I make no apology for the lovefest review to follow. The tools we use make or break us, and I have been working with this digital stuff for a long time, always looking for ways to get back to the comfortable metaphors I grew up with in the wet darkroom and with film. Aperture 3.0 incorporates a lot of that tradition while providing all the latest technology to actually make me more efficient. Yes, they feature me in a nice video of how I use it, and that’s great, but seriously, my motivation for participating in beta testing and marketing is that I am just looking for the best tool to solve my problems. When I find something like Aperture I want it to succeed so I’m pushing hard for people to try it.
In all the years of working with software and hardware I’ve rarely if ever seen such a quantum leap in features in an upgrade. But these are not just features to add marketing punch, these are serious workflow improvements that take a program we love and use on a daily basis to a level pretty damn close to perfection. We asked them to merge libraries, so we could have a main archive in studio and bring the shoots back easily, we asked them for flags and labels, and unlike a lot of companies, Apple listened. And did it. And then they added tons of other cool and useful things such as Faces– face Rrecognition, and Places– geo taging, and more importantly, the shockingly productive new retouching tools. To me, what has been accomplished goes all the way back to some of the precepts Doug Engelbart spoke about in the 1950’s, about computers being able to leverage our brains. Because this is non-modular, I can work in a truly intuitive creative way on several levels as I’m editing and retouching. I can do several things at once throughout the program. This is a dream. You won’t believe it. Amazing. Check it out: