Work with Faces and Places in iPhoto on Your MacBook - dummies

Work with Faces and Places in iPhoto on Your MacBook

By Mark L. Chambers

iPhoto ’11 includes two organizational tools called Faces and Places, which you can use to put names to faces in your photos and to track the locations of where your photos were taken. These two categories appear in the Library section of the Source list.

Put names to faces with iPhoto

Faces is a sophisticated recognition system that automatically recognizes human faces within the photos that you add to your Library. Naturally, you have to identify faces first before iPhoto can recognize them, which it does through a process called tagging.

To tag a face, follow these steps:

  1. In the Source list, click the Photos item to display your image library.

  2. In the Viewer, click the photo with a person you want to tag.

    The photo is selected, as indicated by the yellow border.

  3. Click the Info button in the iPhoto toolbar at the bottom of the window.

    iPhoto displays the Info pane.

  4. Click the Add a Face link in the Faces section of the Info pane.

    Note that iPhoto has indicated each person’s face in the photo with a label. If a face has already been tagged, the label will match the person’s face.


  5. If the face is unrecognized (labeled as Click to Name), click the label to open a text box and type the person’s name.

    If iPhoto recognizes the face correctly and the name matches the person, click the check mark to confirm the tag. If the face is incorrectly identified, click the X at the right of the text box and you can enter a new name.

    If the name appears on an Address Book contact card — or is recognized as one of your Facebook friends — you can click the matching entry that appears to confirm the identity. Wowzers!

    To delete a Face recognition box that isn’t necessary, hover your mouse cursor over the box and click the X button that appears at the top-left corner of the box.

    If iPhoto doesn’t recognize the face at all in the photo (which can happen if the person’s face is turned at an angle to the camera, or is in a darker area of the photo), click the box border and drag the box over the person’s face. If necessary, you can resize the box using the four handles at the corner of the box. Now you can click the label and type the person’s name.

  6. Click the Info button to hide the Info pane after you’ve identified all the faces in the photo.

After you’ve tagged an image, it appears in your Faces collection, which you can view by clicking the Faces entry in the Source list. You can double-click a portrait in your Faces collection to see all the images that contain that person.

Notice the Confirm Additional Faces button that appears next to the person’s name? Click it, and iPhoto displays other photos that may contain this person’s face, allowing you to tag them there as well. If a face is a match, click the thumbnail to confirm it.

As you might expect, the more tags you add for a specific person, the better iPhoto gets at recognizing that person!

Put photos in their place with iPhoto

Places makes it easy to track the location where photos were taken, but it requires a digital camera that includes GPS tracking information in the image metadata for iPhoto to do so without your help. (This is a relatively new feature for digital cameras, so older models aren’t likely to support GPS tracking.) Places also requires an Internet connection, because it uses Google Maps.

Click the Places entry in the Source list to display a global map, with pushpins indicating where your photos were taken. You can switch the Places map between terrain and satellite modes, or choose a hybrid display. If you’re familiar with Google Maps, these settings are old friends of yours.

Alternatively, click the text Location buttons at the top of the map to display a character-based browser, where you can click on country, state, city and place names.

No matter which view mode you choose, clicking a pushpin or location displays the images taken in that area.