Friday, November 09, 2012

Aperture and iPhoto - using multiple external editors.


My main software in editing and cataloging my photos is Aperture. I find that I can do a lot of the editing right there in Aperture but occasionally I want to use another editor.The editors I occasionally use are

PhotoShop Elements
When I want to simulate HDR or I want to extract parts of the image or paste additions, or use graduated filters.
I keep trying this program but usually end up going back to PSE.
Great application when you want to give that flat looking photo a lift. Quick and can give amazing results.
Great when you want to quickly annotate a photo, adding say text and arrows. I added this to list after I took the following screen shots.

The irritation

Aperture and iPhoto only let you specify one external editor. This you do in the Preferences.

Switching Editors

So when you want to change it form say PhotoShop Elements to Snapseed you have to navigate to your Applications folder and then scroll through files until you find the file you want.

To ease this process I created a folder within Applications called Aperture Editors which I then copied onto my Favourites section of the Finder. Next create aliases for your editors and move them into the newly created Aperture Editors so when switching between editors they are easily found.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Aperture to PSE, TIF does not work but TIFF OK!

Aperture to PSE, TIF or TIFF.

Aperture-PSE TIFF
In Aperture you can specify an external editor which you can use in place of the standard Aperture editor. In my case I currently use PSE (PhotoShop Elements) and I have set the option to use TIFF.

When the external editor is selected for a particular file, a duplicate is made before it is opened in PSE. After editing in PSE the file is saved and replaces the duplicated photo.


Aperture-PSE TIFF
Aperture-PSE TIFF
Although TIFF is chosen as the type when the file is saved PSE opts to use TIF for its extension (1 F not 2 F's) and this causes a new file to be created and so Aperture does not recognise it as the photo it duplicated and so the changes are not seen. The solution is simple, just add the extra f to TIF before you save the file.
Aperture-PSE TIFF

Red Admirals on last day of September

DSC_6743 Red Admiral Butterfly 29-09-2012

On the last day of September I was pleased to capture this fine Red Admiral butterfly in my Worcestershire garden.

Photo Details
Nikon D90 with Sigma 105mm f2.8 Macro Lens
SB900 Flash

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review of iPad Photo Apps I use.

I was lucky to get a new iPad on release date and one of the first apps I loaded was Apples own iPhoto, pretty but limited and faulty - more on this later. Now a few weeks later my many photo apps are settling down to a well proven bunch. I plan to write a more detailed review on the better ones in a little while but here is a quick overview.

The above image is roughly sorted into the order of usefulness.



A great general purpose editor with all the usual "serious photographer's" functions and with some batch tools. I cropped all the icons in this post and then batch uploaded them to Picasa Web Album all from within this app.


A very well designed powerful editor which uses the gestures available iPad to good effect. You can also buy a Mac version for little money.

Photoshop Touch

Adobe's app that first came out for Android kit. At first sight this looks really good, powerful and logical interface that will function well after some time spent in tutorials. Main problem is that the photo is restricted to a maximum of 1600x1600 pixels, which means that you do not realise the full capability of the new iPad display.
When/If Adobe update this I will spend more time on it.


This is a new addition to my apps and I am very impressed. Lots of function and masses of pre-sets for various effects but also the ability to make your own adjustments. This together with Snapspeed provides me with all the special effects I will ever need.

PhotoShop Express

Adobe's free photo editing app. Useful for quick adjustments and can export direct to Flickr. Doubtful I need it now I have the above.


Apple's much lauded photo app. Now I am a bit of a fanbois but this has dissappointed me. OK it looks fantastic, but the editing has a zany interface but basic editing is quite limited. There is also a fault that it creates duplicate copies of photos. I noticed this whan after just a few days it was taking over 1GB of space and some photos had 7 duplicates. This is well documented on the forums.
I have un-installed and re-installed in the hope that I will receive notification of update that fixes the problem.

Photo Services

The above list are primarily editors. The following are tools to link to photo services, eg Flickr, Picasa etc

Picasa Web Albums

View and share photos online. You can upload from iPad to specific album and copy image URL to include in web pages or add to email.


Similar to the above but this time for your Flickr account. Very powerful, you can update and modify most things related to your Flickr photos from this app. I use PhotoGene (see above) to upload photos from iPad to Flickr. You can add Tags but not target to a specific set but once uploaded the photo can be placed in any set from within this app.


Viewer for this up and coming photo service. I am quite new to 500px and only have free account but the word on the street is this is better for Pros than Flickr. Not convinced yet and still evaluating service. This app is not as powerful as the previous two.


Another app for another photo sharing service. I considered using PhotoBucket as a source for photos to be used in web development. I tend to use Picasa and Flickr these days and so I do not expect to be using this much in the future.


Before iCloud I used this app to wireless transfer photos between iPad, iPhone and MacBook. I had deleted it but in the early days of iCloud I found my iPhone would at times discharge quickly. I was not alone in this and suspicion fell on iCloud so I disabled Photo Stream and this stopped problem. So I reinstalled this app. Now Apple seemed to have fixed the problems and I again use Photo Stream and have no battery life problem.


A specialised App for those people who use an Eye-Fi card in their camera. Eye-Fi cards also provide wireless connection so photos can be shared automatically without physical connection.


This has a bit of a cult following so I thought I had better give it a try. It seems a bit "point and shooter" orientated and gimmicky for my taste so it will probably not last long on my iPad, especially as it has just been purchased for 1 billion dollars by Facebook.

Camera Apps

These last two apps are primarily for taking photo, and of course movies.


Apple provided camera App. Does a good job and of course no extra cost.

Awesome Camera

Similar to Apple'sCamera but with some useful extra features. Note this is an iPhone app but works fine on iPad. (Strange but iPhone apps look much better on my new iPad then they did on my iPad 1.)
Extra features include burst mode, delay photo until stable, interval timer, shutter delay. Also has Instagram type filters but I rather do this in Snapspeed and/ or Photo Toaster.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

DSC_5974 Sparrow Hawk Laurel Cottage 15-03-2012

See other photos of the sparrowhawk on my Flickr site.

Taken with Nikon D90 and 18-200mm lens

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Using Nikkor lens on Panasonic Lumix GX1

One of the downsides of buying the GX1 is that it a system camera and so I am temped to buy other lenses and flash guns similar to my behaviour with my D90 system.

I have a micro 4/3 to Nikon AI adapter left over from my brief affair with a GF2. I have so far attached Nikkor micro 50 mm f 2.8 (renown for its sharpness) and a Tokina 70-200 f4 ( renown for its ordinariness).

Now I expected these manual focus lens would have to be operated in stop down metering mode. In this mode usually the screen would go dim but the EVF automatically increases it's gain and remains bright. The exposure works in this mode, so if you stop down aperture the shutter speed lengthens as it should. If auto ISO is set then this may also vary.

Another good feature that as the GX1 is in manual focus by pressing the rear control button the centre part of the image is magnified.

I was very pleased with the result but there were several rejects amongst the result.

Why I chose Panasonic Lumix GX1

As discussed in my previous post I had a short list of cameras for my travel and walking consisting of
  • Panasonic Lumix G3
  • Canon G12
  • Fuji X10
  • Nikon P7100

Well I finally decided on a G3 kit which I hoped to purchase when visiting Focus-on-Imaging show in NEC. In deed Camera World were selling the standard kit for £400. However they were also selling the GX1 for £600 and including the EVF (view finder) at no extra coat. Now this retails for £200-230 and I had dismissed the GX1 as it would have been twice as much as the G3 although the new power zoom lens was very compct and ideal for travel and a metal body.

The EVF is the Mark 2 with 1.44 Megapixels and very clear.

Masses to learn but so far very pleased. It has the keen amateur as its prime user with such controls as

  • Mode Dial
  • Exposure +- dial
  • Manual focus magnifier
  • Customisable quick menu and function buttons
  • RAW (incidently Apple just updated Lion to support GX1 Raw

Saturday, February 04, 2012

What will be my next Quality Compact?

Time to upgrade my trusty Canon G9. 


  • Good Image Quality
  • Use in low light without flash
  • Viewfinder
  • Less than £500


In order of current preference:
  • Fuji X10
  • Canon G2
  • Nikon P7100
  • Panasonic G3

Fuji X-10

Canon G12

Nikon P7100

Panasonic Lumix G3


The Fuji is great to hold and use, slightly larger sensor than G12 and P7100 but a more limited range (28-212mm 35mm equivalent) with a great view finder. Reviews and comments are good.

Canon is a sure bet, always at or near the top of quality compact reviews but only has 720 HD movie.

Nikon I have yet to have a go with. I nearly bought the P7000 but very slow image processing made it a none starter, but this is suppose to be fixed in P7100. Has a long range to 200mm 35mm equivalent.

Lumix get great review, very good EVF which unique in this collection displays shooting information. However although much smaller than my Nikon D90 it is quite a bit bigger than the other three when fitted with standard lens. There is a new lens available which is more compact, but increases price beyond £500. Another worry is I already have a large investment in Nikon DSLR kit, do I want to start another with 4/3 DSLR.