Apple opens up Aperture 2.1

Apple opens up Aperture 2.1

Open architecture allows easy access to plug-ins

Apple has taken the wraps off Aperture 2.1, which introduces an open plug-in architecture that makes it easy for photographers to use specialised third-party imaging software from within the program.

The latest release, available as a free software update, includes Dodge & Burn which adds brush-based tools for dodge, burn, contrast, saturation, sharpen and blur.

Apple said that 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 over the coming months.

Rob Schoeben, vice president of applications product marketing at Apple, said: "Our open plug-in architecture means that users can access an entire industry's worth of imaging expertise without leaving Aperture."

Apple is working closely with developers to bring the most requested plug-ins to Aperture.

These include Nik Software's Viveza, which provides a way for photographers to selectively control and adjust colour and light in digital images, and PictureCode's Noise Ninja plug-in that delivers high ISO noise analysis and reduction.

Digital Film Tools' Power Stroke plug-in features a stroke-based interface to mask and perform targeted adjustments, while Tiffen's Dfx plug-in provides a suite of creative filters and effects.

Other requested plug-ins include HDRtoner, which enables the selection of multiple photos to create a single high dynamic range image, and Image Trends' Fisheye-Hemi to correct lens distortion.