At first glance, Aperture 3

Tuesday (February 9, 2010), Apple® introduced Aperture™ 3, a major release of its powerful photo editing and management software. Aperture 3 contains over 200 new features including Faces, Places and Brushes. Building on the innovative Faces and Places features introduced in iPhoto® ‘09, Aperture 3 makes it even easier and faster to organize large photo libraries. In addition, there are new tools for refining your photos including Brushes for painting image adjustments onto parts of your photo, and Adjustment Presets for applying professional photo effects with just one click. Also stunning new slideshows tools allow you to share your work by weaving together photos, audio, text and HD video.

I'm often guilty of dismissing a lot of features because they don't suit my  day-to-day working needs. But I have to say, Apple does such a compelling job of integrating some of the features that I call "fluff,"  it's hard not to see where others will have a need for those applications. After all, the needs of a sports photographer aren't always the same as a portrait, wedding, landscape or glamour shooter.

At first glance, Aperture 3 delivers. But what I'd like to do over the next few weeks is blog about my personal experience as I work with the new version. Rather than crash in and give everything a cursory glance, I'd rather see how things unfold and give you feedback about what I like, what seems like overkill or how things perform in real-world use. Let's face it, many of us have a lot committed to our workflow. Programs like Aperture and Lightroom are so all-encompassing of our image management needs, they're like an independent operating system just for photos.

Just to end this entry with three "first looks," I have two likes and one "I don't get that."

Faces: I've been skeptical of this feature for quite sometime. Color me WRONG. I've got a hunch this is going to come in handy sorting and getting final images ready for keywords. It's not perfect. But the confirmation process puts overall control back in your hands and it's going to get some use.

Color tags: Another long overdue addition for sorting your images. Star rating still remains, but it's nice to have another tool for organizing images. With colors, you might assign a color to your action images from a shoot and then another color for atmosphere or people shots. I'm sure you'll come up with your own uses, but I think for me, this will come in handy when I want to group images without affecting the rating or adding a tag that may not have any relevance to the final output.

Reject, delete, empty Aperture trash, empty OS trash:
HUH? Look… I know I take a few bad shots now and then. (ok, more than now and then) But do I have to kill them FOUR times to make them go away? Aperture now has it's own Trash. So now, if I pull up all my rejects at the end of sorting a shoot and delete them, they go into Aperture's trash. They're gone instantly, so that's a good thing. But then when I empty the Aperture trash, they get moved to my Desktop trash. I don't mind confirming a delete operation… but four times? So that one's kind of lost on me.

Stay tuned for more feedback. This isn't going to be a Lightroom vs. Aperture discussion. It's going to be about Aperture 3. I'm an Aperture user. This is where I live. So, hopefully I'll reveal some features and provide some tips that will help you become affluent with the program.

JT