As pointed out in the Aperture 3.3: ApertureExpert Review article, the new “Auto Enhance” feature is actually an application of up to five auto adjustments, including:
- White Balance
- Enhance (*)
- Highlights & Shadows (*)
If you look closely though, the effects with the (*) don’t actually have an Auto button in the Aperture interface. However that won’t stop you from creating your own Auto presets, using just one (or more) of those Adjustments.
Build your own Auto Effect Presets
All you need to do is duplicate the built-in “Auto Enhance” preset, and remove the other effects. To do that, select “Auto Enhance”, click on the gear menu, and choose Duplicate Preset. Then, simply click the (−) icon next to all the other adjustments and rename your new preset appropriately. See below how I’ve created a custom “Highlights & Shadows (auto)” preset, like this:
Now you have an automatic Highlights & Shadows effect to apply!
Remember, “Auto Enhance” is very clever…
It’s worth stating again that this “Auto Enhance” preset will not simply apply all five adjustments to every image. If Aperture determines that the image doesn’t need one of the adjustments, it won’t apply it at all. I’m not saying that it will apply it at zero settings — it simply doesn’t even enable the adjustment. This works even if you apply the Effect to a batch of images at once, making it an optimal Effect Preset to run on import.