10 Helpful Tips in Aperture 3, Lesson 1: A Quick Tour of Aperture

Aperture 3: Organize, Perfect, and Showcase Your Photos by Dion Scoppettuolo is a book that’s been sitting in my house since last summer. I’m determined to work my way through it because I’ve been using Aperture 3 just flying by the seat of my pants, and trust me, it’s not pretty.

There are 13 Lessons and 2 Appendices, so I’m going to give a short recap of what I learn in each lesson. I will not cover everything, just some points that were important to me or particularly amazing.

That said, here’s Lesson 1’s list:

  1. I can sort images by orientation (landscape or portrait) in each project by choosing Orientation from the pop-up menu at the top of the Browser.
  2. It’s a 3 or 4 step process to really delete an image.
  3. I can use the right bracket ] to rotate images 90 degrees clockwise.
  4. I can drag a selection rectangle around 2 or more images and rotate them at the same time.
  5. I can use the left bracket [ to rotate images 180 degrees counterclockwise.
  6. Pressing the slash key / assigns a flag to all images in the project.
  7. I can color-code images depending on the amount of work I think they need.
  8. Auto-Correction White Balance is an awesome thing. You take the eyedropper and position it over a neutral gray spot, click, and like magic the colors correct themselves. I was slack-jawed awestruck at this magic wand effect.
  9. I learned that when cropping an image, I can click “Show guides” and I can apply the rule of thirds easily while cropping.
  10. On page 39 I got a tease on how to make sure a Watermark shows up on email. Now I need more instruction on how to use graphics software to make one.

Lesson 2 takes 150 minutes to complete, so when I finish, I’ll post about that one.


Put the Phone Down

We went out to eat tonight, and as I looked around the restaurant, I was struck by the number of people interacting with their phones rather than gazing into each other’s eyes.

A father was interacting with his phone rather than with his daughter.

Put the phone down.

A husband was looking at his phone instead of talking to his wife.

Put the phone down.

A couple were checking out something on the phone rather than talking to the couple they were having dinner with.

Put the phone down.

How did we come to this?

Put the phone down.

Why do we prefer the companionship of a block of glass and metal over the people we love?

Put the phone down.

Have you ever gathered with family, looked around the room, and wondered why everybody was looking at their phones instead of talking to each other? I have.

Put the phone down.

Why would anyone ever need to have their phone out at the table?

Put the phone down.

Reconnect with humans.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Possibilities

I couldn’t figure out what the photo should be for this challenge, but when this arrived, I had my answer.

Actually, the plastic containers are what arrived with memory card upgrades for my computer from the 1GB you see here to the 4GB it now has. Now, my computer flies!

Before when I was using Aperture3 for my photos, it would take F O R E V E R for the processing, exporting, and uploading to finish. With the 4GB in place, I don’t even have time to play a word on Words With Friends or Scrabble because it is so zippy now. 😀

What are the possibilities? I think they are endless because now I can do some serious work with all the photos that have been languishing as a result of insufficient memory. I’m loving every speedy minute!

Did I mention the 4GB was just $49? That opened up possibilities to spend the saved money on other goodies. Sweet!

R.I.P. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs died today.

I don’t know what to say except thank you for Apple products.

Thank you for the iMac.

Thank you for the iPhone.

Thank you for the iPod Touch.

Thank you for the iPad.

Thank you for being brilliant and a visionary.

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs.

I’m Going To Miss Books

Just Part of One Bookshelf

Really, I am. I am and have always been a book lover. Ask anybody. Ask my son and daughter who have spent hours impatiently waiting while I browsed dollar book sales. What you see on that bookshelf is just a small glimpse of the thousands of books that have passed through my hands.

I was walking through Sam’s Club today and I couldn’t help but observe that their book section is smaller than it was last year. “I’m going to miss books” was my thought as I passed by beckoning tomes. I’m acutely aware of why the tactile pleasure of flipping through books is slipping away from my hands.

The iPhone. The Kindle. The iPad. The Nook. iBooks. Kindle on the iPhone and iPad.

I will be the first to admit that reading a book in bed is much easier on my iPhone with iBooks. I can hold it with one hand. I don’t have to have a light on. I can adjust the backlight to my preference. I can make the text larger or smaller at will. I can look up any word instantly. What’s not to love?

Using the Kindle on my iPhone is almost as easy, but the only reason I ever choose it over iBooks is because they have a wider and larger book selection that iBooks.

I used to think a Kindle would be the very rankdom (a favorite term of my daddy’s), but the buttons are a pain in the patootie, and I have to have a light. It is awesome for reading on the beach, but that only happens once a year for me. The new Kindle with the touch screen has to be a great improvement.

All of these reading devices offer children’s books that are captivating since they will read to you and even animate themselves. I do love that advance in the technology, but what happens to the interaction of children and parents or grandchildren and grandparents when no human interaction is needed?

Little Golden Books

These Little Golden Books are favorites for several reasons. See the two on the right? My grandmother read those two copies to me. A Day at the Beach has always been my favorite. Mr. Meyer’s Cow was my oldest grandgirl’s favorite. Hansel and Gretel is my middle grandgirl’s favorite. And this version hasn’t been sanitized–the witch is still fattening Hansel up to eat him.

Oh, and as for A Day at the Beach, we always vacation at Alabama or Florida beaches in the summer. Therefore, I never really grasped the concept of spending a day at the beach. It is so blooming hot here in the summer that there is NO way to spend a whole day at the beach without dying of heat stroke. It’s more like a morning and evening at the beach with a midday retreat from the hotter-than-400-hells sun.

Then, several years ago I visited San Diego, California. Oceanside, CA, taught me what a day at the beach could be like. Really? I could stay at the beach all day long and not fry like a piece of bacon? I could sit in the sun without risking sun or heat stroke? I could get a golden tan instead of a dirty-looking tan? Oops, I digress.

Back to the books. I’m a tech lover at heart. I love gadgets with all my heart. I even love the wonderful world of book technology. But as much as I do, my heart will always belong to the physical hardback and paperback books. I’ll always prefer the smell of paper pages to plastic, metal, and glass devices.

An even if I did have a dust mite and parchment allergy problem like Niles Crane (which I don’t), I’d love books all the same.

I hope we don’t have to say goodbye anytime soon, but I suspect that within 10 years I’ll be having to explain to my great-grandchildren what those things are in the family photos.

Cake or Pie?

Chocolate Cake

Why cake, of course–and chocolate cake at that. For me, the choice is a no-brainer. Take the luscious chocolate cake in the picture. My daughter made that for me all the way from scratch. It’s practically perfect just the way it is. The only way it is made absolutely perfect is by zapping a slice for just a few seconds in the microwave until the frosting is slightly runny and gooey and the cake is warm and extra chocolatey. Yum.

I think the only dessert worth the carbs and calories is absolutely chocolate cake.  Well, maybe not the only dessert . . .

Carrot Cake

Next on the hit parade of cake worth falling off the carb wagon for is carrot cake. Now, I’m not talking about just any ole carrot cake–I’m talking about slap-your-momma carrot cake like the one in the photo. Carrot cake that makes it worth it to cheat on your diet has freshly grated carrots, hand-shelled nuts (pecans or English walnuts, doesn’t matter which) and homemade cream cheese icing. 

Even homemade cupcakes like these qualify as diet deal breakers. Grandgirl #1 and I made these, and it is important for you to know that those pretty carrot strand garnishes on the top took 40 minutes to make!

Apple Cake

The last reason cake reigns supreme over pie is this fine example. I mean really, can you turn a pie into an Apple? I didn’t think so! This stunner was the groom’s cake at a wedding I attended. How cool is that? The brides’ cake was lovely, but this one took the cake. (You can groan now.)

So there you have it. Cake wins.

My Current 10 Favorite iPhone Game Apps

Talking about my favorite iPhone game apps was on my agenda anyway, so when the postaday2011 topic came up today to review a product, the timing proved perfect to go ahead with it.

I like more than 10 game apps, but these are my current favorites:

  1. Angry Birds–I’ve been hooked on these flying fowl from the get-go. What can be more satisfying than smashing a bunch of smirking pigs?
  2. Angry Birds Seasons–I like the seasons version even better than the original. There are a few physics problems like things continuing to float even after I’ve knocked down all the supports, but I still love it.
  3. Angry Birds Rio–Of the three, I love this one the least, but it is still fun. I really don’t like the monkeys much, though.
  4. Bejeweled 2–I think Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook is more addicting with its one minute limit, but this one still sucks me into the time-wasting abyss.
  5. Qrank–I like this one because of the questions–Literature, Sports, Money and more. Some days I can blaze through them. Other days it’s like my brain has taken the day off.
  6. Bunny Shooter–Bunny Shooter makes me crazy. Trying to get the arrows at the right angle and shooting them at the right target in the right order can make me think more than some of the other games.
  7. Oven Break–This is a Christmas game app that is very fast-paced! I got it last year and still haven’t beaten it. My gingerbread man gets impaled on the spears quite frequently.
  8. Cut the Rope–Having to cut a rope so that candy falls into a frog’s mouth is more fun than you would think. I have one grandgirl who would list this one as her favorite.
  9. Stack the States–My current fav! This is one awesome app. I have learned more about size perspective of the states from this app than I ever knew in my life. The questions aren’t too hard for me, but they provide a good challenge for the grandgirls. Even the ones who can’t read yet play this because stacking the states up is so much fun.
  10. Stack the Countries–Also a current fav, but my skills at answering this one are pretty weak. It’s a big world, don’t cha know? Once again, it is fantastic for understanding the size perspective of countries. It’s amazing how tiny some are and how enormous others are.

I really love apps, and the game ones top my list. Words with Friends and Scrabble are actually my top two, but since I mentioned them the other day, I didn’t include them on this list.

I just looked at the app store, and it looks like Line Birds will make it onto my phone next. Any and all suggestions from you are appreciated!