Apple releases Aperture 2.1

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Less than two months after releasing version 2.0, Apple unveiled on Friday Aperture 2.1, the newest version of the company’s professional photography workflow application. The new version includes an open plug-in architecture that will allow photographers to use third-party imaging software in Aperture.

Aperture 2.1 includes the Apple-developed plug-in, Dodge & Burn, which adds brush-based tools for dodge (lighten), burn (darken), contrast, saturation, sharpen and blur.

“Aperture 2.0 has proven to be a phenomenal success and today we are continuing that momentum,” said Kirk Paulsen, Apple’s senior director, application Product Marketing.

When clicking on an image in Aperture 2.1, you will get a menu where you can choose from your installed plug-ins.

Joe Schorr, Apple’s senior product manager for Aperture, explained the API allows developers to take control of the image and build their own interface. This means that if users are familiar with a certain plug-in’s interface, they will get the same experience within Aperture.

Apple said that over the coming months, third party software developers will deliver image editing plug-ins for localized editing, filters and effects, noise analysis and reduction, fisheye lens correction and more.

Companies that plan plug-ins include Nik Software’s Viveza plug-in; PictureCode’s Noise Ninja plug-in; Digital Film Tools’ Power Stroke plug-in; The Tiffen Company’s Dfx plug-in; dvGarage’s dpMatte plug-in; and Image Trends’ plug-ins that include Fisheye-Hemi.

While the plug-in architecture is the highlight of the new release, it’s not the only change in Aperture 2.1. With the update you now have the ability to flip images horizontally or vertically and the ability to customize your own set of adjustments. The update also improved other functions including import, Quick Preview, All Projects view, image adjustments, books, printing and export.

Aperture 2.1 is a free software update available from Apple’s Web site.

Update: Added information from an interview with Apple executives. 3/28/08 10:11 am ET

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