Welcome to the MacSparky Photos Field Guide. I've got a few areas of focus in this guide I'd like to share with you. 

The first is, I want you to become a pro at Apple Photos for the Mac. But I know a lot of you don't have a Mac, a lot of folks just do Photos now on their iPhone and iPad. So I've got entirely separate videos dedicated to the iPhone and iPad. So no matter which Apple platform you work on, this guide is made for you.

Additionally, I want to teach you how to take better pictures because getting good pictures into Photos is the first step to making better photos.

Also, there's a bunch of third-party applications outside of Apple Photos, I'm going to touch on those briefly. I want to talk about working with videos, so there's a whole section of this field guide devoted to working with video and library management because it's just so important. We take so many pictures now, we need good library management, we need to back that up, and there's a whole lot more. So the goal of this Photos Field Guide is nothing more than making you a pro at using Apple photos and the related applications no matter which Apple hardware you use. 

So why is photo management so hard? It didn't used to be. I remember when I was a kid, you take a picture, you'd get it developed, you'd put it in a box, and that was all there was to photo management. No problem. You didn't need field guides for that. I also remember when I was a kid, my family used about two rolls of film a year. We'd have one that we took throughout the year, and then we'd always get an extra roll for Christmas. And then in those days, you actually had to buy film and pay to get it developed. So there was this incentive not to take a lot of pictures.

That is the photoshoot from my seventh birthday. There's no picture of me next to cake. There's no pictures of me running around. There's a picture of me in front of a coffee table full of presents. Looks like I had a pretty good year that year, by the way.

So the other day, my wife was just sitting on the floor holding the dog and I thought it was cute, and I shot off 15 pictures in about a minute. So that's the difference. One picture for my birthday versus 15 photos just because I'm feeling like it.

The other day, I also took a picture of some onion rings. That's not something that would have happened back when we had two rolls of film a year. 

So the idea of the cardboard box has gone away and now been replaced by our Macs or our computers. We take the pictures, we put them on the computer. But then we've got more devices now taking pictures for us, the iPhone and the iPad and other mobile devices. And if you look at this, my library is now nearly 50,000 images. And that's the real problem because no longer is the cardboard box adequate, really storing these images on your Mac isn't either. File size is just keep getting bigger as the sensors in the iPhone and the cameras get bigger. We've gone from a pretty small file size or 2 megabyte image to much larger size files.

So we're filling up our computers with all these images. So the computer really isn't the solution either. What we really need is a place that we can store the images and share them with all devices and hold all of those large files, and that's where the cloud comes in. You've heard of iCloud storage. We're going to talk about it a lot in this video series. But the idea is if I take a picture of onion rings with my phone, I can send them up to the iCloud and it will send copies down to all my other connected devices. So now I've got storage in the cloud and on all my devices. It's awesome and it's the best way to manage your photos. We're going to talk about that a lot in this series.

So what are the goals that a photo app really needs to accomplish? You know, what is Apple aiming for with Apple Photos? Well, I think there are several things they need.

The first is they need the ability to store your photos. You need to replace that cardboard box.

The second thing you need to do is add some editing tools. So not only can you store your photos, you can make them look better.

The third thing you need to do is have reliable cloud storage for those images, and Apple has done that with the iCloud storage. And then you need to share them.

And the last thing you need to be able to do that people don't think about is you need to be able to discover them. When you've got 50,000 images in your library, you've got to be able to find the ones you really want. Apple Photos really does this. It's done a great job over the last several years with improvements to make all of these categories easier to accomplish. 

And the goal of this field guide is to teach you all of these tools, with Apple Photos and some related apps. So let's get started with the Photos Field Guide.

Complete and Continue