Aperture: Work with RAW images

Learn to use the tools in Aperture and make your RAW images look truly professional


As technology advances and becomes cheaper, it often means that amateur photographers have the tools at their disposal to produce the same high-quality images as professional photographers. Most DSLR cameras have the ability to capture images in RAW format. RAW images are lossless photos – they have not been compressed in any way by the time they’re imported into your computer. In essence, RAW images are digital negatives. JPEG images are the printed photos you order from Snappy Snaps.

Many photographers choose to shoot and edit in RAW format because it gives them the most control over how their image is captured and processed later on. You can achieve some truly amazing results from RAW images, and we’re going to show you how you can do this using Aperture. You’ve got your all-singing and all-dancing camera, so let’s get your photos to do the talking.

1: Get started

We need RAW images to work with – locate your RAW files in the Projects or Photo Library on the left- side of the interface. Double-click on the image.

2: Information is key

Click on the Metadata tab. Add captions, keywords, a title and a copyright notice to your photo. This is useful for organisation.

3: Make adjustments

Click on the Adjustments tab. This is where you will make changes to the photos such as adding presets which quickly transform your photos.

4: Quick transformation

Select the Presets drop-down menu. Presets are
a great way to quickly tweak your image. You can preview the effect by hovering your mouse over it.

5: Play with presets

Once you’ve selected a preset, Aperture will display a list of individual adjustments that relate to your preset. Play around with the sliders and arrows.

6: Change your mind

If you don’t like an adjustment you’ve made – don’t panic! Press Cmd+Z to undo the last adjustment. Keep pressing these keys to go further backwards.

7: Touching up

Click the Adjustments drop-down menu. The Quick Brushes option gives you tools to touch-up certain areas of your image where there are inconsistencies.

8: Share your image

Now your photo looks amazing and is ready to be shared. Click the File menu and select Export>Version. Choose a location to export your finalised image to.

9: Choose a format

RAW images need to be exported in formats which can be read by other computers. JPEG, PNG or TIFF are the best to use. Use PSD to import to Photoshop.

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