Serious Editing in iPhoto 5
Book Review

Serious Editing in iPhoto 5
J. Kevin Wolfe
Books That Don’t Go Bad
126 pages/5 megabytes
US $24.95

The conventional wisdom, according to graphics cognoscenti, is that iPhoto is for amateurs, snapshot takers, who don’t care about high quality images. Even if they did care, iPhoto hasn’t got the moxie to do decent photo editing.

J. Kevin Wolfe authored the ebook Serious Editing in iPhoto 5 to disprove the conventional wisdom. Serious Editing in iPhoto 5 will surprise those who think iPhoto is just an over hyped digital shoebox. In 126 pages, Wolfe demonstrates that you don’t need to run PhotoShop to do serious, high-quality editing work on your images.

Serious Editing in iPhoto 5 (SeEIP5, for short) is clearly NOT an electronic version of a paper book. As a PDF (Portable Document File) SeEIP5 takes full advantage of hyperlinks to let the reader jump from place to place, and then back again. With a clear list of topics right at the front, you can navigate with ease.

Wolfe’s writing style is matter-of-fact and unpretentious. You won’t be flogged with the high-tech graphics jargon so often found in a 5 lb. Photoshop manual. I found his manner clear and easy to understand, although I did run across a few typos and grammatical mistakes.

The table of contents is presented as a series of images and captions. With sub-groupings of Color Fixes, Exposure Fixes, Cleaning Fixes, and Effects, it’s easy to find out how do the desired edit.

SeEIP5’s editing techniques are effective, yet surprisingly easy. Most fixes require less than 6 steps. A professional photo editor using Photoshop may be able to garner a bit more quality with a 15 step process, but Wolfe’s procedures get you a lot of bang for the buck, errr, mouse-click.

More importantly, Wolfe covers why iPhoto’s buttons and sliders do what they do. You get an basic understanding of the basics of editing, not just instructions on what buttons to click

Here’s a sample of an editing procedure to fix “banding” that worked well when I tried it:

1) Open your photo in Edit.
2) Click on the Adjust button.
3) Drag the Black slider below the histogram right until the bands are gone. This changes the darkest colors to black.
4) To compensate for the darkening, drag the Exposure slider right to your liking. Press Crtl key to compare it to the Before picture.
5) Click Done to save your work.

If banding occurs in lighter areas of the image, you might try adding Contrast, reducing Saturation and reducing Exposure.

These simple steps will fix most images quickly, most of the time. Wolfe’s steps are easy to understand, and to perform.

The great majority of his fixes and enhancements are equally short and sweet.

While there are plenty of quality paper books that discuss editing with iPhoto, this is the first quality publication (paper or ebook) effort I’ve come across that focuses solely on iPhoto editing. The editing examples are both effective, and easy to follow, even for iPhoto beginners to intermediate users.

My only caveat is that the book is a shade pricey at $24.95. While it’s clear that Wolfe has invested many, many hours, the costs for ebook production are quite low when compared to paper book production. However, given that paper alternatives will set you back at least $30, SeEIP5 holds its own. You do get free updates to SeEIP5, so you’ll always be able to keep current.

SeEIP5 can be purchased at Wolfe’s website Major credit cards and PayPal, are both accepted.

MyMac rating: 4.5 out of 5


Leave a Reply