Digital devices have made capturing your family's precious memories easier than ever. When kids' milestones and funny moments pop up, it's rare that Mama doesn't have a digital camera or iPhone at the ready. But with the easy access that snap-happy parents now have, there's also the side effect of having an excess of photos — and not a clue what to do with them. Here's your guide to taking, organizing, and actually enjoying all your digital snaps.
Since you're taking most of your photos on an iPhone these days, Apple is making sure you have the same editing experience on the go as you would when sitting down to desktop iPhoto — with some multitouch enhancements. Announced during Apple's iPad event, iPhoto for iPad and iPhone ($5) is available now for mobile photo editing.
Gestures do all the work in the new iPhoto; just touch the specific part of the photo you want to enhance. Slide color contrasts up, pinch-zoom to focus on friends, or get artsy with the brush tool and paint away harsh lighting. Flag images for side-by-side comparison before deciding which photo makes the cut. Dozens of effects are included as swatch books to create black-and-white, vintage, watercolor, and tilt-shift images. Share the final photo product with friends across social networks, between iPhone and iPad, to the new Apple TV, or as photo journals all customized within iPhoto itself.
The first new product to be introduced at the Back to the Mac event is iLife. Coming with a bunch of new features, iLife is better than ever. Check out what's new in each application below.
New features include new full screen modes, Facebook enhancements, new slideshows, and new ways to email photos and print cards, including new custom letterpress cards (!) and postcards. Cool new maps let you see geo-tagged pics, and enhancements to the Faces feature recognizes faces even better. Additionally, you can customize books even further, add text, and move pics around with ease, then see all of your custom books in a bookshelf (just like in the iBookstore).
Hear about the rest of the iLife '11 features, including iMovie, Garageband, availability, and pricing after the jump.
I love the newer versions of iPhoto for many reasons, one of them being the face recognition feature. Just tag a photo with a person's name and highlight their face, and iPhoto neatly organizes all the photos with them in it. Perfect for when you need to find a specific shot or you want to rag on a certain someone for all those late-night debauchery pics you've collected over the years.
But when I was organizing photos of my family over the weekend, I ran into a little problem when iPhoto tried to recognize my game-loving grandpa as you can see in this screenshot. How can a sweet-faced senior be mistaken for a Mr. Potatohead tattoo? Mistake one senior for another, sure, but not for a sharpie-drawn pic on my forearm. I thought it was pretty hilarious, and if you're wondering about the tat, don't. It was Halloween 2006. 'Nuff said.
Buuut, I can't hate on iPhoto for too long, since it comes packed with some other amazing features as well. To find out what they are, just read more
Mother's Day is quickly approaching (plan your brunches for May 10), and if you haven't the slightest idea as to where to start your search for the perfect gift, I'm here to help. If your mom knows how to upload her pics to her computer, record shows on her TiVo, turn the flash off on her digital camera, then these places will offer up some great gifts she'll really love.
Learning to shoot amazing photos on an SLR doesn't come overnight. Sometimes all it takes is a lot of experimentation, sometimes someone teaches you, and sometimes you get a great tip.
Have you scored once on shooting photos or a series of photos where the lighting and settings all came together and you got gorgeous results? You can replicate those results, and you don't have to have written anything down or memorized it.
Each of your digital photos will tell you what most of the used settings were — just click Apple + i (or right click and 'Get Info') on the file (that is, if you use iPhoto). Under More Info, the F-stop and shutter speed (on your camera) you used correspond to FNumber and Exposure Time, respectively.
To see how to get more settings in iPhoto, just read more
Although it's still another few weeks away, it's never too early to start thinking about what to do for mom on Mother's Day. This is especially true if you were considering making her a custom photo book using iPhoto's printing services — you have until tomorrow to whip it up, place your order, and have it in your hands (and all wrapped up) by May 10.
If you've never used Apple's printing services before, I suggest you give it a try. It's easy to import your photos into a photo book template of your choice, customize the colors and layouts, and add messages and embellishments to your heart's content.
You can even choose between hard or soft cover, wire bound books or calendars and cards. The best part is, books start at just $20 bucks so you can still afford to take your mom out for a nice brunch and indulge her with some mimosas. Let's face it — Mother's Day just isn't complete without mimosas!
If you haven't noticed, it's wedding season here on the Sugar Network and I've been busy telling you how to keep up with your own wedding website, pick out the perfect photographer, and manage all those photos — yours and your guests — after the big day. This week, we're moving into the wedding planning stages, and today I'm talking about slideshows. But this isn't the after-the-event, it-was-such-a-beautiful-day slideshow, this is the slideshow you play during your reception, usually packed with photos of you and your betrothed throughout your relationship together.
Although I've already given you some tips on what you should consider when putting together your slideshows, you may not know where to begin once you have all your photos chosen. If you don't have a Mac (I know I've talked your ear off about the simple joy of iPhoto), you can still make professional-looking slideshows and videos with your PC. Who woulda thought, right?
Find out what software you should consider, and what to do with those stacks of (nondigital) photos when you read more
The idea of tagging photos is nothing new, but most people use it for things like identification, ala Facebook or Picasa (whose face-recognition technology continues to blow me away). After having had several parties in the last few months for people, and thereby putting together slideshows featuring the guests of honor, I realized how much photo tagging could help me — but with the original files.
I'm finally putting iPhoto's tagging to use; not only will tagging the photo files by the names of the people in them to sort through later, it couldn't be easier. iPhoto lets you assign hotkeys to the names of people who frequently appear in your pictures.
To see more of how you tag and use hotkeys in iPhoto, just read more