Although Aperture has offered a lot of adjustment tools to photographers, it’s been an all-or-nothing affair: you’d have to alter the colour of your entire shot, for instance, and if you needed to be more specific there would be little choice but to send your file to another program like Photoshop or Pixelmator for more precise editing.

Thankfully, Apple has removed this hurdle with the release of version 3 and the introduction of Brushes. Not only can you apply changes to specific areas, you can also include as many as you need. Best of all, each change is non-destructive, meaning you can easily get back to your original image at any time with just a few clicks. We’ll introduce you to the concept of Brushes in this tutorial. 

You can download the trial version of Aperture from here.

1. Viewing the Image  Launch Aperture, select an image and cycle through your viewing options until you’re left with only your photograph. You can do this by either clicking on the ‘Viewer’ button, top right of the interface or by hitting the ‘v’ key until you get the layout you want (you have a choice of three: viewer only, thumbnails only and split view).

2. The Brush Option  Click on the Sidebar’s Adjustments tab to see all the default tools. At first glance, they look and behave just like you’d expect if you’ve used a previous version of Aperture, but look a little deeper: click on an adjustment’s cog wheel icon (to their right). Except for Exposure and White Balance, they all have Brush tool options.

3. The Brush Icon  Select the Colour adjustment’s cog wheel icon and click on ‘Brush Colour In’. You’ll notice that a small brush icon will appear to the left of the cog wheel to indicate that this adjustment will now apply to a brush and will not affect the whole image.

4. Changing Brush Size  Moving a few of a selected colour’s sliders will not affect the picture. That’s because you haven’t applied a brush to it yet. Start with the Colour floating window (also referred to as a HUD). The ‘Brush Size’ slider is self explanatory, but if you have a recent laptop, you can also alter its size by moving two fingers up or down your trackpad.