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“It’s 2013 — Why Aperture 3” by Rob Boyer

Joseph @ThePhotosExpert's picture
August 14, 2013 - 7:00pm

Today I’m linking to a great article by Rob Boyer — a photographer and regular commenter here on ApertureExpert — over on his site, RB|Design. It’s heavily opinionated (heh!) and I love it. Lots of great Aperture-advantage points in there, but that’s not the main reason I wanted to share it.

The primary reason is his discussion of Light Tables. This is a fantastic feature in Aperture 3 (but that’s been there since the original release!) that frankly I rarely use. I’ve used it for trying different layouts for gallery hangings, but after reading his article I’m really thinking I should look at it more.

So with no further ado… check out the article “It’s 2013 — Why Aperture 3” on

Rob Boyer’s light table in Aperture 3. All photos © Rob Boyer 2013

Joseph @ThePhotosExpert
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I follow Rob’s blog and it’s pretty obvious he knows Aperture inside out and back to front. I’ve picked up a lot of great tips and insights from his blog from his Aperture eBooks.

The thing is that even his “non-Aperture” posts often contain useful nuggets of Aperture info as well as always being interesting in their own right.

Top banana.

I have been using the light table as page layout/printing solution in many instances.
Also using it for making suggestions for client, comparing “color flow” between photos, to show possibilities, ideas etc.
Great tool. Sometimes i had problems as the light table seems to not always stick fully to setup/proportions/layout, but lately i havent got this problems.
The light table definately have to stay in Aperture xx in future :-)

I have been following RB for years. He always talks sense to my mind.

The traffic between Aperture and LightRoom is not all one way, whatever people may say:…..

Andrew Macnaughton

I find Light Table is great for planning book layouts (if you are doing it another service outside of Aperture) and diptychs. It’s so easy to move around without having to think too much (just like a real light table).

He does provide another excellent example of that “Adobe-fication” thing. Adobe has a talent for taking things that should be easier and making them more “professional” (as in, you really DO need that or Kelby course to figure it out).

Boyer’s site has been on my long time favorites list. I often think of his ebooks as the “Aperture Bible”. More recently, I’ve discovered ApertureExpert… and I love your videos. I bought them all, and have been watching them over and over. Seeing A3 in action has proven very valuable to learning short cuts and features.

Back to Boyer. His “very opinionated” style is really what draws me to his site. Reading his work highlights the “why” of Aperture… rather than the what. Your videos seem to capture that as well… and I am also glad that I found AE.


The customisable keyboard mapping in Aperture is an awesome way to really customise your experience in Aperture. Only thing I found is they have pretty much already mapped the important things I need. Most used commands for me are cmmd+shift+0 (number zero) for activity window, H for HUD, alt+shift+H for clipping, j, k & l for scrolling the browser and number keys for rating or rejecting images.

I haven’t used the light table feature much, but this might be just what I need for laying out by blog collages before putting them together with Fundy… because sometimes Auto Collage just doesn’t cut the mustard.

Now, if we could only see some sort of auto-collage feature in Aperture, that would rock my world.

Thanks for all the great comments.

Just a note to Chris…

For quick and dirty JPEG layouts (for blog posts etc) just slap together something in a light table - choose print, use the PDF menu down at the lower left of the print dialog and choose Save PDF to Aperture. After the light table renders you will see an dialog box pop up that allows you to choose the project to save the layout image as well as the image format - I just you use JPEGs… You can do some pretty cool stuff - try playing with custom “paper sizes” in the print dialog to get the proportions you want and for REALLY quick an dirty results just crop the resulting layout to your needs once in Aperture and re-export.

Try it - you’ll like it. Once you get used to how light tables work you can work really fast in them.

Note to Kenny…

Sometimes you can get layout issues due to change stack open/closed-ness that you did in other albums. Just make sure the album picks are correct for the light table and close all the stacks in that view again. Not saying this was your issue but I have seen people confused by this before.



Just for future reference here’s a quick post of what I mean…

multi-image JPEG’s


Thanks, RB

THANKS! I’ve never used light table before, and just reading RB’s blog and this post gave me a gazillion ideas.

I have been referred to RB’s blogs since, and I was thinking that it will be hard time for me to start the use of Aperture Expert, but only then that I have seen the simplicity and it was really great one to try. Thanks to Rob Boyer site that gives me better understanding.

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