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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon October 23, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What a beautiful book, filled with lots of tips and tutorials that easily justify the modest price.

I began using Apple Aperture 3 early in 2011, learning from the 908 page PDF User Manual from Apple, various web sites, and another Focal Press book that I also received under the Vine review program, Apple Aperture 3: A Workflow Guide for Digital Photographers. My background in this area is that of an expert Photoshop user and an advanced amateur photographer - and, naturally, a Mac user as Aperture is a Mac-only product.

This book by Corey Hilz taught me more in less time than the other sources I've used so far to advance my usage of Aperture for re-touching photographs.

That Corey Hilz is a professional photographer makes the flow of the book much more interesting and useful to me. Other books and sites focus on the organizational capabilities of Aperture to the detriment of full coverage of the photo enhancement features. Both aspects are why I was drawn to Aperture, and it is great to have a thorough tutorial on image adjustments by a pro, along with a nice introductory review of all other aspects of Aperture in Hilz's book.

For example, the other Focal Press book linked above, which I also reviewed, had only a page or two on using brushes for image adjustments. This book by Hilz covers not only the many Quick Brushes, but also illustrates and teaches how to use brushes with many of the normal adjustments - even the ability to apply duplicates of adjustments for varying effects on different parts of the image. By working through this book, I am now able to correct almost everything that I do to typical photos without having to resort to Photoshop. It's a cleaner and faster workflow and all with non-destructive editing and no duplication of the actual (large) image files as I create different versions.

While the book has chapters that cover nearly every aspect of Aperture, the depth of the book is on image adjustments. The chapters on organization and searching are correct, but lack the kinds of examples used for image adjustments and metadata. Thus, I suspect that a new user would not really get a good feel for alternative ways of organizing, or creating advanced searches and smart folders. I think this is the right balance for an introductory book, though: Hilz gets the reader excited about making their photos better via adjustments - and that excitement may lead to the motivation to handle the more tedious task of organizing.

I am using the current release of Aperture - version 3.2 - and found only one or two things in the book that differed from what I saw on my screen, but not in any way that interfered with my learning. Similarly, I noticed less than a handful of editing or typographical errors; none confused the meaning of the text. The book does not mention Light Tables, Faces, or Places. Perhaps for Faces and Places he assumes the reader is familiar with those already from iPhoto.

Highly recommended to new Aperture users, or those who have not really learned to use the various image adjustments yet, particularly the brushed-on ones.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 29, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've used aperture for a few months now and found this book quite useful. For me it was the image editing details that were most useful. Before this book my adjustments to the photos themselves were minimal and more random guessing. With this book I am able to analyze the photos and see what kind of adjustments need to be made and how to do them. Now I feel like I can really bring out the best from my photos.

Before reading this book I had figured out most of the Aperture work flow, file management, etc. I will say that those chapters were still worth reading as I picked up an item or two here or there. If I hadn't been using Aperture for awhile, say if I bought this book when I bought Aperture, those chapters would have been really essential. All of the writing is well laid out and cohesive. My learning without the book was a lot of trial and error and was pretty time consuming. With the book things just seemed easy.

So yes, if you use Aperture to manage your photos this is a good book that is worth the money to buy it and the time to read it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 15, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have had Aperture for some time, but have found it frustrating to use in some respects compared to Adobe Lightroom. This book was helpful for me learning how to navigate Aperture's features and tools and accomplish some actions (like applying some settings to multiple pictures) as well as adding keywords to groups of images. This book enabled me to do a fair amount of editing within Aperture allowing me to process images and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of Aperture compared to Lightroom.

This is well suited to novice Aperture users and explains the processes and tools of this powerful program. I won't say this is the most elegantly written book, it did serve (and will continue to serve) as a reference and guide to my use of Apple's program.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I just started using IPhoto on my new IMac, and everyone tells me to move up to Aperture because it lets you do more with photo editing. So this book is very timely. I read the entire book to get an understanding of everything I could do with Aperture. It is definitely a how to manual with examples, screen shots, directions on how to use the software, and the whys to doing certain edits as well as the unintended or intended results.
The chapters include:
Importing, layout and viewing, organization and back-up, standard image adjustments, image adjustments beyond the basics, output to social media, flicker and email, slideshows, web journals.., printing books and photos

While I am not new to photo editing, I have not done it until recently to a great extent. One of the reasons I switched to Apple was because of my hobby as a serious photographer. IPhoto got me more excited about playing with my photos. This book helped me to understand how much I could do with photo editing and how fun it could be.

There are areas of the book that are very detailed and seem to be information overload, but this will help when I put the book beside me to use a reference when editing in Aperture.

Focus on Apple Aperture convinced me that Aperture is the right program for me, and it can be learned easily with a little help from this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 5, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Aperture is not a difficult piece of software to use, but it is helpful to have an introduction to underlying concepts in order to smooth the work flow. Some of these have to do with the best way to import photos, where to store the files, how to create albums, etc. These issues are covered in this book, which constitutes a useful primer. In some ways, however, the book is lacking. It reads like the user guide that should have come with the product and explains the menus and settings. There is not much about the bigger picture, however. For example, why upgrade from iPhoto, which comes free? How does it compare to other products, e.g. Lightroom. How best to integrate with other programs, particularly those that perform RAW conversion like DXO. Although it explains menus and functions it does not specifically address the advantages of using Aperture over simply importing photos from a memory card into folders. Nor does it discuss how to get specific tasks done that you might not otherwise think of doing. More overview would be appreciated in the next edition. On the other hand, if you have already bought Aperture and want an explanation of its menu functions this is the book for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had already been using Aperture for a year and had logged about 12,000 photos when I read this book. As a result, it was not quite as useful to me as it could have been. I have rated it as a four star by thinking back to how much of a help it would have been if I had just been starting with Aperture. In that case it would have been quite helpful. The examples and text are quite clear and focus on the results a user may desire rather than looking at it solely from the application's standpoint.

The weaknesses are that this is the kind of book that would do well with either a companion website with sample images to use or a CD with samples that can be altered to test skills in the adjustment tab, in particular. Also, the index is OK, but could be better. It is on the low side of adequate which is not what the beginner would want. In general, the index has about half the entries I would like to see in a "Fundamentals" book where the user may need to get back to assorted bits on an ongoing basis.

Aside from these small issues, I would still recommend this book to a new Aperture user. Import a couple hundred photos and follow the book chapter to chapter and you will quickly be able to use this powerful photography tool. If you are already a competent Aperture user, you may want to look elsewhere, although it still has a few good bits, it's not clear to me that this is worth buying a book for.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I gave this book to my husband, as he is the one who uses Apple Aperture for his photos (I make do with iPhoto). I was apprehensive that he wouldn't like it because he is very picky when it comes to books about photography, the internet, and software. So I was pleasantly surprised when he said that this was really a great book. He found it very easy to understand and yet it explained a lot of the Aperture features in ways that were easily understood. He has been using Aperture for a while and still found that this book included many explanations of and hints about each of Aperture's features that were new to him. He was quite impressed with the quality of the photos throughout the book and the straightforward instructions. Much to my surprise, this book was a definite winner!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 16, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is great for beginners but also good for those with experience in Lightroom, PhotoShop, etc. and want to learn Aperture since every photo managing software out there is its own unique creature. It is extremely helpful in learning to edit your photos and it is written very clearly, in easy to follow steps, and pictures to go along with it making it very simple and fun to use. It helps out greatly explaining tools and features your not to sure about and/or want to learn so you can use them as well. Very nice book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 25, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book by Corey Hilz is part of the Focus On Series of photography books by Focal Press. The book is about 220 pages, printed on glossy stock, with full color images and graphics. It is 7.5 x 8.25 inches in size and very easy to read. None of the images are captioned....they are placed near the descriptive text. (Captions are generally printed in very small font and are a pain to read.) The book also employs several `notes' that are printed in a large, casual font that give additional tips about the lesson. The screenshots and notes are sometimes highlighted or use arrows to direct your eyes to the area of interest. This is a very well thought-out publication and is a pleasure to read. Elsevier Press is the publisher.

I have been using Aperture 3 for 2 years and I'm in the process of being certified by Apple as a certified instructor. I have one other book, Aperture 3 by Dion Scoppettuolo, that I used to learn the application. It is part of the Apple Pro Training Series. Use this book if you need to learn step-by-step instructions on the details of the application. It is a `study manual' and takes time and effort to complete, but is worth it.

Hilt's book is for someone who wants to get a quick start on the fundamentals of AP3 without wading through all the details. I found myself highlighting several tips that were new to me. So, even if you are a pro-user, you can learn some time-saving tips from this book. Please note that the book appears to be written before the AP 3.2.3 current version, so some of the info may not be the most current. This should not be an issue for most users.

I really enjoyed this book and my spouse is also using it to get skills for making slideshows in Aperture. This is a very easy-to-read book and I will be using it as a reference in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As with the other Focus On book I read and reviewed recently, (Focus On Lighting Photos: Focus on the Fundamentals), this book provides a great deal of information and is a great way to get started learning to use Aperture. I've been using Aperture for several years now (since it first come out), but I end up using it primarily to sort and organize photos, rate them, edit meta data, and ease back up procedures. However, I don't do a lot of correction in Aperture, but it is something I have been looking at doing more of as the style of my photos has changed over the years. The way the book is broken up into different sections makes it easy to jump to a section on managing your photos vs. doing some simple adjustments. There are some excellent tips on the Managing your photos section on the use of Albums vs. Projects vs. Folders and how to deal with vaults for backups.

If you're just getting started with Aperture then viewing the Apple videos and using this book will certainly help you be more proficient and give you a jump start on managing/editing your photos. If you are looking for super detailed tips on how to deal with curves and histograms this isn't the place, though it does provide a good primer.
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