Capturing Images for the Digital Lifestyle

Images are a huge part of the digital lifestyle. From the snapshots you took on your last vacation to that "killer" graphic extolling the virtues of your product for your Web site, digital images are an important part of what you do on your Mac.

The Mac has long been known as the computer platform of choice for many digital artists. With Mac OS X, the place of the Mac in the hearts and minds of digital artists is ensured. And, just as important, Mac OS X makes it possible for those of us who might not be quite so artistic to create and use excellent digital images.

The situations for which you might create digital images are literally endless. To give you a few ideas, consider the following list:

  • Digital photo albums that make it easy to organize and access all of your photos (unlike all the "hard copy" photos stacked around your house)

  • Sophisticated slide shows that include music and special effects

  • Images of all kinds to enhance your Web site

  • Images to include in the movies you create

  • Desktop images to enhance your working environment

  • Images to include in work projects (proposals, reports, and so on)

To learn how to quickly create a Web page to display your digital photos, see "Creating a .Mac Web Site," p. 381.

To learn how to use digital images in your digital movies, see "Creating and Editing a Movie with QuickTime Pro," p. 518, and "Building a Basic Video Track," p. 539.

To learn how to use QuickTime to create slide shows with your images, see "Creating a QuickTime Slide Show," p. 523.

To learn how to use your favorite images on your desktop, see "Customizing the Mac OS X Desktop," p. 99.

With Mac OS X, there are several ways to create or obtain digital images for your use. These include the following:

  • Use a graphics application to create an image.

  • Use a digital camera to capture an image.

  • Use a scanner to create a digital image from a hard-copy version.

  • Capture a still image from a digital movie.

  • Take a screenshot of your desktop to use in documents or when you are trying to get help with your Mac.

  • Download an image from the Web.

  • Purchase an image from a stock photo CD collection or Web site.

To learn how to capture images with a digital camera, see "Capturing Images Using a Digital Camera," p. 410.

To learn how to capture images with a scanner, see "Capturing Digital Images Using a Scanner," p. 422.

To learn how to capture a screenshot, see "Capturing Screen Images with Grab," p. 424.

Images and Copyrights

Before you use any image you didn't create, you need to be sure that you aren't violating anyone's copyright. If an image is copyrighted, you must have legal permission to use that image. Most copyrights allow you to use images for your own personal use, but distribution of such images is strictly prohibited. Not only is using someone else's images without their permission the wrong thing to do, but you can get into serious trouble if you are caught doing so.

If an image you would like to use is copyrighted, contact the copyright holder for permission to use the image. Sometimes you will be able to use the image for free (for example, if you are creating a not-for-profit project), but often you will be required to pay a fee to license the image.

The best thing about Mac OS X and digital images is Apple's iPhoto application. iPhoto is simply amazing; you can use it to capture, organize, view, print, and be creative with all types of digital images. In fact, iPhoto is so amazing, people have switched to Mac OS X just because of iPhoto! (iPhoto is available only for Mac OS X.) iPhoto empowers you to make the most of digital images for all kinds of purposes, from your own personal snapshots to images for your projects. It might be the only digital imaging application you ever need.

    Part I: Mac OS X: Exploring the Core
    Part III: Mac OS X: Living the Digital Lifestyle