Aperture – Apple

Apple - Aperture artwork



Genre: Photography

Price: £54.99

Release Date: 04 January 2011

Aperture combines the control and speed pros want for demanding photo tasks with the easy learning curve iPhoto users need to step up to an advanced photo tool. It has been fully optimized for the Retina display on the new MacBook Pro, letting you browse and edit high-resolution images with remarkable clarity and resolution. And with a new unified photo library, you can now move seamlessly from iPhoto to Aperture —  and back — without having to import, export, or reprocess your photos. Aperture is packed with innovative adjustment tools to refine your images, including a revolutionary Auto White Balance that uses skin tones to correct color casts, and a professional Auto Enhance that applies Exposure, Vibrancy, Curves, and more with a single click. It also includes powerful Brushes for painting image adjustments onto parts of your photo, and dozens of ready-to-use professional photo Effects. You can share your photos directly to Facebook, Flickr and SmugMug and add them to shared photo streams using iCloud. You can also showcase your best work as an impressive coffee table-style photo book or as stunning slideshows that weave together photos, audio, text, and HD video.   

Fully optimized for Retina display

• Optimized Viewer allows you to see more of your high-resolution images onscreen with pixel-for-pixel accuracy

• Displays razor-sharp thumbnails in Browser

Aperture and iPhoto Unified Library

• Share one photo library across both applications

• No need to import, export, or reprocess photos from one app to the other

• Faces, Places, albums, web sharing, and more work with both applications

• Adjustments done in either app are non-destructive and visible in the other

Organize photos using Faces and Places 

• Use face detection and recognition to organize your photos by the people in them 

• Explore photos based on where you took them, using robust GPS support 

• Drag photos to an interactive map to add location data easily 

Perfect images with Brushes and Effects

• Retouch photos nondestructively using edge-aware brushes 

• Handle the most common touch-up tasks with a set of 10 Quick Brushes 

• Choose from dozens of ready-to-use effects or create and share your own effects 

• See results of any effect in a live preview window before applying it to an image

Create stunning multimedia slideshows 

• Use professionally designed themes to weave together photos and HD video clips 

• Add text to slides using your choice of fonts, styles, and colors 

• Build a layered soundtrack with location audio clips and music tracks 

Share photos with built-in iCloud support

• View and automatically import recent photos taken on your iOS devices
• Automatically send newly-imported photos to all your iOS devices
• Post photos and videos to other people’s shared photo streams, or create your own streams to share with friends and family
• View and add comments and “likes” to photos and videos in any shared stream

© © 2013 Apple Inc.

Image Editor Alternative for Mac and PC?

Stick with your CS6 boxed version ? Do I subscribe or upgrade now or wait ?Will I find something a little more affordable ?


Whilst I’m currently trying out PhotoLine…. Adobe Cloud reaches half a million subscribers. Now, before you decide on committing your soul to the Adobe Cloud, if your main software usage is Photoshop you might want to take a look at this possible alternative, well, at least for the meanwhile…
My earlier attempt at exploring Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator alternatives would suggest that there isn’t anything comparable on the market, especially if you are the skilled type of user who combines both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for creating illustrations, page layouts, visuals, ready-artwork, or even packaging templates. Turn away now, unless of course you’re open to suggestions of inexpensive answers to whether there are any real alternatives for mac.

But wait….
What’s this ? Haven’t heard of this one before, on the other hand maybe I have, but its unsuspecting appearance and name had me ignore it. Anyway, it seems to do the job far better than all the others I have tried so far.

Its name…PhotoLine (not to be mistaken for the small print run service)


unsupecting pl-logo


Compared to the other vector and image editing software I recently checked out in my search for real Adobe Cloud software alternatives (Pro image editor alternatives). PhotoLine has a no-fuss interface and is a doddle to use. If you are an avid user of Adobe Photoshop then you will probably find this fairly intuitive. Hey, I am not saying ditch Photoshop, but this has been the best affordable alternative I have found to date.

…It has to be said though, that there are a few irritations which interrupt the flow as you work, the “step-one, step two, kind of way of selecting and resizing, and other task seems a little weird, but that might have something to do with familiarity

I wanted to see how quickly and easily I could perform the simple task of combining two different images to create this portrait.




Although bearable, the irritations which interrupt your usual flow as you work, will add a few extra minutes to what you would normally perform in seconds and often involve using your selected tool in combination with the ‘Tool Settings’ panel (kinda reminds me of Freehand), but again familiarity may introduce quicker ways of doing things.


You also may find navigating around the dashboard or art-board and locating various tools and options is a little awkward, or the options oddly placed. For example, when intending on resizing part or a composite of an overall image, you need to visit the top menu Layers, and go to resize layer. But like I may have mentioned before, it is all about familiarity. Although it makes sense, it is not the typical way in which you may have already been accustomed to working.

So, How much does PhotoLine cost?

Wait for it…(wow do I sound like an advert ), but seriously, PhotoLine is Shareware, you can use it for 30 Days free of charge before being asked to register. Whilst there are no heavy limitations on the free 30 Day trial version, registration is a mere 59 Euros, that’s about $77USD or £50.34. Wow, and you don’t have to commit your soul.

So who is behind this PhotoLine ?

PhotoLine is a Photo-editing alternative from the German based business Computer Island and was originally developed for the Atari Falcon 030th. The software also supports ICC colour management and can be used alongside Photoshop. PhotoLine works is available for both Windows and Mac and combines both raster and vector graphics – not bad huh ?

PhotoLine specs and features

PhotoLine is available for both Windows and Mac
16 bits of colour depth / full color management,
support of RGB, CMYK and Lab color models,
layer support, and non-destructive image manipulation.
Vector graphics editor.
Handles all common raster graphics formats. Including: camera raw image formats, Photoshop PSD files, PDF and Adobe Flash.


Still not quite there as a real alternative but well worth considering. It opens and allows you to save files in PSD format, so maybe a companion for Photoshop and Illustrator. And it does perform well for minimal or basic image editing and preparation tasks ( I will ‘take it to task’ over the next few weeks and see if I feel the same about it then).

There is one thing I need to add to my overall opinion of PhotoLine and that is based on the premise that the software’s ease of use and capability complies with the attitude of someone who hates having to read manuals to get started and prefers the “jump-in and get started” approach.

Maybe its just me, but it would interesting to hear from you as to what your thoughts are regarding  alternative in-expensive software to Adobe (Cloud) Creative Suite and whether there are any real inexpensive alternatives for the independent and freelance creative.




Download : http://www.pl32.com/


Windows Applications running on Mac with – Parallels®

Parallels Desktop for Mac is simply the world’s bestselling, top-rated, and most trusted solution for running Windows applications on your Mac. With Parallels Desktop for Mac, you can seamlessly run both Windows and Mac OS X applications side-by-side with speed, control and confidence.

With Parallels Workstation Extreme you can enjoy the flexibility to work smart with multiple applications so you can focus on your core business and stay productive.

Parallels Server for Mac 4.0 Mac mini Edition is a great solution for small businesses who want to consolidate a few servers on to one value-priced machine. Simple to install and administer, Parallels Server for Mac 4.0 Mac mini Edition is a cost-effective way to run up two virtual servers on your Mac mini.

Do You Have An Inkling for Drawing?

Wacom’s Inkling for the Digital Artist


 Compared to my accustomed urban lifestyle, living in moderately remote surroundings can be quite therapeutic, at least when you also have access to the internet.

With the internet the world is definitely smaller and news on trending topics are so within reach, oh and there are ‘Podcasts!’

Here’s how I came to learn about this great way of digitising your sketches…


inkling connect to laptop

It All Started From A Podcasts?

Well, let me tell you over the past few years podcasts have been my companion and link to what’s going on in the world (well sort of). You’d be surprised by the number of different subjects you can find.

Anyways, this particular podcast I was listening to, the one that triggered this post, was about comic artists; Make It Then Tell Everybody presented by Dan Berry – you can find it on iTunes or at the Make It Then Tell Everybody website.

So, whilst absorbing this candidly delivered podcast all about, comics, drawing and illustrators. I observed that there was a certain commonality between most of the artists and the journey they take whilst doing there work.

There seemed to be a common psychological train of thought that takes place, one that only as an individual who actively engages in drawing would know about. It was at that point the thought came to me; what is required, is to have the ability to draw directly onto paper, capturing all the subtle ‘nuancing marks’ made when drawing by hand, and instantly converting it to a digital document.

Well guess what ?

To my surprise, there is a Wacom that does just that. In spite of the dedicated technology that a Wacom Tablet can offer, features like; touch sensitivity…  A number of artist still find the move from physical pen and paper drawing, to drawing with a stylus and Tablet, somewhat challenging and unnatural. This is where the Wacom Inkling steps in…

inkling wacom kit

So, What is Wacom Inkling ?

Wacom Inkling is a digital sketch pen that allows you to draw with real pen and paper, whilst electronically recording your strokes. Your recorded sketches may then be imported as raster or vector artwork. You can even create separate layers for each stage of your drawing – from preparatory to final artwork. BUY

Finally, is the Wacom Inkling the ultimate and most intuitive solution for illustrators ? What experience do you have using this digital sketch pen ?
Please comment below:

Thank you for reading this post. Your comments are important for improving the quality of the info and relevancy.

Please leave a comment if you; have a question, like this content or have any suggestions as to what you would like to see covered here. Below are some related items or things you may find of interest and further reading.

inkling illustration


Adobe Creative Cloud or NOT?

Professional Software for Designers and Artists


the exploration continues…


Illustrator CC One-on-One: Mastery
Now, back to my IIlustrator dilemma and ‘betsy’…
Betsy, as I may have hinted in my last post , is my ‘travelling, work laptop’ that decided to ‘conk-out’ on me recently…
Anyway, after not finding any satisfactory alternatives, my exploration continues…

Now, After having not used the most up-to-date  versions of Adobe Illustrator since around 2005, one of my first thoughts when trying this particular version of Adobe Illustrator was; bet there will be so many changes that it would seem like learning the application from scratch.


 Somebody obviously listens to their customers…

Yes, there were many changes, but fortunately this did not hinder my usual interaction with the software. Mostly all the usual short cut-commands and use of the keys for quickly navigating within the dashboard were basically the same as the previous versions, allowing me to jump straight in, and work more or less as fluid as always.

So, lets explore Adobe Creative Cloud and whether its worth signing up.

Firstly let me say this, currently you can gain access to all the applications included with the Adobe Creative Cloud for a free 30 day trial. This will allow you the chance to really give the system a bash and discover whether it is worth it or not.


Here is a list of just some of the major software you will have access to;

  • Adobe Illustrator…….Vector graphics, Illustration and basic page layout. 
  • Adobe PhotoShop….…Professional image manipulation,
  • Adobe InDesign…….…Professional page layout and design
  • Adobe Dreamweaver…Web design
  • Adobe FireWorks…….Image Editing for website and apps
  • Adobe Premier……….Video Production
  • Adobe Effects ……….Cinematic Effects
  • Adobe LightRoom….Digital photo processing and editing
  • Adobe Flash Pro…….Interactive, game design & mobile device packaging

These are just some of the more popular applications, there are more available, some obscure but well worth exploring such as; Adobe Muse (website design without coding), Adobe Audition (audio restoration, mixing and recording)

 Does it sound like it is worth it so far ?

I suppose that really depends on how much all this will cost, right!

For demonstration purposes, lets say that the typical packages a graphic designer would need are; 1. Adobe Illustrator, 2. Adobe Photoshop and 3. Adobe InDesign.

So, if your were to buy each application individually and without the educational concessions and all the other bumf, you will probably spend something in the region of £2,200 plus. Hey, thats a liberal estimate, have you tried finding the actual cost for these applications online – its a nightmare.

Now, with a monthly Creative Cloud membership however you can make things a little easier and affordable.

For a monthly pay-as-you-go plan, access to the creative cloud will cost you $74.99 per month or $49.99 for a year, that’s $599.88 a year.

So, lets do the math. If it would cost you something in the region of $2,200 to buy Adobe Illustrator CS6, Adobe Photoshop CS6, and Adobe InDesign CS6 outright, for the casual pay-as-you-go plan, if you so happened to end up renewing your subscription each month for a whole year, this would cost $899.88, where-as the standard yearly subscription would cost $599.88, bearing in mind that if you are upgrading to the complete plan you save 40% at $27.34 per month. Oh and dont forget, all this plus VAT (these prices are correct at time of writing).

adobe choose your plan



Hey the times are changing and that ‘preciousness attitude’ of owning things is evolving. Look at the music industry for example. When you think about it, for half the price of a monthly subscription that allows access to almost any song or type of music you care to listen to, you can instead just buy one album of say 10 tracks and that’s your lot!. In other words, with the subscription model you have access to everything, yet own nothing. This certainly seems to be what our youngsters are being introduced to and as the generations move on, this may well become the accepted norm.


It would be great to hear what you think about Adobe’s new subscription pricing model. Do you think it helps the independent creative ?

Join a related conversation on LinkedIn



Please feel free to leave a comment or share with your online community – Thanks!



Freeway Pro 6, Express and Exhibio

website design like you want – by SoftPress.

Having used Freeway for web design over a number of years, I can say without a doubt my experience has been both pleasurable and enlightening. With no real programming skills, I have been able to create web designs that I thought would be beyond my independent capability.


Admittedly there has sometimes been annoying glitches but nothing which would not be expected from any other software. Here, I invite you to take a look for yourself, especially if creating your own website is something you are considering.


sf-freeway image

FreewayPro 5.5
Whether you’re new or experienced in web design, using FreewayPro to design professional websites, all without having to know any code is within your reach.

With a “What You See Is What You Get” Interface, FreewayPro has that typical intuitive, ease-of-use mac feel. Oh, did I mention ? FreewayPro is currently only available for the Apple Mac (OSX) operating system.

SoftwareFolder -Freeway Screen Shot

If you are use to using graphic design software such as Adobe Indesign® or Adobe Illustrator®, the chances are you will immediately feel comfortable using FreewayPro, of course like with anything new, it will take a little while to truly unleash the power of FreewayPro, nonetheless, you can start designing straight after launching for the first time, its that easy.

Another thing about FreewayPro are its plugins, or Actions as they are called. These Actions allow for adding additional functionality or enhancing basic features. With Freeway Pro, you can:

– precision position of items
– create web forms
– create css menus
– add social media buttons
– create animated galleries to showcase images of your products or work
– upload using FTP or securely using FTPS/SFTP straight from the application

Freeway Pro 5.5+ | $299 Buy Freeway 5.5 Pro


[cbpress product=”11560″] [cbpress product=”11561″] [cbpress product=”11562″] [cbpress product=”11563″]


exhibio icon

Besides using the basic features found within Freeway Pro and the ‘Target Show / Hide Layer’ Action for creating slideshows you can also use Showcase or Exhibio.

Exhibio is a relatively new cousin to the Freeway Pro family, and like Showacase, it comes as a standalone application.  In brief, Exhibio is an additional standalone piece of software for creating slideshows from an option of different formats. With Exhibio it is a simple matter of organising your images similarly to, or as you would in say iPhoto, or any other image productivity tool, and adding the necessary details to your Freeway Pro document.

exhibio + add button

The first step after launching the application is to click the add button  (+)  located at the bottom left of the dashboard. This will open a window from which you may select the images you wish to import.

Once this is done, simply select export and choose one of the following options:

a) Export to HTML (5)

b) Export to Freeway

Exhibio   | $19 Buy Exhibeo





Mountain Lion – Time to upgrade ?

(softwarefolder staff: draft subject to updates)

Mountain Lion is here, should you run – go get a copy. Or sit back and wait 20 days or so before the first repair patches arrive. My biggest problem with Mountain Lion is that my Power Mac G5 will NOT run the operating system, It doesn’t have the Intel thingy-muh-jig!

This always happens, time-after-time-after-time again. Software companies, including Apple, convince you of a technology; a piece of hardware or software, then after you have fully bought into it – the rug is pulled from under your feet leaving you flat on the ground. A ruthless strategy or just the natural flow of progression, either way it can be both expensive and frustrating.

So, should you upgrade to Mountain Lion right away ?

It depends, bet you were hoping for a simple yes or no answer ? Well this one, as always cannot be answered in a ‘one cap fits all’ sort of way. You see it all depends on factors such as:

– What model Mac you own.
The first generation of Power Mac G5s and earlier mac models for example, will not work with Mountain Lion. However if you were fortunate to have been a little late off the starting line you probably purchases an Intel based G5, in which case you are in the clear.

– What software do you mostly use.
Another thing to watch out for is software incompatibilities. Many old school artist, I am sure, continue to use old versions of Illustrator and Photoshop for example. Will these still work ?
Apparently up to versions xxx are fine with Mountain Lion. Checking  which application work after an upgrade can be quite time consuming and often even after a thorough check you may still later find yourself having problems with an app you have overlooked. Anyway what I am building up to is that there are sites where you can quickly check – one such site is Roaring Apps

– Everything is up-to-date, now what
One of the primary reasons for updating to mountain Lion is if you use iCloud, this is imperative. In order for iCloud to work you need to be running Mountain Lion or at least the latest iOS. You should be fine . If however you still feel a little unsure, perhaps wait 20 days or so for the first round of repair patches to emerge.

tip: Adobes Creative Cloud Related.
Run Windows on Mac OS X without rebooting!


Using-MtnLion-cover_ 160x136

Learn  more about Mountain Lion with Mac expert Matt Neuburg
As you make the most of Mountain Lion’s major new features, including Notifications, Documents in the Cloud, and improved Auto Save/Versions. Plus, you’ll learn to customize Mountain Lion and get help with finding files, launching apps, managing windows, handling user accounts, and much more. 204 pages. Version 1.1. [LEARN MORE]

– Buy Take Control of Using Mountain Lion
– Buy Take Control of Apple Mail in Mountain Lion

*FREE UPGRADE: Did you buy your Mac on or after 11 June 2012 ?
OS X Mountain Lion upgrade is available at no additional charge from the Mac App Store. If you purchased a Mac from Apple or an Apple Authorised Reseller on or after 11 June 2012.
*(This offer is available only if your Mac was purchased without Mountain Lion) LEARN MORE

Firefox for PowerMac
TenFourFox is not exactly a FireFox upgrade, however it was created from the Firefox code.Using code tuned for 10.4 (and compatible with 10.5), this  Firefox advanced featured equivelant  works on older computers including: G3, G4/7400, G4/7450 and G5 . LEARN MORE

Run Windows on Mac OS X without rebooting!

Web Fonts: Fully Web Enabled Fonts for Your Websites

It’s really frustrating when you’ve just designed a page, laboured with deliberate intention as to where the text sits, line breaks and sometimes even words strategically positioned as part of an overall concept – Only to find this is NOT what your visitors are seeing…

Pure Type RBE

Fonts how they were meant to be seen

Does it not annoy you that to a great degree, as an online publisher with a passion for ‘sweet’ layout and design, your layouts are not always received by your audience looking as intended.

Since the herald of the age-of-digital-media, and the move from physical artwork production to artwork generated on computers. Printed material has certainly found new ways of expressing itself, in the format of JPEGs, PNGs, GIFs etc. Yes, I call this the new printed material.

The Problem

The problem with the age-of-digital-media, is that, not everything fits; your computers setup is likely to be different to mine, and so is the same for millions of other computers. On top of that there are so many other anomalies which may result in web pages not displaying on some computers in the way intended by the author or designer.

The Web Font Search Engine:
(Find your taditional fonts too; Grarmond, Baskerville, Goudy, Bodoni…)

Anyway, if you are looking for quick results without the explanation try this now and see how web fonts can work for your website or blog. If you would like to know more, please read on. 

OK, so what is it about web fonts that make them so special ?

A common problem discovered by many, is the case where – unless a viewer of a web page has the correct or same fonts installed on their system, as what was used in the original design, the viewers browser will default to the nearest font it thinks has been used. Subsequebntly this causes a number of undesirable typographic pitfalls. Nameley the control of how your text will look from the viewers end.

Rest assured, there are ways of enabling non-web safe fonts to view as expected, in fact most, if not all, the old traditional fonts ( yes including your favourite styles used as Letraset® rubowns LOL).

The way it works is by simply adding a piece of code to your website. Fonts.com-webfonts provides 3 simple steps; 1) select your desired typeface from a choice of over 20,000 web fonts, 2) assign your choice to your text, 3) then add the corresponding code to your website.

Why does it matter if my fonts change from viewer to viewer ? The message is still readable.

That question may as well have been asked in the following manner: Why should it matter that the integrity of my businesses website design is preserved ?

Thanks to thier patent-pending technology Web fonts allows you to easily and seemlessly extend your brands visual consisitency throughout both your offline and online engagement and communication. After-all Web Fonts also offer support for over 40 major languages and display instantly, even when using Chinese, Japanese and Korean font characters.

For the many professional Web designers that often begin the design process offline, with a selft-hosting annual subscription or monthly fee you can download installable versions of any fonts you wish to use before totally committing.


Below are some interesting books on typography:

Alfred and Quicksilver – File Navigation

hatSay hello to Alfred…

Users of Quicksilver probably have an idea of what I mean when I say – … Mac OSX at your fingertips ! …  What, no…?


OK l, lets start from the beginning but first let me introduce you to Alfred, your Quicksilver alternative for speedy navigation.



Huh, I’m still lost ! Speedy navigation, don’t I need a faster processor ?

Navigating through your Mac need not be a case of opening and closing folder after folder. Try using Quicksilver, a popular app and file launcher, which supports Mac OSX (10.3 upwards). It works by laying ready in the background for your command. To activate it, normally using the default command of [APPLE COMMAND + SPACE BAR] calls up a search box from where you can quickly access any file, app, web page, or files according to whatever your preferences setup is. Quicksilver soon learns your habits and work together with you as it speeds up your navigation and increases your efficiency.

Until now, I have not come across anything that works as eloquently as Quicksilver, at least, not until I was introduced to Alfred. As a productivity application Alfred ranks high, it works just like Quicksilver, providing quick access to all your data; apps, web searches, iTunes, bookmarks, the ability to move and email files and folders…etc. Basically you can browse your entire Mac without hardly touching the keyboard, and with the added option of boosting your capabilities even further by purchasing the Alfred Powerpack at £15.

Once installed, Alfred’s bowler hat apperas in your main menu bar, from where you have access to : Toggle Alfred, and Preferences…

Toggle Alfred

The first thing to do is set the Alfred hotkey from the Preferences, you can choose from any of the options shown in the image below. In this case, the chosen hotkey is [ALT+SPACE BAR]

alt spacebar pref

If your eyes sight isn’t to great Alfred displays in big easy to see text and may help save you form Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).



Minimum Requirements


• OSX10.3 (Panther), OSX 10.5, OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and 10.7 (Lion) Intel Macs…

alfred images 11


• OS X 10.5 Leopard – Intel and PPC versions, OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and 10.7 (Lion) Intel Macs (recommended )

download Alfred

==> http://media.alfredapp.com/alfred_0.9_final_126.dmg

==> http://media.alfredapp.com/alfred_0.9_final_126_PPC.zip

tips and Support: Alfred works best with Spotlight indexing, turned on. Disable auto update for PPC versions as this only checks for the Intel version.



Last Pass: Password Management

Password Security


… until eventually it all gets confusing and you can’t remember the 1st password change from the 6th. You need password management software, but where do you start ? 

Last Pass is a secure way of saving and generating passwords for online use.

For all those who already know, Last Pass is available, not just for your desktop and laptop computers, but also your iPhone and other portable devices. This neat App allows you to effortlessly manage all your online passwords – somewhat seamlessly.

last pass yubi key

With Last Pass installed on your laptop or desktop computer you experience an almost seamless journey from one login page to another; you know what that’s like – especially when you are prompted with the message “invalid password”  or username, and the thing is, you’re sure that you have keyed in the correct details, until eventually it all gets confusing and you can’t remember the 1st password change from the 6th.

Last Pass solves that log-in problem

So, how Last Pass actually works is fairly simple, you can use it as you go along your usual online usage. Whilst activated from your browsers toolbar, Last Pass will allow you to save the details to any site you log into or signup for. Your encrypted private details are stored in the Last Pass Vault, to which you have access to all you log-in account details for editing and other configuration.

Not only is Last Pass cross platform, but if you buy a premium account which is only a $1 a month, you have the option of an extra layer of security with the provided USB drive, better known as a Yubikey..

 After the initial setting up of your all important master password – forget this password and your last pass details  are virtually gone for good.

Generally,  Last Pass is very easy to use and working your way around is pretty well sign posted. It does have a contender however, RoboForm for Windows PCs, but we all don’t only use Windows based computers right!




WordPress Themes at just $45.