Simply put, iPhoto keeps track of your digital images. With a capacity of 25,000 photos, there's plenty of room for the snapshots you scanned in from the old family albums, the digital pictures you take now, and the images your cousins send in email. The cool partor one of themis that unlike the stack of beat-up albums, or the shoebox in your mom's dresser drawer, iPhoto can preserve and enhance your photos, and help you keep them in easy reach. Oh yeah, and you can create photo books, slideshows, web pages, CDs or DVDs, and even print groups of photos the old-fashioned wayon paper!
Organizing photos is just great, but discovering that one you have imported from a camera looks like junk can be more frustrating than trying to figure out who the blurry baby on Aunt Millie's lap might be. Although iPhoto can't fix the blurriness, it can retouch your images, eliminate red eye, and perform other groovy editing tricks. More hands-on operations, such as cropping and resizing, also get the iPhoto treatment. iPhoto is the Swiss Army knife of image management.
In this chapter, we'll show you how to import photos, how to label and organize them, and how to obliterate photographic errors with iPhoto's editing tools. With your images catalogued in iPhoto, the next step is to share 'em. This chapter gives you tips on printing, making slideshows, and uploading your masterpieces to .Mac so that web visitors can enjoy them.
The Many Moods of iPhoto
Everything you can do with an image in iPhoto occurs in one of its four views: Import, Manage, Edit, or Book.
Everything you need to work with photos is easily accessible from the iPhoto window, and the steps to completing a photo project are mirrored by the program's four views, conveniently represented by buttons that are located near the bottom of the window. We'll work through the four views of iPhoto in this chapter, with stops along the way to describe features that don't quite fit into any of them. The four iPhoto views are:
Import. Bring images into iPhoto from a digital camera, or from files on your Mac.
Organize. Move your photos into albums, view them as slideshows, export, print, or place them on the Web.
Edit. Crop and enhance photos to make them look their best.
Book. Design a printable hardcover photo book.
Like iTunes, iPhoto uses a library to organize the items you import into the program. Once a photo is part of the library, it can be added to an album, and from there it can be printed, viewed as part of a slideshow, or exported and used in a photo book. iPhoto uses the album concept to organize photos by dateboth the date you took the picture, if that is known, and the date it was imported. When you click on the triangle to expand the library, folders correspond to each year (see Figure 3.1). The Last 12 Months album displays the oldest images first. Last Roll contains the most recently imported photos, whether from a digital camera or from files. By the way, if you're worried that the date associated with a photo is wrong, fear not. You can change it, as we will learn shortly.
Figure 3.1 iPhoto's Source pane gives you several ways to view a subset of your photos.