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Organizing Photos

This chapter is from the book

There are two types of people when it comes to photos. First are the Martha Stewart types who manage to organize every picture into precious handmade albums constructed of used tissues and old grocery bags. Then there are the rest of us, who dump our pictures in a box, and that's if we remember to develop the film in the first place. We in the second group hate those in the first group (though we're sure you're actually very nice people).

For me, the promise of digital photography was a way not just to join that first group, but to beat them at their own game. I'm constitutionally incapable of cutting a print to crop it, and my miserable handwriting makes captions painful. I figured I could do it all on the computer with no trouble and make prints to boot. Unfortunately, it was just too hard—until iPhoto.

iPhoto's editing tools are covered in a future chapter, so here we're going to focus on iPhoto's organizational features. Some require a little effort, but even with no work, your digital photo collection will be far better organized than the box in the closet.

And if you're one of those people who put together handmade photo albums before digital photography, well, you're still going to love what iPhoto can do for you.

What's New in Organize Mode

If you've used previous versions of iPhoto, you'll want to pay attention to the new features iPhoto 6 brings to organize mode.

New features in organize mode:

  • The new cards and calendars are, like books, independent entities that are parallel to albums, smart albums, and slideshows in the Source pane.
  • When you scroll through your photos in organize mode using the scroller in the scroll bar, iPhoto displays a translucent pop-up containing the date of the visible photos and, if you're in the Library album, the name of the current film roll (Figure 3.1). Unfortunately, it doesn't work if you use a scroll wheel to scroll.
    Figure 3.1

    Figure 3.1 As you scroll, iPhoto 6 now displays a translucent pop-up that helps you figure out where you are in the album.

  • You can now include EXIF data when defining smart albums, which enables you to create smart albums containing images selected by aperture, camera model, flash, focal length, ISO, or shutter speed.
  • When filtering the contents of the display pane by keywords, you can now choose whether selecting multiple keywords presents photos matching any of the selected keywords or only those photos that have all the selected keywords.
  • Performance is distinctly better.
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