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Previously we looked at how to import images from your digital camera into your Mac using either Image Capture or iPhoto. Image Capture is nice when you want to import photos that you don't necessarily want to store with your iPhoto pictures - maybe you took some shots of something you want to sell on eBay, for example - but when you are importing photos that you want to store and manage, you should definitely use iPhoto. So in this video I am going to show you some basic features of iPhoto for organizing and finding the photos you have imported. I am using iPhoto '09 in this example, so if you have an older version, not everything I show you will necessarily be available, but you will still be able to manage your photos quite easily with whichever version of iPhoto you have.
Once you have imported pictures into iPhoto, they will all be found under the Library section of the panel in the left-hand side of the screen. To see them all in chronological order, click the Photos category. Here you can scroll through your photos in the order in which they were imported. Double-clicking any thumbnail enlarges it so you can view it, and you can use the right and left arrow keys on your keyboard to move from photo to photo while in this full window view. Click again to go back to the Thumbnail view. And you can adjust the size of the thumbnails using the slider down here, if you want to make them a little bit smaller or make them much larger.
Notice that by default the photos are divided into events. For instance, I have an Australia Event, a Hoover Dam Event, up here I have a Taiwan Event. Basically, each time you import a set of photos into iPhoto, it groups photos taken during a certain period of time, like an afternoon birthday party or a family dinner, into Events. For example, the photos that I imported in the previous video are right here at the bottom in this untitled event. But I can click and Rename this, call this Horseshoe Curve, Altoona, PA.
And you can view your photos as events by clicking Events under Library. So here, instead of seeing thumbnails for every single photo in your library, you see one photo from each event. Moving your mouse over events lets you glimpse the other photos in that event. And double-clicking an event takes you into it, where you can see all the pictures from that set. Click All Events to go back. The Events view is nice because it makes it easier to find pictures you are looking for by just giving you one representative shot from each event, instead of having to scroll through thumbnails of all of your pictures.
Most likely though, you'll also want to create your own custom collections of photos, so you can more easily share and show them to your friends and family. Pretty much all photo management tools, like iPhoto, let you create albums or folders into which you can drag whatever pictures you like. In iPhoto, you create an album by clicking the Plus button. I'll select Album, and I am going to call this one Travel. I am going to uncheck Use selected items in new album, since I didn't select any photos for this album yet, and I will click Create. So you can see that places an empty album called Travel in the Source pane.
Now all I have to do is drag in the photos that I want in this album. So I will go back to either Events or Photos. I can just drag to select a good chunk of these photos, and then just drag them into the Travel album. So when I select my album, I can see all the photos I dragged in. Let's make the thumbnails a little smaller. In an album, you can arrange the photos in any order you like, which is something you can't do in any of the views under Library. So I can easily just drag photos anywhere I like, and in any order I like.
iPhoto also lets you create what are called Smart Albums. A Smart Album is an album that populates itself with photos based on parameters that you set up. For example, I will click the Plus button again, but this time I will choose Smart Album. And here you can choose from any number of items in this first menu, like Album, Date, Event, Face, which take advantage of iPhoto's ability to recognize faces. So you could auto-create albums with photos of specific people in them, which is pretty cool. And you can even specify data pertaining to the settings on your camera when the photo was shot. So you can create an album of photos that were taken with or without say the flash firing.
For this example, I will choose Date. Now, what you select in this first menu affects how the other menus in the fields appear. So now with Date selected, for instance, I could choose is in the last, and we will say 5 months. So I would then have an album that constantly updates itself to show me all the photos taken within the past five months. Or maybe I want to see all the photos that were taken in, say, the last half of 2008. So I could say, Date is in the range of 6/1/2008 and 12/31/2008.
And I will definitely want to give this a name other than untitled album. I will call this Late 2008, and click OK to create my Smart Album. There it is. And notice its already been filled with all the photos in my Library that fall into that Date range. So that's just a brief glimpse of some ways you can organize and view your photos in iPhoto, and again, you will find many similar features in other photo management software.
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