If you’re like me then you’re taking more photos than ever, and printing fewer than ever. The fine art of printing beautiful photographs has largely been supplanted by email and Facebook.
We share photos, but we don’t print photos as much. Mostly. So what happens when you want to print a digital photo? iPhoto has plenty of options, but the process is so complex you need a How To Print Using iPhoto For Dummies book. There’s an easier way.
The Mess Of Printing
It’s not that we don’t print photos. We do. Just not as often because sharing photos is so easy, so fast, and comes with negligible cost.
After all, emailing a dozen photos costs virtually nothing.
Printing a dozen photos takes time, effort, and all that paper and ink comes with a price tag.
So, what do we do when we finally decide to print some photos? We use iPhoto, the Mac’s Foremost Utility App of the 21st Century™.
There are two basic ways to print photos using iPhoto. First, order prints online. That works, of course, and comes with dozens of options, but it can be expensive. Second, print from iPhoto to your color printer. What’s wrong with that?
The problem has mostly to do with the bewildering array of options just to print a couple of photos. Standard, Contact Sheet, Simple Border, Simple Mat, Double Mat, Customize.
Then, Print Settings, Themes, Background, Borders, Layout, not to mention the customization options. Then you have to crop and match the photo to the paper size.
Isn’t there a simple way to print a photo without having to jump through iPhoto’s increasingly complex settings? Snapshot to the rescue.
Print Perfect Pictures
Elegance and simplicity isn’t for everyone. But it has a place. If iPhoto’s printing maze leaves you unsatisfied, Snapshot will leave you dazzled. This is how printing should be.
Snapshot’s window is perfectly understandable. In the left column are tabs to adjust and print your photos. Click the Add Pictures button to view photos. Immediately, your iPhoto or Aperture or Lightroom photos show up in the left column.
Snapshot displays your photos iPhoto style so you can scroll through hundreds or thousands of photos. As you find a photo you want to print, drag and drop it to the filmstrip below.
Once you have all the photos you want to enhance, crop, and print, click the Done button. Snapshot lets you enhance or crop each image to get it ready to print (it’s non-destructive so you won’t damage your original photos).
Snapshot has three tabs in the left corner which provide simple and obvious tools to adjust the photos and get them ready to print. Select a Print Size, change orientation to either landscape or portrait, choose a Border Style and adjust color and size. Even add comments and dates. Use the slider and move hand to crop the photo.
You can also add talking balloons to the photo before printing. It’s surprising how popular that feature is when sharing photos. The third tab features slider controls for adjusting Exposure, Contrast, Brightness, Saturation and Sharpness.
Now you’re ready to print. Click Print.
The Print page lets you view each image before going to the printer. Select the Printer, the Paper size, change orientation again (if needed), and the layout style. Then click Print.
What you get is perfectly printed photographs that match perfectly with the paper you selected—5×7 or 4×6—photos are cropped perfectly, and can even be printed edge to edge.
Even print multiple photos on a single page of printer paper.
There’s only one thing I don’t like about Snapshot—the gratuitous use of animation.
There’s too much moving from one page to another page, when simple vertical or horizontal navigation tabs would do. Click a tab, the next set of functions should appear, rather than all that swooshing around back and forth.
Snapshot is inexpensive and easy to use. There’s no setup. It finds your iPhoto or Aperture photos and makes them available with a click. My mom and dad have a Mac and use iPhoto but get stymied with all the print options (sometimes they end up printing two photos for every one they give away).
This little app makes printing easy. Aperture it’s not. You won’t get the same kinds of enhancement features. But even iPhoto can be complex for some Mac users and Snapshot simply makes a simple process even easier.