Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Using IPhoto for your Blogger Banners

Angela asked if I would talk a little about using IPhoto for photos on my blog, so here goes! (Now, honestly -- if you really knew me, you would guffaw loudly at the idea of me helping anyone with anything computer related!! However ....)

I have IPhoto '11, version 9.2.3, for what it's worth. At some point in the last year or so, IPhoto did a pretty serious upgrade, and it changed a lot of how it functions. I have mixed feelings about my new IPhoto. And I can't promise that what this version of IPhoto does on my Macbook Air, will match what it does with your machine.

I take lots of photos, and I consider them to be a visual record of our lives that I want to preserve. So Angela, I know what you mean about running out of room! Once, Adam got me some storage space online somewhere (I forget where :( ). Lately, I've been putting old photos onto an external hard drive, although some photos have been lost that way. I keep too many. Photos are really the one thing on my computer that takes up a lot of space. If space is an issue for you, consider finding a low-cost storage spot online to hold them until you need them.

Frankly, I'm confused about my photos' sizing. Photos that I previously used for banner photos, no longer work because they're too small. When I look at them, they usually say they are 600 x 200. When I put them in my banner now, they're too small to fill up the whole banner. I'm guessing those photos are just history. I know how to crop pictures, but I don't know how to make them bigger :)

Pictures that are more recent are plenty big enough; the originals are probably in the 3000s x 2000s. Here's what I do: 1)select the photo in IPhoto that I want to use for my banner, 2) click on "edit" on the bottom bar of the IPhoto screen, 3) in the editing window, click on "crop," and then "constrain" and then enter the dimensions you want. I've been using 1000 x 333, a 3:1 ratio. This seems to work in the new Blogger Designer banner system. 4) Click "done." Then click in the upper left corner for "last import" or "photos" or whatever, to take you back to the screen full of photos. You'll see that your cropped photo is selected, and that it is obviously cropped. 5) Click and drag the photo OUT of your IPhoto screen, and onto your desktop. I like to keep my banner photos out of IPhoto and in a separate folder. 6) Rename your photo if you like, by clicking on the numbers under its icon, and rename it with its jpg attachment. Then drag it into a folder, or wherever you want to store it. When I'm fiddling with one or several banner photos this way, I often just keep them on my desktop for a while, so that I can easily find/upload them to Blogger as I need them.

Even though you've cropped the photo, I would still click on "shrink to fit" when you are downloading it into Blogger in your "layout" screen with your blog title. As with all things bloggy, if it doesn't seem to work one way ... try the other!

One nice thing about the new Iphoto is that you can go back into that cropped photo (it keeps a copy in Iphoto, of course), and "revert to original" at any time, in the editing screen. That way, if you find you've messed it up in cropping it, you can go back and start over.

I hope this is helpful. I'm still scratching my head over what to do with my old banner photos that I love. I've long ago lost the originals of most of them. Why are they so small? I don't know. I'll just have to go out and find new pictures, I guess!

Oh, and there are basically 3 ways to find a photo in IPhoto: 1) if it's in your most recent import, then click on "last import," 2) click "photos" and you'll have to scroll down to the bottom for the most recent one, 3) click "events," which groups your photos into clusters that were taken at the same time. If you've named the events, that's helpful. This last choice doesn't work well for me, because my camera's date was not always set correctly, so Iphoto has grouped my "events" according to the camera's date stamp, and the events are ALL out of order, in reality! Ugh. I usually just scroll through "photos" hunting for old pictures I want. Not ideal.

Good luck!


  1. Thanks so much! A couple more questions: where do you keep your folders -- in iphoto or on your desktop or somewhere else? And, do you resize your photos before putting them in your blog post itself? I haven't been doing that, so I am running out of room in my blogger account, but I'm stumped as to how to do it.

  2. Yes, I keep my banner photos in a regular folder on my desktop. (Actually, it's buried in a folder within a folder within a folder ... :) But it is NOT in IPhoto.
    Yes, I resize the photos in Iphoto, before I put them on my blog banner. I went to your yarn blog, and your banner photo is very large. I'm guessing it needs to be resized in Iphoto.

    As far as other photos (regular pics in any blog post), I don't resize them in Iphoto. I click on them after I've loaded them in the post, and choose "large" as their size.


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