Upload your photos

December 26, 2006

Now that we all have a bunch of new holiday photos it’s time to get them uploaded to Flickr and other various photo sharing sites. If you’re running either iPhoto or Aperture on the Mac you have limited choices to automate the upload process. I have used the plugin ApertureExport in the past, but to purchase the full version is kind of pricey for a one trick pony. After trying out some of the options out there I’ve finally settled on PictureSync from uVerse. You can upload to just about any service you can think of (check out this list) with tags, descriptions and complete group control. It will even pull in all the metadata from Aperture. PictureSync is free for the casual user but they ask for $15 for heavy users.

One of the coolest features is the Automator like scripting. This allows you setup rules to control how information gets added to the photos during uploads. For example, if you don’t want your keywords from Aperture added to your photos on Flickr, just create a rule that substitutes new keywords to the photo before uploading.

PictureSync is also application aware. It can pull selections directly from Aperture, iPhoto or Adobe Bridge. It’s pretty universal.

Temp

A close runner up to PictureSync is 1001 from the makers of Ecto and Endo. I really like this application too. It does far more than upload photos, it’s also a photo stream viewer. Similar to using iPhoto to view photostreams, but 1001 allows you to set the time intervals for checking streams as well. It does a good job, but I just liked PictureSync better.

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Fun with Aperture

November 9, 2006

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The new D80 has kept me pretty busy. This is my first “Pro-sumer” camera. I’ve never even focused a camera my self let alone adjust the f-stop and shutter speed. It’s all quite interesting. I rely heavily on Wikipedia and the Nikon user groups for help.

But when it comes to the processing side, I’ve taken full advantage of the 30 day trial of Aperture. After playing around with it for a week or so, I can say that it is far superior to iPhoto, but you will pay the learning curve tax. You not only need to be committed to the $300 price tag, but also to the time commitment to really take advantage of the features. Aperture adds many more options for controlling metadata. In fact, there is more metadata than the casual photography could really use. After all, it’s really meant for photographers that want to know what f-stop and ISO the photo was taken with.

The photo editing tools are not a replacement for Adobe photoshop but they are quite advanced. Once again, Apple has integrated elegance into the user experience. The Loupe is a magnifier that allows you to fluidly move across photos to check for imperfections. The red-eye reduction is easy to use and very effective as well.

Even though Aperture is aimed at the advanced user Apple has included a plugin architecture that allows third party tricks for amateurish tricks such as a Flickr plugin for Aperture (there is also one for iPhoto). Apple finally got it right. Third party plugins!!!! Why not let someone else finish the product for you? The Flickr plugin is still beta and managed to crash Aperture a couple of times. But for the most part it worked as I had hoped. I selected a photo and chose Export to Flickr. The plugin provided a screen to input a title, description, tags and even let me choose the image size. Everything I could need.

My final analysis is that Aperture is good but I’m still not ready to part with $300 for Aperture when iPhoto can now handle RAW photos for the D80.

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