I’m not afraid to admit it: I’m an amateur photographer who rarely gets excellent shots – maybe only less than 15% of all my shots are good. Most of my other photos are OK, but they could be better. I’m sure this happens to most amateur photographers. That’s why there are photo editing tools out there.
Mac users need to look no further for such tools. Aside from Preview, Apple’s own photo management app – iPhoto – is more than enough to fix small imperfections that you will find all over your everyday photos.
Let’s look at the available tools in iPhoto that you can use to make your photos better.
Mac iPhoto Tips: Enter The Edit Mode
To start the editing process, click the edit button on the lower bar of the iPhoto window.
iPhoto will switch to “Edit mode“. There will be three main edit panes on the screen:
- Above is a strip of photos that belongs in one event. You can preview all the photos and then pick one of them to be edited.
- In the middle is the currently edited photo.
- And below are the photo editing tools.
There are three sets of tools available. The first set deals with the position of the photo:
- Rotate: to twist your photo counter clockwise in increments of 90 degrees. A perfect solution for images coming from older digital cameras without an auto-rotate feature.
- Crop: to cut to only a specific portion of your photo. iPhoto gives the option to crop your image to the proportion of pre-defined templates like a postcard, DVD, poster, or even an iPhone display. All you have to do is check the “Constrain” box. You can drag the crop frame to get the perfect position of your image.
- Straighten: to adjust a slight ‘slope’ of your images caused by the imperfect position of the camera. This feature allows you to rotate the image up to 10 degrees clockwise or counter clockwise.
The second set deals with photo quality:
- Enhance: to quickly fix the image quality of your photos to the best settings according to iPhoto. For most people, this is the most used photo editing feature in iPhoto. Compare the two pictures – before and after enhancement.
- Red-Eye: to fix the red eyes caused by the reflection of the camera’s flash light in the object’s eyes.
- Retouch: to blur some small ‘dots’ in the image. This is the tool for teenagers who love to take pictures of themselves. Notice how I blurred the edge between the flower and the dirt underneath it.
And the last set consists of more advanced tools:
- Collection of Effects: There are 9 pre-defined effects that you can use. Just click on one of them to apply it to the selected photo.
- More complicated adjustments: This should be left alone by the amateurs who don’t want to ruin their otherwise acceptable images.
A Thousand Words
Even though the cost of taking pictures these days is virtually zero, each and every one of those captured memories is priceless. Here’s the most important Mac iPhoto tip – you should always back up everything before doing the modifications. The least that you can do is duplicate the images and modify the duplicates instead and keep the original intact.
And after being edited, your photos could be treasured in many ways, such as using the photos to build your own photo gallery or photo blog.
The combination of good photo management, easy editing, and other cool features makes iPhoto one of the indispensable tools in Mac.
What about you? Do you use iPhoto to manage and edit your photos in Mac and have your own Mac iPhoto tips? Or do you use other alternative applications? Share your thoughts and opinions using the comments below.