Aperture Adjustment Controls - Beyond The Sliders

ApAdjust.jpgOne of the things that I have always liked about Aperture adjustments is how useful the normal range of the sliders are. The entire range is very finely tuned and quite useful. It reminds me a whole lot of the BMW's that I have owned. The steering, accelerator, and brakes have a finely tuned range. You want subtle? You Got it. More Power - more gas. Unlike some other cars I have driven where the useful range is the first 2mm of travel, or so it feels. Sort of like some other software.

One of the things that I use automatically are the modifier keys when it is appropriate. I forget to explicitly mention them in concert with the adjustment tools until someone reminds me. Like a in a One On One Aperture help session I was having the other day. Since it is fresh in my mind I thought I would introduce you or at least remind you about the adjustment controls and some tricks they have when used with the command, option, and shift.

First off a lot of the adjustment controls do not dead end where the slider stops. They go beyond the slider range either by typing in a number or holding down the left mouse button and dragging over the number. Try them yourself if you need more range out of an adjustment in a special circumstance. Here is a partial list.

  • Exposure
  • Brightness
  • The color controls - specifically hue, luminance, and range
  • Vignette - amount
  • White balance
  • Contrast
  • Saturation
  • Noise reduction - yep even this one.

With most of the sliders and when dragging over the number value for that adjustment the shift and option modifier keys speed up or slow down how fast the adjustment changes. These are really useful for both cranking things through the roof with shift or very fine tuning with option.

The command key will show you "blown" channels via a color coded display if you hold it down while dragging certain controls - it can really help. It is probably most useful with exposure and recovery. Try it - see if for yourself. If you forgot about these make it a point to use some of the adjustment "extras" that are useful to you for everything to special effects with the vignette and noise reduction to extremely fine control with the color sliders and option drag.


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