MacMost Now 477: Editing Photos in iPhoto 11

In iPhoto 11 you can touch up your photos in several ways. You can cure red-eye, fix blemishes, straighten photos and more. You can also enhance or alter the colors in your photos in a number of ways. iPhoto always remembers the original photo, so you can revert even after changes have been made.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. In today's episode, let's learn how to touch-up photos in iPhoto '11.
So, here I am looking at an event and I'm going to double-click on a photo to go into it. And then I'm going to click the edit button at the bottom. This will take me to the touch-up area. And I can do several things here on the right. Let's start with one of the easiest things--and this photo obviously needs to fix the red-eye in it. And see it right there. And so, I'm gonna click on Fix Red-Eye and instantly you'll see that the red-eye's been fixed. That's because when you click that button, it will automatically fix it and you can see the check mark there for Auto-fix red-eye. Now, if I wanted to manually fix it--say, that it didn't do a very good job--I can un-click that and you can see that the red-eye is back. Then I could select a size for the red-eye tool. If I wanted to, I could zoom in here on the eyes a little bit better. So, now I can select something--it's about the right size for the eyes--and then I simply click on the eyes and fix it. If I want to save these changes, I press the Done button. Otherwise, I can click Undo here or Revert to Original to go all the way back.
Now, the main tool for touching up a photo is the Retouch tool. Click there and then, basically, you can select an area in here and touch it up. And you can see what it does--it kinda removes blemishes. In this case, it removed part of my beard. I can undo it--there, I can change the size of the Retouch area very easily. And one of the cool things you can do with Retouch, is you can select the area that you want it to select from. So, for instance, the default here you can see what it does there. I can hold the option key down and select an area here. And you can see it kinda does a similar thing, but if I were to select an area here inside my beard and then apply that here, it actually adds more beard there because it's sampling from this area.
Now, if you want to do just the entire photo, uh, the colors, brightness, contrast, things like that, one tool you can use is just simply to click Enhance and that will change the entire photo. Uh, if that doesn't get you the results you want, you can revert back to the original and go to the adjustment tab here at the top. Then you can do all sorts of things to adjust the levels and play with it here--always reverting. You can adjust the Tint--all sorts of different things that you can adjust here and play with your photo. Uh, one of the cool things that you can do is you can use the Eye-Dropper tool here. Uh, you can select a kind of neutral point in the photo and have it adjust, based on that neutral point.
Now, in addition to these specific controls, you can also go to Effects. And Effects, of course, has these special effects, like Edge Blur and Boost, but you can use these buttons at the top to do things, like Lighten a photo and you can press it repeatedly to keep lightening it. Or you can make it warmer or cooler.
Another thing that comes in handy is the ability to be able to straighten, uh, photos. So, you can see here I've got a horizon line--it's a little crooked--so, I'm going to use Straighten. And I can see now the grid, I can see how the horizon here is a little higher than over here. So, I'm going to change the angle ever so slightly. And, in doing so, I'm gonna crop-out a little bit of the photo, so it remains rectangular. And now I've got something that's perfectly fit into the area.
So, the thing about doing this in iPhoto is you always have the original there. So, here I've corrected the red-eye, I've enhanced the photo, and made it a little warmer. And I can go back here and, this is the photo now that I have in iPhoto, but I can always go to Edit and go to Revert to Original and it will remove all those changes and go back to the original photo. So, you always have the opportunity to go back to the original photo. iPhoto never gets rid of it.
I showed you what you can do in iPhoto '11. Now, this is strictly for editing photos that you've taken. If you want to do something more, like create graphics, then you probably have to move to another tool, say, like Photoshop.
'Til next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 33 Responses to “MacMost Now 477: Editing Photos in iPhoto 11”

    11/15/10 @ 8:47 pm

    Other than the page layout, this seems to be all the same editing features as my older iPhoto 9. What’s new?

      11/15/10 @ 8:59 pm

      Most (all?) of that is in iPhoto 09 too.

    11/18/10 @ 7:37 pm

    There are a lot of new features in iPhoto 11 and they can be found at
    Thanks, Gary, for your GREAT service to ALL of us who STILL think Apple should supply manuals with the computers they sell. Every trip to my machines (iMac 27″ and 15″ MBPro [brand new]) is the beginning of a steep learning curve and I find myself not even going into my office at all. Productivity has gone to zippo and I have spent nearly six grand on fabulous equipment that you have to guess how to use.

    11/18/10 @ 7:39 pm

    Your video and iPhoto deals with ‘red eye’. What about ‘green eye’… often seen with animals?

      11/18/10 @ 8:15 pm

      I don’t know. I’ve never seen green eye. If you have a picture with it, then why not try it. The auto function may not work, but the manual one should work for sure.

    1/9/11 @ 10:41 am

    How to save both the original photo and the edited version to be able to view them side by side and keep them both in iphoto ? THANKS

      1/9/11 @ 10:47 am

      Just duplicate the photo before editing.

    Susan Wagner
    4/8/11 @ 8:03 am

    I am unable to save my edited photos in iphoto 11. When I double click on it to enlarge it in full screen after it’s been edited in iphoto, there is an exclammation point on a triangle that appears, and I can’t share it.

      4/8/11 @ 9:01 am

      Do you mean “save” or “share” — and share in what sense? Email? Facebook? Something else?

        Janette Jeffery
        5/21/11 @ 8:29 pm

        i am having a similar problem too, i have edited my photos, send them and they are the un-edited photo. i have done some in black and white , they have stayed black/white but any special edits are saved, how can you save and share the finished edited copy?

          5/22/11 @ 12:04 am

          So what are the steps you are going through, exactly? You edit the photo in iPhoto. Then you select that photo and hit Share, Email. Then you compose your else (is the edited photo shown in the email message at that point?)

            5/22/11 @ 12:27 am

            I do the normal upload, edit what I want, the photo on the screen is the edited one , but if I email or upload it’s the original photo . If I edit color to black/white and do other fixes , it stays black / white but the other editing is not done . ;)

              5/22/11 @ 6:44 am

              Odd. I’m not sure what could be causing that. So it is one step behind on editing? It recognizes the first, but not the second when you try to email? Are you using the Share, Email function. Or dragging and dropping from iPhoto into an email message?

    Janette jeffery
    5/22/11 @ 1:17 pm

    I do share , then email , or share then upload to Facebook , what do you do when you edit and upload ? , on your video help etc you do some normal editing etc , but I’ve the sharpness etc ( on that options) so I dont know ;(

      5/22/11 @ 8:24 pm

      I’m really not sure what could be causing this.

    janette jeffery
    5/22/11 @ 9:09 pm

    Hi Gary, have you tried all these other options on your editing,?

      janette jeffery
      5/22/11 @ 9:11 pm

      can you please also tell me what the spinning ball is after i have done editing etc ?

        5/22/11 @ 9:27 pm

        That means something is processing. Impossible to say from here why you are getting it at that particular moment, though.

    8/18/11 @ 2:45 pm

    When I use red eye edit, the corrected pupils are always blue. None of my gramkids have blue eyes unless I edit their red eyed pics with iPhoto 11. Is there a way to correct this or is blue the only choice?

      8/18/11 @ 3:21 pm

      Interesting. I always see it as black. I’m not sure if you have a choice in iPhoto. The original color is missing completely, of course, since it has been replaced with red in the image. I suppose you could use a full-strength photo editor like Photoshop to change any pixels to anything you want if you want to put the effort into it.

    cleo mcgee
    1/23/12 @ 5:56 pm

    I edit a photo in iPhoto and the edited version shows up in the thumb nail but when I try to print (command p) I get the original version. What steps am I missing?

      1/23/12 @ 6:05 pm

      Not sure. Try restarting iPhoto, maybe? Can’t think of what would cause that.

        cleo mcgee
        1/24/12 @ 5:52 pm

        tried restarting and that did not work. the edited photo shows up in the thumbnail but if I try to go full screen or print the original photo comes up.

      Trish Newton
      10/19/12 @ 3:41 pm

      The same thing of trying to print out the edited photo but getting the original photo instead is happening to me.

      Any workaround?

    Arpan Dutta
    2/3/12 @ 12:32 pm

    What I actually want to do is something like Picassa. Edit a photo and save it at the location viz. folder the photo was originally saved by me. So next time I open the photo from my picture folder in any viewer, I should be able to view the edited photo only. I can’t do that with iPhoto. is that option not available or I am missing something.

      2/3/12 @ 1:13 pm

      iPhoto stores everything inside the iPhoto library. Sounds like you just want to edit an image file and save it. A graphics program works great for that (Photoshop, Seashore, SketchBook, etc). If you just need to make some adjustments, then Preview on your Mac works well too.

    2/23/12 @ 12:08 am

    I am having the same problem with pictures going back to originals.
    Try sending to email or for printing and the repaired photos revert back to original. Upgraded system and it still happens.

    3/20/12 @ 1:52 am

    We have edited and enhanced our pics on IPHOTO, and want to back them up on hard drives. How can we save the enhanced versions to external hard drives (i.e. will they revert back to original?)

      3/20/12 @ 6:38 am

      Do you mean backup? If so, use Time Machine for backing up everything on your hard drive. However, if you mean archive then I would just archive your entire iPhoto library. That way you have the original photo and the edit.

    5/21/12 @ 11:28 pm

    When using the iPhoto editing program how am I able to save the original photo and still have the edited one? Also, what should I know if wanting to send via email pics that have been edited?… they can be viewed and printed because some appear to look great after editing then I email them and they are viewed with too much noise? Thank you!

      5/22/12 @ 6:37 am

      You can edit a photo and it will keep the original (you can revert to it). You can also duplicate any photo if you want both to be present when you browse.
      Not sure about your noise problem. Perhaps when you email them you are emailing smaller versions (check that setting when you prepare the email — and it depends on the method you are using to send).

    6/21/12 @ 1:59 pm

    I am new to Mac. After I edit in iPhoto, I want to “save” the edited version. Where is the “save” or “save as” button? When I close after “done”, my edited version is gone and I just have the original.

      6/21/12 @ 4:11 pm

      The edits are saved as you go. So there is no “save” action. You just edit and the edits should remain. Not sure why you are not seeing that.

Comments Closed.