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Most of the time Aperture can handle our image editing needs. It has a very powerful set of editing tools. However, every now and then you may need to go outside of Aperture to another image editor such as Photoshop to do something specific. Fortunately, that's a pretty easy process, using round tripping, as we like to call it, where you actually send the photo from Aperture out to Photoshop and then back into Aperture, and I want to show you how that works.
Now we start out in Preferences, just to make sure that were set up correctly, and I'm in the Export tab, and you notice that I've selected Photoshop for my external image editor. You can choose other applications, and we're setting it up as a Photoshop 8-bit file. I recommend that if you know you need something different you have three other choices here, but I think PSD 8-bit is a way to go, and for our color space you can choose either sRGB or a Adobe RGB.
If you don't know which one of those you should use, go ahead and pick sRGB, and we're ready to go. So now we come back to our photo. There's two ways I can initiate the round trip. First, I can go up to Photos > Edit with Adobe Photoshop CS6, you notice how it filled in the name for us once we set the preference, or you can just right-click on the image and send it out this way, and here we go, off she goes.
So what happened was Aperture prepared a file, a PSD file is that's what we establish in our preferences and sent it to Photoshop. So now in Photoshop I can do something that's very obvious like make it a black and white photo, that way I'll be able to tell clearly that it's a different photo when it goes back to Aperture when I click OK. Now all I have to do, after I've done my image editing in Photoshop, is go back to File, go to Save, and what Photoshop is going to do is send the edited file back to Aperture, and when we return to Aperture, it'll be there waiting for us.
Here we are back in Aperture, and boom, just like that we have our black and white photo here in Aperture. Now I'm going to hit the V key so that we can look at the thumbnails, and you notice what we actually have are two versions of the same photo. Here's our original shots that we started working with, and then here is the round-trip shot. Now when an image has been edited with an outside application, this is the badge right here, so this is another way that you can tell this has been edited on the outside so that is pretty seamless.
So you may be thinking at this point, well, why don't I just do that all the time? Well, there is a price to be paid. You'll notice that on our original shot here the file size is 23 megabytes, that the RAW file is a fairly large file. Now let's click on our file that went to Photoshop, and you notice that is over twice as big and all we did was convert it to black and white. Imagine if we did layers and things like that, this file could get much bigger.
So, the reason why you don't round-trip all of the time and why it's better to use the tools that are in Aperture already for your image editing is that you will save file space. However, for those times that you do need those external tools, round-trip is an easy way to do it if you're using Photoshop or some other external image editor.
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