REVIEW: Photos for Mac and iOS: The Missing Manual

51XHpF9WPML._SX378_BO1,204,203,200_When it was first released, iPhoto was developed as an easy way to organize photos from a digital camera and consequently to print or share them. Each year Apple made improvements to this important software.

Several years later Apple released Aperture, an easy-to-use software program that was specifically designed for photographic professionals.

Last year Apple decided to replace both of these software programs with Photos that would serve the needs of both consumes and professionals.   To assist with the learning curve of this new software, Lesa Snider has written Photos for Mac and iOS: The Missing Manual (O’Reilly, July 2015, 312 pages) with a forward by David Pogue.

This book is part of The Missing Manual series from O’Reilly which gives more comprehensive information about its subject than the manual for that piece of software (or hardware). The title suggests that if you bought that digital camera or related software, you don’t have much detailed information to work with. This book will fill in the gaps. This O’Reilly book includes color photos to illustrate its points.

Snider offers an easy to understand style. Here she discusses the certainty of organizing your images:

“If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that you won’t have fewer pictures next year—you’ll have more. In all likelihood, hundreds—if not thousands—of photos will make their way into your life within the next few months alone. That’s because digital cameras (and their prices) are better than ever, and every cell phone known to man now supports a surprisingly high-quality camera. Combine that with the selfie epidemic and the “I must photography everything I eat” phenomenon, and you’ve got yourself a ton of photos to manage.”


The book is organized into the whole process of taking photos:

  • Getting Started with Photos – How to download the app and migrating from iPhoto and Aperture
  • Importing Pictures and Video – How to import photos from the Cloud and elsewhere
  • Viewing and Organizing Your Images – All the technical info about how view photos as images and albums and how to duplicate them
  • Finding Pictures – How to sort through your images.
  • Improving Your Pictures – In a nutshell: editing photos.
  • Slideshows and Movies – How to incorporate your images into a viewable presentation
  • Printing Photos – Basics of printing and evaluating resolution
  • Sharing and Exporting – The how-to of sharing images with email or online social software (Facebook, Twitter and Flickr).
  • Creating Custom Books, Calendars and Cards – How to select images for a book, calendar or greeting card.
  • Managing Your Library – How to create new or incorporate existing libraries.
  • Troubleshooting – Upgrading, syncing and importing.


Photos for Mac and iOS: The Missing Manual is a great compendium of information on all subjects relating to digital photography. Since Apple provides very little documentation with the software, Snider’s book is really all you need.

This book provides great insight into using Photos and making use of its varied features.   Or you could just “wing it” and see how far you get. The book is worth its weight in gold if you are a professional in the industry or a consumer who would like to investigate photography further.

Although the price of the book is $29.99, ApplePickers members can get up to a 35% discount when ordering directly from O’Reilly. Contact your MUG representative for the special discount code. Ordering one book will get you 30% off, buy 2 or more will get you 35% off and any order over $29.99 will qualify for free shipping.

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