Photos Crash Course for iOS 10 and macOS Sierra

Tc photos v2Sometimes, it feels as if I’m a lone defender of Apple’s Photos app under macOS. Many people find it too different from iPhoto, or think it’s too basic (even though it’s actually quite sophisticated), or… I don’t know, they just don’t like change. Except for Aperture users who were abandoned by Apple—their discontent is understandable.

It’s not just because I wrote a book about Photos and Apple’s photo ecosystem. True, I use Lightroom as my primary photo library manager, but I also make extensive use of Photos and iCloud Photo Library.

And now macOS Sierra is out, with a new version of Photos that brings better searching, Memories, revamped people identification, and more!

Alas, when my publisher Peachpit Press all but vaporized early this year, the possibility to update my Photos book also went up in smoke. That’s too bad, because I really enjoyed writing it, and thought it turned out well.

However, I’m not the only Photos defender. My friend and colleague Jason Snell has just released the second edition of his highly regarded, and best-selling, Photos: A Take Control Crash Course. Jason has been immersed in Photos during the developer preview versions of macOS Sierra and knows it inside and out. The ebook is 74 pages of hard-won information, fully illustrated and written in Jason’s friendly, approachable style. And it’s only $10!

Photos is a key part of both macOS Sierra and iOS 10, so before you order Jason’s book using the link above, consider bundling it—at a discount—with Scholle McFarland’s Sierra: A Take Control Crash Course, Josh Centers’s iOS 10: A Take Control Crash Course, or both!

Buy the Photos, Sierra, and iOS 10 Crash Courses for $28
Buy the Photos and Sierra Crash Courses for $17.50
Buy the Photos and iOS 10 Crash Courses for $17.50

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Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course

Apple watch cc mailhead

In the time since Apple introduced the Apple Watch in September, I’ve fielded two questions many times: “Should I buy one?” and “Which one should I get?”

Now I’m excited to announce that I’ve written a book that helps answer those questions and plenty more: Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course.

But wait, the Apple Watch doesn’t come out until April 24. What magic is this?

Apple watch cc cover shadowIt’s electronic publishing! Currently the book includes 23 pages of information based on everything we know about the watch, including a chapter that looks at competing devices to help you figure out if an Apple Watch is the right choice. I cover the watch’s strengths and weaknesses, how we’re likely to use it in day-to-day life, and the ways we’ll interact with it.

But when you buy the book now, you’re also buying the full, in-depth version that will arrive in May after I’ve had time to actually use the Apple Watch for more than a few minutes.

The ebook costs $10, but this early-edition version is currently 50% off. That’s just $5 for the ebook now as well as the entire future edition, or just 0.05% the cost of the entry-level Apple Watch Edition! And you don’t have to wait until April 24 to get it.

Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course is available as a PDF, an EPUB, and a Mobi file, so you can read it on any device, from Mac to iPad to Kindle.

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Aperture’s Golden Hour

Aperture sunsetIt seemed fitting that I heard the news that Apple is sunsetting Aperture while I was attending a photo seminar. Aperture has been largely dormant for the past three years, and as I commented to Jackie Dove in an article at The Next Web, “I have to admit, on one level I’m a bit relieved that we finally know what’s happening with Aperture, instead of the limbo it’s been in for the last few years.” (Is it weird to quote myself on my own blog?)

What does this news mean for photographers who’ve invested countless hours and gigabytes of photos to Aperture? In short, we need to wait and see what Apple’s new Photos for OS X application will bring, but I’m not optimistic it will meet everyone’s needs, especially right away.

I explain in more detail at TidBITS in a new article: “Aperture’s Golden Hour.”

In photography, the “golden hour” is that slice of time just before and after sunset when the sun is low in the sky and the light is often bronze-hued and dramatic. It’s one of the best times of the day to capture photos, but the good light too soon rolls over into darkness.

Apple’s professional photo-management application, Aperture, has enjoyed an extended golden hour. Although Adobe Photoshop Lightroom long ago dominated the market, Aperture has held on in development limbo — working fine (but sludgy, in my experience) for those who use it, but not updated in any meaningful way. Now, its light is close to winking out: Apple announced last week that it will soon halt development of Aperture.

Announcing: Ebook of Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac

TCoDP coverIt’s a new book! I’m excited to announce that Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac is now available as a standalone ebook.

Although this was always destined to be a Take Control ebook, we turned it into a (highly successful) experiment. As I finished each chapter, we published it at TidBITS, with everything after Chapter 1 available only to TidBITS Members. The idea was to spur memberships and also get feedback on the work in progress. In fact, my original outline for the book included eight chapters, but I added a ninth after discussions with readers (“Migrate Photos to a Different App”). TidBITS members can continue to read the chapters online for free, or buy the ebook at 30% off (just $10.50!).

If you’re not familiar with it, the book tells you how to build a digital workflow to import, tag, rate, and organize your photos. From the page describing the book:

Why bother taking photos if you can’t find them later? If you want to be able to lay your hands on any given photo in your ever-expanding library, digital photography expert Jeff Carlson has developed a simple system you can use to make your photo collection browsable, searchable, and generally navigable!

The ebook includes the same content as the articles, updated here and there based on feedback and in the final editorial passes. All references to sections within the book are linked to make it easy to traverse the topics. Take Control does a great job making ebooks that are functional, easy to read, and easy to navigate.

Astute readers will notice that the title changed slightly: We added “on a Mac” to the end. Although the concepts and workflows I discuss aren’t platform-specific, the book does have a Mac focus for a couple of reasons:

Since the TidBITS readership is overwhelmingly comprised of Mac users, I made the assumption that many people would be coming from iPhoto and looking for other solutions, including Apple’s Aperture, which is Mac-only. (The other two applications I focus on, Lightroom and Photoshop Elements, are cross-platform.) Also, there’s the question of scope: trying to include a lot of other Windows utilities would have increased the size. (I discuss my criteria for choosing a good photo-management application in the book.)

The second reason for the title change is simple marketing: Now that the book is available to anyone, not just Mac-focused TidBITS members, we didn’t want anyone to be disappointed to not find more Windows-specific topics.

For more behind-the-scenes information about how we published the book, tune in to an interview I did with Chuck Joiner for MacVoices: MacVoices #13177: Jeff Carlson Finishes Up Take Control of Your Digital Photos On A Mac.

Macvoices tcodp

I hope you purchase and enjoy the book. It’s an idea I’ve kicked around for several years, and writing it as a Take Control ebook turned out to be a particularly good fit. I want to thank Adam and Tonya Engst for publishing it, and especially my fantastic editor Kelly Turner for helping shape the text.

Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac is available now for $15 from Take Control Ebooks (with a 30% discount for TidBITS members). You can download PDF, EPUB, and Mobi (Kindle) versions to put on all your devices. I expect the book will also soon be available from the iBookstore.