Using iPhoto to Master Digital Images

Mac OS X includes one of the most amazing image applications ever produced: Apple's iPhoto. iPhoto enables you to work with digital photos you have captured using a digital camera or from any other source. With iPhoto, you can organize, edit, print, email, and export your photos. You can also do all sorts of other cool things with your images, such as creating books, Web pages, and screensavers.

When you open iPhoto, you see its three panes (see Figure 15.6). The Source pane enables you to select a source to work with. The Content pane shows either the contents of the selected source or the image you are working with, depending on the mode you are in. The Tool pane of the window contains various tools you use for the mode you are working in. Between the Tool pane and the other two panes are iPhoto controls, the mode buttons, and the Size slider.

Figure 15.6. iPhoto might be one of the best applications ever created for the Mac.

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iPhoto has four modes of operation

  • Import? You use: the Import mode to import images from a camera.

  • Organize? You use this: mode to create photo albums, apply keywords to your images, and perform other tasks to keep your images organized.

  • Edit? In the Edit: mode, you can edit your images by cropping, changing brightness and contrast, removing red-eye, and so on.

  • Book? Using :Book mode, you can create custom books to display your images.

Between the Source and Content panes and the Tool pane, iPhoto controls are available in whichever mode you are in (see Figure 15.7).

Figure 15.7. You can use the iPhoto tools to perform basic actions with images being displayed in the Content pane.

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You have the following controls available to you at all times:

  • Create Album? Click this button to create a new album. You will learn more about creating albums later in this chapter.

  • Play Slideshow? Click this button and a nice slideshow displaying the images in the selected album plays (accompanied by a music soundtrack).

  • Info? Click this to open or expand the Information area of the Source pane. If the Info area is not displayed, clicking this button once opens it. If it is displayed, clicking this button expands it, and if it is expanded, clicking this button closes it.

  • Rotate? Use this button to rotate a selected image by 90° increments in the counterclockwise direction. When you select an image and then click this button, the image is rotated in the Content pane; the image assumes the orientation you choose from that point forward (meaning the image itself is changed to be the orientation you select). You can change the direction of rotation in the Preferences window. You can also rotate in the opposite direction by holding down the Option key when you click the button.

  • Number or ratio of images in source? If you have a source selected, this shows the number of images in that source. If you have one or more images selected, it shows the number of images you have selected compared to the total number of images in the selected album.

  • Mode buttons? Use these buttons to change the mode in which iPhoto is working. When you click a mode button, the Content and Tool panes change to reflect the mode you select.

  • Display Size? Drag this slider to change the size of the thumbnails of the images you see in the Content pane. Moving the slider to the right makes the thumbnails larger, whereas moving it to the left makes them appear smaller and shows more images at the same time. The setting of this slider doesn't actually change the image in any way; it only determines how large the images appear onscreen.

To get started in iPhoto, you should set several of its preferences. The first time you open iPhoto, you are prompted to set some of these preferences, but you can make changes to them at any time by opening the iPhoto Preferences dialog box.

The iPhoto preferences you can set are described in Table 15.1.

Table 15.1. iPhoto Preferences

Preference

Options

What It Does

Appearance

Drop Shadow

The Shadow option puts a drop shadow behind the thumbnail images in the Content pane when you are in the Organize mode.

 

Border

When you select this option, each thumbnail appears inside a border.

 

No Border

With this preference, thumbnails don't have any border or drop shadow.

 

Background

You use this slider to set the color of the background of the Contents pane. Dragging the slider to the right makes the background white; moving it all the way to the left makes it black. Placing it in the middle results in a shade of gray.

 

Align to grid

With this option checked, your images remain aligned to the iPhoto grid.

 

Place most recent photos at the top

When this check box is checked, the photos you imported most recently appear at the top of the Content pane.

Double-click Action

Opens in Edit view

With the Edit view option, when you double-click an image, it opens in the Edit mode.

 

Opens in separate window

With the separate window option, when you double-click an image, it opens in a separate window in which you can view and edit the image. This is very useful, especially because you can customize the toolbar that appears at the top of the window.

 

Opens in other/Select button

When you select this preference and then use the Select button to choose an image editing application, the images open in the editing application you selected. For example, you might choose to edit your images with a more powerful image editing application, such as Adobe Photoshop.

Rotate

Clockwise button

With this button selected, the Rotate button rotates images in the clockwise direction by default (you can hold down the Option key while you click the Rotate button to rotate images in the opposite direction).

 

Counterclockwise button

With this button selected, the Rotate button rotates images in the counterclockwise direction by default (you can hold down the Option key while you click the Rotate button to rotate images in the opposite direction).

Mail

Email application

Use this pop-up menu to choose the email application you want to use to email images from within iPhoto. For example, if you use Apple's Mail application, select Mail on the pop-up menu.

NOTE

The first time you open iPhoto, you are prompted to have iPhoto open automatically when you connect a camera to your Mac. If you do this, you don't need to use Image Capture to set that preference.


Finally, set iPhoto to open automatically when you connect a camera to your Mac:

  1. Open the Image Capture application.

  2. Select Image Capture, Preferences and click the Camera tab.

  3. On the Camera Preferences pop-up menu, select iPhoto.

  4. Click OK and quit Image Capture.

Importing Images

The first step in working with images in iPhoto is to import the images you want to work with into the iPhoto Photo Library. You can import images from the following two sources:

  • A digital camera

  • Image files outside of iPhoto

To import images into iPhoto, you use its Import mode. In this mode, the Tool pane contains the following elements (left to right in Figure 15.8):

  • Camera information? When iPhoto is communicating with a camera, you see that camera's information, such as its model name. You also see how many images are available to be downloaded into iPhoto. When a camera is not connected, you see the "No camera connected" message.

  • Preview window? When you import images, a preview of each image is shown in the Preview window.

  • Progress bar? The progress bar displays the progress of the import process.

  • Files remaining? Just below the progress bar, the number of files remaining to import from the selected source is shown.

  • Import/Stop button? This button is Import when you aren't importing images. When you click the Import button, the import process starts and the button becomes Stop (the Stop button does just what you think it does).

  • "Erase camera contents after transfer" check box? If you check this box, the images on your digital camera are erased after they have been imported into iPhoto.

Figure 15.8. When you connect a camera to your Mac, iPhoto moves into the Import mode automatically.

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Erasing Images

Here are two comments for you on the Erase check box. First, if you don't have a camera connected to your Mac, it is inactive. Second, even when it is active, I recommend that you don't use it. I suggest that you leave images on your camera until you are sure they have been imported correctly. If something happens to the image you import and it is erased from your camera, it is gone forever. After you have verified that your images have been imported successfully, you can delete them by using your camera's controls.


Downloading Images from a Digital Camera into iPhoto

To download images from your camera into your iPhoto Photo Library, perform the following steps:

  1. Connect your camera to your Mac with its USB cable.

  2. Power up your camera. iPhoto opens if it isn't already open and moves into the Import mode. Your camera is recognized in the lower-left corner of the Import Tool pane, and you see how many photos are ready to be downloaded.

  3. Click Import; the application begins moving the images from the camera's memory into your Photo Library. As the process proceeds, you can see its progress in the Progress bar.

  4. Click the Last Import album in the Source pane. iPhoto moves into the Organize mode, and you see the photos you just imported.

  5. Work with the Organization mode tools to organize and identify the images you just imported.

To learn how to use iPhoto's Organize mode, see "Labeling, Finding, and Organizing Images," p. 477.


After you have organized the images you have imported, use your camera's tools to empty its memory card so you will be ready for your next shooting session.

To remove: images you imported but don't want to keep, select the images and press the Delete key. Click OK in the warning dialog box, and the image is deleted from iPhoto. Obviously, you should do this only with images you are sure you will never want again.

Importing Other Images into iPhoto

You can also add: images from other sources to your iPhoto Photo Library. For example, if your digital camera is incompatible with iPhoto, you have to download images from that camera (such as by using a USB memory card reader) and then import them into iPhoto. Or you might want to add previously scanned photos to iPhoto so you can use iPhoto's great tools to work with them.

You can import a wide variety of image file formats into iPhoto, including JPEGs, Photoshop files, and other formats you are likely to encounter when dealing with digital images. Here's how:

  1. Prepare the images you want to import (for example, scan the photos or download them from a USB memory card reader to your Mac).

  2. Select File, Import or press Shift-graphics/mac.gif-I. The Import Photos dialog box opens.

  3. Move to the files you want to import and select them. You can select multiple images at the same time by holding down the graphics/mac.gif key while you click each image.

  4. Click Import (or press Return). The images are imported into your Photo Library. You can monitor the process by watching the Progress bar?importing images from files is much faster than importing them from a camera, so the process moves along pretty quickly.

  5. Click the Last Import album in the Source pane. iPhoto moves into the Organize mode, and you see the images you just imported.

  6. Work with the Organization mode tools to organize and identify the images you just imported.

To learn how to use iPhoto's Organize mode, see "Organizing Your Images with Photo Albums," p. 487.


NOTE

The Last Import album contains the most recent set of images you imported or downloaded from a camera. The images remain in this album until the next import, at which point they are replaced by the next set. Of course, because it is an album, it doesn't actually contain the images themselves, just pointers to them. The imported images are always stored in your Photo Library.


TIP

When you are done importing images, you should immediately label them and attach the appropriate keywords to them. These tasks are essential to enable you to find images in your Photo Library after you have built it up with hundreds or thousands of images. If you wait until you have hundreds or thousands of images before labeling them, the job will be much harder. Labeling them as you go makes the process much easier.


Labeling, Finding, and Organizing Images

Images in iPhoto can be organized into albums; iPhoto albums are analogous to analog photo albums that contain the images in your collection. The iPhoto Source pane shows all the albums contained in your collection. iPhoto includes three albums that are always present: Photo Library, Last Import, and Trash. The Photo Library album contains all the images you have imported into iPhoto (regardless of how you imported them). The Last Import album contains the images you downloaded during the last time you imported images. Just like the Trash on the Dock, iPhoto's Trash contains images you have deleted.

To work with an album, select it in the Source pane and the images its contains are shown in the Content pane. (iPhoto moves into the Organize mode automatically.) When in the Organize mode, the Tool pane contains tools that enable you to perform many actions with your images (see Figure 15.9).

Figure 15.9. In the Organize mode, you can organize the images in your Photo Library.

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TIP

You can resize the Source pane by dragging the Resize handle to the left or right.


Because you are likely to accumulate a large number of images, it is imperative that you keep them organized and that you use iPhoto's information tools to help you identify your photos so that you can find them when you need them. To help you keep your images organized, you can attach the following information to them:

  • Title? Each image in your Photo Library has a title. When you import images, the title that iPhoto assigns to them is the same as the filename that iPhoto assigns to that image. But you can change this to give an image a more meaningful title.

  • Date? iPhoto labels each image with the date and time on which it was captured (if the image came from a digital camera) or with a file's date if the image is imported from a hard disk. You can also change this information if you want to.

  • Comments? iPhoto enables you to add comments to each image. For example, you can provide the context for the image so that when you look at it later, you will understand it better or if you have a poor memory like I do, you can explain where the information was captured. Comments are especially useful when you create books because they can include interesting things you've said about those images.

  • Film roll? As you import images, iPhoto labels each image session as a film roll and attaches that film roll number to the image. (A film roll number is a sequential value.) You can use this information to find images based on the group in which you imported them. You can't change the film roll number. Film roll is only visible when you are working with the Photo Library as the source.

  • Keywords? Keywords are short phrases you can assign to images so you can find them again by searching for the keywords attached to them. The benefit of keywords is that you can define a set of keywords and apply them consistently over time. For example, suppose you like to take photos of your vacations. You can create a keyword "Vacation" and assign that to the images you take. Because you use the same phrase, you can find the images again easily because you don't have to remember how you labeled particular images; instead, you can find them by doing a keyword search. You can also combine keywords. For example, you can create and use keywords for each year. If you wanted to find the images you captured during a specific year's vacation, you could search for the keyword "Vacation" and the year in which you are interested.

Adding Titles and Comments to Your Images

You can label images with a title or add comments to the images in your Photo Library to make them easier to find or to document something about those images. Titles and comments can also be useful when you are creating some projects, such as when you create a book or a Web site for a group of images. Do the following:

  1. Move into the Organize mode by clicking the Organize button on the iPhoto Tool pane.

  2. Find the images you want to label.

    TIP

    One reason I suggested earlier that you should label images immediately after you import them is because finding the images that you most recently imported is easy by clicking the Last Import album in the Source pane. The images in that album are displayed in the Content pane.

  3. Click the Information button located just underneath the Source pane until you can see the Comments box (see Figure 15.10). Depending on your starting point, you might have to click the button once, twice, or not at all if the Comments box is already displayed.

    Figure 15.10. Using the fields in the Information area, you can attach titles, a date, and comments to images.

    graphics/15fig10.jpg

  4. Click an image's thumbnail to select the image to which you want to attach information. The image is enclosed in a blue box to show that it is selected. In the Information area, you see iPhoto's default title for the image (the filename the image was assigned when you imported it), the date and time on which the image was captured (assuming that iPhoto was able to retrieve this information from the source), the size (the resolution at which the image was captured and file size), the music associated with the image when it is displayed in a slideshow, and the Comments for the image.

    TIP

    You can adjust the height of the Information area by dragging its resize handle (the dot between the Source pane and the Information area).

  5. If you want to use something other than the iPhoto file name as the image's title, click in the Title field, select the default title, and replace it with a title of your choosing.

  6. If you want to change the date iPhoto has associated with an image, click the in Date field, select the current information, and change it. In most cases, this isn't necessary.

  7. Click in the Comments box and enter comments about the image. Comments can be anything you desire, such as a description of the location where the image was captured, something amusing that happened at the same time, and so on.

  8. Repeat steps 2?7 for each image you want to label.

Creating Keywords for Images

iPhoto includes a number of keywords by default. However, you can create your own keywords, and you can change any keywords that are available (whether you added them or they came with iPhoto). After you have set the keywords you want to use, you can associate them with your images and use them to search for specific images.

First, make a list of keywords you want to use to identify images. Some examples are the following:

  • Holidays

  • Birthday (this a default keyword)

  • Scenic

  • Vacation (this a default keyword)

  • Sports

  • Specific years (2003, 2004, and so on)

  • People's names

Adding each year and specific people's names as keywords is useful because you can combine keywords to quickly find individual images. For example, suppose you have defined "2003" as a keyword. If you also use "Birthday" and a person's name as keywords, you can find images associated with that person's birthday in 2003 by searching on the person's name, "2003", and "Birthday". Combing keywords is a powerful way to search for specific images.

To add keywords, use the following steps:

  1. Select Edit, Keywords (or press graphics/mac.gif-K). The Keywords/Search dialog box appears.

  2. On the Keywords pop-up menu at the top of the dialog box, select New. You see a new keyword called "untitled".

  3. Type the keyword you want to add (see Figure 15.11).

    Figure 15.11. I have added the keyword "2003".

    graphics/15fig11.jpg

  4. Press the Return key to add the keyword to the application. It is then available for you to assign to images and then use to search for images.

  5. Repeat steps 2?4 for each keyword you want to add.

Following are a couple of keyword tips:

  • You can remove a keyword from the list by selecting it and selecting Delete on the Keywords pop-up menu at the top of the Keywords/Search dialog box.

  • You can change a keyword by selecting it, selecting Rename on the Keywords pop-up menu, typing the new name, and pressing Return. This action changes the keyword on the list as well as on any images with which it is associated.

NOTE

One of iPhoto's default keywords is a check mark. This is the one keyword you can't change. The check mark is intended to be assigned to images temporarily so you can perform a specific task for those images. For example, you might want to order prints from only a few photos in an album. You can apply the check mark keyword to each image you want a print of and then find those images by searching for the check mark keyword. (The check mark actually appears in the lower-right corner of the image itself instead of next to it, which is where other keywords appear.) After you order the prints, you can remove the check mark keyword from the images.


Assigning Keywords to Images

To use your newly created keywords (or the default ones) to find images, you need to associate keywords with those images.

Before you start working with keywords, make sure they are displayed by selecting View, Keywords or pressing Shift-graphics/mac.gif-K. Keywords are shown on the right of the image thumbnails in the Content pane.

Now, assign keywords to images with these steps:

  1. Select the images to which you want to apply one or more keywords. You can assign the same keywords to multiple images at the same time.

  2. Select Edit, Keywords or press graphics/mac.gif-K. The Keywords/Search dialog box opens.

  3. Click the first keyword you want to assign to select it. That keyword becomes highlighted.

  4. Click Assign. The keyword you selected is assigned to the images you selected in step 1.

  5. Click the next keyword you want to assign to the selected images.

  6. Click Assign. The keyword you selected is assigned to all the images you selected in step 1.

  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each keyword you want to assign to the selected images. The keywords you have assigned to the selected images are highlighted (see Figure 15.12).

    Figure 15.12. I have attached the keywords "2002" and "Vacation" to the images selected in the Content pane.

    graphics/15fig12.jpg

  8. Click the Keywords/Search dialog box's Close button. When you return to the iPhoto window, the keywords you assigned appear next to the images you selected.

The Keywords/Search dialog box is independent of the iPhoto window, which means you can leave it open and switch between it and the iPhoto window. This saves you the steps of opening and closing the dialog box each time you want to assign keywords or search for images.

To remove a keyword from an image, do the following steps:

  1. Select the images containing the keyword you want to remove.

  2. Select Edit, Keywords or press graphics/mac.gif-K. The Keywords/Search dialog box opens.

  3. Select the keywords you want to remove from the images. (Only the keywords that are currently applied to the selected images are highlighted.)

  4. Click Remove. The keyword you selected is no longer associated with the selected images.

Configuring the Information Displayed in the Content Pane

There are a number of ways in which you can configure the Content pane when you are working in the Organize mode, including those described in the following paragraphs.

Use the Thumbnail Size slider to set the size of the thumbnails you see. Making the thumbnails larger makes identifying images easier. The trade-off is that you see fewer of them in the pane.

Select View, Titles or press Shift-graphics/mac.gif-T to show image titles if they are hidden or to hide them if they are shown. When you show titles, they appear just below the lower-left corner of the images.

Select View, Keywords or press Shift-graphics/mac.gif-K to show keywords if they are hidden or to hide them if they are shown. When you show keywords, the keywords you have assigned to images appear just to the right of the upper-right corner of the images.

If you have selected the Photo Library, select View, Film Rolls or press Shift-graphics/mac.gif-F to show film roll information if it is hidden or to hide it if it is shown. (You can display or hide film roll information only when you are working with the Photo Library. If you are working with a photo album, this option is disabled.)

Select View, Arrange Photos to see the Arrange Photos menu. On this menu, you can choose how you want images in the Content pane arranged. The choices are by Film Roll, by Date, by Title, or Manually. (Manually is disabled when you are viewing the Photo Library.)

When you select one of these attributes, the images in the selected source are sorted by the attribute you select, such as by their dates to list the images in the Content pane chronologically.

When you select the Photo Library and select by Film Roll, the images are grouped by film roll. Next to the film roll title, you can click the Expansion triangle to show or hide the images within that film roll.

When you select a photo album, you can select Manually. This choice enables you to manually organize the images in a photo album, which is essential when you are creating projects because the order in which images appear in the Content pane is the order in which they appear in a project, such as a Web site.

You can choose to view each source differently. For example, you can choose to view one photo album by date and another manually. The view settings you choose are specific to each source. However, the Thumbnail Size slider setting applies to all sources.

Viewing Detailed Information for Images

iPhoto keeps very detailed information on each image in the Photo Library. You can view this information by using the following steps:

  1. Select the image about which you want to get detailed information.

  2. Select File, Show Photo Info or press graphics/mac.gif-I. The Photo Info window appears.

  3. Click the Photo tab. Information about the image is shown, such as its size, date, filename, file size, and the camera with which it was captured.

  4. Click the Exposure tab. This tab contains technical information about the settings with which the image was captured, such as shutter speed, aperture, and so on.

  5. Click another image to view its information. Because the Info window is independent of the iPhoto window, you can leave it open and select the images in which you are interested.

  6. Click the window's Close button when you are done using it.

NOTE

The information captured for each image depends on the device used to capture it and how the image was imported into iPhoto. Some cameras can communicate more information to iPhoto and some can communicate less. Likewise, if you import images from a disk instead of a camera, they are likely to have less information.


Finding Images

After you have added hundreds or thousands of images to your Photo Library, finding specific images with which you want to work can be a challenge. Fortunately, iPhoto includes powerful search tools that can help you locate individual images so you can work with them.

There are two basic ways to search for images: by keyword or by title or comments.

To find images by keywords, do the following:

  1. Select the source you want to search by clicking it in the Source pane. Select a photo album to search it, or select the Photo Library to search all your images.

  2. Select Edit, Keywords or press graphics/mac.gif-K. The Keywords/Search dialog box opens.

  3. Click a keyword for which you want to search. It becomes highlighted to show that it is selected.

  4. Hold down the graphics/mac.gif key and click the other keywords for which you want to search. When you select more than one keyword for a search, all those keywords must be associated with an image for it to be found.

  5. Click Search. Only the images associated with the selected keywords are shown in the Contents pane (see Figure 15.13).

    Figure 15.13. By selecting the keywords "2002" and "Vacation," the images shown in the Content pane (in the background) are only those with which those keywords are associated.

    graphics/15fig13.jpg

  6. Click the iPhoto window to see the images you found in the Contents pane.

    CAUTION

    If you close the Keywords/Search dialog box, your search is lost and you see the contents of the selected source instead. Leave the dialog box open as long as you want to work with your search results. Because the dialog box is independent of the iPhoto window, you can move it out of the way if you want to.

  7. When you are done with your search, close the Keywords/Search dialog box.

TIP

You can show all the images in the selected source again by clicking the Show All button in the Keywords dialog box.


You can also search for images by title or comments in a similar way:

  1. Select the source you want to search by clicking it in the Source pane. Select a photo album to search it, or select the Photo Library to search all your images.

  2. Select Edit, Keywords or press graphics/mac.gif-K. The Keywords/Search dialog box opens.

  3. Type the text for which you want to search in the Search box. As you type, the selected source is searched for the images that contain the text you typed (in their Title or Comments fields), and they are shown in the Contents pane.

    NOTE

    Because the search is performed each time you type a letter or a number, typing might be sluggish if you are searching in a source that has a lot of images. After these are narrowed down, the speed at which you can type will increase.

  4. Click the iPhoto window to see the images you found in the Contents pane.

    CAUTION

    If you close the Keywords/Search dialog box, your search is lost and you see the contents of the selected source instead. Leave the dialog box open as long as you want to work with your search results. The dialog box is independent of the iPhoto window, so you can move it out of the way if you want to.

  5. When you are done with your search, close the Keywords/Search dialog box.

Organizing Your Images with Photo Albums

Photo albums are the tool you use to create collections of images for specific purposes, such as to view specific images or create slideshows, books, Web sites, and other projects. You can create albums containing the images you are interested in and then work with those images by selecting an album in the Source pane.

NOTE

If you have used iTunes' playlists, the concept of albums should be easy to grasp because playlists and albums are analogous.


You can choose any criteria for the photos you include in an album, and you can include any number of photos in any album you create. Here's how:

  1. Click the New Album button located just below the Source pane; select File, New Album; or press graphics/mac.gif-N. You see the New Album dialog box.

  2. Name your album and click OK. The album you create appears in the Source pane.

  3. Select the Photo Library source and find the images you want to include in the new album; use the keyword searching technique you learned in the preceding sections to do so.

  4. Select the images you want to include in the album (select multiple images by holding down the graphics/mac.gif key), and drag them onto the new album in the Source pane. As you drag the images onto the album, a red circle containing a number appears?the number is the number of images you have selected.

  5. Continue finding images and dragging them onto the album.

  6. When you are done, select the album in the Source pane to see the images it contains in the Content pane.

Following are points to consider when you work with albums:

  • Placing images in an album does not remove them from the Photo Library; the Photo Library always contains all the images you have imported into iPhoto (unless you have deleted some images from the Library). When you drag an image onto an album, a pointer from the original image to the album is created.

  • You can create an album by dragging images from the Photo Library or from other albums onto the Source pane. An album called Album-# is created; you can edit the album name by selecting it and, when it is highlighted, changing the name to what you want it to be.

  • You can place the same image in as many albums as you'd like.

  • When you select an album, you can select and then drag the images around in the Content pane to change their order. The order in which images appear in an album affects projects you create from that album. For example, if you create a book, the images appear in the book in the same order in which they appear in the album. The first image in an album is the one in the upper-left corner of the Content pane, the second image is the one to the right, and so on to the end of the row. The first image in the next row is the next image and so on right to left, top to bottom.

  • To remove an image from an album, select it and press the Delete key. The image is removed from the album, but not from the Photo Library.

  • Changes you make to an image in an album, such as associating keywords with it, editing it, or rotating it, do affect the image in all its locations, including in the Photo Library.

Rotating Images

Images can have one of two orientations: landscape or portrait. When you capture images, you are likely to change the camera's orientation to capture the best image possible. For example, landscape shots are often best captured in the Landscape orientation, which is wider than it is tall (hmmm, I wonder how they named that one?). When you are capturing images or people, the Portrait orientation, which is taller than it is wide, is frequently a good choice (another naming coincidence, do you suppose?).

Because you are likely to rotate your camera as you take pictures, the pictures you import will probably be of mixed orientation. For most uses, including simple browsing, slideshows, books, and so on, this is usually not a good thing. iPhoto's Rotation tool comes in handy at this point and enables you to rotate images so that the bottom of all your images is toward the bottom of the screen. Do the following:

  1. Select the photo album containing the images you want to rotate.

  2. Select the images you want to rotate.

  3. Click the Rotate button. The images you selected are rotated in a 90° increment in the default direction you have configured for the button.

Rotating images is simple, as you can see. Still, here are some tips to make you an expert in the art of rotation:

  • Images are rotated in a 90° increment each time you click the Rotate button.

  • To rotate images in the direction opposite to what's set as the default rotation direction, hold down the Option key while you click the Rotate button.

  • You can change the default direction of rotation when you click the Rotate button by using the iPhoto Preferences dialog box.

  • You can rotate images in the clockwise direction by selecting them and selecting Edit, Rotate, Clockwise or by pressing Shift-graphics/mac.gif-R.

  • You can rotate images in the counterclockwise direction by selecting them and selecting Edit, Rotate, Counter Clockwise or by pressing graphics/mac.gif-R.

Editing Your Images

You can use iPhoto's Edit mode to make changes to your images. Although iPhoto is not a full-featured image editing application such as Adobe Photoshop, its tools enable you to make common changes that most people want to make to their images. For example, you can remove red-eye, crop, and so on.

Editing a Copy or the Original

When you edit an image, your changes affect all instances of that image in all your photo albums, in the Photo Library, and wherever else that image is used within the application. (Fortunately, iPhoto maintains the original image should you ever want to go back to it. You'll learn more about this later.)

This is a problem if you want to have multiple versions of an image, say one cropped and one not cropped or one in black-and-white for a book and another in color for a slideshow. Fortunately, you can create duplicates of images. Each copy becomes a new, independent image just as if you had imported it again. You can create one copy for each version of the image you want to use in your projects.

You can create as many copies of an image as you'd like, but remember that each image consumes disk storage space. If you are going to use only one version, you don't need to duplicate it because iPhoto maintains the original version for you. But, if you do want to use multiple versions of the same image, select the images you want to duplicate and select File, Duplicate or press graphics/mac.gif-D. You move into the Import mode temporarily and a copy of the image is created.

The copies have all the same information associated with them as the originals, such as keywords, dates, and so on. The only difference is that the word copy is appended to the images' titles.

Choosing Editing Options

When you edit images within iPhoto, there are two basic ways the Edit window can be configured. Slight differences exist between the two ways, but they each work similarly.

One way is to edit images within the iPhoto window itself?this is the default configuration. When you use this configuration and double-click an image (or select it and click the Edit mode button), the image fills the Contents pane and the edit tools appear in the Tool pane (see Figure 15.14).

Figure 15.14. You can edit images within the main iPhoto window.

graphics/15fig14.jpg

The other way is to have the images you edit appear in a separate Edit window. To enable this method, set the Double-click preference to "Opens in separate window." With this preference set, when you double-click an image, a new, separate Edit window appears (see Figure 15.15). You can use the editing tools that appear in the window's toolbar to edit the image.

Figure 15.15. You can also configure iPhoto so you can edit images in the Edit window.

graphics/15fig15.jpg

One of the nice things about the second method is that you can customize the tools in the Editing window's toolbar so it contains only the tools you use most frequently:

  1. Open the Edit window.

  2. Click the Customize button to open the Customize sheet.

  3. To add tools to the toolbar, drag them from the sheet onto the toolbar.

  4. To remove tools from the toolbar, drag them off the toolbar.

  5. Use the Show pop-up menu to choose how you want the tool icons to appear. Your choices are Icon & Text, Icon Only, and Text Only.

  6. To use small icons (which take up less space on the toolbar), check the Use Small Icons check box.

  7. Click Done. The toolbar now contains the tools you selected in the format you chose.

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Another advantage of using the separate Edit window is that you can have multiple Edit windows at the same time.


The method you use to edit images depends on your personal preference. The "edit in the same window" option is especially useful if you want to edit a series of images, such as those in a photo album. You can use the Prev and Next buttons to quickly move to and edit each image in the selected source. The "edit in a separate window" option is useful because you can develop and use a custom set of tools to make editing easier and faster. Plus, you can move the Edit window around, which is especially helpful if you use multiple monitors. And you can minimize the Edit window to move it out of your way temporarily.

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You can resize the Edit window, just like other Mac windows. To fit an image so it fills the Edit window, click the Fit button on the toolbar.


Both methods are easy to use. I recommend that you configure the application to use the Edit window (by setting the "Opens in separate window" preference). When you want to use the Edit window, double-click the image you want to edit; it opens in the Edit window. When you want to edit an image within the iPhoto window, select the image and click the Edit mode button; the image fills the iPhoto window and you can edit it there.

NOTE

A third editing option is to use a different application to edit images, such as Photoshop. Use the Double-click preference to choose the application you want to use. When you double-click an image, the editing application you selected opens and you can edit your image. When you save your changes, the edited image is stored in the Photo Library.


Selecting Parts of an Image You Want to Edit

The Crop and Red-Eye editing tools require that you select the part of the image to which you want to apply the editing tool. When you select parts of an image, you have two basic choices: unconstrained or constrained. When you use the unconstrained option, you can select any part of the image. When you select the constrained option, you can only choose part of the image with a specific proportion.

You typically should use the constrained option when you crop images and the unconstrained when you are applying the Red-Eye tool. To select part of an image using the unconstrained technique, do the following steps:

  1. Open the image in the Edit window or select the image and click the Edit mode button.

  2. Move the pointer over the image. The cursor becomes a plus sign.

  3. Drag in the image. As you drag, the pointer becomes the arrow again, a selection box appears, and the part of the image you have selected remains clear while the part that is not selected becomes shaded.

  4. When the part of the image you want is selected, release the mouse button. The cursor becomes a plus sign again.

  5. To move the selection box around in the image, move the pointer inside the selection box. The pointer becomes a hand icon. Drag the selection box to the location that contains the part of the image you want to select.

  6. To resize the selection box, drag one of its borders.

When you want to ensure that the part of the image you select has a specific proportion, you use the constrained option:

  1. Open the image in the Edit window or select the image and click the Edit mode button.

  2. On the Constrain pop-up menu, select the option you want, such as 4 x 3 (Book,DVD).

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    If you use the "separate window" editing option, you can add buttons for the constraints you use most frequently to the toolbar.


  3. Use steps 2?6 in the previous list to select part of the image. The only difference is that the selection box remains in the proportion you selected on the Constrain pop-up menu.

Zooming on Images for Editing

As you edit images, you need to zoom in and out to see the results of your changes. How you do this depends on the editing mode you are in.

When you use the "same window" editing mode, use the Thumbnail Size slider to zoom in or zoom out.

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If you select part of the image before you zoom, iPhoto attempts to keep that part of the image centered on the screen as you zoom.


If you use the "separate window" option, click the Up arrow in the toolbar to zoom in. As you zoom, the current percentage of zoom is shown in the window's title bar. Click the Down arrow to zoom out.

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Each click of the Zoom arrows zooms you in or out by a percentage increment, such as from 75% to 100%.


Cropping Images

Images often contain extra stuff that doesn't help the image and might distract the viewer from the image's intended subject. You can crop images so they contain only the material you want to be included. Or you might choose to crop an image to increase the focus on the central subject captured in the image. When you crop an image, you select the part of the image you want to keep and get rid of everything else. In addition to removing part of the image, the remainder of the image appears to be larger because a smaller image fills the same space on the screen during a slideshow. Do the following:

  1. Select the image you want to crop and then double-click it or click the Edit mode button. The image appears in the Edit window or fills the Content pane.

  2. If you are going to use a constrained



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