Canons. Unfortunately, Apple didn’t update iPhoto or its later Aperture and Photos apps with additional large-format printing options to keep up with the higher-resolution cameras many people are using.

Even if you don’t have a high-end DSLR, there are ways to turn more typical 20-Megapixel images into large pieces of wall art — if you’re willing to look outside Apple’s photo apps for printing services. And amazingly, even recent iPhones and iPads can create 43-Megapixel ultra-wide panoramas that will look stunning on one or more large canvases, as shown in the photo above.

What’s the best large format to choose for your photos? That depends on the type of images you have, and the results you’re looking for. To illustrate the options, I reached out to a number of popular photo printing services to see how digital photos would look on metal, glass, and canvas — large-format alternatives Apple doesn’t offer. Part 1 of this How-To guide looked at metal prints that apply dyes and gloss directly onto aluminum surfaces. Today, Part 2 looks at large-format canvas and glass prints. And the last part, coming next week, will look at several additional options that provide unique twists on these options. Inside, you’ll see how each process has its own unique appeal…

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July 4

Apple knew it had something special to share with the world when it released iPhoto in 2002: in addition to printing 20″ by 30″ poster-sized photos, the original iPhoto’s “most stunning feature” (according to Apple) was a page layout tool that quickly turned digital photo collections into printed hardcover books. These were Apple’s acknowledgements that tangible photos still had value in a digital era, and it subsequently added calendars, greeting cards, softcover books, and letterpress cards to iPhoto. Apple’s newer app Photos for Mac hides these options under the File menu at the top of the screen, and hasn’t expanded on them, a shame considering how nice the results look.

But apart from including the poster options in 2002, Apple never added “large-format art” to the list of things its photo apps could produce. Back in 2002, digital cameras were so low-resolution that they struggled to produce pixel-free 4″ by 6″ photos, so it’s no surprise that Apple wasn’t trying to build a market for large prints. Thankfully, a lot has changed since then. Canon currently sells two 50-Megapixel cameras, Sony has one 42-Megapixel camera, and Nikon offers four 36-Megapixel cameras. iPhones and iPads can create up to 43-Megapixel ultra-wide panoramas. A large, properly-composed print from any of these cameras (or even the more common 20- to 25-Megapixel cameras people are using today) will look amazing hanging on the wall of your home or office… if you know how to do it.

I wanted to see what the best options were for large-format photography, so I reached out to a collection of excellent art print services to see how digital photos would look on metal, glass, and canvas — materials Photos doesn’t offer. In Part 1 of this How-To guide, I’m looking at large-format metal prints that apply dyes and gloss directly onto aluminum surfaces, with results as saturated as Apple’s famous “nanochromatic” iPod nanos. A new Part 2 looks at large-format canvas and glass prints. Read on for all the details…

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June 30

In addition to iOS 8.4, Apple has now publicly released OS X 10.10.4 to all users. The point update focuses on security and stability improvements with a fix for notable networking issues with OS X Yosemite as well as fixes for Mail, improvements to Photos migration from iPhoto and Aperture, and more. Apple first began testing the update to the Mac with developers in late April. expand full story

June 16

Alongside the updates to its mobile apps yesterday, Adobe has also updated its entire suite of Creative Cloud desktop apps and launched a new Adobe Stock images service integrated within those apps – something the company says “radically simplifies” the process of buying and using stock images.

“Adobe Stock extends Creative Cloud’s value as a vibrant global marketplace,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president, Digital Media, Adobe. “Eighty-five percent of customers who purchase stock images use Adobe creative tools. The deep integration with our latest Creative Cloud desktop apps, including Photoshop and InDesign, makes buying and using stock photos incredibly easy. At the same time, our customers – the best photographers and designers on the planet – will have the opportunity to contribute millions of new photos and images to Adobe Stock. This is really going to raise the bar in the world of stock content.”

Single images cost $9.99 for existing Creative Cloud subscribers, but Adobe offers two volume subscriptions offering significantly better deals …  expand full story

May 29

IMG_4817

Google Photos

My relationship with Apple’s hardware is simple: I’m happily locked in, and not changing platforms any time soon. But my relationship with Apple’s software is complex: I want to love it, but every time Apple decides to “throw everything away” and “start over” with an app, it’s disruptive — and for many users, unnecessary. From my perspective, users weren’t complaining that Apple’s popular photo apps iPhoto or Aperture were hopelessly broken or even deficient in major ways, yet Apple discontinued both of them last month to release Photos, a bare-bones alternative no one seems to love. On the relationship scale, I didn’t abandon Aperture; Aperture abandoned me (and a lot of other people).

So yesterday’s announcement of the free cross-platform photo and video storage app Google Photos couldn’t have come at a better time. Apple has struggled to explain why it now offers two separate photo syncing services, neither with the virtually unlimited photo and video storage Google is now giving users — notably all users, including Mac and iOS users. Moreover, Apple has offered no sign that it’s going to drop the steep fees it’s charging for iCloud photo storage. With WWDC just around the corner, Apple has a big opportunity to match Google’s photo and video initiative, thrilling its customers in the process. If that doesn’t happen, I’m moving my collection into Google Photos, and not looking back…

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May 12

When Apple was designing the Mac app iDVD, then-CEO Steve Jobs directed his development team to build a dead-simple DVD-burning application: instead of a mess of options and windows, Jobs wanted one window with one button marked “Burn,” which would be pressed once the desired video file was dragged-and-dropped into the window. Years later, when Jobs wanted Apple’s iOS devices to be even simpler, he dumped the Mac’s windows and drag-and-drop file system in favor of a grid of icons. There wasn’t even a trash can to worry about — instead, iOS would automatically discard unused files as needed.

While that’s great in theory, the reality is that iOS actually leaves bits of trash sitting around on your device, and there’s no easy way to clean everything up at once. iTunes aggregates various types of lingering files as “Other,” but doesn’t have a trash can, nor does it provide direct access to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch file system so you can purge trash on your own. Consequently, your device may be holding a large collection of junk that could be dumped to free up gigabytes of space.

Below, I’ll show you how to clean your iOS device for free using two apps, one of which you definitely already have installed…

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May 7

I’ve focused a lot over the last few months on helping readers to speed up and optimize Apple’s Macs — everything from adding RAM to recovering hard drive space and upgrading old hard drives to faster SSDs. Today’s How-To is focused on something very specific but with a lot of optimization potential: trimming down your Mac’s photo library.

Particularly after installing OS X 10.10.3 with Apple’s new Photos app, you might be surprised to learn that you’ve lost a lot of hard drive space, and that there are suddenly tons of duplicate photos on your Mac. After installing OS X 10.10.3, the new Photos app converted my 90GB Aperture library into a 126GB Photos library, and left both on my hard drive. That’s an incredible amount of wasted space attributable to duplicates, so it’s no surprise that a $1 utility called Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro has recently become the #1 paid Mac App Store app, while a superior alternative called PhotoSweeper ($10) is in the top 50. I’ve used both apps, as well as many others, and can help you choose the one that’s best for your needs…

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April 30

“My Mac used to be fast, but now it’s running so slow.” I’ve heard many versions of this complaint, and they’re always factually true, not just opinions: Macs do become sluggish over time, even if all of their chips and hard drives are working like new.

I’ve devoted several columns to hardware solutions — replacing old hard drives with fast new SSDs, adding more RAM, and increasing storage capacity using an external drive — but there are software solutions, too. Even die-hard Apple fans will admit that Macs typically run new OS X versions better (faster, and with fewer bugs) if you start with a clean slate: completely wipe your hard drive, do a fresh install of the latest OS X release, and restore only the files you need. That’s not as hard as it sounds, but it’s a radical and fairly time-consuming solution.

This How-To article offers a simpler alternative. First, find and delete enough files to leave your Mac at least 50GB of free storage capacity — enough room for the Mac to work without pausing to manage its hard drive space. Next, cleanse the cruft OS X builds up in the background as you use your computer. Below, I’ll show you how two completely free Mac programs, GrandPerspective and OnyX, will do all the heavy lifting for you. GrandPerspective offers a highly visual display of what’s taking up space on your Mac; Onyx cleans up the Mac files you’d be afraid to touch yourself…

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April 29

The developers behind Pixelmator have just released another free update to the Mac app, available in the Mac App Store ($29.99). Despite the bug-fix identifier, Version 3.3.2 packs some cool enhancements to support Apple’s latest technologies and hardware.

For one, as demoed in the screenshot above, Pixelmator brushes now support Force Touch so you can draw with multiple levels of pressure by pressing harder on the touchpad of your new Retina MacBook (or early 2015 13 inch Retina MacBook Pro). This is useful for quick adjustments although serious painters will still want to use dedicated drawing tablets. The update also adds support for the Photos app and a revamped Repair Tool …

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April 14

LinX

Apple has reportedly bought Israel-based camera technology firm LinX Computational Imaging Ltd, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to the report, the acquisition may have been for an estimated $20 million.

LinX specializes in producing “miniature multi-aperture cameras designed for mobile devices.” Apple’s motivation for purchasing the firm would clearly be to improve the camera technology on mobile devices including the iPhone. expand full story

April 9

April 8

Apple has just released OS X 10.10.3 to the general public. The upgrade to the operating system, which has been in beta since March, includes the all-new Photos app that was introduced alongside Yosemite last year. It also includes over 300 new emoji, including multiple races and designs for some icons, a revamped “look up” panel, networking and wireless improvements, and more.

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An Associated Press review of the new Photos app for the Mac suggests that OS X 10.10.3 will be available for general download later today. The first pre-release seed of the latest version of Yosemite was made available to developers and testers back in February, with the first public beta following at the beginning of March.

Apple’s new Photos app for Mac computers, available Wednesday as a free software update, makes it easy to organize and edit your pictures.

AP’s Anick Jesdanun was impressed with Photos, Apple’s replacement for iPhoto and Aperture, saying that the auto-fix features were particularly impressive …  expand full story

April 5

Photos preview at WWDC 2014

Apple announced Photos last year during the WWDC. The Photos app along with iCloud Photo Library will allow you to store all of your photos in the cloud with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, provided you upgrade your iCloud storage space to accommodate your iCloud Photo Library. Photos will end up replacing Aperture and iPhoto. You can upload your pictures to iCloud Photo Library via iCloud.com. Currently this feature is in a public beta and this how-to article will discuss how to get a head start and upload your pictures to iCloud Photo Library before Photos becomes available for the Mac to the public.

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March 24

Ten One Design has released an updated version of its drawing plug-in, Inklet, adding pressure-sensitive drawing on the new Force Touch trackpad in all Mac drawing apps, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture and Illustrator. The new trackpad was introduced by Apple on the 12-inch MacBook and 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.

This means MacBook owners with the new trackpad will enjoy enhanced, highly-accurate pressure sensitivity when drawing on the trackpad whether drawing with a stylus or with a finger.

Inklet for Mac adds an icon to your menubar that you click when you want to draw on your trackpad in your chosen app …  expand full story

March 23

Apple has released an updated build of the OS X 10.10.3 beta for both developers and public beta testers. The latest build is the same for both: 14D113C. Developers, however, also have access to Yosemite Recovery Update 3.0. OS X 10.10.3 includes the brand new Photos app which replaces both iPhoto and Aperture with support for iCloud Photo Libraries and an overhauled design. The first public beta for OS X 10.10.3 launched earlier this month, while registered developers have been testing the update due out this spring since early last month. expand full story

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