Chapter 13

Focusing on Photos

IN THIS CHAPTER

Bullet Importing pictures from your internal drive or digital camera

Bullet Organizing images with Photos

Bullet Tweaking the appearance of photographs

Bullet Sharing photos with your friends

For decades now, the Mac has been the choice of professional photographers for working with digital images — which is not surprising, considering the Mac’s graphical nature. Apple continues this tradition with Photos, its photography tool for the home user that can help you organize, edit, and even publish your photographs. (It sports more features than a handful of Swiss army knives.) After you shoot your photos with a smartphone or a digital camera, you can import them into Photos, edit them, and publish them. You’re not limited to photos that you take yourself, either; you can edit, share, and organize all kinds of digital image files, as well as video clips. You can even create a photo album and use the Photos interface to order a handsome softbound or hardbound copy shipped to you, or you can create a slideshow and upload it to YouTube.

In this chapter, I walk you through an overview of what Photos can do. After that, I give you a brief tour of the controls in Photos so that you can see what features are available to you, including those for managing, printing, and publishing your photos.

Delving into Photos

Figure 13-1 shows most of the major controls Photos offers. (Other controls appear automatically when you enter different modes; I cover them in upcoming sections.)

Snapshot of photos greeting with an attractive window.

FIGURE 13-1: Photos greets you with an attractive window.

These controls and sections of the window are covered in more detail in the following sections. For now, here’s a quick rundown of what you see when you launch Photos and click the Photos mode button in the top center of the screen:

  • Sidebar: Like Music and Safari, Photos sports a Sidebar that displays locations and groupings within the application — photos you’ve recently imported, for example, or specific photo albums and book projects you’ve created. Switching among your photo library, albums, and projects involves a single click!
  • Toolbar: This group of controls determines how many images the Viewer displays and allows you to perform several actions with selected photos.
    • You can display photos by years, months, or days (which cover three cross sections of your photos by when they were taken) or all photos at one time. If the Back button is visible, you can click it to see more images. To zoom in on a specific photo, just click the desired thumbnail. To switch among these groupings, click one of the four view buttons on the toolbar or press ⌘   +1 through ⌘   +4. Click the All Photos button to return to an overview of your entire library.
    • You can create new albums, slideshows, and print projects (such as books, calendars, and cards) from your photos. These new thumbnails appear when you click the Albums and Projects entries on the Sidebar, which makes it much easier to organize your photos.
    • You can share selected photos in a slew of ways, including Apple Mail, Messages, and AirDrop networking, as well as popular online sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. If you’ve enabled iCloud Photo Sharing, you can also share photos with your other Macs and iOS devices.
    • You can search for specific images. Just click the box and start typing to search by description, title, caption, or even Faces and keywords, which I cover later, in the section “Digging through your library with keywords.”
  • Tip Viewer: This pane displays the images from your Photos library. You can click and drag or ⌘   +click to select photos in the Viewer for further tricks, such as assigning keywords and editing images.

  • Thumbnails: If you’re displaying a single image from your library, you can press Option+S to open and close the Thumbnails pane. The Thumbnails pane allows you to quickly switch to another image by clicking the desired thumbnail — a helpful feature when you’re editing several images taken at around the same time.
  • Full Screen: Click the Full Screen/Maximize button in the top-left corner of the window (or press Control+⌘   +F) to switch to full-screen display of your photos. In full-screen mode, you can double-click a thumbnail to view the image in your Mac’s entire screen real estate. (The toolbar is still available at any time: Just move your pointer to the top of the screen to display it.) Press Esc to return to windowed mode.

    Tip Choose View  ⇒    Always Show Toolbar and Sidebar in Full Screen to prevent the toolbar and sidebar from disappearing in full-screen mode.

  • Zoom: Drag this slider to the left to reduce the size of the thumbnails in the Viewer. This technique allows you to see more thumbnails at the same time, which is convenient for making quick visual searches. Drag the slider to the right to expand the size of the thumbnails, making it easier to differentiate details among similar photos in the Viewer. You can also use the Zoom slider when a single image is displayed.
  • Show Thumbnails as Square or Full Aspect Ratio: This toolbar button is displayed only in the All Photos view. (It bears a box icon with arrows pointing up and down.) Click this button to toggle the thumbnail display between uniform squares (which may not show the entire image) and the full image in reduced size. Full-aspect-ratio format doesn’t require any extra space, but some Mac owners prefer uniform squares, as the iPhone and iPad display them.
  • Add To Favorites: This toolbar button (which bears a heart icon) appears on the toolbar only while you’re viewing or editing a single image. Click the Add to Favorites button to add the item that’s currently displayed in the Viewer as a Favorite. (When viewing your library as Moments or Collections, you can also hover your pointer over an item and click the heart symbol that appears in the bottom-left corner of the photo.) You can search for Favorite photos by using keywords, which are covered in “Organizing with keywords,” later in this chapter.
  • Info: Click this button to display information on the item that’s currently displayed in the Viewer.
  • Share: Click this button to share the selected photos to your shared iCloud albums on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch (they’ll appear in the Photo Stream albums on those devices) or to another Mac. You can also add them to a note, attach the photos to a text message, email them, or share them via AirDrop.
  • Edit: Here’s another button that’s displayed on the toolbar only when you view a single image. Click this button to switch to the editing controls within Photos and make changes to the current image. I cover editing in depth in “Edit mode: Removing and fixing stuff the right way,” later in this chapter.
  • Rotate Counterclockwise: This one is pretty self-explanatory; a click rotates the selected image(s) counterclockwise. People find themselves clicking this button often, which is why Apple designers decided to park it here.
  • Search: Click within the familiar confines of the search box to filter the photos displayed in the Viewer by keyword, description, filename, or date.

Working with Images in Photos

Even a superbly designed image-display and -editing application such as Photos would be overwhelming if everything were jammed into one window. Thus, Apple’s developers provide operational modes such as editing and book creation that you can use in the one Photos window. Each mode allows you to perform different tasks.

In this section, I discuss three of these modes — import, organize, and edit — and what you can do when you’re in them.

Import images 101

In import mode, you’re ready to download images and video clips directly from your digital camera — and you’re not limited to cameras, of course. You can also import items from a folder on your internal drive, a memory-card reader such as the SDXC card slot, an external USB drive, or even a Kodak PhotoCD (if you have an external DVD drive).

Follow these steps to import images directly from your camera:

  1. Connect your digital camera to your Mac.

    Plug one end of a USB cable into your camera and the other end into your computer’s USB port.

  2. Prepare your camera to download files.

    The procedure for downloading images and video varies by camera, but the process usually involves turning the camera on and choosing a Download or PC mode. Check your camera’s user guide for more details.

  3. Launch Photos.

    Your Mac probably launches Photos automatically when it detects your camera, but you can always launch Photos manually by clicking the Photos icon on the Dock or within Launchpad.

  4. Select the device in the Sidebar.

    Photos displays all the images and video clips currently stored on your camera in the Viewer.

  5. Click the Import To drop-down menu and choose a destination for the imported files.

    You can choose an existing album, create a new album, or simply add the imported photos to your library.

  6. Click the Import All New Items button to import all new files from the camera.

    Tip To select specific images to import, hold down the ⌘   key and click each desired photo; then click Import Selected instead of Import All New Photos.

    The images and clips initially appear within the Last Import album in your Photos library, where you can organize them as you want.

Note that Photos automatically groups imported images and video by the year, month, and date when the files were created, if your camera stores this information with each file. If you want to see photos from your son’s graduation, for example, those photos will appear in each view by that date. Think about that. It’s pretty tough to arrange old-fashioned film prints by the moments in time that they document, but Photos makes it easy for you to see which photos are part of the same group.

Tip Don’t be surprised if Photos automatically appears when you connect your iPhone or iPad to your MacBook. This feature gives you a convenient opportunity to import photos with a single click. (In fact, if you’ve enabled the My Photo Stream feature as I demonstrate at the end of this chapter, you won’t even have to physically connect your iOS device to your MacBook at all to import those snapshots!)

Organize mode: Organizing and sorting your images

In the days of film prints, you could always stuff another shoebox with your latest photos or buy another sticky-backed album to expand your library. Your digital camera, though, stores images as files instead, and many folks don’t print their digital photographs. Instead, you can keep your entire collection of digital photographs and scanned images well-ordered and easy to retrieve within Photos. Then you can display them in a slideshow, email them, print them, use them as Desktop backgrounds, or burn them to an archive disc.

A new kind of photo album

The most familiar method of organizing images in Photos is the album. Each album can represent any designation you like, be it your pets, a vacation, your daughter, or your daughter’s ex-boyfriends. Follow these steps:

  1. Create a new album.

    You can choose File  ⇒    New Album or press ⌘   +N. If you’ve selected any item thumbnails in the Viewer, they’re added to the new album automatically.

  2. Type the name of your new photo album in the Untitled Album text box in the Sidebar (see Figure 13-2).
  3. Press Return.
Snapshot of adding a new album in Photos.

FIGURE 13-2: Adding a new album in Photos.

Photos also offers a special type of album called a Smart Album, which you can create from the File menu. (For even faster action, press ⌘   +Option+N.) If you’re familiar with the Smart Folders that you can use within the Finder and the Smart Playlists within Music (see Chapter 12), you’ve figured this one out already.

A Smart Album contains only photos that match certain criteria you choose, including the keywords you assign your images. Other criteria include text in the photo filenames, the dates when the images were added to Photos, a specific person you've identified, and any description you may have added (as well as camera-specific data, such as ISO and shutter speed).

Now here’s the really nifty angle: Photos automatically builds and maintains Smart Albums for you. It adds new photos that match the criteria and deletes those you remove from your Photo Library. (It also removes the photos that no longer match the Smart Album’s criteria.) Smart Album icons carry a gear symbol in the Photos Sidebar.

Tip You can display (or edit) information about any photo or video clip by right-clicking the thumbnail and choosing Get Info from the shortcut menu. Click the Add a Title heading in the Info dialog to display a text box, where you type a new value. You can also type a short note or description in the Add a Caption box that appears in the dialog.

You can copy selected items from the Viewer into any album you choose. Right-click the desired items, hover your pointer over the Add To menu item, and choose the destination album. You can also copy selected items to an album by dragging them from the Viewer to the desired album entry in the Sidebar.

To remove a photo or video clip that has fallen out of favor, follow these steps:

  1. Click the desired album in the Sidebar.
  2. In the Viewer, click the item you want to remove to select it.
  3. Press Delete.

Remember When you remove a photo or clip from an album, you don’t remove the actual file from your collection (represented by Photos button on the toolbar or the Photos entry at the top of the Sidebar). An album is just a group of links to the images in your collection, just as a playlist in Music is a group of links to songs in your Music library. If you want to remove an offending photo from Photos, click the Photos button on the toolbar (or the Photos entry at the top of the Sidebar) to display your entire collection of photos and clips, and delete the item there. The item disappears from all albums with which it’s associated.

To remove an entire album, right-click the offending album entry in the Sidebar and choose Delete Album from the shortcut menu.

To rename an album in the Sidebar, click the entry below the Albums heading in the list to select it, and click again to display a text box. Type the new album name, and press Return.

Tip Change your mind? Photos comes with a handy-dandy Undo feature. Just press ⌘   +Z, and it’s as though your last action never happened. (This trick is a great one for those moments when you realize that you just deleted your only image of your first car from your library.) For an extra level of backup protection for your priceless images, you can invest in an external drive and use the awesome Big Sur Time Machine backup feature. (Which you should be using anyway. Just saying.)

Working with People

Photos includes a powerful organizational tool called People, which appears as a separate item within the Sidebar.

People is a sophisticated recognition system that automatically recognizes human faces within the photos you add to your Photos library. (I don’t know whether it works well with pets, but you can try.) Naturally, you have to identify — or tag — faces before Photos can recognize them.

To tag a face, follow these steps:

  1. In the Viewer, double-click the photo with a person you want to tag and click that person’s face.

    Note that Photos indicates each person’s face in the photo with a circle. If a face has already been tagged, the label (which appears when you hover your pointer over the icon) matches the person’s face.

  2. Tip To set Photos to always show labels in the Viewer — so that you don't have to click the Add Faces link — choose View  ⇒    Show Face Names.

  3. Click the unnamed label below the person's face to open a text box, as shown in Figure 13-3.
  4. Type the person’s name and press Return.

    If the name appears on a Contacts contact card — or is recognized as an existing People name or as one of your Facebook friends — you can click the matching entry that appears to confirm the identity. Wowzers!

  5. To delete an incorrect face recognition, right-click inside the circle that appears around the face and choose This Is Not (Name) from the menu that appears.
Snapshot of adding another mug to my collection of Faces.

FIGURE 13-3: Adding another mug to my collection of Faces. (That doesn’t sound right.)

Tip Photos might not recognize the face if the person is turned at an angle to the camera or is in a darker area of the photo. If so, display the Info dialog and click the Add Faces link to display a “floating” circular outline. Then click the outline and drag the circle over the person’s face. If necessary, you can resize the box by dragging the handle on the right side of the circle. Finally, click the Click to Name label and type the person’s name.

After you tag an image, it appears in your People collection, which you can view by clicking the People entry in the Sidebar. You can double-click a portrait in your People collection to see all the images that contain that person.

Organizing with keywords

“Okay, Mark, albums and People are great ideas, but there has to be a way to search my library by category!” you say. Never fear, good Mac owner. You can also assign descriptive keywords to items to help organize your library and locate certain pictures and video clips fast. Photos comes with several standard keywords, and you can create your own as well.

To illustrate, suppose that you’d like to identify your images according to special events in your family. Birthday photos should have their own keyword, and anniversaries deserve another. By assigning keywords, you can search for Elsie’s birthdays or your silver wedding anniversary (no matter what collection or album they’re in), and all related photos with those keywords appear like magic!

Photos includes these keywords:

  • Favorite
  • Family
  • Kids
  • Vacation
  • Birthday
  • Flagged
  • Photo Stream
  • Check mark

Tip What’s the check mark about, you ask? It’s a special case: The check-mark keyword comes in handy for temporarily identifying specific items, because you can search for only your check-marked photos and clips.

To assign keywords to images (or to remove keywords that have already been assigned), select one or more photos in the Viewer. Then choose Window  ⇒    Manage My Keywords or press ⌘   +K to display the Keyword Manager window, shown in Figure 13-4.

Snapshot of adding keywords to these selected images.

FIGURE 13-4: Add keywords to these selected images.

Tip Drag the keyword buttons that you use most to the Quick Group section of the Keyword Manager window, and Photos automatically creates a keyboard shortcut for each keyword in the Quick Group. Now you don’t even need to display the Keywords window to get business done!

Click the buttons for the keywords you want to attach to the selected images to mark them, or click the highlighted buttons for the keywords you want to remove from the selected items.

Digging through your library with keywords

Behold the power of keywords! To sift through your entire collection of images by using keywords, click the Search button on the toolbar in the top-right section of the Photos window and type one or more keywords. To see all the items you’ve flagged as Favorites that include kids, for example, type Favorite Kids.

Remember The images that remain in the Viewer after a search must have all the keywords you specified. If an image is identified by only three of four keywords you chose, for example, it isn’t a match and doesn’t appear in the Viewer. (You can create a Smart Album with specific keywords to get around this limitation.)

Tip To search for a photo by words in its caption, just click the search box and start typing. You can search your images by date and rating as well.

Searching by locations where photos were taken

Photos can also track the location where photos were taken automatically, but this feature requires a digital camera that includes GPS tracking information in the image metadata for Photos to do so without your help. (Older camera models are unlikely to support GPS tracking. Naturally, most iPhones and iPads support this feature.) You don’t have to turn anything on to view photos by location.

When you’re viewing photos by Moments and Collections, you’ll notice that Photos includes the location name to identify where the photos were taken. To search for all images taken at a specific location, type the location name in the Search field.

Tip If you right-click a specific photo (that includes location information) to select it and then choose Get Info from the shortcut menu, you see a close-up map of the location where the photo was taken.

Edit mode: Removing and fixing stuff the right way

Not every digital image is perfect; just look at my collection if you need proof. For shots that need a pixel massage, Photos includes editing tools that you can use to correct common problems.

The first step in any editing job is selecting the image you want to fix. (Double-click a thumbnail in the Viewer so that it fills the screen.) Then click the Edit button on the Photos toolbar (or simply press Return) to display the Edit-mode controls on the right side of the window, as shown in Figure 13-5. Now you’re ready to fix problems by using the tools I discuss in the rest of this section.

Snapshot of photos for edit mode.

FIGURE 13-5: Photos is now in edit mode. Watch out, image problems!

Remember If you display a video clip in the Viewer, you can play it by hovering your pointer over the clip and clicking the Play button that appears, and a subset of video-editing controls appear when you enter Edit mode. (Need more powerful editing for your videos? Use iMovie, which I cover like a blanket in Chapter 14.)

While you’re editing, you can click the left- and right-arrow keys to move to the next item or back to the previous image. This trick works whether you’re browsing the library or displaying the contents of an album. You can also display the Thumbnail pane in Edit mode.

Tip If you prefer to edit images while using more of your screen real estate, click the Full Screen/Maximize button in the top-left corner of the Photos window. To switch back to the standard window arrangement, simply press the Esc key.

When you’re finished with Edit mode, click the (wait for it) Done button again to return to the Viewer.

Rotating tipped-over shots

If an image is in the wrong orientation and needs to be turned to display correctly, click the Rotate button to turn it once counterclockwise. Hold down the Option key while you click the Rotate button to rotate clockwise.

Crop ’til you drop (and a whole lot more)

Does that photo or video have an intruder hovering around the edges of the subject? You can remove some of the border by cropping an item, just as folks once did with film prints and a pair of scissors. (We’ve come a long way.) With Photos, you can remove unwanted portions from the edges of an image or video — a great way to get Uncle Milton’s stray head (complete with toupee) out of an otherwise-perfect holiday snapshot.

While you’re in Edit mode, follow these steps to crop, flip, and straighten an item:

  1. Click the Crop button at the top of the window.
  2. Select the portion of the image that you want to keep.

    In the Viewer, click and drag the right-angle handles at the corners of the rectangle to outline the part of the image you want. Whatever is outside this rectangle disappears when the crop is complete.

    Tip When you drag a corner or edge of the outline, a semi-opaque grid (familiar to amateur and professional photographers as the nine rectangles from the Rule of Thirds) appears to help you visualize what you’re claiming. (Check it out in Figure 13-6.)

    You can expand the outline to the image’s full dimensions at any time by clicking the Reset Adjustments button in the bottom-right corner.

    See that attractive-looking Auto button that appears in the bottom-right corner of the Photos window when you’re in Crop mode? A single click of the Auto button and Photos takes its best shot at producing the ideal cropping and straightening job for you! If you don’t like the results, just use the Undo feature (⌘   +Z) to return the photo to its previous appearance.

    Remember Photos features multiple Undo levels, so you can press ⌘   +Z several times to travel back through your past several changes. Alternatively, you can return the image to its original form (before you did any editing at all) by clicking the Reset Adjustments button.

  3. (Optional) Choose a preset aspect ratio.

    You might want to force your cropped selection to a specific aspect ratio, such as 4x3 or 16x9 for a widescreen desktop background or 4x6 or 5x7 to match the dimensions of photo paper. If so, click the Aspect item on the right side of the window (available only while cropping) and choose that ratio from the pop-up menu that appears. (Pick the Square selection for the perfect Facebook profile image or the Freeform selection to allow any aspect ratio when your cropping is done.)

  4. (Optional) Flip your photo or video horizontally.

    A click of the Flip item at the right side of the Crop window gives you the mirror image of your original photo.

    Snapshot of selecting the stuff that you want to keep in your photo.

    FIGURE 13-6: Select the stuff you want to keep in your photo.

  5. (Optional) Straightening what’s crooked.

    Was your camera slightly tilted when you took the perfect shot? Never fear! Click the circular angle control on the right edge of the image and drag in the desired direction. (Besides straightening the subject, you can do some truly wild camera angles this way, just like in the ’60s Batman TV series!)

  6. Click the Done button.

Enhancing images to add pizzazz

If a photo looks washed out, click the Auto Enhance button to increase (or decrease) the color saturation and improve the contrast. (The toolbar button sports a very fitting magic-wand icon.) Auto Enhance is automatic, so you don’t have to set anything — but be prepared to use Undo if you’re dissatisfied with the changes.

Removing rampant red-eye

Unfortunately, today’s digital cameras can still produce the same “zombies with red eyeballs” as traditional film cameras do. Red-eye is caused by a camera’s flash reflecting off the eyes’ interior surface, and it can occur with both humans and animals. (I’m told that pets get green-eye or blue-eye, but Photos can handle them, too!)

Photos can remove that red-eye and green-eye and turn frightening zombies back into your family and friends. In Edit mode, click the Adjust button at the top of the window; hover your pointer over the Red-Eye item on the right side of the screen; and click the Auto button that appears. Photos automatically attempts to remove any red-eye effect that it detects in the photo, and a blue check mark appears next to the Red-Eye item to indicate that a change was made.

Retouching like the pros

The Photos Retouch feature is perfect for removing minor flecks or lines in an image (especially those you’ve scanned from prints), and Retouch has been improved in macOS Big Sur. Click the disclosure triangle (which looks like a right arrow) by the Retouch item and click the Edit button that appears (which carries a paintbrush icon). Now hover your pointer over the photo to display the circular retouch tool. You can drag the Size slider to change the size of the retouch tool. Drag the pointer across the imperfection and click Done when you finish touching up. Don’t forget to take a moment to marvel at your editing skill!

Using filters and adjustments to add a mood

Wonder whether a particular photo or video in your library would look better in black and white (grayscale)? Click the Filters button at the top of the window to display a list of effects that you can apply to the item, including black-and-white effects, enhanced color levels, and subtle shading. Click any thumbnail in the strip to apply the filter.

If you’d like more precise manual control of your image attributes — including sharpness, color levels, shadows, definition, and white balance — click the Adjust button at the top of the window and explore the lengthy array of options. Note that most of the adjustments offer an Auto button if you hover your pointer over the entry, and you can click the disclosure triangle to the left of each entry to display additional controls that create a different look.

Exploring iCloud Photos

Yes, Apple has decided that everything except the kitchen sink should be stored online in iCloud: first your iTunes music library; then your Pages, Numbers, and Keynote documents; and now your photographs and video clips! To turn the iCloud Photos feature on, choose Photos  ⇒    Preferences, click the iCloud tab of the Preferences dialog, and click the iCloud Photos check box to enable it.

With iCloud Photos, your entire Photos library is stored online, and everything in your library is accessible from other Macs and iOS devices such as your iPad and iPhone. (Think “central storage house for everything visual that you can reach from anywhere with an Internet connection.”) If you take a photo with your iPhone, for example, it appears automatically within Photos. And if you recently cropped and edited a photo to perfection with Photos, you’ll be able to retrieve that edited photo on any of your iOS devices or another Mac.

On the same iCloud pane in the Preferences dialog, you can choose to

  • Download copies of the full-size images and full-resolution videos on your MacBook’s local hard drive, which allows you to edit or view the originals even when you’re not connected to the Internet.
  • Store smaller images and smaller-resolution videos on your laptop with the ability to retrieve the originals from the iCloud at any time when you’re connected to the Internet.

Naturally, if you’re a photographer who needs constant, instant access to your original images, the first option is preferable. Choose the Download Originals to this Mac option on the iCloud pane. If your MacBook’s drive is nearly full, however, and you’d like to conserve space, the second option is very attractive. Choose the Optimize Mac Storage option on the iCloud pane.

All this goodness is handled automatically, but there’s a catch: Your entire Photos library needs to fit within your free 5GB of iCloud storage; otherwise, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription to get additional elbow room! (Storage subscriptions range from 99 cents a month for 50GB of space to $9.99 a month for a whopping 2TB of space.) If you have only 3GB of photos, you may be able to use iCloud Photos without spending anything extra, but because my Photos Library is nearing 10GB, I’d probably need to subscribe to take full advantage of the feature. The choice is yours, dear reader: If you decide not to use iCloud Photos, rest assured that Photo Stream will still work as it did in iPhoto.

Putting My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing to Work

Like iPhoto before it, Photos includes the My Photo Stream feature, which automatically shares the photos you take among your Macs, your PCs, and iOS devices. Unlike with the iCloud Photos feature, however, your images and videos are stored on your Mac’s local hard drive, not in iCloud. (The images and videos are also always full-size and full-resolution.)

To turn on My Photo Stream, choose Photos  ⇒    Preferences; click the iCloud toolbar button in the Preferences dialog; and then select the My Photo Stream check box. When the feature is turned on, Photos should automatically import My Photo Stream photos taken with iOS devices and other Macs to your Photos library.

When the My Photo Stream feature is turned on, it’s a cinch to share images and videos across your Apple computers and devices; simply copy the items into the My Photo Stream location in the Sidebar. Photos automatically sends the selected images to all compatible devices over your Internet connection. (Note that all devices that use My Photo Stream must be configured with the same Apple ID.)

You can also choose to share specific photos by using iCloud Shared Albums, which can be turned on from the Photos Preferences dialog. (Yes, I agree that Apple seriously needs to work on choosing more-discrete names for these features.) Choose Photos  ⇒    Preferences, click the iCloud tab on the toolbar of the Preferences dialog, and select the Shared Albums check box.

To subscribe to a shared-album invitation from another person, right-click the desired shared album in the Sidebar and choose Accept from the shortcut menu.

To create your own shared album, select the images you want to share, click the Share button on the toolbar, select the Shared Albums item, and click the New Shared Album button. Photos prompts you for the album name and the email addresses of the folks you want to invite to your shared album. After you enter each email address, click the Create button at the bottom of the sheet to start the ball rolling. You can also add or delete items from your shared album in the same way that you would with a regular Photos album. Apple, you absolutely rock!

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