iPhoto 2011 shortcut; work in “Last Import”

As a lazy person, I’m always on the lookout for an easier way to do things.  Of course the easiest way of all to deal with pictures is to format your SD card whenever it gets full.  And I can see the logic of this strategy.  After all, taking the pictures is the most enjoyable part of photography, and it’s all downhill after that.

Reasonably, tho, I’ve resolved to organize, edit and share the best pics I’m able to take, and eventually to archive the good ones and purge the rest.  These are the steps I’ve been going thru upon importing pics from my camera:

  1. Put pictures in existing or new albums
  2. Put albums in existing or new folders
  3. Edit pictures
  4. Rate pictures
  5. Select pictures to share

So, I’m interested in getting thru these steps faster.  I used to start by putting pictures in folders and albums.  But recently it dawned on me that this makes the other steps harder; it should be done last.  My new approach:

  1. Rate all pictures average
  2. Edit pictures
  3. Adjust picture ratings
  4. Put pictures in existing or new albums
  5. Put albums in existing or new folders
  6. Select pictures to share

Even tho I’ve added a step, I think this method saves time.  Now I do the first three steps in “Last Import,” a special library that iPhoto creates each time I upload pictures from my camera.  Here’s why:

1. Rate all pictures average

Why rate pictures at all?  Because I’ve found that ratings are useful later on, for example when I’m trying to figure out which ones to share.  Doing things now that save time later is the hallmark of the thinking lazy person.

I like to start by giving all of the new pictures the average rating I expect to assign to the set.  I can do this to the whole set at once.  (I’ll adjust some of the ratings later.)  What better time to do it than right after I’ve uploaded them and they’re all together in Last Import?  Rating in Last Import also avoids the risk of accidentally resetting the ratings of pictures that I’ve already put into albums.

Using a consistent rating scale is another way to be lazy.  My scale:

***** = A picture I’m proud of.

**** = Good enough to show people.

*** = Adequate if I have no other pictures of the subject; reluctant to show to other people.

** = Not very good; avoid showing to anybody.

* = Defective; taken by accident, out of focus, thumb on lens, etc.  Delete at the earliest opportunity.

How I assign the average rating to all the pictures in Last Import at once:

Edit > Select all

Photos > My rating > ***Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 9.22.03 PM

2. Edit pictures

You don’t need the pictures to be organized to fix them.  So why not edit them all at once in Last Import?

First thing to do is delete any defective pictures.  This is the time to do it; it’s easy to trash a picture in Last Import because here you’re working with real pictures, not pointers to pictures like you’ll have in albums.

How I trash a pic in Last Import:

Click the arrow icon in the picture’s lower right corner.  In the floating menu, click the Trash icon.

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 9.29.05 PM

Delete defective pictures now, while you’re still working with real photos and not just pointers.

  • I recommend not letting iPhoto delete the pictures from your SD card when you upload them.  Instead, let the SD card be your temporary backup, just in case you delete the wrong picture.

Now edit the ones that are left.  In the lower right corner, turn on the Edit view.  In the upper right corner, click the Quick Fixes tab Enhance is always worth a try, and it’s easy to reverse.  Other quick fixes I use a lot are Rotate and Straighten.  If you’re up for more complicated fixes, the Adjust tab in the top right corner has some useful ones.

3. Adjust picture ratings

Now that we’ve chucked the worst pics and improved the rest as best we can, it’s time to reconsider their ratings and adjust them upward or downward if needed.  We don’t need them to be organized into albums to do this step, either.

4. Put pictures in existing or new albums

Organize your new pics into albums and folders before you upload/import any more, so that later you won’t have to fish around for pictures that aren’t in albums.

5. Put albums in existing or new folders

Folders give you the power to organize your pictures hierarchically.  That’s because folders can hold both albums and other folders.  You can’t put pictures directly into folders.  You can put a single album in a folder to get around this limitation.

6. Select pictures to share

I only share a group of pics that have a common event or activity.  So to me it only makes sense to share pictures after I’ve put them in albums and the albums in folders.  Otherwise, I’d have to select pictures twice. 

Similarly, it only makes sense to share pictures after I’ve rated them and sorted them in descending order by their ratings; otherwise I have to think about which ones are the best two times.  Did I mention how lazy I am?  Hopefully by now you’re getting it that truly lazy people do a lot of prep work before getting around to the parts they want to do.  



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