So I’ve had the two PowerMates for a while, and I’m now putting them to good use. I won’t let the focus of this entry be how I’m using the PMs system-wide [another day, if you’re interested], but suffice it to say that I’m using the PMs for awesome in Aperture.
Now, I’m biased by Fraser Speirs’s photo workflow; before I was ever serious about the concept, I had read what he was doing. I don’t do stack sorting—in fact, I just closed the tab so I won’t spend thirty minutes delving into same and stop writing this entry—but I do use the PowerMates to power through the weaning process. My ratings are much like Fraser’s—if it’s okay, going to get rated up to one start; if it’s crap, I reject it. Here’s where the PowerMates come in:
Left PowerMate: clockwise rates up, counterclockwise rates down.
Right PowerMate: clockwise advances in the set, counterclockwise goes back.
A wee twist of the wrist is all I need to rate something up or down, or to move back and forth. I think that adding in stacks will make this even more powerful for me, especially when I’m off of my current kick of sports photography and back into concert stuff, when taking eight or twelve exposures at a swath is about catching an expression or some light, not a pass or a shot or a hit. But it’s really quite quick for me: fire up Full Screen mode, position my hands, and make the snap decision.
I do my editing in passes, typically. I do the reject/promote run the first time through, culling the crap. The second pass, I’m looking for stuff that is two-star level: something about the frame catches my eye, and it’s either good as is or needs some cropping, tweaking, or other. And so-on until I get to at least three stars, sometimes four. Depends on the shoot and how much I’m looking to push out to Flickr—sometimes three stars is my bar, and sometimes it’s four. But with just a bare minimum of movement, I can fly through the editing.
What do I use other than the PowerMates? Well, besides Full Screen, I use the C shortcut to fire up the cropping tool and the ` to bring up the loupe. Between those two, plus using all of my 24″ of iMac real estate, I can power through stuff faster than I ever have—and I’m just getting started at doing this.
The beauty of the PowerMates is that you can program them to do lots of things—volume controls, keyboard shortcuts, scrolling. You’ve got global settings and program-specific ones. I’m just scratching the surface.