“I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.” — Gilles Peress

If you take photos, you probably want them to look good. Photo editing software is something that can help every photographer out. Nowadays, resizing, cropping, or editing a digital photo is very common.

That’s why you can find Aperture amongst the best photo-editing suites you can buy. This programme is one of the pioneers. It was created in 2004 by Apple and it allows you to use a number of interesting photo-editing tools.

While a few other programmes overshadow it, Aperture is still a powerful photo editing programme, especially when it comes to retouching photos.

So why should you use Aperture rather than GIMP, Lightroom, or Picasa to edit images?

In this article, we're going to look at how you can use Aperture to edit photos, how to import photos into Aperture, how to export photos, and some of the retouching features in the programme.

How to Use Aperture for Editing Photos

While its price has significantly dropped since it was created in 2004, you can only use this software on Macs. It's never been easier to touch up photos, remove blemishes, add overlays, tilt-shift, or photo effects, or edit your photos so that they look like they were taken by a professional photographer.

How do you edit photos with Aperture?
You can get the most out of your photos with Aperture. (Source: Free-Photos)

You just have to buy Aperture and follow the steps to install it. There’s nothing complicated about this, especially if you’ve installed programmes to your Mac before.

The one-off payment is one of the huge advantages of the programme as many others are subscription services. You’ll pay once and have the tools forever. In short, installing and using it couldn’t be simpler!

Looking for a free photo editor?

Consider trying GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), one of the best free image editors.

Importing and Organising Photos with Aperture

Thanks to its intuitive user interface, Aperture is great for organising photos into albums, referencing them, and editing them. But before you can organise them, you have to import them, of course!

How do you organise photos with Aperture?
If you take a lot of photos, you might want to keep them organised. (Source: Free-Photos)

Importing photos into Aperture couldn’t be easier. By connecting your camera to your computer (via a memory card, cable, etc.), you can access your snaps through the “File” menu.

You first need to name your folder. For example, “Holidays in France” or “Sarah’s wedding”. You’ll be able to see everything through the editor. You can sort your photos and give them a rating (from 1 to 5 stars) to prioritise them. You can do this by pressing “Shift” and “+” at the same time.

You can then display the contents of the folder and delete photos you don’t want, for example. You can always empty the recycle bin later. You can also edit the photos a bit, but we’ll get back to that later.

You can also organise the photos online more easily.

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You could add a description or fill in the fields such as “Title” or “Keywords”. While you don’t have to do this, it’s a good idea to keep your photos as organised as possible.

If you’re still looking through Sarah’s wedding photos since you’re putting together a collage, you could search "Sarah" in the toolbar. Those who’ve been organising their photos with keywords like “Sarah” will find all the photos they need.

You can find the IPTC fields by pressing H. This is a great way to organise your photos by where they were taken, who’s in them, etc. There are so many functions that make Aperture a great programme for editing photos.

Of course, this isn't the only image manipulation program. You could also try Adobe Lightroom, another professional photo editing software package. Every software package has its advantages and disadvantages.

Aperture’s Photo Editing Functions

Just like Adobe Photoshop, Pixlr, Paintshop Pro, or Picmonkey, Aperture offers a number of photo editing features that allow you to retouch your photos.

How do you edit photos with Aperture?
Aperture can do some powerful stuff to your photos. (Source: Free-Photos)

Aperture’s Basic Photo Editing Functions

There are plenty of functions, including:

  • Face detection.
  • Working on photos in the raw format.
  • Correcting imperfections
  • Removing red-eye
  • Zooming from 50% to 1600%.
  • Rotating photos.
  • Displaying several screens, reading IPTC metadata, etc.
  • Fullscreen mode.
  • Creating folders and galleries.
  • Importing images from a USB port.
  • Retouching photos.

Since you’ll probably want people to see your photos or maybe edit them further elsewhere, you can also export them. It’s never been easier to adjust the brightness, make a photo collage, remove red-eye, or do other types of photo enhancement.

Exporting Photos in Aperture

You can quickly crop photos when you’re organising them. This is useful for those looking to export them quickly.

You can also change the white balance, saturation, contrast, dark tones, and export the folder. This is a great way to improve a whole batch of photos in just a few clicks. To apply a single rule to a group of photos, you can do this through the Metadata menu.

But before all that, you might want to learn how to export the photos! Here’s how.

Like other photo editing programmes, you can export your snaps via the “File” menu. Make sure you choose the optimum resolution and don’t forget to consider the metadata if you’ve added it.

To add metadata, go to Aperture metadata tab. And there you can it, an organised series of edited photos. You can then play around with the filters and sharpen them up.

Want an image editor with more longevity?

Consider the Adobe Creative Cloud which includes Adobe Photoshop CC, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop Express, and a whole plethora of great tools for photo manipulation on a variety of digital image formats.

Retouching Photos with Aperture

“You don’t take a photograph. You ask quietly to borrow it.” - Unknown

While there isn’t a free version, Aperture is still considered to be one of the best photo editing programmes for working with jpeg, gif, or raw files and organising photos.

How do you use Aperture?
While similar to other photo editing software, Aperture is different. (Source: Pexels)

It’s simple and pioneering interface also made it quite the success. This interface is divided into several sections:

  • On the top left, you’ll find the toolbar with its green frame symbol. Here’s where you’ll find functions like “import” and “new”.
  • The blue frame allows you to view your snaps.
  • The red frame includes editing, metadata, and the library.

This interface, which is organised into colours, is very easy to understand and is probably why it was so successful on Mac OSX. When you’re editing your HDR photos, there are two ways to zoom in.

The first way is by double-clicking on the photo. The second way is by clicking on the zoom function in the blue frame.

Unfortunately, Aperture hasn’t been updated for the latest Macs. This is why you should probably get this programme while you can before it's phased out.

It’s never been easier to edit photos with this type of photo editor. So while it’s not one of the free programmes, Aperture includes a good number of useful functions including layers, referencing, and common photo editing tools.

So are you ready to start organising your photos?

If you need help taking better photos or editing them, you should consider getting help from one of the many talented tutors on Superprof. There are three main types of tutorial available on the site: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and the best one for you really depends on your situation.

Face-to-face tutorials are the most personal and have you and your tutor working together for the whole session. Of course, this bespoke service comes at a cost, making it the most costly type of tutorial available. However, it's also the most cost-effective as every minute of the tutor's time is spent helping you.

Online tutorials are similar to face-to-face tutorials with the main difference being that the tutor isn't physically in the room with you. Thanks to services like Skype, a tutor can teach you remotely using a webcam and an internet connection. Since the tutor isn't in the room with you, this can make hands-on skills a little trickier. However, without travel costs, the tutor can charge their student less per hour.

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Finally, there are group tutorials. In these types of tutorials, there are several students and just one tutor. With all the students sharing the cost of the tutor's time, these tutorials are usually the cheapest per person per hour but each student won't get the bespoke tutoring or one-on-one time that they would in the other types of tutorials.

Need a Photography teacher?

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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.