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léonie Level 10 (91,019 points)

I have been using Aperture for some years now, but I never have come across a problem where I thought "Wow, a light table - that is the solution!"

Usually all my projects start with collecting the images in an album - or a smart album / filter /flags - and then creating books, slideshows, webpages, or screensavers from them. Occasionally I started with a light table - just for the novelty of it - but usually ended up with a cluttered mess of images spread out before me and no clear plan how to proceed from there. So I am curious - what are typical workflows that require light tables instead of albums, and what is the advantage of using a light table instead of a more ordered Aperture item?


Thanks for any input!



Aperture 3, Version 3.2.3
  • Lt.Tuvok Level 1 (40 points)

    On my school (for photography) we have to use lighttables for organizing photos from

    documentary, reportage and journalism.  We learn to layout the photo's so that you keep fascinated or focussed on the subject. For example, vary in portrait or landscape orientation, vary in composistion, color et cetera.

    When you view multiple photo's in a row that looks the same it can be boring.

  • léonie Level 10 (91,019 points)

    That is a good point, thank you!

  • robogobo Level 2 (290 points)

    Wow, I remember looking at that feature when I first got Aperture, but I never actually opened one until just now.  Thanks!  I think I'll try using Light Tables with client.  They look pretty impressive actually.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)

    Has the Light Table Image bug problem finally been fixed? See


    1. Question on Light Table behavior
    2. Light Table - poor images
    3. Light Table - blurred images (bug)


    Corky02 was one of the original reporter of the problem.

  • léonie Level 10 (91,019 points)



    The thumbnails my light table do look quite blurry, and when I enlarge one of them it is even worse. The images look much better when I view the same selection, and zoom in, in the Browser in Grid View.  But even if the Light Table were working properly, what is the advantage of this overlapping mess compared to the ordered grid in the Browser?

  • robogobo Level 2 (290 points)

    I think it's a valiant attempt to give digital photos some conceptual texture and let users manipulate their position relative to each other the way we used to do with analog prints.  I used to love throwing prints out on a light table and shuffle them around, to see how they influence each other in different positions.  Great idea, but like many things it got the ol' Apple neglect.  I bet a few thousand feedback tickets would get them to fix the blurriness.

  • léonie Level 10 (91,019 points)

    Tank you, robogob, so like Lt.Tuvokyou are emphasizing the artist's view on Aperture; I tend to neglect that, being a computer scientist.


    I bet a few thousand feedback tickets would get them to fix the blurriness.

    Try it:




  • Lt.Tuvok Level 1 (40 points)

    I have never noticed the blurriness in the lighttables, because I do not zoom in the photos.

    I have send a bug feedback to Apple.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)



    I use Lighttables for two things:

    - to line up Images that I will stitch with an external editor (for various reasons these are not always in order).

    - to judge color balance, color interactions, and cropping/shape for images that will be sold and displayed as a set.


    I don't do that a lot, but when I do, it is very useful, and there is no other tool in Aperture that let's me do those things.


    The bug that degrades the displayed resolution should have been removed long ago.  Léonie's Bug Annunciator should be sent directly to the Apple Aperture team  .

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)

    That bug goes back to at least last summer, so if ai ain't gone by now ....

  • robogobo Level 2 (290 points)

    You know what I just realized?  Here I am reminiscing about the old days, "throwing prints out on a light table".  What's wrong with that statement?  haha!  Transparencies went on a light table, that's what.  Prints went on the proofing tabe. This is how long ago it was, that memories amalgamize and the traditional tools and phrases are applied to digital lingo (and lost).


    Just a little side note...

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)

    leonieDF wrote:

    what is the advantage of this overlapping mess compared to the ordered grid in the Browser?

    Order, spacing, arrangement, inclusion/exclusion (for starters  ).



    Screenshot 1:






    Light Table brightness is the same as the Viewer, set at "Aperture→Preferences→Appearance".


    Message was edited by: Kirby Krieger

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)



    I just assumed you left the light-table lights off when arranging prints ... .

  • Lt.Tuvok Level 1 (40 points)

    I agree.


    On my academy for photography we have real lighttables to organize the photos on several criteria. I really need lighttables so sort as Kirby descripted. I sort on orientation, color, composition et cetera. After that I create a story that keeps interesting to look at by varying the photos by the different sort criteria.


    Lighttables is a must have for good organization before you send your photos to the printer.

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