iPhoto Basics

iPhoto Library Organization

How does iPhoto store your images?
Setting your Preferences
Search features

Importing images to iPhoto

*From a Camera
*From your computer (folder, files)
*From PhotoBooth

Organization within iPhoto (groups of photos)

Events - splitting, merging, labels, tags
Sorting Events - Date, Keyword, Title, Rating, Manual
Photos (different view, same idea)
Albums - Creating, editing, order

Individual Photos

Info - title, date, description, faces, places, (image data)


START with "Quick Fix" menu

QuickFix.png*DO NOT USE THE "ENHANCE" option . . really.not.good.
1. Rotate (as necessary)
2. Crop : constrain proportions to fit neatly on 4x6, 5x7 or square as needed for purpose
3. Straighten**: find a horizon line and make it level! If shooting tall buildings, balance sides with a vertical

Then move to the Adjust menu:

4. Exposure and Contrast, use the histogram to place highlights, shadows and midtones. Recover highlights (bright parts), and open up shadows.

5. Color balance & Saturation : Blue/Yellow (Temperature) and Magenta/Green (Tint), then see how saturated you want the image. *Beware over saturation!!!

6. Sharpen – do this as little as possible – it really just creates edges keep the radius small; the strength can be increased quite a bit *Zoom in to see effect (or preview). Can also de-noise an image at this point.
Then back to the Quick Fix menu for:

7. Red-eye (person) or green-eye (pet)

8. Retouching (blemish, teeth, eyes, wrinkles, unwanted objects, etc)

Then to the EFFECTS menu:


10. Effects : Sepia, black and white, antique; framing - with a white matte, black vignette, and/or edge blur; overall fade or boost (color saturation/vibrancy). NONE will return you to your original. Plus the buttons to adjust light/dark, contrast, warm/cool, and saturation

13. Saving outside iPhoto - Export : file type : jpg, png, bmp, tif, gif, etc for lossy/non-lossy , size and accessibility depending on use of the image (screen or print)

14. Size in Export : resize for email or web use 640x480 (pixels) is plenty big enough to send via email for someone to print out at a 4x6 size.

  • Treat your original files like negatives - keep it safe, don't handle it, and don't open and resave. JPG is a lossy file type - every time you open, tweak and re-save, it re-compresses and you lose image detail (and see something called jpg artifacts in the image). TIFF and PNG are non-lossy file options.
  • Have a system for storage and management. Pictures are no good if you can't find them, or if you lose them permanently. Back up to optical (CD, DVD), to an external drive, AND online somewhere where you can store full size files (ie: not Facebook) (and/or offsite storage). Use tags if they are available to you.


Flickr - free is limited upload/month, storage; $25/year is UNLIMITED! Great deal! Social component awesome
Facebook - not full file size!
iWeb photo page, or blog post
iDVD (easy to play on TV for company)

Non-iPhoto options:
Picasa - link to albums, create slideshows, embed them
Basic Printing Dialog Box

Slideshare - embeddable slideshows, with or without narration
Snapfish or Shutterfly or other online print / book sites store images and can share selected albums (link to top 10 sites for printing reviewed for 2012)

PRINTING - basic output

File: Print will give you this basic dialog box for print (scale to page is standard), contact sheet, even border, a mat, or a double mat. Also has controls for printer, presets and paper.

The Customize button will bring you to another window, which has the following menu at the bottom:

iPhoto allows you to "create" various things, including albums, slideshows, cards, books, calendars, etc.
These can also be done outside of iPhoto

Additional Resources:

Apple tutorial videos here. Scroll down for the complete list to choose from.