Digital photography is brilliant: it allows you to snap away to your heart’s content, taking many hundreds of photos rather than carefully pondering every shot. The downside is that this quickly leads to a large and unwieldy photo collection, with the good photos languishing alongside their more ordinary siblings.
Any useful photo app offers you ways to sort your images in some way, but iPhoto distinguishes itself by being so slick and speedy.
The Flag and Favourites options are a stripped-down way of sorting the wheat from the digital chaff, while the Journals feature offers more traditional album-creation features and social tools. This very simplicity means you’re more likely to actually use them.
Handy as the Flag and Favourites features are, they are not entirely intuitive: while the basics are easy enough, some of the more advanced tricks are a little more fiddly – although if you can master them they’ll make organising your photos even easier as your image collection grows.
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.
Time required: 1 hour
What you need:
iOS 5.1 or later
Step 1: The top shots
When you Flag images or save them as Favourites they are added to the appropriate albums on your home screen, although even Apple is vague on the difference between the two. We use Flags for marking images worth editing, before retouching them and saving only the perfect ones into Favourites.
Step 2: Planting a flag
One key difference between Flags and Favourites is that you can flag your most recently imported photos. Press and hold the flag icon and then press Last 7 Days or Last 24 Hours. Tap Choose and select photos in the scroll bar to flag multiple images, pressing Done when you’re finished.
Step 3: Multiple view
Having trouble choosing between similar photos? Tap an image in the photo scroll bar, and then tap and hold a second photo to see the two side-by-side. Pinch to zoom and swipe to pan around on individual photos for really detailed comparisons. Tap Flag or Favourite to mark all the images.
Step 4: The easier way
Another, less touch-sensitive, way of pulling up multiple images is to tap the cog icon, then Select Multiple. Tap a series of photos or press Range, then pick the first and last pictures to see a series of shots, tapping again to deselect those you don’t want. Tap Done to see your photos side-by-side.
Step 5: What's missing?
iPhoto has a glaring omission: despite iPhoto’s own home screen being the album menu, there’s no way to create albums within iPhoto. Instead, you must create albums in the Photos app – that’s the photo library your iPad came with – and they will automatically import into iPhoto.
Step 6: Create an album
Given this rather unnecessary hassle, it’s doubly unfortunate that even in Photos, creating albums isn’t nearly as intuitive as it should be. In the home screen, tap the arrow in the top right, then select several images before tapping ‘Add To’ to finally name and create an album.