Most of us have a digital camera in some form, whether smartphone, compact or DSLR, but while it is easy to snap photograph after photograph, knowing how to maximise their potential is another matter entirely.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to import, organize and edit images with iPhoto, an Apple-developed application dedicated to cataloguing your photograph collection.
Start by importing your images into iPhoto. Every photograph that you import is stored in your iPhoto library where it is categorised by Event, Place and Face. From here, you can select an image to edit, create a calendar, book or greeting card, or share a photograph with friends and family.
Click the iPhoto icon in the Dock.
Click File and then Import to Library.
Highlight the images you wish to import and then click Import to add them to your iPhoto library.
iPhoto can categorise your image collection by Event, Place and Face.
Each batch of imported images is automatically grouped as an Event and organised by date. You can rename an Event by double-clicking the Event title. Enter the name of the Event and then press the Return key on your keyboard to finish.
If you would like to categorise your images by Place, highlight an image or Event and then click Info. Click Assign a Place to add a location, then enter the place where the photograph was taken.
Adjust the location of the pin by clicking and dragging the pin around the map.
If you would like to categorise your images by Face, click Faces on the sidebar. iPhoto will then display the Faces pane, along with a handful of unidentified faces to get you started.
For the purpose of this tutorial, I will edit the following photograph of the sun setting over Bolnuevo, a small town in southeast Spain. Feel free to do the same by downloading a high resolution copy of the image or, alternatively, choose your own.
This image has not been edited in any way, and is straight from the camera to show you exactly what iPhoto is capable of.
Double-click an Event to view. Highlight the individual image you would like to edit and then click the Edit icon on the toolbar.
Clicking Edit will display the Quick Fixes pane. Quick Fixes comprises six features to help enhance your image in under a minute: Rotate, Enhance, Fix Red-Eye, Straighten, Crop and Retouch.
My chosen photograph is a landscape, therefore the Fix Red-Eye tool is redundant here, as is the Rotate tool, because my image does not portray a person and is already the correct orientation.
Straightening the horizon of a crooked image will ensure that your photograph closely resembles the scene it has captured.
Click the Straighten button.
Move the slider to adjust the angle of your image and then press Done.
Cropping is used to improve the composition and aspect ratio of a photograph, and can turn a mediocre image into something more striking.
Click the Crop button.
Click and drag each corner of the selection rectangle to resize, or drag from the centre to reposition.
Check the Constrain checkbox to crop your image to a specific dimension and then click the drop-down menu to select a size. Alternatively, leave the Constrain checkbox unchecked to choose your own.
Click Reset to reset the composition of your image, or Done to crop.
Retouching is the art of digitally removing any unwanted blemishes from an image, such as a pimple or, in my case, the rocks in the sea.
Click the Retouch button.
Move the slider to adjust the size of the Retouch brush and then click and drag the brush over each blemish to remove.
Press the Z key on your keyboard to zoom in and out for extra precision. Drag the rectangle in the Navigation window to navigate your way around.
Enhance enables iPhoto to automatically correct the colour, tone and contrast of your image, as well as boost the saturation.
Click the Enhance button. iPhoto will then enhance your photograph.
Introducing the Effects pane. Here, you can add a variety of filters to your image, or play around with the exposure.
I will use Contrast, Saturate and Edge Blur to enhance my image further as I prefer to tweak the exposure (Lighten and Darken) and temperature (Warmer and Cooler) via the Adjust pane, but more on that in just a second.
Contrast is the amount of difference between tones in a photograph. Images low in contrast can appear flat and dull-looking, while images high in contrast are punchier due to exhibiting a full range of tones.
Click the Contrast button.
Each click will increase the contrast of your image.
Boosting the saturation of your image will produce bright, vivid colours.
Click the Saturate button to increase saturation.
Each click will boost the saturation of your image.
Give your photograph a dream-like effect by using the Edge Blur tool.
Click Edge Blur to blur the edges of your photograph. Press < or > to decrease or increase the blur or click None to remove all filters from your image.
Finally, the Adjust pane allows you to adjust the exposure, contrast and saturation of your image further, as well as other technical aspects such as definition and noise.
Adjust the exposure, contrast and saturation of your image by moving the corresponding slider. If you are editing a portrait, I highly recommended that you check Avoid Saturating Skin Tones to avoid turning your subject into an Oompa Loompa.
You can also adjust the definition, highlights, shadows, sharpness, noise, temperature and tint via the Adjust pane, too. For my image, I ramped up the sharpness to 45, the shadows to 17, temperature to five and lowered the tint to -15.
Tip: Press the Shift key on your keyboard at any time to compare your newly edited photograph with the original version.
In this tutorial, I have shown you how to import, organise and edit your image collection with iPhoto. Did you find this tutorial helpful? If you have any questions, go ahead and ask them in the comment section below.