Remember how, when Apple first introduced iPhoto, it was supposed to take over from the stereotypical shoebox in which we supposedly stored our photos? And initially, it did. But over time, as the number of digital photos we took increased, first quickly, then seemingly exponentially, iPhoto became less and less able to keep up. For many people, iPhoto has become just a virtual shoebox, where you import photos and ignore them.
We have a solution for you, but like so many problems, the fix for this one is less about what tools you use and more about how you work. Don’t get me wrong, choosing and configuring the right tool is important, and that’s part of the overall approach that you’ll learn from our senior editor Jeff Carlson, who has become an award-winning photographer and author of popular photography books like “The iPad for Photographers” over the past few years. But the key is learning the best methods of importing, culling, rating, and organizing your photos — as automatically and effortlessly as possible — and turning Jeff’s real-world advice into habit.
You’re probably expecting that our solution will take the form of a Take Control ebook, and you’d be right, but we have something new for you too. Jeff’s in the middle of writing “Take Control of Your Digital Photos” right now, so you can’t buy it yet, but you can start reading immediately. The introductory chapter of the book is available now for everyone at “Take Control of Your Digital Photos,” Chapter 1, and we’ll continue posting chapters as articles on the TidBITS Web site — call them “chapticles” if you will — each week as they’re written and edited over the next 6 to 8 weeks.
By the end, you’ll have been able to read the entire book… if you’ve joined the TidBITS membership program. We’ve always provided TidBITS members with a 30-percent discount on all Take Control books and significant discounts on a wide variety of Mac software, but to make a TidBITS membership even more valuable, all TidBITS members will be able to read the entire book chapter by chapter, just like any other article (you need to be logged in to the TidBITS Web site with your member account to see them). The only limitation is that links to other parts of the book won’t be live, since those parts haven’t yet been published.
You can even leave comments on each chapter, just like any other TidBITS article, and in fact, we encourage you to do so! Jeff will respond directly and adjust the text of the book appropriately as the project continues, and we’ll alert members to new chapters as we publish them. You can also opt to receive individual TidBITS articles in email, including these, as soon as they’re published, by selecting the Receive All Articles checkbox in the member-only Your Subscriptions page. The individual chapters will remain accessible on the TidBITS site indefinitely, and if you want the full book in classic Take Control PDF, EPUB, and Mobi form when we’re done, the 30-percent member discount still applies.
All this is possible thanks to some new production tools we’re using, a combination of Nisus Writer Pro and a Markdown conversion macro written by Joe Kissell with the Leanpub publishing engine that turns that Markdown into EPUB, from which we can extract the nicely formatted HTML you’ll see in each chapter online. (The TidBITS Publishing System uses Markdown natively too, but we get more formatting flexibility by relying on the HTML extracted from EPUB.) The system is simultaneously elegant and baroque, but it’s been a lot of fun to build. We hope you like the results!