Mas­ter Pho­tos for OS X

Learn about iPhoto’s re­place­ment

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -

If you’ve in­stalled Yosemite on your Mac, by now you have prob­a­bly up­dated it to ver­sion 10.10.3, which in­tro­duces the new Pho­tos app to re­place iPhoto. If you’ve used the epony­mous app on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, the Mac ver­sion will seem familiar. It pro­vides the same ways to ex­plore your photo li­brary, the same meth­ods for or­gan­is­ing pho­tos into cu­rated al­bums and shar­ing them with other peo­ple, and the same easy-to-use yet pow­er­ful toolset that makes it pos­si­ble even for a new­comer to make pho­tos look their best.

When you se­lect the Pho­tos view at the top of the win­dow, the app dis­plays all of your pho­tos in chrono­log­i­cal or­der. The ar­row but­tons at the top-left of the win­dow zoom in and out through sev­eral lev­els. At the most zoomed out, pho­tos are grouped into years. Click and hold on a thumb­nail to see a larger pre­view, and let go to have that photo en­large to fit the win­dow. Al­ter­na­tively, just click once to see Col­lec­tions. Th­ese group pho­tos by broad ge­o­graph­i­cal re­gions, pos­si­bly over long pe­ri­ods of time. The click and hold tech­nique works here too, or you can click a thumb­nail to see Mo­ments, pho­tos taken over shorter pe­ri­ods of time and at more pre­cise lo­ca­tions. Dou­ble-click a pic­ture here to en­large it, and then swipe left and right (with two fin­gers on a track­pad, one on a Magic Mouse) or use the ar­row keys to step through the Mo­ment. You don’t need to click the back but­ton to quickly reach a spe­cific photo. In­stead, click the but­ton to the right of that one to split the view, which will show other pic­tures from the Mo­ment down the left of the win­dow.

The app man­ages the con­tents of th­ese views for you, based on data that your cam­era at­taches to each photo you take. If your cam­era isn’t a phone, en­sure its clock is cor­rectly set. Some cam­eras – es­pe­cially those built into phones – can au­to­mat­i­cally at­tach lo­ca­tion data to

The Mac ver­sion of Pho­tos has eight built-in fil­ters and man­ual con­trols for ma­nip­u­lat­ing colour

pho­tos. If yours can’t, you can look up places by name or post­code and at­tach this de­tail.

You can cu­rate your best pho­tos into al­bums, ei­ther man­u­ally or by spec­i­fy­ing cri­te­ria, such as lo­ca­tions and key­words you’ve at­tached. The lat­ter method, a Smart Al­bum, is pow­er­ful be­cause the app up­dates its con­tent over time to re­flect changes in your li­brary.

Thank­fully, Pho­tos hasn’t ditched its pre­de­ces­sor’s cre­ative projects, so you can add your pho­tos to books, cal­en­dars and greet­ing cards, and have th­ese me­men­tos pro­fes­sion­ally printed.

Pho­tos can use iCloud to make your en­tire photo li­brary avail­able on all of your Ap­ple de­vices (well, those run­ning Yosemite or iOS 8) with­out you hav­ing to choose when and what to sync. Take a photo with your iPhone and the next time that de­vice goes on­line us­ing Wi-Fi, the photo will sync to iCloud and then ap­pear on your Mac. It works the other way too, for pho­tos added on your Mac.

Sadly, the Mac ver­sion of Pho­tos lacks some extensibility found in its iOS coun­ter­part, so photography apps are un­able to make their fil­ters and edit­ing tools avail­able within it. For now, at least, you’re limited to eight built-in fil­ters. That’s not all the cre­ative con­trol at your fin­ger­tips, though. You also get man­ual con­trols for ma­nip­u­lat­ing colour.

It’s not all bad news where ex­pan­sion is con­cerned, ei­ther, be­cause Pho­tos pro­vides an Ap­pleScript li­brary, which en­ables de­vel­op­ers to ex­tend it with new be­hav­iours. OS X Au­to­ma­tion (ma­cosx­au­toma­ has al­ready tapped into this to pro­vide a set of Au­toma­tor ac­tions, which are a much eas­ier method of tailor­ing the app to your needs than learn­ing a script­ing lan­guage. On the site, you’ll find ex­am­ples of how you might use th­ese ac­tions, in­clud­ing one that opens the Maps app at the lo­ca­tion where the se­lected photo was taken. Af­ter read­ing our tu­to­rial, it’s worth ex­plor­ing th­ese ac­tions to see how they might work for you. Alan Stone­bridge

Pho­tos is packed with sim­ple yet pow­er­ful tools for edit­ing images.

Pho­tos turns dark when edit­ing images, which is a great op­por­tu­nity to use Yosemite’s so-called dark mode.

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