.Mac (Apple Computer, Inc.)

iPhoto 08--easy to use, Practical & Slick

As a professional photographer, I'm often asked by Mac users who also enjoy digital photography what's the best way to keep their photos organized. Previous versions of iPhoto while good, were kind of clunky. Well, this latest version or upgrade of iPhoto has finally matured and made the grade.

The iLife 08 suite consists of iMovie, Garageband, iWeb and iDVD. You're probably like most folks. You don't plan on using those others applications except maybe iDVD to create DVDs. In my opinion this latest version of iPhoto 08 has so many improvements, it is worth the $79 from Apple.

But I have to say that if you also happen to have a dotmac account, then iPhoto 08 and dotmac together is going to allow you to create and share pictures in a way that will totally blow you away.

How easy is this? Well, follow along with this 3-part tutorial.


Getting organized with iPhoto 08

First marketed as “Martha Stewart meets Ansel Adams,” iPhoto 08 has really been refined. The ease of adding keywords to pictures, the automatic importing and creation of “events” sorted by time pictures were taken makes this version so very slick. Every photo taken by a digital camera has metadata which is embedded into the jpeg, tiff or raw file.

You never have to worry about doing anything other than making sure the clock is set correctly on your camera and the battery which powers the clock is okay. Most cameras have separate battery sources for this. See the documentation which comes with your particular camera.

Even if the time stamp is messed up and iPhoto makes mistakes in importing the ability to merge events. You can simply drag one event over another and then rename it. It is so user-friendly, you expect that from the intuitiveness of Apple's ingenuity.

Mouse over the video above and click on the play button.

Keywords: why use them?

Hard drives on computers are becoming so capacious and more importantly so affordable, a 500GB hard drive is quite common today. Even if you are just a regular home user of a personal computer, the largest chunk of space is going to be eaten up by your music files, videos and digital images. It will be next to impossible over time to search through all these files manually. The new “Events” view makes it easier now to scrub through the various collections. But wait, there is still, an easier and faster way.

This is where "keywords" come in. Adding keywords allows you to use "Boolean" searches in this latest version of iPhoto 08. To add keywords, double click any “Event” to show the individual images in the event. Then under the iPhoto menu, View>Keywords.thumbnail of lafferty with keywordskeywords window

Under each thumbnail you can now click underneath it and start typing where it says "add keywords." In my example, I just entered "james lafferty" and "celebrity."

Then under the Window menu, choose “Show Keywords.” Now you will see a window open with all the choices of keywords you've added to all the various pictures.

After selecting the picture you can see my newly-added keywords are now highlighted in blue.

If for instance, I have more pictures of James Lafferty the star of “One Tree Hill,” and I don't feel like typing his name over and over again, all I have to do is to drag those two highlighted keywords to the top of the "Quick-pick" list.

iPhoto will create a one-letter shortcut for each of those two keywords.

So long as you add your keywords here, you will get a one-letter shortcut. When you're done with a keyword and you don't need it anymore, you can drag it back into the list below to remove it.

The view on the right shows iPhoto has assigned the letter "c" for "celebrity" and "j" for "james lafferty."keyword shortcutsadding to quickpick list

So you can see that adding keywords isn't so much of a chore at all with this version of iPhoto.

All you have to do is go to either your Photos view or Events view, select your keyword related photos and then just type your keyword short-cut.

In this instance if I had more pictures of James Lafferty, I would select them then hit "j" and "c".

NEXT: Using these keywords to help you find your pictures the easy way!

Was this useful? If so, please link to my website or send this URL to your friends and family.

Back to Learn Mac Page