Aperture in Slovakia-II

by Steve Simon

In the second part of my Aperture In Slovakia post, I wanted to mention how I used Aperture to plan out the final exhibition. At the end of the week, we made some tough decisions to come up with our final edit of three photographs per student.

One of the main goals of the intensive week of shooting was to get students outside their comfort zones. It is true for many, myself included, that too often we tend to shoot from eye-level, at usual camera-to-subject distances and don't "work" the photo-taking process enough.

We tried to break free of the usual during this week, encouraging all to take chances and explore new ideas and angles, not thinking but feeling our way through, shooting more than normal and triggering the shutter on gut instinct. In the end, it really worked; the final results spoke to the importance of breaking away from the usual way of doing things to push to the next level in the photographic evolution.


It was important to have a plan and vision for the final show. We had 36 images that needed to be displayed on eight panels, and we had to choose in advance which of the three images would be the dominant one, so it could be printed larger. These decisions needed to be made quickly and in time to get everything printed and ready for framing.

The light table made it possible to "see" the final show, panel by panel, experimenting with different sizes and layouts, insuring the final show would be as good as it could be. By creating a light table for each of the 8 panels in our final gallery show, it was easy to see what worked and what didn't and to insure all 36 photos would fit.

Students were allowed, one large image, 60x40 cm and two smaller 45x30cm photographs. I made an album of all 36 final selects, and then put them in a general order that I thought would give a nice flow to the show from start to finish.

14. browser final show.jpg

I then created a light table for each of the eight panels used to hang the work. I dropped the images onto each light table, I then Control>Clicked outside the light table area and minimized the size of the table for a tight fit.

15. PanelProject.jpg

13. ShirleyPanel.jpg
Shirley Anne Wood

Then, by selecting all images on the table and Control>Clicking on one of the images, I scrolled down to "Arrange" and all the images neatly popped into order and I was ready to experiment. Contorl>Clicking on two or more of the images on the table gives you many options, to Align, Distribute and Arrange the images quickly and neatly.

By moving the images around, I confirmed which would be the big prints by making them bigger on the table to see how they worked with the others. Some of the panels would have 6 images, some just three but by the end of the process I knew that all 36 photos were included, and which were big (so I could tell the printer) as well as how everything worked together.

When it came time to mount the images on the panels, it was quick and easy since we had a great idea (short of a few tweaks) of what the final show would look like. Though I didn't have access to a printer, if I did, I would have printed out each light table representing a panel in the show, for a schematic of the entire exhibition.

In last week's post, I showed work from half the class. Here's how the other half shot.

12. Shirley Anne Wood.jpg
Shirley Anne Wood

11. Kristina.jpg
Kristina Magdolenova

10. Herman.jpg
Herman Viktor Cater

8. Pavel.jpg
Pavel Motovilin

9. Miro.jpg
Miro Kubik

Milan Veliky