Chicago Boyz

What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?

Recommended Photo Store
Buy Through Our Amazon Link or Banner to Support This Blog
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
    Email *
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Lex's Tweets
  • Jonathan's Tweets
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Apple Photos

    Posted by Carl from Chicago on March 3rd, 2017 (All posts by )

    I moved my life over to Apple products over the last few years. I used to use Picasa by Google and Shutterfly for photo books and canvas wraps but over time I’ve leveraged Apple photos to a greater degree and this post describes my experiences and some tips and tricks.

    Apple photos is complicated. For most people, Apple photos is your camera application on your iPhone. With recent iOS upgrades, however, there is a new photos application that is cross platform (I can see my photo stream on my Mac, my iPad, or my iPhone). However, there is a catch. You need to use iCloud and back up your photos to the cloud, rather than just leaving them on your phone.

    It took a while to synch up photos across all my Apple devices and I had to google technical support questions a few times and turn on and off iCloud. However, I eventually got them synched up and it has worked great ever since.

    There are some great features. One feature is facial recognition. You can select a person and then link them to your contacts and Apple automatically selects all the photos of that individual. For photos where Apple is not sure, they ask you “is this so-and-so” and you can say yes or no, and then it organizes all the photos by individual.

    A super-annoying part of this photo recognition, however, is that you have to do it separately for each device. Even though I matched my photos to contacts (individual names) on my iPhone, I still have to do that again for my iPad and my Mac. They should save this meta-data across devices (this is a frequent request in the Apple support section). While this seems like a big pain in the rear, it really isn’t a giant deal, it just takes probably a half hour or so on each device depending on how many photos you have loaded in iCloud.

    A friend of mine in Portland has an exact twin sister and the facial recognition keeps mixing her photos with those of her sister.  That just shows how powerful the software is!

    Not only are the photos organized by person, Apple also uses some sort of machine learning to find objects in your photos.  This post describes some of the items Apple sorts by, from ATM’s to ponds to alcoholic beverages (beer, which has 87 possible matches in my photo stream).  Go to albums and type in a letter and you can see all the various options, it is quite humorous and interesting.

    Finally, I used to create photo books using Shutterfly but their software became more and more annoying to use until I finally gave up.  This is sad because over the years I’ve probably made a dozen photo books using their service.

    I tried making my first photo book using Apple photos, and it turned out great.  Unlike Shutterfly, which always seemed to offer deals and coupons, Apple did not seem to have specials readily available.  However, the software was easy to use, and they had a lot of great templates to use for photos and you could choose how many on a page, the orientation (portrait and landscape), and whether or not to use captions.  I really like how the book turned out and I would recommend it, even if it costs a bit more than the competition.

    I also ordered a canvas wrap of a Portland rainbow and I will let you know how that turns out, as well.  The last couple canvas wraps I ordered from Shutterfly turned out badly so I finally just abandoned the service, along with their photo books, above.  Surprised to see they still have over $1B/ year in revenue.  I still use them for holiday cards but maybe next year I will try Apple or someone cheaper.

    Cross posted at LITGM


    4 Responses to “Apple Photos”

    1. Bill Brandt Says:

      On my iPhone it does all kinds of things to my photos – I wish it would just leave them alone. For example, as soon as I open the photo app, it says my photos are in 1,158 places which, using GPS co-ordinates, I guess is true.

      But I really don’t care ;-)

      Maybe if I start playing with it I will appreciate it more.

    2. Mike K Says:

      My annoyance with my iPhone camera is, if there is any motion, it make the photo a movie.

      I have to sort through and find all the jpg files.

    3. Bill Brandt Says:

      @Mike – one thing I discovered after awhile with iOS9 is that you have the “live” option for photos. That actually makes a photo like a GIF – with 1.5 seconds of movement. (it is the option that looks like a bulls eye).

      My camera was inadvertently set to it and I thought my glasses were losing focus. As to why anyone would want this, I haven’t a clue.

      But the best testimony I can give about the iPhone camera is a friend of mine, retired photographer for our major newspaper. His byline was everywhere for over 40 years. He had the best Nikons, Leicas – today He just uses his iPhone.

      Certainly not quite the photographic quality as the best Nikon SLR but it is always with you and available.

    4. EdSieventen Says:

      I made the transition from Picassa too, but mostly because Google seems to randomly abandon projects and initiatives. The only flaw with iPhoto I see is that deleting photos/videos on your device also clears the photo in the cloud. This leads to having to upgrade phones larger memory storage. Not a good thing.

    Leave a Reply

    Comments Policy:  By commenting here you acknowledge that you have read the Chicago Boyz blog Comments Policy, which is posted under the comment entry box below, and agree to its terms.

    A real-time preview of your comment will appear under the comment entry box below.

    Comments Policy

    Chicago Boyz values reader contributions and invites you to comment as long as you accept a few stipulations:

    1) Chicago Boyz authors tend to share a broad outlook on issues but there is no party or company line. Each of us decides what to write and how to respond to comments on his own posts. Occasionally one or another of us will delete a comment as off-topic, excessively rude or otherwise unproductive. You may think that we deleted your comment unjustly, and you may be right, but it is usually best if you can accept it and move on.

    2) If you post a comment and it doesn't show up it was probably blocked by our spam filter. We batch-delete spam comments, typically in the morning. If you email us promptly at we may be able to retrieve and publish your comment.

    3) You may use common HTML tags (italic, bold, etc.). Please use the "href" tag to post long URLs. The spam filter tends to block comments that contain multiple URLs. If you want to post multiple URLs you should either spread them across multiple comments or email us so that we can make sure that your comment gets posted.

    4) This blog is private property. The First Amendment does not apply. We have no obligation to publish your comments, follow your instructions or indulge your arguments. If you are unwilling to operate within these loose constraints you should probably start your own blog and leave us alone.

    5) Comments made on the Chicago Boyz blog are solely the responsibility of the commenter. No comment on any post on Chicago Boyz is to be taken as a statement from or by any contributor to Chicago Boyz, the Chicago Boyz blog, its administrators or owners. Chicago Boyz and its contributors, administrators and owners, by permitting comments, do not thereby endorse any claim or opinion or statement made by any commenter, nor do they represent that any claim or statement made in any comment is true. Further, Chicago Boyz and its contributors, administrators and owners expressly reject and disclaim any association with any comment which suggests any threat of bodily harm to any person, including without limitation any elected official.

    6) Commenters may not post content that infringes intellectual property rights. Comments that violate this rule are subject to deletion or editing to remove the infringing content. Commenters who repeatedly violate this rule may be banned from further commenting on Chicago Boyz. See our DMCA policy for more information.