My six year old’s best friend is moving to Texas in two weeks, and ever since we learned their family is moving we’ve been planning to order a custom picture book as a going-away present for them. Their going away party is this coming Friday, so today was about the last possible day for us to create the book and order it with express shipping. I’m pleased to report we (my wife and I) absolutely LOVED the ease and flexibility of using custom book ordering in iPhoto ’09, and we can’t wait to get our books in the mail later this week! (This post is, btw, an unsolicited plug for Apple’s iPhoto software. We’re not receiving any promos from Steve for extolling his product!)

Before sharing some details about our experience, I’ll note this: The amazing power, ease of use, and exceptional high-quality of the multimedia creative powers of my Macintosh laptop are PRECISELY the reasons I love to use Apple computers. Nothing crashed, nothing got “hung up” as we were making this book — We imported literally thousands of photos into iPhoto from the summer of 2006 to the present for this project, and my Mac handled everything with speed and ease. This is how computing is supposed to be. It’s too bad so many Windows users remain in the dark about how powerful and easy multimedia creation can be – on a Mac. :-)

I first want to extol the automated red-eye removal in iPhoto ’09. Having spent a fair bit of time trying to remove red eye with different programs in the past (earlier versions of iPhoto, PhotoShop Elements, PhotoShop 7, etc.) I am blown away how easy this process is now.

Before:

Red Eye Photo

After:

Red-Eye Fixed in iPhoto 09

This literally took three clicks of the mouse! After clicking on the photo, I clicked EDIT, then RED EYE removal, then AUTO. Boom! We were done.

The second feature of iPhoto I’ll praise is facial recognition. The printed photo book we created was a chronology of the friendship of our daughter and her friend over the past three years, so face recognition was perfect for helping us find all possible images to include. The following is a photograph of students from their preschool this past spring, when they visited the nearby Orr Family Farm on a field trip. I was amazed to see that even in a photo with this many faces, iPhoto ’09 still managed to pick out my daughter’s friend! Wow!

iPhoto Face Recognition

Last of all, I commend Apple for making the process for ordering printed photo books so easy and straightforward. Our 22 page book was 24 megabytes in size, as it uploaded to Apple’s contracted print shop for production and shipping. Thanks to our home high speed Internet connection, this uploaded in less than a minute. Johannes Gutenberg would do cartwheels if he was still alive to see this!

Transferring Book to Order

Digital memories are great, but it’s also superb to have picture books to thumb through and keep on the coffee table. Bravo, Apple – I love iPhoto even more than ever! :-)

Forever Friends!

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  • Terry

    I agree that the iPhoto book printing is easy and the results can be great, but it depends on which contracted printing company does the job! The one in Shakopee, MN seems to be good, while Medford, OR has sent me bad copies (slivers of white paper showing at the top of pages meant to have a full-bleed image; cover photos that are not centered). It’s a crap-shoot, because you cannot tell where the job will end up being printed — beware!

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