Chapter 2. The Digital Shoebox

When you get right down to it, working in iPhoto takes place at three different zoom levels. You begin fully zoomed out, looking at piles of photos—your Events (called Spring Break, Robin’s Graduation, and so on). Then you drill down into one of the piles; in the main Photos view, every picture appears as an individual thumbnail. Finally, you can zoom in even more, filling the iPhoto window (or your entire monitor) with just one photo.

If you’ve imported photos into iPhoto as described in the previous chapter, your journey out of chaos has begun. You’re not really organized yet, but at least all your photos are in one place. From here, you can sort your photos, give them titles, group them into smaller subcollections (called albums), and tag them with keywords so you can find them quickly. This chapter helps you tackle each of these 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 upon your digital shoebox.

The key to understanding it is the Source list at the left side of the iPhoto window. This list grows as you import more pictures and organize them—but right off the bat, you’ll find categories such as Library, Recent, and Albums, each containing icons you can click for fast access to particular photos (Last Import, Last 12 Months, and so on). This section explains each category in detail.


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