All of Twitter and the Mac news blogs have been covering this week’s report from the Russian antivirus company Dr. Web, which claimed over 600,000 Macs had now been affected by a Flashback trojan that exploits a vulnerability in older versions of Java. There are still many questions on the validity of the report, but [...]
I’m in a somewhat unusual situation, I have my Mac Pro set up at home and I use my MacBook Pro full time at the office with a docking station. Therefore, I have two full-time workstations set up. I took that opportunity to purchase two different wireless keyboard and mouse solutions. I used the Apple [...]
I thought I’s better let you know why the blog and podcast has been so quiet this past week. If you do not already know, I’m in San Francisco CA. for Macworld 2010. (and a little week of R&R). What I’ve been doing out here, both socially and business related will take weeks of blog [...]
If you normally read my blog, or listen to the podcast, you’ll know we’re not a news based organization. I like to review hardware, software and apps that make using the Mac special. But, I’ve had a lot of readers and friends that asked me why I’ve not talked about the iPad before the event [...]
I finally got enough nerve to pull the trigger and order a new MacBook Pro 13 inch. Iâ€™ve been wanting one ever since I made reservations for Macworld Expo in San Francisco Feb 2010. You see I never really had a legitimate reason to own a laptop until now. I have my Mac Pro [...]
From The Loop: Itâ€™s available for download through the Software Update system preference, and should be online shortly from Appleâ€™s downloads software site. The 10.6.2 update â€œenhance the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac,â€ according to Apple. Specific changes include fixes for: an issue that might cause your system to logout unexpectedly a graphics [...]
Well you all have the application I’m talking about this week, although to be honest, some of you will have an earlier version than the one I’m talking about. So if I have your attention I’ll dive straight in. iPhoto, see I told you you all have the application, currently I’m using the latest build 8.0.4 which is part of the iLife 09 suite.
Why did I want to chat about iPhoto? I’m not going to go through all of the great features but specifically, and emphasising I’m no expert, I was amazed to hear someone in an online meeting I was on say that they didn’t realize how much editing you can do within the application, and since I’ve just come back from holiday iPhoto has had a lot of use.
This got me thinking, I wonder how many people buy their Mac, get it home, throw the pictures into iPhoto but never get to the point where they click on the edit button at the bottom of the screen? If you’re one of those types, listen on because iPhoto is really quite a powerful tool.
So you’ve imported the photos, whether they be JPEG’s or RAW images, although if you’re shooting RAW you may already use the editing capability of another more powerful photo editing application, but iPhoto can do a lot. Click on the edit icon and you’re into a world of improvements.
Once you’ve clicked the edit icon you should see at the top of iPhoto a row of your photo’s then the photo it’s self and at the bottom a row of icons that do varying things to your pictures. The first icon is nice and easy and can also be adjusted without entering the edit mode, Rotate. Rotate your photo through 360 degree’s in 90 degree increments.
Then we have Crop. To me, this can be a really powerful way to improve your picture, go in and try. Choose a picture, click on Crop and iPhoto opens the picture and adds a white outline where you can grab the corners or any of the edges and adjust on certain parts of the picture. When you make the adjustment, iPhoto adds a grid which helps when it comes to getting your thirds correct on the photo. I won’t go into thirds here, but believe me taking note of the grid will help you compose your image. One thing I like to do is change the view to a more rectangular view. It’s amazing how you can change the shot with this tool.
Now before I go on, remember these adjustments are non destructive so if you don’t like the finished product then you can always revert back.
The next icon is straighten. We all try to take a level picture but it isn’t always possible, so go into Straighten and make that right. If you combine angling the picture, you don’t have to straighten the picture after all, just Crop and you’ll come up with some great affects.
The next icon is Enhance, this button will automatically adjust the photo to enhance it’s light and color. Here’s a trick, if you want to see exactly what is being done, click on the Adjust icon before clicking the Enhance icon. A floating panel will open up with lots of adjustment bars, with Adjust open, click on the Enhance icon, you’ll see that some of those adjustment bars move. If you want to experiment move some of those bars to see for yourself the impact your having. Enhance does a pretty good job, but sometimes it doesn’t create the affect you want, if this happens you can undo the affect easily with the key combination CMD Z.
The next icon is Red-Eye. The current Red-Eye reduction is better than previous versions but it’s still not quite there, but with some practice you’ll soon get used to using the tool for best results, and get rid of those ugly red eyed pictures that always seem to occur no much you try to avoid them.
Moving onto the next icon which is Retouch. This tool is great if you find you have a blemish on the picture, this could be because of a dirty lens or that darn fly landed right where you didn’t want it to when you took the shot. Click here and iPhoto gives you an adjustable size circular curser which you then click over the blemish and iPhoto will use data local to outside of the cursor and replicate the area with that data, you’ll see the blemish disappear, it’s almost magic.
The next effect is something I haven’t used too much but again is a powerful tool and creates some interesting effects, and each of the effects can have an impact on each of the other. So if you want a sepia, vignette photo with an edge blur go here. Again a neat trick is to have the Adjust menu open to see what impact the adjustments your making are having on the metadata of the photograph. CMD Z here does work, but there is also an original photo in the middle of the grid that pops up enabling you to get back to the photo you had prior to all changes.
Now the final icon one that I’ve mentioned already is Adjust, this is a powerful tool and something that if you’re not careful, you can spend far too much time messing about in. I’ll try and give you pointers here, but there are many other websites and podcasts to really get into what each of these adjustments can do for you.
Once you’ve clicked on the Adjust icon, a floating submenu pops up which has what is referred to as a levels panel where you can make adjustments. Quick tip, if you have a full spread of peaks on this graph leave the end sliders alone, slide the middle adjustment left or right but as in all of the adjustments you must watch the picture as you get a live view of the impact you are having on the picture. CMD Z doesn’t work here, but there is a reset button on the bottom of the submenu, this is your friend. Now if those peaks of red’s greens and blue’s I mentioned are gathered around the middle of the panel, try moving the end sliders in toward the edges of the colors, watching the picture for changes.
The next three sliders below this panel are Exposure, Contrast and Saturation. I tend to leave these alone. They can have big impacts on the end result these can often be counter adjusted in some of the other edits, yes I am probably talking sacrilege, but this is how I use the adjustment sliders remember.
The next section of the submenu is Definition, Highlights, Shadows, Sharpness and De-Noise. These sliders I find myself using more than the others, you might want to try Highlights and Shadows first. The Highlights slider will often bring out clouds that you thought you’d captured and just seem to be a white greyish mass, and Shadows can bring out definition in the darker area’s of your picture.
The last two options again will have a big impact but until your really into making these adjustments you may find like me, your not using much are Temperature and Tint. There is also a droplet icon next to Tint that allows you to remove a color cast, I have only just started playing with that option.
Another nice option is that at the bottom of the menu is a copy and paste option, you can use this to paste any adjustments onto another similar picture you may have taken at the same time, this I do use but not as much as you’d think.
As I said these adjustments are non destructive and not permanent, but in the case of JPG’s I believe that iPhoto keeps a copy of the original and one of the adjusted photo. With RAW images the metadata is adjusted and the original metadata is not lost either.
I hope this gives you the initiative to go take a look at editing your photos. You never know, that magic shot you thought you had may still be a magic shot with just a few adjustments. Here’s a link that will help you when working in iPhoto. http://www.apple.com/ilife/tutorials/#iphoto
I’ve been having nothing but problems keeping my wireless connection alive on my AppleTV the last month. I never had troubles like this before, I never changed the location of my Time Capsule or my AppleTV so why all the problems all of a sudden? I’ve tried restoring, rebooting, changing channels, a static IP, cutting down the Multi-Cast, and other ideas. So far, it works for a few days then back to dropping the wireless connection.
Over the past few years game consoles have aspired to become part of your home network and entertainment system. In addition to their role as gaming devices, they offer media playback and streaming. Out of the box, they function as so-called media extenders via Windows Media Center, and with the PS3 and Xbox360, this is really easily accomplished. The Mac has been a more recent admission to the party, but no less pleasurable a guest, though, as you’ll see, one that has to pay the price of admission to get the most functionality.
The update to 10.5.5 is out and here’s what it does..
* Includes recent Apple security updates.
* Addresses stability issues with video playback, processor core idling, and remote disc sharing for MacBook Air.
* Addresses an issue in which some Macs could unexpectedly power on at the same time each day.
* Resolves a stability issue in TextEdit that could be found when accessing the color palette.
* Improves Spotlight indexing performance.
* Fixes an issue in which contacts might not sync properly with PalmOS-based devices.
* Improves iPhone sync reliability with iCal and Address Book.
* Includes improvements to Active Directory (see this article for more information).
* Improves Speech Dictionary.
* Fixes Kerberos authentication issues for Mac OS X 10.5 clients that connect to certain Samba servers, such as Mac OS X Server version 10.4.
I’ve been complaining of late that the Trouble with MobileMe should have deserved a 30 day free extension to MobileMe, but I never received that email from Apple. My bad. Apple just sent me this email,
Ok – so you know how last week I was all about in with the old and out with the new? Well, a big part of my recycling/reselling technique also involves protecting my newly purchased items.
Exhibit A: i just bought myself a new Apple Aluminum wireless keyboard (Man, are these are tiny!) and like my iPod and iPhone, my first thought is “Oooh Shiny!” My second thought usually is, “How am I gonna keep this shiny?”
I know several people who are getting an iPhone 3G but as yet they haven’t gotten it! I have also heard some instances of customers reserving an iPhone online for collection in-store, only to be turned away on the day as they didn’t have enough stock.
As for me, I’m currently very happy with my iPod Touch but I think it’s highly likely my wife and I will be purchasing his and hers iPhones in September.
I didn’t manage to upgrade my iPod until the Saturday morning. But since then I’ve downloading and dissecting apps on a daily basis.
It can never be said that Apple understands when it made a mistake, and they made one or two big ones in the last week. If you read my arcticle called “Just How Dumb Can Apple Be, you’ll know that the conversion from .Mac to MobileMe has been anything but smooth. One of the things I like about Apple is their ability to make things right when they know they screwed things up. So today we’ve gotten the word from Apple that they want to kiss and make up for the MobileMe disaster.
As I sit here reading a long list of emails, blogs, major news articles and twitters all bemoaning the fact that nothing is working right today for Apple, I just shake my head and ask, “Just How Dumb Can Apple Be?”.