Chapter 7. The Digital Shoebox

If you’ve imported your photos into iPhoto using any of the methods described in the previous chapter, you should now see a neatly arranged grid of thumbnails in iPhoto’s main photo viewing area. You’re looking at what iPhoto refers to as your Photo Library—your entire photo collection, including every last picture you’ve ever imported. This is the digital equivalent of that old shoebox you’ve had stuffed in the closet for the last ten years, brimming with snapshots waiting to be sorted and sifted, often never to be seen again.

You’re not really organized yet, but at least all your photos are in one place. Your journey out of chaos has begun. From here, you can sort your photos, give them titles, group them into smaller sub-collections (called albums) and tag them with keywords so you’ll be able to find them quickly. This chapter helps you tackle each of those organizing tasks as painlessly as possible.

The Source List

Even before you start naming your photos, assigning them keywords, or organizing them into albums, iPhoto imposes an order of its own on your digital shoebox.

The key to understanding it is the Source list at the left side of the iPhoto window. This list will grow as you import more pictures and organize them—but right off the bat, you’ll find icons like Photo Library, Last 12 Months, and Last Roll.

Photo Library

The very first icon in the Source list is called Photo Library. This is a very reassuring little icon, because no matter how confused ...

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