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iPhoto 5 Magnified
by: Jelaine Macaraig
Want a user-friendly, efficient and versatile digital imaging software that allows you to be creative and produce professional projects? Then you’ll definitely love iPhoto 5.

It has the standard functions one can expect from an image editing application – the Red-Eye button for well, red eyes, the Retouch Brush for removing blemishes and other unwanted “dirt,” freehand Crop Tool to capture only the best elements of your photo in one frame, the Straighten tool to level horizons using the handy-dandy grid, and the Advanced Editing Dashboard for precise adjustment of black and white points using the Levels tool, adjustment of exposure and color saturation, modification of color temperature and for fine-tuning tint, as well as brightness and contrast. While editing a photo, iPhoto 5 even allows you to compare it with the original image simply by holding down the Control key. You can also reset all the adjustments you’ve done with the different sliders using a single button. Yup, iPhoto 5 has all these… and so much more.

It supports not only the oh-so famous JPEG file format, but even the RAW file format, which has become a favorite among professional photographers and higher-end enthusiasts who wish to preserve the maximum image quality. It also supports the MPEG-4 file format for video clips and if you’re concerned about file size, don’t worry – iPhoto 5 imports them just as fast and easy as it would JPEGs and from almost any data source too. With a USB cable, simply plug in your gadget to your Mac, whether it’s your digital camera or your memory card reader or your iPod and iPhoto would automatically launch. It would then give you a dialog box where you can put in information about your images like name, subject, keywords and other metadata, which you can later on use for fast and easy search of photos, albums or digital roll. You can also import images stored in CDs or your hard drive in two ways – either you select and add your image folders to the library from the File menu or simply drag the folder into the iPhoto window.

Lastly, one of the many features that iPhoto 5 prides itself of is the intelligent and advanced slideshow feature. First off, the slideshows are separate from the albums. Therefore, you can modify the contents of one slideshow, like maybe add a few images from another album, without affecting the albums themselves. And since iPhoto 5 supports MPEG-4, you can create slideshows consisting of both still images and video clips. It also has a lot of fantastic transitions, which you can control the speed and direction of, and even allows you to adjust the slide duration on a per-image basis. You might be thinking, a good soundtrack would be lovely too – but setting the perfect timing may be difficult to achieve. With iPhoto 5, you wouldn’t have to worry about that as it has a tight integration with iTunes. Simply select a song or an entire playlist from your iTunes library and iPhoto will do the math for you and synchronize your music with your slideshow! Now how’s that for a total viewing experience? Your family and friends might think that you had a professional do all these creative work for you!

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