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Chapter 4. Editing Photos > Enhancing Photos

Enhancing Photos

Traditional photo processors learned long ago that fiddling with brightness and contrast and messing with the colors could turn a plebeian picture into a luminescent photo. iPhoto 2 aims to help you do the same for your photos with its one-click Enhance tool.

To enhance a photo:

In edit mode, click the Enhance button.

iPhoto adjusts a number of aspects of your photo, including color levels, color saturation, and brightness and contrast.

Press and release to toggle between the “before” (Figure 4.20) and “after” (Figure 4.21) views of your photo.

Figure 4.20. The original photo. Notice how it’s too dark.

Figure 4.21. The photo after clicking Enhance. Though you can’t tell as well in the paper version, iPhoto increased the red tones and the brightness. Maybe better, maybe not.

If you like what Enhance has done to your photo, continue working. If not, choose Undo Enhance Photo () from the Edit menu.


  • Don’t assume Enhance will always improve your photo. It’s worth trying, but only you can decide if its results are better or worse than the original.

  • If the photo is way too dark or way too bright, Enhance isn’t likely to work as well as manual fiddling with the Brightness and Contrast sliders.

  • Enhance seems to pick up on the main color in the image when tweaking color saturation, which can lead to unwanted effects.

  • The order in which you perform edits can make a difference. For instance, if you’re going to crop a photo, try Enhance before you crop, and if you don’t like the results, undo the enhance, crop, and try Enhance again to see if you get different results.

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