Macworld Masterclass: Get the look with iPhoto Effects

Macworld Masterclass: Get the look with iPhoto Effects

Apply subtle colour shifts or go all-out with hipsterish filters in the Effects palette

by |

  • Intro 1
  • Step 1: Blowing hot and cold 2
  • Step 2: A shady world 3
  • Step 3: Shades of grey 4
  • Step 4: Selected highlights 5
  • Step 5: Beyond retro 6
  • Step 6: The arty bits 7
Next Prev

Step 1 of 7: Intro

You could say the Effects palette is iPhoto’s equivalent of the dressing-up box: a cursory rummage reveals options for creating arty black-and-white looks, those Lomography-inspired hipster-ish styles that are so popular with Instagram aficionados, or adorable toytown-seeming tilt-shift effects. You can also mimic the effect of analogue photography by adding grain, or take things truly retro with vignettes.

But Effects isn’t all about mimicking the photographic tropes of bygone eras: there are also options that offer real potential for transforming run-of-the-mill photographs into something far more striking through subtle colour modifications. And the results you’ll find here will give anything you can find in the Color Balance palette a run for its money.

And while the options don’t approach the sophistication of what you can achieve with Photoshop, there’s enough choice here to give even quite demanding amateur photographers the power to jazz up their photos. Best of all, Effects are incredibly simple and quick to apply.

More iPhoto tutorials

As recently featured in iPad & iPhone User, we have a series of seven tutorials covering different aspects of iPhoto for the iPhone and iPad. This superb app will make editing your photos a dream.

1. Master Crop and Rotate

2. Alter your photos exposure

3. Manipulate colour balance

4. Retouch images

5. Get the look with iPhoto effects

6. Get your photos organised

7. Share your masterpieces with the world

Vital Info

Device: iPhone/iPad
Difficulty: Beginner
Time required: 45 mins

What you need:

iOS 5.1 or later
iPhoto (£2.99)

Next Prev

Step 2 of 7: Step 1: Blowing hot and cold

Even a simple shift in the tonal palette of your photos can radically change the feel of an image: the Warm & Cool swatch is your destination for experimenting with this. Dragging your finger left and right along the swatch changes shifts the photo’s tonal range.

Next Prev

Step 3 of 7: Step 2: A shady world

The Duotone option strips out the colour range from your image, replacing it with shades of a particular colour. Think sepia, but in purple, green or beige. Pressing the colour wheel icon brings in subtle colours from your image – this works best on photos with a wide range of colours.

Next Prev

Step 4 of 7: Step 3: Shades of grey

You might think there’s only one type of black and white, but you’d be wrong. The Black & White palette offers an impressive selection of options at various exposures, while the buttons to the right add old-school vignette effects, a film-grain effect for ‘classic photo’ points, and a sepia effect.

Next Prev

Step 5 of 7: Step 4: Selected highlights

The Aura palette takes the brightest colours in the palette and allows you to dial them right up – or turn them all the way down, while easing the rest of the image towards monochrome. On the right type of picture this is brilliant for creating moody, unusual results.

Next Prev

Step 6 of 7: Step 5: Beyond retro

Next comes the Vintage swatch. iPhoto offers a small palette of convincing retro film effects, with none of the naff fake scratches you get on some of the retro iPhone photography apps. These range from the subtle to the garish, and work best on photos with wide colour ranges.

Next Prev

Step 7 of 7: Step 6: The arty bits

The easiest way to explain the Artistic panel might be that it gets steadily more abstract as you move to the right, ranging from small colour adjustments to all-out paint effects that mimic oil paint or watercolour media – although the latter is more pop-art than dainty watercolour painting.

Next Prev

Market Place


Synology is dedicated to taking full advantage of the latest technologies to bring businesses and home users reliable and affordable ways to centralise data storage, simplify data backup, share and sync files across different platforms, and access data on-the-go. Synology delivers products with forward-thinking features and the high quality technical support.


Netflix to introduce price increase: New subcribers to start with


How to join Apple's new OS X Beta Seed Program: Run pre-release versions of OS X on your Mac


Twitter - not news


See Moo Studios' new animated advert for Blue Moon beer

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message