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iPhoto 5: The Missing Manual by David Pogue and Derrick Story
388 pp. Pogue Press/O’Reilly, 2005. $29.95.


Professional photographer Derrick Story joins forces with David Pogue for iPhoto 5, the Missing Manual, the fourth edition of the best-selling book on all things iPhoto. Story is also a Mac author and presenter and is managing editor of the O’Reilly Network (www.oreillynet.com) and the MacDevCenter (www.macdevcenter.com). Pogue’s lengthy credits include tech columnist for the New York Times and founder of O’Reilly’s Missing Manual series. A dream team? You bet your boots.

iPhoto 5: The Missing Manual starts with a primer on choosing and using a digital camera. You’ll find smart advice on taking different kinds of photos – sports, travel, weddings, nighttime, and more. There’s even a discussion of taking photos with a cameraphone. (Tip: for self-portraits with a timer, steady your cameraphone on a small beanbag pillow. Pogue and Story tell you where to buy one online).

Now that your digital photos are safely stored on their digital media card, it’s time to bring them into iPhoto. “iPhoto Basics” details how to import, sort and edit your photos using iPhoto 5’s many new features which include Smart Albums, a Calendar for finding photos by when they were taken, nested folders (finally!), and greatly improved tools for editing.

“Meet Your Public” guides you through creating slideshows (now easier and more powerful in iPhoto 5), making or ordering prints, sharing online, publishing a Photo book (hardcover or paperback in can now be ordered in three sizes), working with movies (iPhoto 5 can handle the QuickTime movies which many digital cameras now support) and creating iDVD slideshows.

The fourth section, “Photo Stunts,” covers plug-ins, add-ons, AppleScript tricks, converting and exporting photos, creating photo screen savers and desktop backgrounds, and the mundane but essential matters of managing and backing up iPhoto libraries. Appendices on troubleshooting, resources, a menu-by-menu iPhoto 5 tour and an excellent index round out the book.

Pogue and Story’s prose is witty, conversational and easy to follow. Any process that might get complicated is broken down into step by step instructions, and there are plenty of highlighted notes and tips to keep you on track and out of trouble. The illustrations are in full color – a first for a Missing Manual and most welcome and appropriate for a book on iPhoto.

iPhoto 5: The Missing Manual is excellent from start to finish and is a “must have” for every iPhoto 5 user. Most highly recommended.

– Elsa Travisano

Copyright ©2005 by Elsa Travisano. This review appeared in the June 2005 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.