Aperture 2.1 is available now, introducing an open plug-in architecture that facilitates photographers in use of specialised third party imaging software from within the application.

Available today as a free software update, Aperture 2.1 includes the Apple-developed plug-in, Dodge and Burn, which adds brush-based tools for dodge (lighten), burn (darken), contrast, saturation, sharpen and blur. Over the coming months, third party software developers will deliver image editing plug-ins for localised editing, filters and effects, noise analysis and reduction, fisheye lens correction and more, says Apple.

Through clicking on one or more images within Aperture, users can choose from a menu of installed plug-ins and apply specialised imaging operations to either TIFF or RAW images. Apple is working closely with key developers to bring the most requested plug-ins to Aperture such as:

- Nik Software’s Viveza plug-in, which lets photographers selectively control and adjust colour and light in their digital images;
- PictureCode’s Noise Ninja - advanced high ISO noise analysis and reduction;
- Digital Film Tools’ Power Stroke, a simple, stroke-based interface to quickly mask and intuitively perform targeted adjustments;
- The Tiffen Company's Dfx plug-in that provides an expansive suite of creative filters and effects;
- dvGarage’s dpMatte plug-in, a high performance chroma key tool for creating seamless composites, and the HDRtoner plug-in that enables the selection of multiple photos to create a single high dynamic range (HDR) image;
- Image Trends’ plug-ins that include Fisheye-Hemi to correct fisheye lens distortion, ShineOff which automatically removes shine from faces and PearlyWhites that automatically whitens and brightens teeth.

Aperture 2.1 is available immediately as a free software update to current Aperture 2.0 users.