Introduction - Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course (1.0.1) (2015)

Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course (1.0.1) (2015)


In 2002 Apple introduced iPhoto as a way for us to save all our newfangled photos in a “digital shoebox.” At the time, I’d owned a digital camera for three months, and had only a few hundred digital images. Over the years, as my photo library grew, Apple revised iPhoto, always trying to stay in front of the onslaught of thousands of digital photos accumulated over a lifetime—at least the lifetime of my two children.

By 2014, enough was more than enough. Apple decided it needed to start from scratch and ditch both iPhoto and the professional-level photo tool it had introduced in 2005, Aperture. It chose to replace them both with a single application, which would be called—in the prosaic style favored by Apple for its iOS apps—Photos.

This book is about Photos, but the ghosts of iPhoto and Aperture hang over it. Mac users have spent years in those programs, cataloging priceless collections of images and videos accumulated over decades. Photos looks quite different from iPhoto, although its approach resembles its predecessor in many ways. And both are miles away—in both looks and capabilities—from Aperture.

In this book, I’ll describe how to perform most of the tasks you’ll want to do with Photos. No previous knowledge of iPhoto or Aperture is required, though I will walk you through the migration process from both apps and show you where the stuff in those programs ends up—if anywhere—in Photos.

One of the most exciting features of Photos is its embrace of cloud services. For the first time, you can keep your entire photo library in the cloud rather than on your drive. (It’s up to you to decide whether you want to embrace the cloud to that degree.) The connection between iOS and the Mac has also never been stronger.

But of course, there are also some changes that won’t be as welcome. Some features many people came to rely on in iPhoto and Aperture are gone. Hopefully some of them will come back one day—after all, this first version of Photos is just the beginning.

My daughter, born late in 2001, is about to enter high school. Her entire life has been chronicled with digital photos—tens of thousands of them at this point. I used iPhoto to catalog her childhood. Now that catalog resides in Photos. Photography is how we preserve the images of our lives; it’s important that we understand the software that allows us to organize, view, and share those images. That’s what this book tries to do.

This initial version of the book is a work in progress. I’ve tried to cover the most essential details you’ll need to get started with Photos, but there’s much more to come—another half of the book, in fact (see Ebook Extras for details).

Thanks for joining me on this journey. Let’s get started!