Want your photos voted “Most Likely to Impress”? (Vol #11)

July 26, 2011 in Newsletters

Inside: iPhoto color enhancing, cropping, exporting

It’s been an exciting week for me and for Apple. I attended my 30th high school reunion last Saturday and Apple released a bunch of new products last Wednesday, including a new operating system upgrade, Mac OS X “Lion”.

Cameras were constantly flashing at the reunion, so I couldn’t help but think about all those photos that my old classmates would discover the next day were too dim, too bright, too blah, or just not right. Hopefully some of them will read this:

Enhance Your Colors

iPhoto isn’t the most powerful photo application, but what it can do it makes really easy. That is, if you know a few tricks and where to look. This article and video are so jam-packed with tips, tricks, and side-by-side feature comparisons that if you don’t learn at least one new thing, I have a job for you.

How to improve photo color in iPhoto

Of course I got a haircut in preparation for my reunion. But after seeing some of the follicle-challenged guys there, I think I may be one of the few that still has to say:

“Crop a Little Off the Sides”

Getting your photo’s color right is a great start, but a well-composed photo often needs some cropping. I demonstrate how to straighten and three ways to crop here:

How to crop photos in iPhoto

Since you may already know how to crop in iPhoto, that article also includes some theory behind good photo composition, namely the Rule of Thirds. If you don’t know what that is, learning that one tip will instantly make your photos more interesting.

Improve Your Exports

New newsletter subscriber Ping was having trouble creating a headshot image file that would successfully upload to a website where she was creating an account. She was confused because she was correctly cropping her photo to the required dimensions as I showed in the previous article. She finally created the headshot file she needed after I taught her how to correctly set iPhoto’s “Size” and “JPEG Quality” export settings as I show here:

How to export photos from iPhoto

Be sure to check out my photo comparison of the four quality settings and how they affect file size and image quality. It’s pretty striking.

I hope those three articles and videos help make you a better photo editor. I know that I learned some tricks while writing them.

And, finally, inspired this week by Apple and lazy felines everywhere…

Word of the Week

The word is “Lion”.

Apple has a cute way of naming their operating system versions after cats, and the latest, version 10.7, is “Lion”. Some people are already raving about the cool new features, while others are complaining about bugs, problems downloading the massive upgrade file, and incompatibility with popular applications like Quicken. I’m very curious what your plans are for upgrading to Lion, since your answer will greatly affect the videos and articles I create. So please take a few seconds and answer this one-question poll.

https://www.machelpformom.com/when-will-you-upgrade-to-lion

Apple is breaking new ground with Lion by initially having it only available in the App Store. Since the App Store was introduced in Snow Leopard (Mac OS X version 10.6), this means that if you don’t have Snow Leopard you’ll first need to upgrade to it, then upgrade to Lion. On the bright side, the Lion download is attractively priced at only $29. For those who don’t have the high speed Internet connection and/or patience required for the 3.7 GB download, Apple will start selling Lion on a USB flash drive in August for $69.

One brief description I’ve heard about Lion is that it makes your Mac work more like an iPad or iPhone. With the new multi-touch gestures this is certainly true, but that’s just a fraction of the new features.

Launching applications should be more efficient with the new Launchpad feature, using them more convenient with the systemwide Full-Screen Apps, and switching between those applications will be easier with the new Mission Control. And the new Resume feature allows you to restart your Mac and return to all your applications right where you left them.

Lion also has improved file saving capabilities. It has an Auto Save feature so iWork users finally won’t have to worry about losing work that they forgot to save. The new Versions feature maintains hourly copies of the documents you’re working on, and lets you browse and compare them in a Time Machine-like interface.

I was in no big rush to upgrade but after writing about it I’m now getting more intrigued by it.

You can read more details about the new features in Lion at Apple’s website: https://www.apple.com/macosx/whats-new/

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