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Introduction > About This Book

About This Book

Don't let the rumors fool you. iPhoto may be simple, but it isn't simplistic. It offers a wide range of tools, shortcuts, and database-like features; a complete arsenal of photo-presentation features; and sophisticated multimedia and Internet hooks. Unfortunately, many of the best techniques aren't covered in the only "manual" you get with iPhoto—its slow, sparse electronic help screens.

This book was born to address two needs. First, it's designed to serve as the iPhoto manual—the book that should have been in the box. It explores each iPhoto feature in depth, offers shortcuts and workarounds, and unearths features that the online help doesn't even mention.

Second, this book provides an invaluable grounding in professional photography. Used together, any good digital camera and iPhoto have all the technical tools you need to produce photographic presentations of stunning visual quality. What's missing are the artistic factors involved in shooting—composition, lighting, and manual exposure—and how to apply them using the myriad features packed into the modern digital camera. This book gives you all you need to know.

And to make it all go down easier, this book has been printed in full color (a first for the Missing Manual series). Kind of makes sense for a book about photography, doesn't it?

About the Outline

This book is divided into four parts, each containing several chapters:

  • Part 1, Digital Cameras: The Missing Manual, is the course in photography and digital cameras promised above. These three chapters cover buying, using, and exploiting your digital camera; choosing the proper image resolution settings; and getting the most out of batteries and memory cards. This section of the book creates a bridge between everyday snapshots and the kinds of emotionally powerful shots you see in magazines and newspapers.

  • Part 2, iPhoto Basics, covers the fundamentals of getting your photos into iPhoto, organizing and filing them, searching them, and editing them to compensate for weak lighting (or weak photography).

  • Part 3, Meet Your Public, is all about the payoff, the moment you've presumably been waiting for ever since you snapped the shots—showing them off. It covers the many ways iPhoto can present those photos to other people: as a slideshow, as prints you order from the Internet or make yourself, as a professionally published gift book, on a Web page, by email, or as a QuickTime-movie slideshow that you post on the Web or distribute on CD or even DVD. It also covers sharing your iPhoto collection across an office network with other Macs, and even how to share it with other account holders on the same Mac.

  • Part 4, iPhoto Stunts, takes you way beyond the basics. It covers a miscellaneous potpourri of additional iPhoto features, including turning photos into screen savers or desktop pictures on your Mac, exporting the photos in various formats, using iPhoto plug-ins and accessory programs, managing (or even switching) Photo Libraries, backing up your photos using iPhoto's Burn to CD command, and even getting photos to and from cameraphones and Palm organizers.

At the end of the book, Appendix A offers troubleshooting guidance, Appendix B goes through iPhoto's menus one by one to make sure that every last feature has been covered, and Appendix C lists some Web sites that will help fuel your growing addiction to digital photography.

Figure I-1. In this book, arrow notations help to simplify folder and menu instructions. For example, "Choose → Dock → Position on Left" is a more compact way of saying, "From the menu, choose Dock; from the submenu that then appears, choose Position on Left."

About → These → Arrows

Throughout this book, and throughout the Missing Manual series, you'll find sentences like this one: "Open the System folder → Libraries → Fonts folder." That's shorthand for a much longer instruction that directs you to open three nested folders in sequence. That instruction might read: “On your hard drive, you'll find a folder called System. Open it. Inside the System folder window is a folder called Libraries. Open that. Inside that folder is yet another one called Fonts. Double-click to open it, too.”

Similarly, this kind of arrow shorthand helps to simplify the business of choosing commands in menus, as shown in Figure I-1.

About MissingManuals.com

At www.missingmanuals.com, you'll find news, articles, and updates to the books in this series.

But if you click the name of this book and then the Errata link, you'll find a unique resource: a list of corrections and updates that have been made in successive printings of this book. You can mark important corrections right into your own copy of the book, if you like.

In fact, the same page offers an invitation for you to submit such corrections and updates yourself. In an effort to keep the book as up-to-date and accurate as possible, each time we print more copies of this book, we'll make any confirmed corrections you've suggested. Thanks in advance for reporting any glitches you find!

In the meantime, we'd love to hear your suggestions for new books in the Missing Manual line. There's a place for that on the Web site, too, as well as a place to sign up for free email notification of new titles in the series.

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