Sunday, November 28, 2010

Book Review: iPhoto 09 for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide

Like other Visual Quickstart Guides, the version for iPhoto '09 is not a manual but a detailed and complete how-to guide. Instead of covering every feature, the book covers those features you'd be most interested in, and the author doesn't disappoint. Rather than answering the question "What does this do?", the book answers the questions about "How do I do this?"

The book covers the following topics in detail in a logic progression of how a new user would approach the topic, and features chapters on installation, importing and managing photos, working with the Faces and Places feature, slideshows, editing, publishing, and printing photos. As a bonus, the book also contains a great appendix on photography techniques to make anyone a better photographer.

Within each topic, details are covered one page at a time with copious screenshots (hence the Visual part of the title) making for a quick read without too much fluff and superfluous information (the Quickstart part of the title). Engst's excellent writing style enabled even the more complex topics to be succinctly and deftly handled in just a few paragraphs. Personally I've always had problems getting pictures to print correctly on photo paper and after reading the short page on Printing Standard Prints and the Troubleshooting guide, I realised what I was doing wrong and no longer have a stack for recycling each time I want a simple 4x6.

The Troubleshooting chapter in particular is an outstanding guide on figuring out what to do when iPhoto acts quirky. It helps you with those functions that should work, but due to current bugs in iPhoto, don't. You won't find this detailed guide anywhere, so serious iPhoto users should buy it for this reason alone!.

Although I consider myself an intermediate iPhoto user, I still found quite a bit of value from this book. I clearly don't use the full potential of iPhoto, and know more about how to use certain functions to my advantage rather than learning for the sake of learning. Both beginner and intermediate users will find just what they need in this book. Rarely can a book walk that line of not talking down to intermediate users and not talking over the heads of a beginning users. Here is proof you can do both.

Pros: Covers the most useful topics within iPhoto in a quick easy to understand format with great tips and tricks along they way.
Cons: Absolutely none

Five out of Five dogcows

Article was republished by the Lawrence Apple User's Group 2.0 here as well as other groups listed on the right