Aperture previews

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by InfiniteLoopy, May 20, 2014.

  1. InfiniteLoopy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #1
    It may just be me but I'm finding Aperture a little slower than usual, images are taking a little longer to open, the "processing" wheel is displayed for longer.
    The only thing that I can think of is that I increased the preview setting to the maximum size/quality. I did this as my understanding of previews is that Aperture creates a preview of each raw image imported, which I find a useful backup if something should happen to the raw files. I'm just reassured having JPEG copies of all my files, both the edited ones and unedited ones.
    I'm wondering whether there's a way to perhaps keep the maximum quality JPEGs for archival but reduce the size of files when working on them in Aperture, in order to speed it up?


    Thanks,
     
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    I always shoot in JPEG+RAW... and I import as JPEG+RAW (JPEG as original). That is NOT a typo. I do that because without any edits... JPEGs look better than RAW straight out of the camera.

    After I done with all my organization, and I want to use a collection of pictures for some purpose (ex: a book)... I select all the pictures I'll be using (usually a smart album), convert them them all (in one step) to "use RAW as Original"... and then start my post-processing steps using RAW originals.

    This gives me a "better appearance" for all of the unedited crap... but also allows all my post work using RAW for maximum flexibility.

    This also gives my both JPEG and RAW originals as you desire.

    I have previews set to "Fit within 2560X2560" which is the largest dimension of my monitor.

    /Jim
     
  3. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #3
    Thanks,

    That's an interesting method that I hadn't considered.

    If I understand correctly your workflow:

    - You shoot in both Raw+JPEG, therefore preserving full resolution JPEGs of non-edits for archival purposes.
    - You keep your preview settings at your screen's maximum resolution; you don't need to keep it as maximum resolution as you already have the JPEGs out of camera.
    - If you want to edit, you edit the raw, but wouldn't the edited raw's JPEG only exist as a preview at the maximum resolution of your screen (i.e. the preview quality setting in Aperture?)

    Why do find the in-camera JPEGs better than Aperture previews in terms of quality?

    Thanks,
     
  4. flynz4, May 21, 2014
    Last edited: May 21, 2014

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #4
    Aperture allows you import JPEG+RAW and then bonds those two as a "single original" You can trivially change which half of the pair is the original being used.

    The RAW original is not enhanced in any way at all. Hence... when imported... they generally look so-so. A typical workflow would have you apply processing to the RAW images... often with some type of preset. The type of preset could certainly vary from image to image... so doing a good job making your RAW pictures look good, takes time and work.

    Instead, I use the JPEG as the default original. JPEGs are post processed in camera and without any editing... they generally look better than RAW.

    Hence. JPEGs look better than RAW (without any post processing applies)... but RAW have much more possibility for better results once you post process.

    Once I decide which of my photos might need post processing... I take that collection, select all of them... and implement "Use RAW as Original". Now... they immediately do not look quite as nice... but once I am done with post processing... they will look better.

    Hence... Instead of applying some amount post processing to everything I shoot... I just end up just using RAW for anything I want to enhance.

    A loose analogy (using film as an example)... Looking at photographs (JPEG) is more rewarding than looking at negatives (RAW). However... if you are going to make edits, enlargements, reprints, etc... using the negatives will give you better results. In this analogy... I look at my photos (rather than negatives), but I keep the negatives stored away in the sleeve in case I want to post process.

    I use 2560X2560 previews because Aperture integration into OSX allows you to directly use your Aperture photos in other applications (ex: iLife/iWork). My understanding is that these applications use the previews directly.

    Once I post process an image (using RAW as original)... a new preview is automatically generated by Aperture (per my settings). Both the originals (RAW & JPEG) always exist in their pure, unedited form. They never go away... and can always be used to create new independent versions.

    /Jim
     
  5. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #5
    Thanks very much for your detailed reply.

    Next time I shoot, I may try shooting in Raw+JPEG to see the differences.

    Apart from the increased size of the library with the additional JPEGs and fewer photos per card, the things that bother me are:

    - Aperture refine their algorithms over time, meaning that their JPEG processing may be better than my camera's, which is several years old.

    - If I understand correctly, the previews of your edited Raws, which are the only version showing edits done in Aperture/plugins, do not exist in their highest resolution as your settings are fixed to your monitor's size.
     
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #6
    No... I think that you are confused. You always have the full resolution originals in Aperture. They can be either JPEG, RAW, or RAW+JPEG (in which case you have both). The previews are just what you "see" on your screen. If you edit an image... you are applying that edit (or list of edits) to the full resolution original. Then a new preview is generated which you "see" on the screen. Howver that edited version still lives as a full resolution image (actually... a list of modifications to the full resolution original).

    At any point, you can regenerate your previews. You simply tell Aperture to generate new previews. Those new previews are generated at whatever resolution you have set in your preferences. In other words... previews are just made for convenience sake, and could be regenerated at any time, at any quality level.

    My SSD is plenty large to hold my entire A3 library which is a tad over 400GB now. By the time I replace this iMac, SSDs will probably be in the multi-TB range... which will be plenty for me. For all practical purposes, when it comes to photography, you can consider storage to be free*.

    You are not comparing the JPEG processing of your camera against the JPEG processing of Aperture. What you should be comparing is the appearance of unprocessed RAW vs JPEG out of the camera. In other words... what do you want to see on your screen for the ~90% of you images that never deserve to be post processed.

    /Jim

    * Def: Free = cheap enough to never worry about.
     
  7. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #7
    I think there is some confusion here : you are not speaking about the same thing.

    The "Preview" in Aperture is a file that is generated so that you can see your pictures even if the originals are not connected (referenced files).

    You can ajust the size/quality of the Preview in Aperture preferences : this is what OP is talking about in his first post.

    I have a large Aperture Library that holds the originals (RAW, "managed files").
    Since I do not need the "Previews" of Aperture, I have disabled the previews in Aperture Preferences to save space on my SSD ----> the "Previews" folder of my Aperture Library is empty.

    So, what you see on the screen when editing your photos are not the "Previews" of Aperture.

    Just a semantic point, actually...
     
  8. FWRLCK macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    #8
    I do this also, for similar reasons. I also only bother with editing if the SOOC jpeg is deficient in some way or I want to make a specific change for artistic effect. I'm trying very hard to only spend time making great pictures sing rather than saving marginal ones.
     
  9. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 14, 2010
    #9
    Thanks.
    How I understand it now:

    1 I import my Raws,
    2 Aperture generates a JPEG preview
    3 I edit an image
    4 Aperture applies the edits as modifications to the raw file but creates a JPEG with the edits baked in, replacing the original JPEG from step 2. I am interested in the resolution of this edited JPEG for archival purposes as it is the version of the image I wish to keep, in a universally accepted format (JPEG).

    If this is correct, I don't understand how your edited JPEGs are at maximum resolution, as I think Aperture only generates the JPEG with edits to the resolution in the preview preferences, which in your case is the size of your screen.

    Essentially, in your library, do you have full-resolution JPEGs with edits that you applied to the Raw files?


    You're right. Thanks.
     
  10. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #10
    In that case... you should set Aperture > Preferences > Previews > Photo Preview to "Don't Limit". That will give you full resolution JPEGs as your previews... with edits applied.

    /Jim
     
  11. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Again, the "Previews" in Aperture are not what you see on the screen when editing an image.

    See post # 7.
     
  12. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #12
    There is a great article that Joseph wrote in Aperture Expert: http://www.apertureexpert.com/tips/...ils-previews-and-more-aperture-3#.U32cXV7FQds


    When you bring up a new image... up to 3 things happen:

    1) The thumbnail is first loaded very quickly (essentially instantaneously). The thumbnail is 1024X1204 and you have no control over the creation or size of the thumbnail.

    2) Next, the Preview (if you have them enabled) will overwrite the thumbnail. If your originals are offline... then this is exactly what you see on the screen.

    3) If you originals are online... then next, your original will load with all adjustments applied. Technically... you never ever really see the original. Instead you see a "version" which is created from the original and the list of edits (if any).

    After editing... I believe the thumbnail is updated.... and if enabled, then a new Preview is regenerated. Originals are always left untouched.

    /Jim
     
  13. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 14, 2010
    #13
    Yes, that's what I thought. For me, it's more important to keep the full resolution JPEGs with edits. Speed can be solved with an SSD or new Mac, eventually.

    Also, I was thinking about your idea of shooting JPEG+RAW. As I shoot with AWB, I require the flexibility of Raw quite often. This means that it's not that useful for me to have JPEGs out of camera.

    Yes, but previews are the JPEGs with edits baked in. This is what I want to preserve at full resolution.

    Really interesting article, thanks. :)
     

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