One-Click Fixups: The Enhance Button

The Enhance button provides a simple way to improve the appearance of less-than perfect digital photos. You click one button to make colors brighter, skin tones warmer, and details sharper. See Figure 9-2 for an example.

But if you want to know exactly what the Enhance button does, good luck. Apple guards that information as though it’s a top-secret meatloaf recipe. iPhoto’s online help makes only a nebulous statement about it “improving colors,” but provides no explanation as to how they’re improved.

What’s clear is that the Enhance button analyzes the relative brightness of all the pixels in your photo and attempts to “balance” the image by dialing the brightness or contrast up or down and intensifying dull or grayish-looking color. In addition to this overall adjustment of brightness, contrast, and color, the program makes a particular effort to identify and bring out the subject of the photo. Usually, this approach at least makes pictures look somewhat richer and more vivid.

Using the Enhance Button

If you’re editing a photo in iPhoto’s main window, you’ll find the Enhance button on the lower pane of the window, along with iPhoto’s other editing tools. To enhance a photo, just click the Enhance button. There’s nothing to select first, and no controls to adjust. (It’s something like Photoshop’s Auto Levels command in that regard.)


You can also Control-click a photo to choose Enhance from the shortcut menu.

If you’ve opted to open a photo in a ...

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