inessential by Brent Simmons

Geek’s-Eye View of iPhoto

It wasn’t until I got a kitten that I realized there might be a use for my giant mutant hand.


I downloaded and used iPhoto last night. Not really to put it through its paces, but because I needed a way to process screen shots for a story on Radio UserLand and OS X.

I’m happy to report it worked fine: it has what’s needed to put together screen shots. Which is three things:

1. A way to import a .tiff file (a screen shot file).

2. A way to crop a picture.

3. A way to save it as a JPEG.

iPhoto is very different from any other image editing app I’ve used. It doesn’t do much editing besides cropping, rotating, and making a picture black-and-white. And instead of working on a file-by-file basis, it’s more like a database of pictures.

I didn’t think I’d care about the database part, but now I see that it’s pretty nice. I’ll have a browseable, categorized history of screen shots. That could be useful.

Here’s a {pictureLink ("screen shot", "iPhotoScreenShots.jpg")} of iPhoto running on my machine with a bunch of screen shots imported.

(You’ll know I’ve gone looney if I order a book of screen shots.)

I still think a simple, low-cost image editor for OS X would be useful. Something with just the very basic features of Photoshop at a tenth the price. iPhoto is not that app. (Which is okay; it’s not meant to be.)

Since posting the above, some people have sent me suggestions for apps to try:

Snapz Pro for doing screen shots.

GraphicConverter for editing and converting.

Bosco’s Foto Trimmer for editing.