Adjustments in Aperture

Aperture includes a standard set of adjustments you can apply to images using the controls in the Adjustments inspector and the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD. The standard adjustments target specific pixels in an image, no matter where they occur. For example, you can use the Highlights & Shadows adjustment to target just the highlights, shadows, or midtones of your image. 

If you want to adjust a specific area of your image, you can manually brush an adjustment on the area of the image you want to change. Most of the standard adjustments can be brushed on images, and Aperture also includes a set of Quick Brush adjustments designed just for brushing on images.

Note: When you take a photo using an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch with iOS 5 or later and then make adjustments to the image using the iOS device, the image adjustments are retained and automatically applied when the image is imported into Aperture. For devices using iOS 7 or later, filters such as Tonal, Noir, and Fade applied to a photo using Camera and Photos are also preserved in Aperture. However, you can modify the adjustments and filters in Aperture at any time.

Standard adjustments

You can make the following standard adjustments to images in Aperture. For instructions, see Apply standard adjustments or the topic for a particular standard adjustment. To learn how to brush standard adjustments on images, see Apply brushed adjustments.




Retouches all types of imperfections in an image, such as skin blemishes, using either the Repair or Clone brush.

Red Eye Correction

Reduces red-eye in the eyes of the subjects in your images. Used in conjunction with the Red Eye tool.

Spot & Patch

In previous Aperture versions, fixed imperfections in an image caused by sensor dust.

In Aperture 3, the Retouch adjustment is recommended for fixing imperfections in an image.


Levels the image’s horizon. Used in conjunction with the Straighten tool.


Trims the image. Used in conjunction with the Crop tool.


Inverts the composition of the image horizontally, vertically, or both.

Chromatic Aberration

Corrects chromatic aberration, produced by certain lenses during shooting.


Corrects a vignette created when the image was shot.

Noise Reduction

Reduces digital noise in an image.

White Balance

Sets an image’s white balance by evaluating the image for natural gray or skin tone in identified faces, as well as by adjusting the color temperature and tint.


Adjusts exposure, recovery, black point, and brightness.


Adjusts contrast, definition, saturation, and vibrancy, as well as black, gray, and white tints.


Selectively remaps the tonal range of the image by applying a curve from input to output.

Highlights & Shadows

Selectively adjusts the exposure in the shadows and highlights of an image.


Selectively adjusts the tonal range of an image.


Adjusts hue, saturation, and luminance on a color-by-color basis, as well as chromatic range.

Black & White

Selectively controls the source red, green, and blue color channels when a color image is converted to grayscale.

Color Monochrome

Desaturates the image and applies a color tint of your choosing to the midtones.

Sepia Tone

Changes a color image to sepia, allowing you to desaturate the image to the level of sepia coloring you want.

Edge Sharpen

Sharpens the image based on luminance using multiple sharpening passes.

A separate Sharpen adjustment is also available to preserve sharpening adjustments made in earlier versions of Aperture.


Applies a vignette effect to the image.

Note: You can also modify how OS X decodes RAW files using the RAW Fine Tuning controls, and you can modify iPhoto effects for images you’re working with in iPhoto. For more information about decoding RAW files, see RAW Fine Tuning controls overview. For more information about working with iPhoto, see Apply iPhoto effects to images.

Quick Brush adjustments

You can brush the following Quick Brush adjustments on specific areas of an image. For instructions, see Apply Quick Brush adjustments or the topic for a particular Quick Brush adjustment.

Quick Brush


Skin Smoothing

Smoothes people’s skin by subtly blurring wrinkles and skin pores in brushed areas of an image.

Dodge (Lighten)

Dodges (lightens) brushed areas of an image.

Burn (Darken)

Burns (darkens) brushed areas of an image.

Polarize (Multiply)

Deepens the colors in brushed areas of an image by specifically darkening the shadows and midtones while preserving the highlights.

Intensify Contrast (Overlay)

Corrects shadows that appear washed out in brushed areas of an image by intensifying the contrast between pure black and 50% gray.


Shifts the tint in brushed areas of an image.


Applies additional contrast in brushed areas of an image.


Saturates the colors in brushed areas of an image.


Adds clarity and reduces haze in brushed areas of an image without adding too much contrast.


Adds saturation to desaturated colors only in brushed areas of an image. Skin tones aren’t affected.


Blurs (softens) brushed areas of an image.


Sharpens brushed areas of an image.

Halo Reduction

Removes blue and purple fringes in brushed areas of an image. Fringing is occasionally produced by certain lenses when the image is overexposed.

Noise Reduction

Removes digital noise in brushed areas of an image.