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Aperture Tutorial: Black & White Brushes

You have mastered the basics of image editing, now to get creative. Photographic editing has come on leaps and bounds as technology has evolved. Photos can be edited creatively, with effects being applied not for technical or practical improvements, but for artistic reasons. You do not need to be David Bailey to know how to do it. Sometimes, in even the most obvious of image subjects the point is missed. Using the selective Black & White tool, you can highlight the most important part of your image whether that’s a particular person, landmark, animal or event making sure it catches your audience’s eye first. Pull up a chair, get comfy, stick the kettle on and before it is even finished boiling you’ll know how to brighten up the most monochrome of images with a splash of colour but do not forget to open Aperture first.

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Step 1: Getting started
Choose a photo to adjust. The best ones to use are landscapes or those with not much activity going on. Select Photos on the left-hand side of the interface.

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Step 2: Choose your image
In the Photos Library, find the image that you want to apply the selective Black & White effect to. Click on the image it will be highlighted with a white box.

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Step 3: Open your image
Double-click on the image to open it up. It will appear in its full-size glory in the Viewer. Click on the Adjustments tab on the left-hand side of the interface.

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Step 4: Begin the transformation
Click on the Adjustments box and choose Black & White. This will transform your image to black and white in preparation to add the colour back.

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Step 5: Make adjustments
Scroll down to the Black & White box on the left-hand side of the interface. Drag the colour sliders to adjust the colour intensity until you are happy.

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Step 6: Be prepared
Click the cog icon in the Black & White box. Select Brush Black & White away from the drop-down menu. Get ready, because this is where the fun really begins!

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Step 7: Brush sizes
Use the pop-out box to adjust the size of the brush you want to use. Make sure it is the right size, otherwise you risk over-brushing the colour back in.

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Step 8: Play it smooth
For more precise results, check Detect Edges. This ensures that the brush does not go over any lines great for landscape photos or images with people.

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Step 9: Brush away
Brush the areas that you wish to be coloured, leaving the rest of the image black and white. That is it! You will have beautifully edited images in just minutes.

Full Potential

For any designer, photographer or artists the tools of your trade are the next most important thing besides creativity and getting the right balance can really pull out your creativity to its full potential. I have for many years been using Adobe products and when I made the switch from PC to Mac I had the choice of sticking with that of what I had been taught to use, all be it mainly self taught or to take on a new approach. I already knew that there was a bitter battle between Adobe and Apple and installing something that might conflict with the Mac’s ethos of workflow I had my concerns. I noticed that the uniformity of Apple products stretched across all platforms and devices so it seemed right to make the transition from PC and Adobe to Mac and Apple developers. I am so glad that I took that risk as productivity has come on in leaps and bounds and the flexibility of creativity stretches from my Mac to my iPad and visa-versa.
I ditched Adobe Photoshop and replaced it with Pixelmator and the basics, layouts and principles of Pixelmator is no different to that of Photoshop, if anything Pixelmator is smoother to use and operations of certain tasks are quicker. Everything is totally customisable and after a day of fine tuning I have the pallets and docks just how I want them, PERFECT!
When I was a PC user I never saw the benefits of using Adobe Lightroom as Bridge pretty much done everything for me and having Lightroom as well was just another ploy from Adobe to get you to spend a few more bucks. On my Mac I have been using iPhoto as my light table and Aperture as my replacement to what would have been Bridge. I have barely scraped the surface of Aperture and already it has changed the way my creativity and productivity progresses, the two applications work in unison and switching from one to the other is a breeze to the point that I can browse all images of either in their built in photo browsers and as if that was the icing on the cake then the fully integration of iCloud would be the cherry on the top.