My Aperture Session: Ferns

by Tobias on September 6, 2011

My Aperture Session: FernsA screenshot of my Aperture “fern” session. Full res. uploaded so you can see the details.

I have been using Aperture (currently version 3.x) for a while to organize and do post production for my photographs trying to minimize the time I spend in Photoshop. This post doesn’t go into some of the Aperture jargon, so please pardon me if you are not privy to Aperture slang.

I have 504 photographs that I took of the small ferns (less than a foot high) that started sprouting just outside my apartment in Seattle back in May. After many hours of sorting the images, this is what I’ve ended up with:

79 stacks of images with the best pulled to the front of each stack. Only the first two thumbnails are images I have actually done any post production on. (As noted in my previous post, one stack, for example, is a set of 127 photos.)

I have it sorted by rating, so my current picks are at the top decending down to pictures I might not even use.

My next steps are to actually give more accurate star ratings, choose which images are the créme (and which are shit), then edit those images to polish them for publishing.

All this for ferns. Then again, I can’t help myself; I just love the shapes, textures and colors that fresh ferns have.


If you are curious to learn more about how I am using Aperture, let me know and I might take the time to go into detail. Cheers!


Unfurling Fern

by Tobias on September 6, 2011

Unfurling FernISO 400, ƒ/14, 1/40s

After 127 shots of this fern “branch”, I finally captured what I was looking for.

I was working with a breaze which made it exceptionally difficult to get a clear macro shot of this small fern. The reason is that I was working within a very close range with a 60mm macro lens. (I took the picture 4 months ago, but based on my memory the lens was probably ~4inches away from the subject.)

This means that the depth of field is so exceptionally shallow that you have to hop the ƒ stops up just to get the bend of the tiny leaves in focus. As you can tell in this photo, I had to go up to ƒ/14. In turn, this means that I had to make up for it in either shutter speed and/or ISO. Since I don’t want to have anything higher than 400 as my ISO, I kept taking shots at exposure rates that would make even the tiniest of gusts of wind blur the furn. Thus, I took 127 shots hoping that at one of those instants the wind didn’t gust the fern.

I think that this one optimized the depth of field, kept the noise to a minimum, and still allowed me to get a nice crisp focus.

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