Sharing and Displaying Photos
Assuming that your photos are now imported, organized, and flawless-looking, you would probably like to share them. How? Let me count the ways. Print them on your inkjet printer. Order professional prints. Make a slideshow or a web page. Burn them to CD or DVD. Or share your albums over your home network with other iPhoto users. I cover one final way, printing a photo book, in the project section at the end of this chapter.
I showed you how to create a quick and dirty slideshow of an album or a newly imported batch of photos by clicking the Play button in the source pane. You can add music, choose transitions, and make a few other adjustments, but there’s a much more powerful slideshow tool in iPhoto, one that gives you serious control, and even lets you save your show for later viewing and editing. Apple calls it a cinematic slideshow.
First, choose an album or add some photos to a new one. (You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? There is a pattern to this stuff.) Select the album or the group of photos, and click the Slideshow button (not the Play button as before). You are rewarded with a window that looks a lot like the editing screen, complete with thumbnails at the top, the enlarged first image in your album, and slideshow controls below (see Figure 3.20). Here, you’ll be able to customize transition, duration, and accompanying music for your slideshow as a whole, and even transitions for individual slide pairs.
Figure 3.20 Start your slideshow with a look at its contents.
Notice too that the source pane has a new item representing your slideshow. It’s selected. Mine is called Europe Slideshow. From now on, you’ll be able to get to this slideshow, whatever you’re doing in iPhoto, by clicking on the source pane item. To see how your show looks with default settings, click Play. Decided what you want to change? OK, let’s go!
iPhoto includes an expanded collection of transitions that you can apply to individual slide pairs, or to the whole show. Click Preview to take a quick peek at the default transition between the current slide and the next one. Choose a different transition from the menu and click Preview again to have a look.
To create custom transitions, effects, and other settings for an entire slideshow, click the Settings button. Start by choosing how long each slide will appear onscreen. Next, pick a transition. If the one you choose can be controlled directionally, the directional wheel will light and you can choose one. You can also control the speed of the transition with the convenient slider. iPhoto previews your transition settings as you change them.
The set of checkboxes control repetition and scaling and let you display titles, ratings, and slideshow controls: The controls are those I introduced you to in the "Photo Triage" section of this chapter. They’re used for controlling playback, as well as rotating, rating, or deleting images from your slideshow.
The Automatic Ken Burns Effect simulates movement in your show by panning from one part of each image to another as the slide plays. Details on how you can also control Ken Burns more precisely are coming right up.
Next, choose a music option (I’ll show you how to pick the music itself next). Your chosen song repeats, if the track is shorter than your slideshow. The Fit Slideshow to Music option is kind of fun. Choosing it overrides the slide duration settings you’ve chosen and matches the show to your chosen tune.
From the Slideshow Format pop-up menu, choose an option if your plans to display the show someplace other than your current monitor (the default). Choose 4:3 if you plan to add the show to an iDVD project (see Chapter 5, "iDVD"), or choose widescreen, if that’s your destination.
iPhoto provides a couple of sample pieces of music for your slideshows. To add your own, you first need to import it into your iTunes Library, if it isn’t already there. With your slideshow open in iPhoto, click the Music button. You’ll see the Sample Music folder, along with your iTunes Library and playlists. Click on any item to see its contents in the pane below. You can browse to find a song you like, or click in the Search field and type some text (see Figure 3.21). When you find a track that sounds interesting, click it and then the Play button to give it a listen. Click OK when you’re satisfied with your choice.
Figure 3.21 Choose a song to go with your slideshow in the Music dialog box.
Now’s a good time to see how your show will look. To see the complete show, be sure the first slide’s thumbnail is selected. If you start with a later slide, be aware that the music you’ve chosen will begin at the beginning. Click Play. iPhoto fills the screen, cranks up the music, and plays the show until you click to stop it.
Let’s say you’ve chosen a twirl transition for your slideshow, which consists of pictures from your European vacation. You’ve created a title slide and chapter slides for each country you visited. Instead of a twirl to take you from the title to the photos, try a dissolve. To set up the alternate transition, select the title slide and click the Adjust button. From the Adjust This Slide window, choose Dissolve. You can also customize the speed of the transition and the length of time the slide appears onscreen. You can also apply a transition to a group of slides by selecting all of the thumbnails and then choosing an item from the Transitions menu.
Lots of cheap inkjet printers can produce decent color photo prints. They might (or might not) be as good as the prints you buy online or at a local shop, but printing your own photos is a quick way to preserve and share them. First, decide what you want to print; a single photo, a group, or a complete album. Select photos individually in the content pane, or click an album’s name in the source pane. Click the Print button or choose File, Print. The many wondrous ways you can print photos to your own printer can be found on the Style pop-up menu in the Print dialog. When you choose one, more options appear, along with a Preview window. Figure 3.22 shows your options for printing a contact sheet.
Figure 3.22 A contact sheet prints small versions of your entire album.
Here’s the full list of printing options and how you can use them:
- Contact Sheet—Print thumbnail-sized versions of selected photos. Use the slider to change the number of items per page. If one photo is selected for printing, the contact sheet repeats that photo.
- Full Page—Print a selected photo to fill an entire page. Moving the margin slider widens or narrows the page’s margins.
- Greeting Cards—This option prints a photo on the top half of a card (single-fold) or the top quarter (double-fold).
- N-Up—Like contact sheets, N-Up prints several photos per page, but N-Up uses a vertical orientation. If you click the One Photo per Page check box, N-Up duplicates one image the number of times selected in the Photos per Page pop-up menu.
Sampler—This layout enlarges one image, and prints smaller versions of subsequent ones. Sampler includes two templates, available from the pop-up menu of the same name. Figure 3.23 shows Template 1.
Figure 3.23 The two Sampler templates print one image at a fairly large size, and the rest much smaller.
- Standard Prints—This is the template that best captures the way most of us are used to dealing with photos. Choose a print size from the size pop-up. Click One Photo per Page to limit the number of prints.
Some printing styles, most notably Standard Prints, are intended to make it easy for you to print on photo paper that’s not the standard 8 _ x 11 inches. Let’s use a popular example; the ubiquitous 4 x 6 photo, printed on one 4 x 6 page. It’s not enough to pick that size in the Print dialog. You must first choose the paper size you want with Page Setup. If the Print dialog is still open, click Cancel and then choose File, Page Setup. If your printer isn’t already selected, choose it from the Format For pop-up menu. This will give you access to all of the printer’s options. Now choose the size of the paper you want to use—not necessarily the size of your photo. Change the Orientation if necessary and then click OK.
When you return to the Print dialog and choose Standard Prints and 4 x 6 from the Size pop-up. Notice that the preview image now fills the allotted space. Be sure your printer is selected. You can print now, or click Advanced to configure options for your printer, such as quality and paper type.
Like iTunes with its very popular music store, iPhoto comes with opportunities for you to spend some money with your friends at Apple. The quickest way to do that is to order prints of your digital photos. You can also order photo books and use .Mac to put photos and slides on the Web, but I’ll get to those later in this chapter.
Apple sells prints ranging in size from the typical 4 x 6 up to 20 x 30. As of this writing, 4 x 6 prints are $.19 each, a very competitive price. It’s always a good idea to check for the best deals locally, or on the Internet. Most local grocery, drug, and discount stores offer prints from digital photos. iPhoto does offer the convenience of direct print ordering, without the extra step of exporting files or burning a CD to take to your local photo shop, although even retail stores sometimes offer online printing. If you buy online, don’t forget to add shipping to your final cost calculation.
Choose an album, or select a group of photos you want to print. You will be able to select photos to print individually once you get started, but it is easier not to have to scroll through photos you don’t intend to print. Check to see that each photo you want to print has been cropped and edited to your satisfaction, and that it has been sized to an aspect ratio that works with the print size you want to use.
With photos selected, click Order Prints. iPhoto whirs for awhile and then displays thumbnail versions of your photos, along with a price list and quantity fields for each type of print. Initially, all the fields are dimmed because you are not logged into your Apple account. Whether you have an Apple ID or not, click Set Up Account. If you don’t have one, click Create Account. If you do, enter your Apple ID and password. By the way, you might never have set up an Apple account in iPhoto, but you do have one if you’ve bought music from the iTunes Music Store or registered a product with Apple. The ID you created then works with iPhoto.
If you need to create a new account, you’ll be asked to fill out three dialog boxes with your name, email address, a password, and billing and shipping addresses. If you already have an account the fields are filled out for you. Just follow the dialogs.
With account information entered or confirmed, you’re back to the Order Prints dialog (see Figure 3.24), and the order form is now ready to use. Begin by typing the number of prints you want to order from the first photo, and in what size or sizes. Scroll through your list to order more photos. Notice that your subtotal changes as you add more prints to the order.
Figure 3.24 Type the number of copies of each print you want to order. Your total is updated automatically.
You might see a warning icon beside larger photo sizes. As explained at the bottom of the order dialog, the photo’s resolution might be too low to look good when printed at such a large size. You have been warned. If you shot or scanned the photo at a very high resolution, you might not receive a warning, and your prints will probably look just ducky.
Most of the time, you’ll probably want to order 4 x 6 prints of all selected photos. Do that quickly by clicking the 4 x 6 Quick Order button in the upper-right corner of the dialog. Clicking the up arrow adds one copy of each print to your order.
And finally, note that you can choose from Standard and Express shipping, and that the estimated cost, as well as applicable sales tax, is updated as you change your order. When you’re satisfied with your order, click Buy Now. If the 1-click ordering feature has been enabled, clicking the Buy Now button places your order.
You might have sent pictures to friends or family by attaching them to mail messages, and you can certainly take that route with your iPhoto images. Or you could save a few steps by creating the email and attaching photos from within iPhoto.
iPhoto uses the application you have selected as your default email program for this Mac. The Email icon reflects this (see Figure 3.25). To use a different one, choose iPhoto, Preferences, and pick a program from the Mail Using pop-up menu. You can choose from Apple Mail, Eudora, Microsoft Entourage, or America Online. Only the ones you actually have installed are available from the menu—others are dimmed.
Figure 3.25 This user’s default email program is Eudora, so iPhoto displays a Eudora icon.
Select one or more photos you want to send via email. Click the Email button. iPhoto tells you how many photos will be attached to the message and the file size of the combined attachments, assuming that you send the photo at the default 640 x 480 pixel size. You can change the photos’ sizes to decrease the attachment’s size (makes the photos smaller) or increase its size (send higher-quality photos). When you pick a new item from the pop-up menu, iPhoto updates the photos’ estimated size (see Figure 3.26). Keep your recipients’ Internet connection in mind when sending photos. A 1Mb attachment is a large mouthful for a dial-up user’s connection to swallow. Many ISPs restrict the size of email attachments to 3 or 4Mb, even for those with fast connections.
Figure 3.26 You can choose the size of photos to be sent with an email message.
Click Compose. iPhoto makes copies of your photos at the resolution you have chosen, opens your email program, and attaches the photos to a new message. Address the message, replace the "great photos" subject line if you want, and type a message. Now you’re ready to send ‘er.
Web Pages and Slides with .Mac
Apple intends its .Mac Internet service to be an extension of Mac OS X. Many of its features are accessible directly from Apple applications, including iPhoto. You can use a .Mac account to put photos on the Internet for your friends and family to enjoy. Upload the images to a home page, or create a set of .Mac slides.
Naturally, to use iPhoto’s .Mac features, you’ll be needin’ a .Mac account. Apple charges $99 per year for an account that includes an email address, 250MB of combined disk and mail storage, access to a library of Apple and third-party software, and website hosting. .Mac is not for everyone, but it is well integrated into OS X, offers nifty tools, and is worth exploring, especially if you’re interested in publishing a website or backing up your Mac files to a secure server.
If you aren’t logged into .Mac or don’t have an account, clicking the HomePage button or choosing Share, .Mac Slides brings up a dialog box telling you that your .Mac information is unrecognized. You can either click .Mac Preferences to go to the .Mac system preferences pane, or click the Join Now button. Either way, you’ll be taken to the .Mac website. If you are opening an account, the web page contains a form to fill out, registering you for a free trial.
A .Mac home page can include any sort of web content you like, but the iPhoto HomePage options creates pages that contain rows and columns of images from your albums. You’re limited to 48 images on a single iPhoto home page, and iPhoto will squawk if you try to add more. To get started, locate the album containing the photos you want to upload to .Mac. Click the HomePage button. The Publish HomePage window opens, displaying the selected photos. The page’s title text is selected, allowing you to type a title for your page. Press Tab and type a description for the page. Pressing Tab again takes you to the title of the first photo, which you can change. In fact, you can type a multiword caption if you like (see Figure 3.27). You can drag photos within the window to rearrange them. On the right side of the Publish HomePage window are several themes, each of which has its own background, fonts, borders, and other attributes. Click one to try it on for size, and then another.
Figure 3.27 The Publish HomePage window is a preview of your .Mac web page. You can edit the page title, a caption, and title/captions for each photo on the page.
Below your page are a few display options. Your .Mac account is already selected, but you can switch to a different one from the Publish To pop-up menu. You can change from three to two columns (makes your photos larger), and/or add an email link and counter to your page. The counter tells visitors how many visitors have viewed the page. Click Publish when you’re happy with the look of your page. iPhoto connects to .Mac and uploads your photos. When uploading is finished, iPhoto confirms that the page is ready, and provides a URL you can give to friends and family. (You’ll also find a confirming email in your .Mac mailbox.) See your page live by clicking Visit Page Now. In addition to your photos, the web page includes a Start Slideshow button. Click it to page through enlarged versions of the photos on the page.
.Mac gives you tools for managing and editing your HomePage albums. Go to the .Mac website (http://www.mac.com) and log in. Next, click the HomePage link to see your photo albums. You can edit the same information about the album that you did when you created it in iPhoto. Click an album and then the Edit button. An editable version of the page appears. Update the page title or caption, move images around, or hide a photo by unchecking the Show check box (see Figure 3.28).
Figure 3.28 Move photos around or hide them by disabling the Show check box.
When you have finished making changes to the page itself, click the Themes button and choose a new look for it. If you want to preview the page after choosing a new theme, click Edit and then click Preview. Finally, click Publish to update the album.
You can use the .Mac website to rearrange and combine your albums in any way you like. You can even delete albums and build new ones with the photos you have already uploaded. Photos stored with your account count toward your included 250MB of .Mac storage space. Apple will be happy to sell you additional storage, however.
A .Mac slideshow is a special gift from a Mac user (you) to other Mac users (those who have had the good sense to use Mac OS X). The basic idea is this: You upload photos that your Mac-using family or friends will like, and they subscribe to your slides, which then appear as a screen saver on their Macs.
Select the photos you want to turn into slides. Choose Share, .Mac Slides. iPhoto lets you in, assuming that you have a .Mac account and are logged in as described in the previous section, and then asks if you’re sure you know what you’re doing. (It doesn’t actually say that, but you get the idea.) Click Publish and iPhoto uploads your images. The dialog informing you that the slides have been uploaded comes complete with a button from which you can send an email announcing the slideshow. It’s a nice option, especially because the automated message includes step-by-step instructions for connecting to the slideshow.
Make Your Own Screen Saver or Desktop Photo
To make your own slideshow screen saver, first choose some photos. Go to System Preferences, Desktop & Screen Saver, and then click the Screen Saver tab. Scroll down the list on the left until you see the horizontal separator, and then your iPhoto library and its albums. Click an album to see its photos. The first photo in the album appears in the sample pane. Set the other screen saver options and click OK. To use an iPhoto image as a desktop pattern, either click the Desktop tab and select the photo, or return to iPhoto and click the Desktop button. In the Desktop tab of System Preferences, you can even cycle through a series of pictures by selecting them (or an album) and clicking the Change Pictures Every check box. Now choose an interval and click Random Order to really mix it up.
Burning CDs and DVDs
Once again, in the mold created by iTunes, Apple has endowed iPhoto with the capability to quickly turn files on your hard drive into CDs or DVDs. There are a few limitations to the feature, and you might need to work around them to burn discs for your PC-using friends. First I’ll show you how to quickly burn an iPhoto disc.
Select the photos, album, or folder you want to burn to disc. Notice the combined size of the photos in the Info area, below the source pane (see Figure 3.29). A CD holds about 650MB, whereas a single-layer DVD holds about 4.7GB. If you have selected more photos than your disc can hold, you will need to complete the burn in multiple steps. Unlike iTunes, iPhoto won’t automatically burn multidisc projects.
Figure 3.29 The library won’t fit on a single CD. Either manually select a group of photos that will fit on a disc, or choose an album containing photos less than 650MB in total size.
To burn a CD, choose Share, Burn Disc. iPhoto asks for a blank disc. Click OK when you have inserted it. Enter a name for the disc or keep the default, and then click Burn. You now have one more chance to change your mind, confirm the burn, or set further options. Click Eject or Cancel, or click the triangle near the top of the dialog box to see more options. You can change the burn speed, or tell iPhoto whether to verify the disc after burning. In most cases, you won’t need to change these options. Once you’ve clicked Burn for the final time, iPhoto completes the job and ejects or mounts the disc.
iPhoto’s Burn command creates an iPhoto disc that will open iPhoto when inserted in a Mac drive. Although iPhoto images open just fine on Windows machines when double-clicked, inserting an iPhoto disc will not invoke Windows automatic disc-handling features. Too, iPhoto’s file storage structure makes your pictures hard for PC users to view and locate. The best way to burn a disc everyone on your photo list can use is to export the photos first and then burn the folder containing them to a disc using OS X’s built-in disc-burning feature, or a tool such as Roxio’s Toast. I describe exporting files in the "Exporting Photos" section of this chapter, which, as it happens, is coming up real soon.
Here’s one more example of iPhoto’s integration with other iLife applications. Apple’s iDVD, included with all SuperDrive-equipped Macs and available as part of iLife ‘05, allows you to create DVDs that play on a computer or on any DVD player connected to a television. With the iPhoto iDVD command, you can send photos to iDVD, from which you can burn a slideshow to DVD. To burn a disc in iDVD, you must have either an Apple SuperDrive, or a compatible third-party DVD recorder. You can create iDVD projects on any Mac with iDVD installed, however.
In iPhoto, choose the photos or album for your DVD slideshow and choose Share, Send to iDVD. After a while (maybe a couple of minutes if you’re using lots of photos), iDVD opens, displaying the Travel Cards theme. Your slideshow is part of this DVD project, but you won’t be able to see it unless you preview the DVD and click the name of the show (Christmas 2004 in Figure 3.30). To see your slideshow, click Preview and then the name of your photo album.
Figure 3.30 iDVD shows the name of your photo album on the main page. Preview the slide show, or double-click on the name of the album to work with the slides.
If you don’t like the looks of the current iDVD window, click the Customize button to see iDVD themes. Click one to change the current one. Chapter 5 describes using iDVD in detail. You’ll learn how to add audio, more photos, and text to complete the project.
Think of iPhoto’s export features as more generic (and often more useful) alternatives to some of the photo-sharing features I’ve described in previous sections. You can export files for sharing with PC users or burning to disc, export web pages to use on a non-Apple website, or make your own QuickTime slideshow, suitable for playback on Macs or PCs—any computer with the QuickTime player installed.
Because of iPhoto’s cryptic directory structure, you can’t simply find and copy photos from the iPhoto library folder to another location. You could try, but I suggest you take the much easier way, which offers the added benefit of being able to choose consistent file quality and sizes for the items you export.
Select an album or group of photos and choose Share, Export. Click the File Export tab (see Figure 3.31). Here you can choose the size, quality, and a few other attributes for the photos you’re about to export from iPhoto. To simply copy the files at the same quality at which they were imported, leave all settings unchanged. To change file formats, choose one from the Format pop-up menu. For Web or email photos, use JPEG, and choose other options to shrink the photos. If you intend to print them, try TIFF, and don’t make any other changes that will decrease their quality. PNG is a platform-agnostic format that is compatible with the Web and can be read on either Macs or Windows machines.
Figure 3.31 Choose a file format, size, and name options for photos you export from iPhoto.
Scaling images makes them easier to manage on the Web or in email, and also decreases the file size—a good thing if you have lots of photos to send or to burn to a CD. If you’re exporting to JPEG, you can click the Scale Image No Larger Than button to work with width and height dimensions. Typing a number in either box changes the other dimension in proportion. Type 640 in the width box. iPhoto adds 480 in the height box. (Scaling isn’t available for TIFF or PNG formats.) Next, choose whether to use the photos’ filenames, titles, or album names to identify the exported versions. To use a filename extension (not necessary on the Mac, but required by other systems and on the Web), leave the Use Extension check box enabled. Click Export and then navigate to a convenient location on your hard drive. Click Create New Folder to keep the exported images organized.
Export Web Pages
The web page export feature combines file exporting with an HTML generator. The result is one or more HTML pages and a set of JPEG files you can upload to any web server—no .Mac required. iPhoto creates both thumbnail and large versions of each image. When a visitor clicks on the thumbnail, the larger version opens.
Choose File, Export and then click the Web Page tab (see Figure 3.32). Type a title for the page and choose the number of rows and columns per page of photos. iPhoto calculates how many pages will be needed. Next, you can choose a background color or an image to serve as background for the web page, and a contrasting text color.
Figure 3.32 Type a name for your web page and choose size and color options.
Choose dimensions for the thumbnail and large versions of each image, and use the check boxes to display each photo’s title and/or comments. Click Export and navigate to a convenient location. Be sure to create a new folder first, and don’t change its name, or the names of any of the new files, lest you break the links iPhoto has built for you. When the export is complete, switch to the Finder and open the folder where you exported the pages and photos. Double-click the HTML file to preview it in your web browser. Because the page is a standard HTML file, you can edit it in any text editor. If you know HTML, you can customize the appearance of this and all the other pages iPhoto created. When you are satisfied with your page, use an FTP client to upload the folder to your website. If your site is stored on your own Mac, copy the folder to the folder containing your site.
iPhoto gives the top-level page of your new folder the same name as the folder. When you upload the folder to the root level of a website whose domain you own, the URL for your photos looks like this: http://www.mydomain.com/Photos/photos.html.
Apple’s QuickTime Player’s main task is to show full-motion movies, but it’s also a great way to share an iPhoto slideshow. You can mail a QuickTime slideshow to anyone who has the QuickTime Player installed (including Windows users), display the movie on the Web, or burn it to a CD. There are a couple of ways to proceed. If you want a simple slideshow of photos, no transitions of music, use the Export command. To turn a slideshow into a QuickTime movie, first set it up as described in the "Slideshow" section of this chapter, and then choose Export.
For a basic movie, choose your photos and then choose Share, Export and click the QuickTime tab. Change the dimensions of the movie if you want. Changing one dimension does not adjust the other proportionally, so be sure to calculate a new value for the second dimension if you want the movie to remain proportional. Tell iPhoto how long to display each image, choose a background color or image, and leave the check box selected to add music to the movie. When you click Export, iPhoto asks you to name the movie. By default, it will be saved to the Movies folder in your home folder. Figure 3.33 shows a QuickTime movie containing a slideshow.
Figure 3.33 When you double-click a QuickTime slideshow, it opens in QuickTime Player.
Exporting a cinematic slideshow to QuickTime takes one less step; you’ve already established a number of parameters when you built the show. Select the slideshow in the source pane and choose Share, Export. Name the new movie and choose a size from the pop-up menu.
Network Photo Sharing
I return yet again to an iTunes comparison. Like its musical sibling, iPhoto makes it possible to share the contents of its library with other Mac users on a local network. The photos you share are read only. Those who view them can’t make any changes to the photos themselves, or change how they’re organized. Shared photos can be copied, emailed, or printed, however. You can share your entire library, but it’s a better idea to share albums, because less data has to travel the network when users connect to your Mac. If you want to share a lot of photos, organize them into lots of albums that people can connect to individually, and encourage them to use them one or two at a time.
To share your photos, choose iPhoto, Preferences and click the Sharing tab to see your options (see Figure 3.34). Click the Share My Photos check box to activate sharing. Click Share Selected Albums and choose those you want others to be able to see remotely. Give your library a new shared name and/or a password, if you like.
Figure 3.34 Share your iPhoto albums with other folks on your local network.
From another Mac on your network, open iPhoto. Look for shared iPhoto albums in the source pane (see Figure 3.35). If there aren’t any, choose iPhoto, Preferences and be sure that the Look for Shared Photos check box is enabled. Click a shared album in the source pane to see its contents.
Figure 3.35 Shared albums appear in iPhoto along with local albums. You can change your view, export, or burn a shared album to disc.