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iPhoto is the backbone of digital photo management for amateur photographers using Macs. In iPhoto '08 Essential Training, instructor Derrick Story teaches each aspect of iPhoto '08, including how to burn CDs and DVDs; set up an advanced editing environment; and retouch, rotate, crop, duplicate, and manipulate photographs. Derrick also shares many tips and tricks and demonstrates how to best organize large photo libraries with metadata, flags, keywords, ratings, and photo info. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.
In the previous movie, I explained how valuable Exif data is. I'm going to take a few moments now and let's put that into play. I'm going to open up the Portrait event here and let's just pick one of these photos and as you recall, you go up to Photos, Show Photo Info, and we have all this wonderful information. Now, how can I use this information to help me understand what's going on in this photo? Well this is a portrait, and first thing that you'll notice is that I use Aperture priority mode, not Program. Most of the time, we shoot in Program. You know the joke is among working photographers is that the P on the camera dial, there it stands for professional, it actually stands for Program, but we say that because so many people use it. It is a very handy function, but every now and then when I want to do something special I would go to Aperture priority mode, which allows me to set the aperture of the camera, the F stop, and then the camera automatically sets the corresponding shutter speed. In this case for this portrait, I went to Aperture priority because I wanted to control the depth of field. You will notice that the Aperture that I set was f/4.0. That is the widest aperture that this lens can do. It is a telephoto lens. It's a 70 to 200 lens. It is an f/4.0 lens so that when I'm shooting at f/4.0 I'm shooting wide open. Now why would I want to do that? Well, let's Double-Click on the photo to magnify it, and we'll move our Photo Information out of the way here. You will notice that the image itself, we have good detail in the eyes, in the facial detail, in the hair, and so forth, but that the background is very soft. That is something that is usually desirable on portraits because you really want the viewers' eyes to go to the person and not be distracted by the information that's in the background. So what you do is you create a shallow depth of field, which means wherever the camera is focused on will be sharp, but pretty much everything else behind it will go soft and this is a desirable affect in portraiture. So I controlled that by going to Aperture priority, setting the lens to basically wide open so I have a shallow depth of field and that created this effect right here. So by having this information available to me in iPhoto it helps me analyze my photos. It's great when you do things right because then you remember to do it again, but also if you make a mistake, for instance if I took this picture and instead of choosing f/4.0 I choose f/16, which would have given me a lot of depth of field, which means this background would have had a lot of detail that may have been distracting then I would have looked at the photo and go "Whoa, what happened here?" and then I can look at the Exif data and go "Oh, no wonder, I set the aperture to f/16 instead of f/4.0 and that's why I have all that detail in the background. It's very handy stuff and as you progress with your photography you can use this information that is viewable in iPhoto to become a better photographer. Give it a try.
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