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.


I Hate Halloween

I know that I’m treading on dangerous water here, but I really do hate Halloween. I hate the the ugly side of it–the blood, the guts, the witches, the yuk.

It all started when my son was just a little boy. We took him to a haunted house, and he came out terrified. I swore never again would I subject him to such a thing nor would I ever enter one again, and I didn’t. This was back in the ’70s when such things were tame compared to now.

My hatred of haunted houses was reinforced today when DH asked me if I had read the report today about the 17-year-old girl who hanged herself accidentally while working at a haunted house. The visitors to the house thought she was a prop. As of my last reading, they were hoping she would survive. How sad.

And for what? A few screams? You can read about it here.

OTOH, I like it when princesses, Supergirls, Jasmines, pumpkins, Mario, various animals, Spiderman and three Luigis show up at my door wanting candy. That is the innocuous, happy side to Halloween, and I like that part. The mischief part–not so much.

Additionally, I feel compelled to show up to work in some sort of Halloween attire, but being cheap, I won’t spring for a costume. Therefore, I Google “easy Halloween costumes” the night before and come up with some doozies like the following:

Apple Products Promoter

I love Apple Products which is why I showed up as a promoter.

A Scary Auburn Fan (I'm a Roll Tide Alabama Fan!)

I’m a ROLL TIDE! fan which is why I chose to be a scary Au-burn fan.

This year I came as an Iron Chef, complete with the Mario Batali orange/red Crocs.

See, I’m cheap, and I found the apron in my drawer, the iron on my bookshelf (it’s my grandmother’s BTW, and over 100 years old) and the Crocs on my back porch.

Anyway, I love the fun part of Halloween, but the dark side makes me hate it more.

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.