April 13, 2008

30 Days Using Aperture 2 (Final Review)

I just posted the my final review of Aperture 2 on www.imageguy.com. While you're there don't forget to sign up for the new RSS feed for the site. This way you can stay up to date on all the new posts

April 11, 2008


It official! This blog has been moved to it's own URL!


All the post are there and I will be posting there regularly. The blog is using the standard WordPress theme for now. As soon as I find a "prettier" theme (there are so many to choose from) I will start using it.

Enjoy our new home and I look forward to seeing you there.
Michael Zahora

April 1, 2008

This is not an April fools day joke

That's it... I quit! I'm no longer going to be doing this blog... Just kidding.

Seriously, though. I started this blog to share my ideas, thoughts and experiences, and to have some fun. And I'm doing that. What I wasn't expecting was getting as many visitors as I'm getting. And, even more surprising is the traffic I'm getting from Google™. The search for "Making your own gray card" accounts for almost 65% of all my traffic from Google
™ and searching for "beauty dish" on Google™ my post Make Your Own Beauty Dish comes up on the 4th page. The traffic isn't anything close to what David gets at Stobist but it's decent.

My idea was to eventually switch the blog over to my site www.imageguy.com and move the sales page for my gray cards to an internal page. My thinking for doing this so soon, is if I wait too long to switch the blog to imageguy.com I might not be able to regain the
Google rankings once the posts are moved over. So, my plan is simple. I'm going to install Wordpress on imageguy.com. Make the blog look pretty, move all my old posts over and start blogging on the new site. Simple! Right? We'll see!

If anyone has any experience with Wordpress or has done something like this before PLEEAASE give me any advice or help you can in the comments. I want to do this as quickly as possible, and having no experience with something like this I don't know how long it will take.

March 28, 2008

30 Days Using Aperture 2 (Day 24)

Day 24

Again, I've been busy for last 5 days shooting and working on images. That's a good thing! This time I did a food shoot for the Korean restaurant. Several different dishes but the lighting set up was pretty much the same.

This time I played around with the stamp tool. The way Apple approached this is quite clever. Instead of having to save settings in every adjustment you make and then apply each and every saved setting to your image, all you need to do is make all your adjustments on one image and then click on the lift tool (which takes all your settings and opens up s HUD). Now here is the cool part. You can select and apply (stamp) only the setting you want by clicking the the check boxes on and off. You can apply the chosen setting to one image at a time or to as many images as you select. This may not seem like a big deal, but it probably saved me about half an hour of sitting in from in front of the computer. That's an extra half hour I can do something else like shooting or maybe skiing, or mountain biking. I'm off now to figure out what I'm going to do with that extra half hour... I just hope it doesn't take me half an hour to figure out what I'm going to do ;o)

Aperture 2.1 Released

Today Apple announced Aperture 2.1 that allows third party plug-ins. You might never have to leave Aperture at all to do your basic image editing.

Read the press release here.

March 23, 2008

30 Days Using Aperture 2 (Day 19)

Day 19

I've been quite busy over the last 5 days and today I finally had the chance to sit in front of the computer and use Aperture 2.

I was originally confused with the 3 sharpening options available in Aperture 2. The very first one is under the RAW fine tuning heading in the adjustments tab. This one is what Aperture thinks should be applied to all images being converted from RAW files for your particular camera... OK That gets turned off right away! I prefer to make my own decisions regarding my images.

The second one is under the Sharpen heading. This one is a remnant of Aperture 1. Edge sharpening was introduced in Aperture 1.5 and is supposed to be the way to go. Lets see.

I found this article on Apple's website that explains edge sharpening. The image below was converted into B&W and edge sharpening was applied (settings = Intensity - .76, Edges - .31, Falloff - .77). The sharpening was enough for me to actually see, but seems to keep any sharpening artifacts to a minimum.


March 17, 2008

30 Days Using Aperture 2 (Days 13-14)

Days 13-14

Two hours!!!! That's all it took to go through 70+ images and edit them down to 11 final images and crop, adjust and burn a CD (TIFF & JPEG) for the client. Within those two hours I also had a bite to eat, took a phone call and chatted with a friend on MSN. I can honestly say with more practice using Aperture 2 I could easily do all that in under an hour. That's fast!

Yesterday I was preparing for a photo shoot that night for a local restaurant and making a beauty dish to fit on my flash that I could use for that shoot. Today, I imported the images on to my computer's hard drive and then I proceeded to import those images into Aperture 2 (stored on an external hard drive). I started rating the images (1 - 5 stars) by hitting the corresponding numbers on my keyboard while I viewed each image full screen. I would hit the right or left arrow key to move from image to image. I then selected only 3 star or higher images.This gave me my final 11 images (I'm pretty tough on rating my images). The cropping and final adjustments were made on those images and then I exported a TIFF and a JPEG of each image to a CD. Hit burn CD and I was done. Not bad considering my total noobness with Aperture 2.

Sample image

More Aperture 2 post to come.