You guys, we all have a ton of photos! We take them on vacation, during school plays, on walks with our dogs, and while drinking at the bar with close friends (careful with that last one, folks). The upside of carrying around cameras of all kinds, from iPhones to iPads to serious DSLR cameras, is that we can record our lives at any given moment. The downside, of course, is that we have a veritable flood of images to sort through whenever we get them back to our computer.
iPhoto is a great virtual shoebox for keeping our photos handy, and it’s pretty good at basic editing tasks as well. There’s value, however, in viewing our photos in something other than the standard photo view.
One of the best ways to manage the vast amounts of photos in any given photo library is with iPhoto 11’s built in Events View. Events are basically albums of photos that were taken in a specific period of time. You can view your photos by Events, which will help narrow down the images you have to scroll through to find the ones you want. iPhoto creates Events as you import, so tweaking how it does so will save you some effort in the long run.
Head into the iPhoto preferences by launching iPhoto, and then hitting the Command-Comma keys on your keyboard. You can also just click on the iPhoto menu at the top of your Mac’s screen, and choose Preferences. Hit the General tab and then choose the time period you’d like things split into from the drop down menu in the middle of that preference pane. Choose One Event Per Day if you have a ton of images to sort through each day, or One Event Per Week if you don’t take that many daily photographs. If you’re a super photographer, you can also choose to autosplit events by two or eight hour periods.
If you already have a bunch of events sitting in there, you can merge and/or split the ones you have into Events that make sense. It’s possible you’d want to split one day into two separate events, like a morning soccer game and an evening party, for instance. To merge events, simply click on one or more events, then drag and drop them onto an event you want to merge them together with. To split them, open the event with a double click, then click to highlight the photo you’d like to start a new event with. Use the Events menu at the top of the screen to choose Split Event. Bam! You’ll have two events, the second one starting at the picture you selected in the previous step.
You can also just drag photos from one event to another event. Select both events with a Shift-click and then double click on one of them; iPhoto will open both. Drag and drop the photos from one event to the other with aplomb. In addition, when in Events View, move your mouse over the event which you’d like to change the cover photo for. As you move the mouse right and left, the photos in the Event will show up. When you find the one you want as your “album” cover, hit the space bar and iPhoto will use that one from now on. Pretty slick, right?
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