Scott Davenport Photography
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Aperture Effects and Photo Resolution

Despite the power of Aperture Effects (aka Presets), I'm an infrequent user of them. I've downloaded a few, and created a few of my own. And today I noticed a peculiarity with one I'd created.

Earlier in the year, I photographed an rusted car body. I'd done some color and definition work to really grunge up the rust. Liking the result, I saved off a "Red Rust Enhancer" effect. This past weekend I photographed a tractor in a similar state of disrepair and applied the same effect. After applying, there was a "line" across my photo:

An odd "line" after applying an effect

After several minutes of scratching my head, it dawned on me to turn on the overlay for one of the adjustments in the effect just applied. 

The mask of one of the adjustments in the applied effect

So what in the Sam Scratch happened here? I recently upgraded my camera from a 6MP Nikon D70s to a 16.2MP Nikon D7000. A significant jump. When I created the effect, it was on a photo shot with the D70s. Evidently, resolution and/or image size is saved along with an Aperture Effect. While I'd used the "Apply to entire photo" for the adjustments in the effect, "entire photo" is different depending on the image resolution. Effects that are perfectly valid for my older, lower resolution shots are woefully inadequate for higher resolution photos.

And to confuse matters further, the overlay size wasn't the same for every adjustment in the effect. For my "Red Rust Enhancer", there are Color, Edge Sharpen, and Definition adjustments. The Color and Definition adjustments exhibited the behavior pictured above. But Edge Sharpen did indeed cover the entire photo. Maybe a problem with how I created the effect?

Brushed vs. "Apply to entire photo" adjustments

Aha! Indeed my Effect is flawed. Notice the brush icons for Color and Definition. I did actually brush in the effect across the entire photo. When I did this on a lower resolution photo, Aperture saves that information (as it should). And that explains why the overlay is a rectangle. Man...what was I thinking?!?

What I'm left with is the prospect of "upgrading" the Aperture Effects I have created. I don't know of a mechanism in Aperture to do this. Best I've come up with is:

  1. Create a new version of a photo
  2. Click "Revert to Original"
  3. Apply the to-be-upgraded Effect
  4. Visit each adjustment and ensure "Apply to entire photo" is selected
  5. Save the new Effect, delete the old one

For the purposes of updating Aperture Effects, repeat steps 2 through 5 for the effects you need to "upgrade".

The moral: When saving an Effect, double check your adjustments for brush icons. If you use effects a lot, you may be in for a surprise when you get your next camera. :)