iPhoto 6 Review, Part 2

| Computing with Bifocals

In my last column I started a look at iPhoto 6, particularly a review of all the advances and additions that are included in this latest version of iPhoto.? As I sat down to continue this discussion I found myself facing the quandary of just what to write about.? I started this column over three times.? iPhoto is a very complicated application that is very simple to use.? Kinda.

There is also way too much to cover in a simple column.? Last week I taught a two hour iPhoto class for beginners and had a 15 page handout.? I canit put all that in a column!? Besides, there are commercial books by respected authors that do a better job than I can do.? My personal recommendation is? Adam Engstis iPhoto 6 for Mac OS X, which is published by Peachpit Press.? Mr. Engstis book (US$24.99 - retail, $16.49 - Amazon) is well written, easy to follow, and contains lots of in-depth information to help you become an iPhoto expert quickly.? It is just that when I am helping beginners I always fall back into beginner mode myself and want to include everything that I needed to know to learn to use whatever it is we are discussing.

Nevertheless, after all of my angst, I am going to do what I said I was going to do in the first place -- talk about what is new and different in iPhoto 6.

Slideshow

You can still create a great personalized slideshow by creating a folder of handpicked photos which you can then instantly turn into a beautiful slideshow, complete with music from the 11 iPhoto music choices? or your own iTunes library.?

Now you can even create a slideshow of your entire library by selecting the first image in your library itself and selecting slideshow.? Another new addition to the slideshow options is the ability to have your slideshow timing automatically adjust to the music you choose.? While in slideshow mode select settings and put a check in the box next to "fit slideshow to music."

Greeting Cards

I had iPhoto 6 for months before I even looked at this new feature because I made an assumption that was not true.? I assumed that any card design would have to be ordered by the box.? That is so not true.? You can order one card if you wish.? The price is the same, U.S. $1.99 for each card, no matter how many you order.? Therefore you can design a special card for someone and have it printed professionally.? What you have to do is plan ahead so that it can be printed and mailed back to you in time for you to get it to the recipient.? There are numerous designs and you can select any font that is available on your individual machine.

iPhoto will warn you if the quality of your photo is such that you will get a poor quality end product so that you can make adjustments or select alternate photos before finalizing your card(s).? This feature, which? has been in place from the beginning for the photo albums, is also in place for the new calendar option which I will look at next.? The warning, a yellow triangle, can be seen in the following sample of a card.


Sample CardCalendars
(Click the thumbnail for a larger image)

Calendars

Calendars is a really cool option.? There are 11 themes from which to choose.? Each calendar is? 8 x 10, spiral bound, and sells for U.S. 19.95.? The basic calendar is set up for 12 months, but you can create a calendar up to 24 months.? Additional months, past 12, are U.S. $1.49 a month.? Drag and drop is used to apply photos to a calendar page and the calendar page automatically adjusts to fit each photo.? More than one photo can be put on a page and page layouts are adjustable.? There is also an option that lets the application arrange your photos for you.? Before you start to create a calendar pick out the pictures you are going to use and put them in a folder (album) in iPhoto.? Remember to use the Help menu if you come across something you donit know how to do.

Sample Calendar Pages

Photo Album

Photo Album offers the original 7 themes plus a dozen new ones.? It? also offers new size options.? You can choose 11 x 8-1/2,? 8 x 6, or 3-1/2 x 2-5/8.? Prices range from $3.99 to $29.99.? The process for making an album is exactly like the one you follow to make a calendar.? You have a number of options concerning how many pages you want to include in your album.? You? also have options for adding text.


Sample Album Pages

Order Prints

Order Prints lets you quickly and easily order prints that are printed on Kodak paper.? There are a couple of advantages to ordering prints this way.? First of all, you can crop and adjust your individual photos before you pay for prints.? Second, you can take advantage of the iPhoto resolution warning system to help determine what size you should order.


Order Prints Example

The photo used in this example looks to be a good quality photo.? It was, in fact, a studio quality photo at one time.? However, at this point the version I have is of low resolution and the application is suggesting that if I want to have a good quality photo I would do well to order prints in either 4 x 6 or wallet size if I have no way to improve the resolution.? I can order any size I want, but I need to be aware? I will probably be unhappy with the results.?? If you go ahead and order prints in spite of the warning notice your order will go through and you will be charged for the order.

iWeb

The iWeb icon included with iPhoto 6 allows you to instantly publish selected photos (meaning you have set them aside in an album) to the internet using iWeb.? That should be a topic for another column.

Podcasting

We are SO not going to get into podcasting at this point.? The TMO editor keeps mentioning? that word to me and I keep on covering up my ears and making loud noises until he stops talking.? However, I suppose that I will give in at some point and learn how to do it.? I have basically run out of excuses.

iPhoto is great.? It contains all the elements of a well designed Apple application.? If you have it and havenit experimented with it, I suggest you set aside two or three hours and just have fun with it.? If you are into photography at all it can make your life much easier.

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