OS X Photos Beta: Where Are the Adjustments?

If you’re a longtime user of iPhoto, you’re probably accustomed to the easy way you could adjust settings like exposure, sharpness, and the temperature of your pictures. You’d double-click on a photo, click the “Edit” button, and then select the “Adjust” tab, and voilà—all of your controls for that sort of stuff would be revealed.

With Photos, we’ve got a lot of the same granular control, but it’s a bit more difficult to get to. As with iPhoto, you’ll double-click an image first, and then select the “Edit” button in the upper-right (or press Return).

The tools that appear should be pretty familiar.

Most of those work the same way that they did under iPhoto, though the filters are now the ones that are included in recent versions of iOS.

When you choose “Adjust,” though, things seem a little weird. Is that little slider under each one really all we can do?!

Luckily, it’s not. (Whew.) To access the more advanced adjustments, you’ll hover over any of the categories, and when the drop-down arrow appears in the upper-right, click it to reveal more controls. Thank goodness!

Finally, here’s one more nifty thing you can do. See how my fifth screenshot above has a blue “Add” button at the top? You can click that to put any additional controls into that panel that you’d like or even save what you’ve added as the default if you find yourself using the same editing tools all the time. 

So if you often need “Noise Reduction,” say, or “White Balance,” just add in those controls, then click “Add” again and choose “Save as Default.” Afterward, you’ll have your choices within the adjustments panel for every picture you edit.

If you wanna remove an adjustment, click the drop-down arrow next to its name, and you’ll see that option.

That’s all there is to it! Pretty simple, right? I mean, it’s not as simple as iPhoto was, but I really like the new way the adjustments work and how you can view just the ones you need. I’m willing to give up a bit of simplicity for that.