How to Edit Images in iPhoto on Your MacBook - dummies

How to Edit Images in iPhoto on Your MacBook

By Mark L. Chambers

For those shots that need a pixel massage, iPhoto includes a number of editing tools that you can use to correct common problems. The first step in any editing job is to select the image you want to fix in the Viewer. Then click the Edit button on the iPhoto toolbar to display the Edit mode controls at the right side of the window.


Now you’re ready to fix problems. (If you’re editing a photo that’s part of an Event, album, Faces, or Places, note the spiffy scrolling photo strip at the bottom, which allows you to switch to another image to edit from the same grouping.)

If you’d prefer to edit images with more of your screen real estate, click the Full Screen button at the far left of the iPhoto toolbar. To switch back to the standard window arrangement, click the Full Screen button again.

Need more features than iPhoto provides when editing a prized photograph? iPhoto even allows you to specify another image editing application like Photoshop Elements (instead of the built-in editing controls).

First, click iPhoto and choose Preferences, then click the Advanced tab. Click the Edit Photos pop-up menu and click Choose App, then navigate to the image editor you want to use, select it and click Open. Now close the Preferences dialog, and iPhoto will automatically open the application you selected when you click the Edit button!

If you decide to return to iPhoto’s built-in editing controls, just open the Advanced pane again, click the Edit Photos pop-up menu again and choose In iPhoto.

When you’re done with Edit mode, click the Edit button again to return to the Viewer.

How to rotate tipped-over shots in iPhoto

If an image is in the wrong orientation and needs to be turned to display correctly, click the Rotate button to turn it once in a counterclockwise direction. Hold down the Option key while you click the Rotate button to rotate in a clockwise direction.

Find yourself using that Option key often when rotating? Consider reversing the default direction! Click iPhoto→Preferences and click the General tab; then click the Rotate radio button to change the default direction.

How to straighten crooked photos in iPhoto

Was your camera slightly tilted when you took the perfect shot? Never fear! Click the Straighten button and then drag the Angle slider to tilt the image in the desired direction. Click the Done button to return to Edit mode.

How to enhance images in iPhoto

If a photo looks washed out, click the Enhance button to increase (or decrease) the color saturation and improve the contrast. Enhance is automatic, so you don’t have to set anything — but be prepared to use Undo if you’re not satisfied with the changes.

How to remove rampant red-eye in iPhoto

Unfortunately, today’s digital cameras can still produce the same “zombies with red eyeballs” as traditional film cameras. Red-eye is caused by a camera’s flash reflecting off the retinas of a subject’s eyes, and it can occur with both humans and animals.

iPhoto can remove that red- and green-eye and turn frightening zombies back into your family and friends! Click the Red-Eye button and then select a demonized eyeball by clicking in the center of it. (If the Red-Eye circular cursor is too small or too large, drag the Size slider to adjust the dimensions.) To complete the process, click the Done button.

How to retouch photos in iPhoto

The iPhoto Retouch feature is perfect for removing minor flecks or lines in an image (especially those you’ve scanned from prints). Click Retouch and you’ll notice that the cursor turns into a circle; as with the Red-Eye tool, you can drag the Size slider to change the size of the Retouch cursor.

Just drag the cursor across the imperfection and click Done when you’re finished touching things up. Don’t forget to take a moment and marvel at your editing skill!

When you first enter Editing mode, the Quick Fixes tab is selected. (These are the changes you’ll make most often, so having Quick Fixes as the default selection makes sense.) However, you can also choose to apply an effect from the Effects tab, or make specific changes to the appearance of an image from the Adjust tab.

Switch to black-and-white or sepia in iPhoto

Ever wonder whether a particular photo in your library would look better as a black-and-white (or grayscale) print? Or perhaps an old-fashioned sepia tone in shades of copper and brown? Just click the Effects tab, which offers nine different effects that you can apply to the photo. You can also make “one-click” changes to your photo from the Effects tab, including lightening and darkening an image or enhancing the contrast.

Adjust photo properties manually in iPhoto

Click the Adjust tab to perform manual adjustments to brightness and contrast (the light levels in your image), as well as attributes such as sharpness, shadow, and highlight levels. To adjust a value, make sure that nothing’s selected in the image and then drag the corresponding slider until the image looks the way you want. Click the Close button to return to Edit mode.

While you’re editing, you can use the Next and Previous buttons at the left of the tab button to move to the next image in the current group (or back to the previous image).