Book Review: Aperture 3 Organize, Perfect, and Showcase Your Photos

Lin Moos

Posted December 14, 2012 in: Reviews 

Aperture 3 Organize, Perfect, and Showcase Your Photos
Author:  Dion Scoppettuolo
Published by:  Peachpit Press

Every once in a while you have one of those little “ah haa” moments and there it is,  a new “life lesson.”  My recent life lesson was to “not judge a book by its cover.”  We’ve all heard that a few times, haven’t we.  Really—-the title/cover of the book isn’t sufficient, read the book description before you leap into a commitment to do a book review!

Aperture 3 BookI was looking for a way to ease into using Aperture from iPhoto.  All of the club presentations had convinced me that it was time.  Of course, Aperture doesn’t come with even a basic paper manual so I wanted a hard cover reference manual that I could use to guide me on the basics of the program and allow me to advance my skills over time.  “Organize, Perfect, and Showcase Your Photos” sounded just like the ticket.

When I obtained the book, it included a DVD with media and lesson files included. The “Getting Started” preface to the book described the Apple Pro Training Series.  Opps, more that I had planned to sign on for.  The book is set up with 13 lessons.  Most of the lessons take 90 to 120 minutes to complete.  The total time estimated to work through the lessons is nearly 20 hours.  The lessons are set up sequentially with the first 5 lessons dedicated to creating and organizing your photo library, the next 5 teach corrective and creative image editing, and the last 3 cover sharing your work.  The disk includes images that you manipulate through each lesson in organizing, editing, and sharing.  You must go through each lesson step-by-step manipulating the files before you can advance to the next lesson.

The first problem I encountered was incomplete files for lessons one and two.  The book guided you through steps with images that didn’t exist in the DVD which accompanied the book.  With Guy’s assistance, I found the “corrected files” on line and downloaded those.  Things moved more smoothly then but it is a laborious process.  If you don’t follow the lessons exactly your images will not match up for the next lesson.

This book is for you if you want a thorough understanding of Aperture and all of its functions.  The step-by-step lessons show keyboard short cuts to expedite establishing your library and editing, and demonstrate how to optimize use of the software.  It is comprehensive to the tune of 481 pages.  You are going to need large chunks of dedicated time to complete each lesson and you cannot jump over some lessons to move to the editing functions.  You can obtain Apple Pro certification after completion of the lessons.

If you are looking for a reference book to assist you in specific aspects of Aperture—-something you can pick up and find a specific topic for assistance, you will be better off with a different book.  I have found Aperture 3, Portable Genius to be helpful in addressing some basic questions.

About Lin Moos - Lin Moos is a beginning photographer who recently purchased a new Canon DSLR. While she enjoys the local scenery afforded by the bay, the rural setting and local woodland parks, she is hoping to broaden her range of subjects by taking road trips to new destinations with different photographic opportunities.


Excellent review. I commend you for an honest review; warts & all. I feel the pain of your struggle. I've had a similar experience with a book about Lightroom 4. I experienced much of what you described. I'm just glad that I didn't commit to writing a review. My situation was complicated by a computer that underwent a "heart transplant". I picked up my book on a whim at the end of a club meeting w/o more than a flip thru and I must confess that I haven't invested as much effort as you did. You are absolutely right in advising to make sure the book is "right for the job" that you have in mind. My immediate goal is to organize & catalog.

Comment from Jim on December 15, 2012

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