Digital cameras, by their very nature, encourage lots of snaps. That’s because once you’ve bought enough batteries and memory cards, there’s no additional cost to taking tons of photos. But how do you keep those pictures organized? Carefully labeled shoeboxes simply won’t do the trick.
Luckily, iPhoto 4, one of Apple’s “iApps” (included with every Mac or sold as part of iLife for $49), lets you create digital albums and assign searchable keywords to photos. For all but the most prolific of picture takers, iPhoto is a quick, convenient, and inexpensive solution to the timeless problem of photo organization.
iPhoto is a masterpiece, a breakthrough, a revolution. It can handle thousands of images without really breaking a sweat, and, accordingly, if you can’t organize your images with its help, you should probably visit Unorganizers Anonymous. However, just because it’s a powerful tool doesn’t mean there aren’t a few tricks you can employ to maximize its usefulness.
When you’re viewing a library, film roll, or album, iPhoto comes set to display your photos with a subtle drop shadow in the main window. While this effect looks cool, it slows down scrolling and resizing on all but the fastest machines. Boost your speed by turning off the shadow.
Choose iPhoto → Preferences, and in the Appearance pane uncheck the Drop Shadow option. (If you’d like a somewhat faster alternative, set the pictures to display a solid-line border instead.)
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