There’s a lot of fuss over the loss of the advanced adjustments in the Highlights & Shadows tool. Keep in mind, these aren’t features that were dropped — this is a modification of the tool where the new Mid Contrast slider combines “several advanced tools”, according to Apple. I’m trying to find an image that I can enhance with better results using the old Aperture vs the new one, and so far I can’t. Regardless…
Want the old Highlights & Shadows adjustment tool back?
If you want the legacy adjustment tool back, it’s actually still in Aperture… it has to be, otherwise all your previously edited photos would have to be re-rendered, and that’d be a Bad Thing™. If you open pre-3.3-adjusted photo that had Highlights & Shadows applied to it, then you will see the old adjustment tool, with a new “Upgrade” button in place.
Turns out you can save that old adjustment as a preset (set to zero even), and then add that to any new photo.
Make a preset using the old Adjustment
Select any photo that already has this legacy adjustment applied, remove every other adjustment on the photo, reset the Highlights & Shadows to default, then save it as an “Effect” (aka Adjustment Preset) from the Effects menu.
Or just download this one…
Or, to download a preset that adds the legacy Highlights & Shadows Adjustment tool to your photo, just click here.
Install this preset by going to the Adjustments tab, then click on the Effects drop-down, choose Edit Effects, then from the gear menu, choose Import… and import the file you downloaded above (it will need to be unzipped if it doesn’t automatically).
Once installed, just select it from the Effects menu like any other preset.
Hopefully that makes some people happy :)