I broke down and bought Aperture last week. I’m still learning it and I’m sure I’m using it in a slightly different workflow than most. The impetus for getting it was getting my first DSLR prior to the birth of my baby girl a few weeks ago. I realized that as great as it was always having a “camera” with me, the iPhone didn’t exactly take great pictures. Often they looked good on the screen but as soon as you viewed them on your computer monitor you noticed they were almost always blurry, noisy or slightly out of focus. While the iPhone 5 takes much better low light pictures the fact is it’s still terrible. One my resolutions for the year, beside getting back into climbing shape, was to start taking better pictures. Now that I’m getting older I’m really noticing that.
I got Aperture because I wanted one library where I had all my photos synced. I could then export to my wife’s iPhoto library the photos I like and easily import the photos she took. This would also provide an extra layer of backup redundancy as well. While everyone says Lightroom is much better, the ability of Aperture to integrate so easily with iPhoto was a huge feature. I found I could quickly get my libraries organized and synced, largely because of Aperture’s abilities. It still resulted in more than a few duplicates so I purchased Duplicate Annihilator – Aperture Edition. That seems to have a reasonably good algorithm for detecting duplicate images. It marks the images with a “duplicate” keyword for easy filtering and removal.
The one thing I still wanted to do with Aperture though was go through my images that were fuzzy, noisy, out of focus or otherwise imperfect and reduce them to a smaller jpeg image. It’s kind of pointless having a big multi-megabyte file when the image quality for a small jpeg is identical due to the imperfections in the image itself. Sadly Aperture really doesn’t have an easy way to do this. You have to export the file, modify the exported file, re-import it, and then delete the originals.
Initially I was going to write an Applescript to do this but then I thought that this was perfect for Automator. Sure enough I could quickly and easily do this in Automator. I saved it as a Service and then assigned a key shortcut to it in the Keyboard Pref Pane.1 Unfortunately there is no way via Applescript or Automator to move an image to the trash in Aperture. I suspect that’s less an oversight than a design decision to prevent catastrophe. Following the lead of Duplicate Annihilator I made my script mark the image with a “duplicate” tag for later filtering and removal.
There’s not a great way to display Automator workflows. So I’ve just made a screen dump of it using Skitch. There are two parts but I have them all saved as part of the same service. Just make sure that for the second part in “Get Selected Images” that you have “Ignore this action’s input” checked. That way output from the first half doesn’t affect the second half.
- Go to Keyboard → Keyboard Shortcuts → General and then add the keystroke to the named Service. ↩