Photography Travel

Aperture Nature Workshop (Tetons) Day Two

The ANPW contest winners, Pros, and I were up bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning at 5am, hoping to catch a beautiful dawn in Grand Teton Ntl. Park. The actual workshop *learning Aperture* was to begin later, but at first light, the students split up into two groups to take some pictures.

I trucked it to Oxbow Bend with Pros: Scott Stulberg & Steve Simon; and contest winners, Richard and Bryan. Everyone came prepared for the cold, except Steve, who was a bit whiny and runny nosed, kinda like a baby who’s had their lollipop ripped outta their tiny little hands by a mean photographer trying to capture pure misery and tears. I guess Steve is like me, you know, “they mostly come out at night… mostly” aka morning is for sleeping, afternoons are for eating breakfast.

Scott was determined to get a great shot, so we headed down this step muddy hill to the bank of Snake River. And then we set up our tripods, then everyone laughed at mind and pushed me in the mud… well they didn’t exactly push me in the mud, but I bet they wanted too,. Jerks. *huff* Then we pointed our lenses at the iconic view and waited. And waited.

ANPW: Richard, Steve Simon, Bryan, Me, Scott Stulberg

No interesting light seemed to be happening on Mt. Moran, but suddenly a slight miss of fog started floating just above the water line behind us. No one else was worried about the immediate appearance of Death Eaters, but I methodically started chanting the Patronus Charm in my head and heart. As the fog began to roll, As the fog began to roll, Scott jumped and “yahooed”, changing his camera direction to started shooting the rolling fog and silhouetted trees against the wispy, pink sky.

Oxbow Bend foggy at dawn, Grand Tetons

It was a great lesson in always looking for shots, even when you are waiting for a sunrise to happen, look around, there maybe a great shot just waiting to be found like, a silhouetted bird in the distance, or a line of photographers tripods all in a row, or even interesting shots of reflected trees in the water.

Everyone was carefully switching lenses near the water, and Scotty reminded us to always keep one hand on your tripod near water. He has tragically lost two cameras in the water, so let him be the lesson for all of us.

Scott Bourne lead Catherine and Rob to Schwabacher Landing, but immediately left when no clouds were present because without clouds, landscape shots fall a bit flat. So, they headed up the road past the landing at Teton Overlook and grabbed some amazing panoramic shots of the Southern Tetons. Rob disappeared from the group with Martin aka the “Aperture Guru” for a while and ran into a crazy one horned elk.

After breakfast, the workshop got in full gear at the beautiful Jackson Arts center where Martin blew our minds with the dynamic power of Aperture. We imported our images, learned how to compare and select our favorites, and generally found out that Aperture can do most of the things we used to do in Photoshop, but it’s waaaay less complicated. I’ll do a dedicated post on Aperture in the next few days so you guys can see how cool it is.

What photo management & editing application do you use?

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  • Reply
    September 29, 2008 at 2:14 AM

    Only Lightroom and photoshop.
    It’s difficult to change just for try it, because my pictures library is very heavy.

  • Reply
    Christopher Blunck
    September 29, 2008 at 6:39 AM

    I’m an Aperture convert that migrated away from the tool due to it’s slowness and inflexibility when it comes to vaults, archiving, and IPTC metadata. I wrote more details about it in a blog post a few months ago when I made the leap to Adobe Lightroom 2:

    I find LR2 to have more features, easier to use than Aperture, more flexible WRT archiving off photos, and immensely more powerful. My editing time has easily been cut in half just by switching to LR2 and being able to use IPTC/EXIF “profiles” (or presets), drag my files from my local computer to a fileserver and still have them visible to LR2, and apply enhancements to a smaller portion of my overall photo.

    Capture is 3/4 of the process but post-processing can turn good photos into sellable photos if you do it right. Aperture can get you there (most of the time) but you have to do a LOT of waiting for it to start up and in the end up have to deal with a lot of “this is the way Apple views the world” mentality (e.g. you can’t work with files on a server, you can’t set up IPTC profiles, etc).

    Take a look at LR2 before you buy Aperture. You should at least know what else is out there before you drink the Kool Aid. The URL for a free trial is:

    You can purchase the full version for $100 if you are affiliated with a University as a faculty/staff member or student.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2008 at 7:17 AM

    Expecto Patronum!!

    Also, I’m sure you were prepared for the cold, seeing as Canadian winter lasts 9 months out of the year.

  • Reply
    Joao Vaz
    September 29, 2008 at 7:18 AM

    Apple Aperture, Adobe Photoshop CS3, Photomatrix Pro (for HDR’s) and PTGui Pro (for panoramas)… Other then that, i just use a couple of plugin’s and script’s (some commercial and some made by me).

  • Reply
    September 29, 2008 at 9:12 AM

    You should visit Algonquin Park for your next trip imo – great opportunity for pics there, plus, it’s more of a hometown feeling :)

  • Reply
    September 29, 2008 at 9:58 AM

    Really looking forward to seeing your Aperture wrap-up Lisa. I’ve always wanted to know more about it – to know whether it’s worth ditching Photoshop for, but I’ve never had anyone persuade me thus far.

    Love the shots – thanks for sharing your trip with us. ;)

  • Reply
    Jauder Ho
    September 29, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    I use Lightroom 2 but miss the sheer speed of RawShooter.

    The local adjustments available in LR2 are amazing. They are now my favorite tools along with the EXTREMELY flexible BW adjustments. I just finished posting a series of BW pictures of an abandoned UFO pod village in Taiwan and they would not have been easily created if it were not for Lightroom. Doing the same in PS would have taken much longer.

    Check em out.

  • Reply
    Jauder Ho
    September 29, 2008 at 10:39 AM

    Oh I also forgot to add that while I mostly shoot in color, I am continually amazed by what a difference is made by converting to BW especially for pictures that do not seem to work in color.

    I’ve rescued a bunch of shots just by converting. So when you think it’s a so-so shot, try converting just to see if you like the outcome.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2008 at 10:57 AM

    Lightroom 2, Photoshop, Photomatix Pro

    All the tools you need, although to be honest the differences between Aperture and LR2 are all just about “what feels right”. I’m a little jealous of the Aperture people getting plugins, but I hear LR will be getting similar functionality soon.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2008 at 2:50 PM

    Lightroom for me here; I keep Photoshop for major editting, but Lightroom is a great manager and most necessary editing can be done in it.

    Miiitch…. don’t tell Lisa, but after we had no summer to speak of, it’s 28C today while she’s away.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2008 at 3:16 PM

    The second guy from the left has no hands. How does he press the shutter release?

  • Reply
    September 29, 2008 at 9:16 PM

    Aperture 2.1.whatever. Who knows what I would select know though… I made my bed when they were both in 1.0 or before, now I have to sleep in it. My relatively small library of 20,000 or so seems to large to contemplate switching… at least until some crafty soul writes an Apr LR converter.

  • Reply
    September 30, 2008 at 9:32 AM

    I use Canon ZoomBrowser & Picasa for photo management and Photoshop for editing. I’m still learning Photoshop. Got any tips Lisa?

  • Reply
    Fred Hill
    September 30, 2008 at 10:45 PM

    Can’t wait to here a few of the tips that you learned from the Aperture workshops. Great shots!

  • Reply
    October 1, 2008 at 10:31 AM

    First off – WOW! I’m loving the shots you’re posting!!

    After my initial attempts to avoid digital post-processing, I took up Photoshop, as well as Canon’s zoombrowser. Now that I’ve got my very own macbook I’m really interested in Aperture, but am not sure where to start – so I’m really looking forward to your post.

    Stay warm!

  • Reply
    October 2, 2008 at 1:34 AM

    Scotts portfolio seems just to be a mock:

  • Reply
    Teymur Madjderey
    October 3, 2008 at 1:45 AM

    nice trip! I would have loved it… besides the fact I don’t like aperture too much :-) LR” FTW *runsaway*…

  • Reply
    October 6, 2008 at 5:38 PM

    I’m trialling Aperture at the moment. I love it! However, my MacBook can’t really keep up with it. Thinking of buying an iMac+Aperture.

    Look forward to your post on it.

  • Reply
    Tim Halberg
    October 14, 2008 at 1:33 AM

    Lightroom rocks my world!

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